I’ve been to NYC a few times and have done all of the “typical tourist” stuff, which is why I was       looking forward to visiting my friend MC who resides in the upper east side.  I wanted to live in NYC for the weekend like a local.  And, MC didn’t disappoint – I had a fabulous time in New York visiting some of her favorite go-to spots.

After catching up with my long lost friend, we headed out for a late dinner at Yefsi Estiatoria, a Mediterranean restaurant on the Upper East Side. Everything we ordered was delicious, but the meatballs were my favorite. Not to mention, the owner of the restaurant was particularly welcoming (and gave us free deserts). After dinner we headed out to The Pony Bar and Third Avenue Ale House (which had a great variety of brews) for a drink, or several.

After getting a slow start Saturday morning (which may or may not have had something to do all the beers we sampled at the Ale House), we walked over to one of MC’s regular spots, Bagel Express, on 2nd Avenue. The place looks like a dump on the outside, but offers an amazing selection of bagels and spreads, as well as extremely fresh sides, salads and sandwiches. If I lived in New York, this place would be one of my go-to spots.

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After brunch, we strolled through Central Park, which is always one of my favorite things to do while in Manhattan. We were deadset on grabbing cocktails on rooftop bar, but unfortunately, it was New York Fashion Week, so our first choice was closed for a private event. We eventually settled in on the rooftop of the Gansevoort Hotel in the Meatpacking District for rooftop vino, great views and some interesting people watching.

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We then continued our stroll around the city, stopping from time to time to shop or grab a bite to eat. After strolling past Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment in the TV series Sex In The City (a must see for any true SATC fan), we found ourselves at the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop, where I had the best ice cream cone I have ever had in my life (even if I felt slightly uncomfortable ordering the “Salty Pimp” cone). I am STILL thinking about that delicious Salty Pimp!  For dinner that evening, we stumbled across a little gem of an Italian restaurant called Epistrophy on the corner of Moft and Spring Streets. The other ladies ordered the gnocchi, which they thought was too heavy, but my bolognese with house-made tagliatelle was perfect. Our Italian dishes inspired us to walk to Little Italy where we had a glass of limoncello at the Italian Food Center. By this time we found ourselves surprisingly beat (we aren’t as young as we once were…) but stopped for a nightcap on the patio of the White House Tavern before retiring for the evening.

On Sunday we got an early start and headed to Brooklyn. Despite the fact that is was unusually hot for September, we decided to walk the Brooklyn Bridge. If you have not done so, I would recommend it for great views (and like most places in NYC, people watching).

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We lunched at a hidden gem Indian restaurant called Asya Indian in Brooklyn Heights before heading over to Brooklyn Winery. If you’re in Brooklyn, the winery is certainly worth a stop. They pride themselves on making small batch artisanal wines, which I was pleasantly surprised by.

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Sadly, after the winery it was back to Atlanta via La Guardia. But, I am already looking forward to future invitations back to NYC!