Since Chelsea started college we’ve had a little tradition of spending a special day in the city at holiday time. Always included are a walk through Central Park and a look at the store windows along Fifth Avenue.
But last year I wanted to do things a little differently. I wanted a marathon experience – starting super early in Brooklyn and ending after dark. After parking the car we’d rely solely on public transportation (or our feet) and eat really, really indulgently. I also wanted to catch glimpses of some of the more “touristy” things that I tend to avoid – especially during the holidays when those areas are literally crammed with wall-to-wall tourists. I wanted some of that too.
In short, I wanted to wrap my arms around the whole city.
I shared my plan with Chelsea and – of course – she was in.
It was an amazing, memorable (and FREEZING!) day – I took the “big” camera, and you can follow our journey here.
So amazing that we decided to do it again this year – with just some minor changes. And the weekend before Christmas we set off.
We parked in Soho and took the subway into Williamsburg, to check out the new winter home of Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg.
Can’t get enough of vintage ornaments
We also checked out a new-to-us bakery that was worth the trip alone. Caprices by Sophie features merveilleux – crispy, airy meringues filled with flavored whipped cream (speculoos here), and capped with chocolate shavings.
Sophie was so charming that I couldn’t resist when she offered a special “magic choux” (cream puff) that she was featuring – filled with champagne pastry cream and topped with Pop Rocks. Whoa.
There’s a secret garden in the back and we will definitely be returning!
We then decided to get to Manhattan by walking over the Williamsburg Bridge – I’ve had it in my head to walk over this and the Manhattan Bridge in the coming year and this was my chance to cross one off the list.
It was decidedly meh – as un-pretty and uninspired as the Brooklyn Bridge is beautiful.
Next time, my friend
When we got to the other side we took the subway uptown and traversed Central Park – including all of the usual suspects.
We went south along Fifth Avenue and caught glimpses of some of our favorite haunts.
We finished with dinner in the West Village, followed by a “supply run” at our beloved Sockerbit.
We’re officially “hooked” on this day and plan to do it again next year.
How about you? Do you have any traditions that you pull out during certain times of year? Do they change as your kids get older?