Day 3 | NYC

New Years Eve.

When we made the initial plan to come to New York City, we all immediately agreed that going to Times Square on New Years Eve would totally not be a part of our game plan. With that being said, we made reservations at Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain for around 5:30 in the evening, so the morning leading up to dinner was pretty relaxed.

After two 9-hour+ days in the city, we decided to take this day to sleep in a bit and start our day off at a slower pace. Instead of heading into the city immediately in the morning and spending the entire day, we decided to spend the morning and afternoon in Long Island, and venture into the city later in the day. We booked seats on the Long Island Railroad to Penn Station so that we wouldn’t have to worry about the drive in or parking, and headed over to the Roosevelt Field Mall for lunch and to do some shopping. This was one of the nicer malls I have ever been in. The array of stores was quite impressive and the food court was nicer than more restaurants can even say for themselves. There is nothing much more to say about the morning, as talking about shopping can get quite boring and repetitive after a while. Around 1:30ish we headed back to the hotel to change, drive over to the railroad station and catch the train into the city. Upon entering Penn Station, we transferred to our destination via subway so we could use up the remaining balance on our MetroPass.

If there is one thing that needs to be highlighted the most during this post, it without a doubt is the stellar job done by the New York Police Department throughout the entirety of this weekend. It is no surprise that the world we live in right now is insane and that you really can’t take anything for granted. With New Years Eve celebrations being a major celebration in Manhattan, to some, it would seem as if this would be a major tipoff or target. However, I have never felt as secure in any city, not even my own, as I did throughout this entire trip. From having vehicle checks [for large trucks, etc.] before entering tunnels into the city, to the presence of [armed] police on every major corner or subway station, it was incredible. The standout, though, was the security on the night of New Years Eve.

Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain is on W 52nd in Manhattan, not too far away from Times Square; it’s about a half a mile. Our reservation was at 5:30 which is not too close to midnight, and the process to get to our restaurant was something like out of a movie set. Each and every block surrounding Times Square had police checkpoints filled with [what seemed like] hundreds of cops; was barricaded by garbage trucks, dump trucks, and plows; and had lines and lines of people waiting to pass through. To get through to our restaurant, we had to first prove with a printout that we, indeed, had reservations at a restaurant down the street, because once you went in, you weren’t allowed out without this piece of paper. We then had to go through 3 security checkpoints and get a police escort to our restaurant. While, at the time, it seemed like a hassle, it was reassuring knowing that the top priority was to keep the endless amounts of people safe.

For dinner, I enjoyed fresh penne pasta – a perfect blend of eggplant, piquillo pesto, and ricotta – with a glass of chardonnay. For someone who is decently picky with eating pasta out at a restaurant [thanks to being Italian], I was left wanting more. It was absolutely delicious. As mentioned before, on day one of the trip, my family loves to eat and loves exploring the menu so, a couple sides and a couple desserts later, we were full, yet extremely satisfied. The service was exceptional, the time spent with family was priceless, and the Buffalo Bills sealing their first playoff appearance in 17 years mid-dinner? Can’t go wrong! [Boy, did we get a lot of stares constantly refreshing our phones waiting for the scores in those last few minutes].

After dinner, we headed back to Long Island, again via subway to Penn Station [and a pit stop checking out Madison Square Garden] and then Long Island Railroad, and watched the ball drop from the warmth and comfort of our hotel room. Half because we wanted to get out of the madness of the city, half because we wanted to stay warm for as long as we possibly could before our adventure the following day.

Stay tuned for day four, coming soon. xoxo.

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