Ask-Design-Mom-Question:
[ Just last week I received 2 NYC questions within minutes of each other, so I’m posting them both here. ]



1) Hi Gabrielle. I have a question for you. I am making my second-ever trip to NYC (a Texas gal in the Big Apple – Yee Haw!) in June to visit my best friend. It’s a very short one: Friday afternoon, departing Monday morning. On my first trip to NY I was with veteran visitors. The only landmark we hit was Ground Zero. What is your must do? And shopping is also a priority. We hit lots of the popular shopping districts last time. This time I’d like something a little more unique. Thoughts? And then shows. I haven’t seen any Broadway shows — recommendations? (I’m not overly sensitive but don’t want anything too racy!). Hugs, Natalie

2) Gabrielle. Question: I am visiting NYC this summer with a dear friend. I am “hosting” the trip, as my friend has never visited NYC. Living and having family in NJ for years, I have visited NYC often, yet this trip will be different. I will be staying in the city and will not have children or a group of family in tow. With only 4-5 days to pack as much as possible into every day along with being mindful of a budget (I will end up paying for the bulk of this adventure). I would like advice from you and your savvy NYC area readers on the following:

– Where to stay (considering location and price)
– Where and what to eat, morning, noon, and night and every time in between
– Which Shows to see and any tips on getting tickets
– Transportation Tips
– Shopping Must See and Buy!

I love New York and look forward to any tips you and your readers provide. — Shauna

Design Mom Answer:
Shauna and Natalie, these are wonderful questions. I’m getting excited just thinking about potential itineraries! And I’ve never been more certain that lots of Design Mom Readers will have informed opinions of NYC. I’ll leave you in their capable hands until I can back here. . .

I’m back. And absolutely delighted with all of the readers suggestions. I’ll bet you’re totally stoked for your trip! Here are a few of my own tips:


For window shopping, my favorite spots are Takashimaya, ABC Home, and the windows at Bergdorfs. (Takashimaya and Bergdorf’s are near each other. They’re both part of a lovely stretch of 5th Avenue that includes Tiffanys and Saks and Cathedrals and the Plaza and other lovelies. It makes a nice walk. But ABC isn’t near them at all.) All 3 are places that appeal to a designer’s soul.

For food, I don’t need to add to the excellent suggestions that have already been made, but want to reiterate what one reader mentioned: Don’t eat at a chain restaurant. You can go to Fridays/Sbarro/McDonalds anywhere. Why waste your precious NYC minutes somewhere un-New-Yorky? If you really must have fast food, grab a pretzel or sausage from a street vendor — you’ll feel so authentic.

For entertainment/sightseeing, remember that just being in the city is pretty intense. Lots and lots of movement and sound and people and smells. Sitting on a park bench and taking it all in is pretty great — possibly better than any show you’ll pay for.

For transportation, keep in mind that whether you take subways or taxis you’ll still do lots of walking. Really. Lots and lots of walking. That’s just how it is. And on short trips, even though it’s more expensive, I recommend taxis. Because in a taxi, you’re above ground and can see more of the city (Hey! There’s the Flatiron Building! or Hey! Look at the lions in front of the Public Library!) while you’re getting around.

Have a great trip!!

NYC image from getty