From drinks at the Top of the Standard to brunch in the West Village, here's how to do New York City right—even if you only have 48 hours.

48 Hours in New York City

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These days, each trip to New York looks completely different. Last visit, Mom and I stayed in Midtown and shuttled back and forth to Flushing Meadows for the U.S. Open. Most visits, I stay with friends in the Upper West Side. But this time, I was with SVV, we only had two quick days, and we made our base in the most fabulous Airbnb rental in the heart of the West Village.

New York City

Let’s rewind a bit: We actually paid for three days and should have gotten in on Friday, when Delta canceled our flight due to “air traffic control.” Hmmm. Seems to me if you know it’s going to be a holiday weekend, you should probably account for such things. The most frustrating part is a) that they didn’t immediately rebook them and b) that we had to waste four hours of our life calling and complaining to customer service employees’ supervisors to get justice. Oh, and of course c) they didn’t refund us for the payment we’d already made for our lodging that night.

You see, they wanted to rebook us for the following night, 24 hours after we were supposed to arrive, when we were in town for a wedding, already had expensive show tickets (not to mention a myriad of plans) and had pre-paid all of our accommodation. After one such angry call with Delta customer service—in which they told us they couldn’t help us because it was Friday night and the corporate office was closed until Tuesday, ummmm OK—I checked online to see flight availability. There was one at 5am with a connection in Atlanta that had seats available. Not ideal, as we were supposed to fly direct, but it would get us in at noon in time to see Bryan Cranston. So I called back. They said they couldn’t put us on that flight because there was only a seat in economy plus and a few in first class and we paid for coach. This is when I nearly LOST IT. They screwed us over and wouldn’t get us to NYC in as quick a manner as possible?

Finally, SVV talked sense into them and, what do you know, two seats in coach just materialized. We still haven’t been reimbursed for our lost night of accommodation, nor do I expect that to happen. (Delta is the worst, y’all. From now on, I’m only flying Southwest when it’s available on my route.)

New York City

But all that is water under the bridge because the point is that we made it. We got there at 11:30am on Saturday, just 15 tiresome hours after we should have arrived in the first place, got to our rental in the West Village at noon (God bless Laguardia and its easy access), grabbed food at a street festival, then grabbed a cupcake at Crumbs and were still to the Neil Simon Theatre for All the Way early.

Crumbs in New York

Let me stop for a second and impress upon you just how fantastic this show was. I neither like politics nor know that much about U.S. history—I studied all English, writing and math during my school years—and on top of that typically only opt for musicals. But Bryan Cranston as LBJ was the stuff Tony Awards are made of, and I’d strongly encourage any friends heading to New York soon to nab a seat.

All the Way in NYC

We came out of the theater and it was pouring, so we retreated down to the metro station to hop the C to Washington Square Park. We had a double date with one of my favorite travel writer friends, Annie, and her husband Andy, and I didn’t want to miss a second of time with them.

Annie in New York City

We only had roughly an hour and a half to cram in as much gabbing as we could at The Half Pint, as we had to move onto our next stop.

Annie and Andy in New York City

At this point, our trip morphed into a scene from “how to be a NYC baller like Nicole.” You may remember Nicole had visited us in Nashville last month and had all sorts of fun planned for us on our quick visit. On Friday, we had a ressie for Milk & Honey we didn’t make (thanks, Delta) but are hoping to get to next time. On Saturday, it was a private booth at The Top of the Standard (aka the Boom Boom Room).

Top of the Standard in New York

Let’s pause and talk about these views.

From drinks at the Top of the Standard to brunch in the West Village, here's how to do New York City right—even if you only have 48 hours.

That was taken with my iPhone in the bathroom. Amazing, right? You may remember the Standard being in the news because, well, just read about it for yourselves.

Top of the Standard in New York

Can I just say, though, if you’re in New York and haven’t been, you must get there if at all possible (not sure how hard it is to book a table if you don’t have an “in” like Nicole, who works in TV and film, but you should still try; I have other friends who said it’s hit or miss depending on the night and the staff working the door).

Top of the Standard in NYC

After we’d hit our spending limit (drinks aren’t cheap when all of NYC is spread out below you), so we headed out to the boroughs on the L train for the Brooklyn Night Bazaar.

Brooklyn Night Bazaar in NYC

Open every Friday and Saturday, the bazaar is an hodgepodge of art, food, drink and play. It was really fun! Next time I need to get in on some blacklight mini-golf and the epic Ping-Pong tournament going on in one of the side rooms. But I did eat fig pizza and also pie, so there’s that.

Brooklyn Night Bazaar in NYC

Sunday was for morning coffee at Grounded, then a stroll around the West Village with my girls Paula and Trina.

Grounded in NYC

We spent a little time in SoHo shopping, where surprisingly I didn’t buy a thing, though I always want every last item in the Piperlime store.

Piperlime in NYC

Then it was back to the West Village for a late brunch with Ryan.

New York City

I’ve wanted to go to the Little Owl since it opened a few years ago, but the restaurant is tiny, doesn’t take reservations and is always pack. But lo and behold, we walked in and—kismet—they had one table open so we nabbed it. The brunch was really good, and I loved their “cheeky” attitude.

Brunch at Little Owl in NYC

After that, we had to get ready for the wedding, which started at 6pm, then late night we met Nicole again and our pal Kelly down at Cafe Select. Once again, Nicole gave us the VIP treatment and had us a table booked in a hidden room behind the kitchen. I love secret spots like this one!

Cafe Select in NYC

Kelly then took us to Crocodile Lounge, where she tends bar—if you’re in the Village, definitely stop by and have her pour you a drink!

Crocodile Lounge in NYC

On Sunday, we headed down to the 9/11 Memorial for a spell, it being Memorial Day and all, then grabbed brunch at Sarabeth’s in TriBeCa (warning: not good, tasted like fast food) before heading to Midtown for a day-after brunch with the grooms and their families.

New York City New York City

My BFF Lemon had just landed the previous day from her honeymoon in Hawaii, so we then squeezed in a quick couple hours in with her, as we wandered the streets of the Flatiron, where we spotted monks in mandals taking selfies with iPhones.

monks in New York City

And then, it was time to head back to our Airbnb stay to pick up our luggage and cab it out to LGA. Such a short two days and change in one of my most favorite cities, but I’d say we made the most of it!

From drinks at the Top of the Standard to brunch in the West Village, here's how to do New York City right—even if you only have 48 hours.

  • May 29, 2014

    I love the James Bond-type photo of you two! Sounds like an eventful 48 hours and a lot more than I would have gotten done!

  • May 29, 2014

    Girl, you get around in 48 hours! I’m glad you had a nice time and and good weather! I need that naked man glass- so funny!

  • May 29, 2014

    A very similar thing happened, flight-wise, the week before to me and my parents (taking our jaunt to Europe that I pinged you about last YEAR–time flies). Flight was delayed due to weather and then cancelled due to ATC and the crew timing out for the 8 hr flight. United offered to put us on a flight three days later (because when you only have four days in Paris, shortening it to one day is juuuuust fine . . .), but after three hours of standing in the customer service line at Dulles, each of us being on our cell phones to United, AmEx travel (who were no help, what does my Platinum fee go towards) and travel insurance, I finally told United they were flying us to NYC, putting us on a Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt, and connecting us to CDG. Yes, we missed a day of our trip, but due to pulling an all-nighter and then getting approx. 3 hrs of sleep on the flight the next night, no jet lag! Silver lining, am I right?

  • May 29, 2014

    Okay, I know the next city I want to visit with you- NYC! Those views, that pie, those cocktails… seriously dreaming of a NYC trip with my bestie now. 🙂

  • May 29, 2014

    It looks like y’all still managed to have fun even though the unfortunate plane cancellation. Customer service can be a huge headache.

  • May 30, 2014

    this city are good ….frndly tour way this city are good..dishess are good…main part of this love for each other..

  • May 30, 2014

    Wow, you sure had some busy 48 hours! 🙂 Looks like you had great fun! NYC is such an exciting and vibrant city, so much to do! Love it!

  • June 2, 2014

    Wow! You did an amazing amount in just 24 hours and you had lots of fun while doing it. 🙂 I haven’t yet been to New York but I can definately imagine going to some of those boutiques.

    I’m quite sure that my husband would like the quiet exclusivity of some of those restaurants and bars!
    Looks great. Thanks for sharing.

  • June 2, 2014

    An Air BnB rental in the WV sounds so amazing! I would love to spend a night or two right in Manhattan. Looks like you really squeezed a lot in and made the best of the short time you had- my kind of traveling 🙂
    Ohh and I’m definitely making it a point to visit the Brooklyn Night Bazaar this summer, thanks!

  • June 3, 2014

    Wow, talk about action packed, what a fun city – so much to see and experience and of course eat!

  • June 9, 2014

    Woahhh, you did a lot for 48 hours..seems like a lot of fun..would love to go NYC for a shopping trip! 🙂

  • June 12, 2014

    I’ve been living in New York for a year now, and I love it!

  • June 14, 2014

    NYC is so great: whatever you like you will find, museum, architecture, shopping, nightlife, you name it !

  • July 30, 2014

    I ADORE your blog. I love looking at your posts on places where I’ve been to see another perspective on things (which is why I’m here at an NYC post)! It’s also amazing to see how many things you fit in on such short trips. I’ve lived in a lot of cities (on city #12!) so I end up learning about stuff like public transport and the best places to hang out but my true love is being a tourist ….and you make me feel like I’m there!

    I’ve been following your blog for ages, but finally decided to stop lurking and finally commend you on your awesome travels!

    • August 2, 2014

      Well, aren’t you just the sweetest? Thanks for delurking, and yes, I try to cram as many food experiences as possible into *any* trip haha 😉

  • August 18, 2014

    Great photos! Unfortunate beginning to your trip but looks like you were able to have a good time. I’ll keep the treatment by Delta in mind when I’m booking the next time.

  • September 4, 2014

    Somos el mejor grupo de profesionales en el Estado de Nueva York, lideres en turismo, nuestra experiencia es única y nos ubica en el primer lugar. Real Tours NYC, los hará sentir como en su propia casa, con respeto, cordialidad y diligencia.

  • October 6, 2014

    It looks like you had an awesome trip in NYC! I live here but I am seriously thinking of doing a staycation down in the Village, I always wondered what living down there might be like 😀

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