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New York Day 1: New York by Subway

My mom has talked about wanting to go to NYC for as long as I can remember. She went with her Girl Scout troop as a a teenager but had not been back since. We've watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade every year since I was born. I've heard the story from my grandparents countless times about the woman from Lufkin who ran the parade for some 25 years. I considered a trip to the parade but ultimately decided that with the number of people, time you have to lineup, and lack of access to bathrooms, it's a parade best watched on TV. So the next best thing was NYC at Christmastime which happens to coincide with Mom's birthday. And since 2022 was her 75th birthday, we decided it was time to go.

We were flying from Dallas on a Tuesday morning so I had Mom fly from San Antonio to Dallas on Monday afternoon. I did not want to worry about delayed flights or weather or lost baggage on a same day flight. I picked her up at the airport and Alex made us a dinner of shrimp and tortellini pasta with alfredo sauce. We left for the airport bright and early Tuesday morning in time to have a sit-down breakfast before our flight.

We arrived at La Guardia around 3p, stood in the taxi line forever, and finally arrived in Manhattan at Casablanca Hotel.

The Casablanca is an older hotel, directly off Times Square, which is just beyond the red awning of the diner next door.

I picked it because it was located within walking distance of most our attractions and because it was the only hotel where I could get a "suite" type room at a decent rate. The other huge plus was that it offered free water, sodas, and snacks 24 hours a day.

Our room was a two-room suite with a pull out couch that would be my bed.

And a separate bedroom for Mom.


The staff remembered this was a birthday celebration.

The only thing on our agenda for the night was dinner at Tom Colicchio's restaurant, Temple Court. We changed from our flight clothes and freshened up.

Unfortunately when we went downstairs we discovered it was raining and no taxis or Ubers were available anywhere. That left us with the only option of the subway which I was fine with but Mom was more hesitant. The hotel porter was kind enough to walk us to the nearest subway station via elevator and helped us get the right tickets. I knew how to route us so we found our train and hopped on for the ride down to the financial district. Mom got to experience a wide range of weirdness on the subway and the maze of walking underneath the city. When we arrived and made it back to street level, it was pouring. We had to slosh thru the puddles, rain, and mess for a couple of blocks to get to the restaurant.

I really wanted to eat at this restaurant and Mom was a trooper.

The restaurant is located inside the historic Beekman Hotel which has been graced by the likes of Mark Twain, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Edgar Allen Poe. Built in 1883, it was also where Shakespeare's original Hamlet made its NYC debut.

Looking up towards the hotel room floors.

The bar/restaurant area.



I started with a martini and they served us an amuse bouche of a chilled soup.


We also started with the highly recommended chestnut agnolotti which was in my top 5 pasta dishes of all time.

For my main, I had the diver scallops with English peas, pancetta, and trout roe.

Mom had the grilled pork chop.

We also splurged on a dessert based on pineapple upside down cake.

By the time dinner was over, the rain had let up enough that we were able to get an Uber for a direct ride back to the hotel. We went to bed full and excited for our week's adventures to come.

Posted by zihuatcat 16:34 Archived in USA Tagged new york nyc

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We knew the hotel was a winner when we saw a three monkeys figurine on a shelf in the lobby. First day of my trip of a lifetime.

by Leah Southard

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