Since first visiting the city in 2013, New York has been one of my all time favorites. The fast pace of a city bustling with opportunity has an energy that matches mine, so it’s safe to say New York feels like home. This past trip was my fourth to NYC and an extra special one. My dad, a long time Yankees fan, has dreamed of attending a game at Yankee’s Stadium since he was a kid. My youngest brother, Ethan, shared that dream, and originally planned on taking the trip after graduating high school. Unfortunately, Ethan was a Covid grad, and the travel plans were put on hold. But flash forward to June 2022, and half the Crocker fam was finally making their way to New York City.
Since we were going to be spending a good portion of our trip in the Bronx, I booked our stay at The Franklin Hotel on the Upper East Side, right across from Central Park. The moment we had our stuff tucked away in our hotel room, I led my dad and Ethan through a quick walk in the park. With neither of them having ever been to the city, I was giddy at getting to show them the city that for me held so many fond memories of Broadway shows, incredible food, and of course, fabulous photos. The first game in the series was due to start soon, so we headed back to our hotel to change before hoping on the four train to the Bronx. Once there, I got to capture my overjoyed dad as he yelled “finally!” and took in the moment of getting to see the stadium at last. Little did we know, that would be our only game that involved no rain delays during our stay.
Eating in New York is one of my favorite things. From Italian food, to brunch, to dessert, NYC has some of the best of the best out there. On my last trip to New York in 2015, my mom discovered The Smith, an upscale bistro in Midtown that serves the best, and I mean the best, French toast of all time. Seeing as I had been dreaming of that meal ever since 2015, I couldn’t resist dragging my dad and brother down to Midtown. The French toast was just as wonderful as I remembered, and was confirmed by Ethan to be five stars. After brunch, we headed down to lower Manhattan to begin our long tour day. We started out visiting Ground Zero and the Freedom Tower, before making our way to Wall Street, and then the Brooklyn Bridge. One of my goals for the trip was to get my dad and brother to see as much of the city as we could in our short visit, and another was to finally get over to Brooklyn. After crossing the bridge, we walked the Promenade in Brooklyn before stopping in the Dumbo neighborhood for pizza. Ethan was adamant that we find a restaurant on Dave Portnoy’s “One Bite” list, so we stopped at Ignazio’s Pizza Dumbo. The pizza was stunning and extremely refreshing after our long day of walking. After a large number of slices, it was time to jump back on the subway to the Upper East Side.
Our evening in the Bronx that night did not quite go as planned. After arriving at the stadium to a thirty-minute rain delay, the weather quickly took a turn for the worse, and the game was postponed till the next day. Not only was this disappointing because it meant we missed out on our tour of the stadium, but it also meant that we had to head back to the subway in the rain. For those of you who haven’t taken the number four train to the Bronx, that station is above ground, meaning we were soaked from head to toe by the time we got back to The Franklin. It also meant our final day in New York was going to include every baseball fan’s favorite thing: a double-header.
After buying Ethan a new pair of shoes to replace his rain-soaked sneakers the next morning, we headed to a nearby French cafe for breakfast and coffee before heading back to Central Park. I took Ethan and my dad to the boat house and fountain, and of course made them stop for a few photos before continuing our walk to the Natural History Museum. After Ethan checked off his Night at the Museum bucket list and my dad explored all the Native American exhibits, it was back to the Bronx for game number two in the series. This game, like the night before, ended in thunderstorms, which meant it was another wet ride back to our hotel. We took sometime to relax (and dry our clothes) before heading back for the last game of the series that night, which ended in a Yankee win and dry weather (thank goodness!).
Before leaving New York, I had to take dad and Ethan to one last stop: Junior’s Cheesecake. We took a long subway ride from the Bronx to Grand Central, before headed through Time Square. If you aren’t familiar with Junior’s Cheesecake, it is the absolute best of the best and worth every extra mile of subway rides and walking. I’ve stopped here on almost every trip to NYC, so it seemed a fitting conclusion to this trip. It was so much fun getting to not only visit one of my favorite places, but especially getting to share it with my dad and brother. New York, you are always full of surprises and delicious food, and I hope to see you again really soon.
NYC Travel Links
The Franklin Hotel | https://www.guestreservations.com/franklin-hotel/booking?gclid=CjwKCAiAioifBhAXEiwApzCztne2vcAN4_LfwiGHPSrpLveG_k81Byd0CO_UOEaqvB1jki324TDOWhoC6JkQAvD_BwE
Yankee Stadium | https://www.mlb.com/yankees/ballpark
The Smith | https://thesmithrestaurant.com/
The Freedom Tower | https://www.oneworldobservatory.com/
One Bite | https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5PrkGgI_cIaSStOyRmLAKA
Ignazio’s Pizza Dumbo | https://www.ignaziospizzamenu.com/?utm_source=gbp
Le Pain Quotidien | https://www.lepainquotidien.com/us/en/
American Museum of Natural History | https://www.amnh.org/
Junior’s Cheesecake | https://www.juniorscheesecake.com/our-story/
New York City Subway Map | https://new.mta.info/map/5256
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