“Don’t you just love New York in the fall”

It was a very long train journey from Niagara Falls to Manhattan, as we knew it would be. But it was fabulous, the train wasn’t too busy so we had a double seat each so we could spread out all our paraphernalia needed to keep us occupied for 9 hours. We had breakfast and lunch from the buffet car and once the sun came up we were treated to a variety of views along the way.

It was not our first visit to New York City, we first visited in March 2002 with my 2 sons and I returned in November 2003 for a 2 girlie trip with two friends. So we could spent the next 2 days mooching around and not having to stand in line at the usual tourist attractions.

This amazing city is the location of one of my favourite films “You’ve got mail”, in case you haven’t seen it the main characters Kathleen and Joe, played by Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, are online friends who are unaware that they are book shop rivals in the real world. Joe puts Kathleen out of business when he opens up his book superstore, but in the end all is well and they get together and live happily ever after.

As we were staying in a lovely boutique hotel, The Belnord, in the Upper West Side we were well placed to visit the places used in the filming. Our first stop after unpacking was Café Lalo for a spot of dinner and cake. This is where Kathleen and Joe meet on their blind date. It’s a fabulously quirky café which has a very cosy feel with a relaxing atmosphere.  Next stop was Zabar’s supermarket, where Kathleen got into a bit of a pickle in a cash only line with a credit card. This shop is amazing, filled to the rafters with tasty goodies, we got a supply of munchies to see us through the last couple of days of our North American adventures.

On our last day we also visited Riverside park to see the place where Joe and Kathleen eventually meet properly at the end of the film.


I am a big fan of Sex in the City which is also filmed on location in New York City, so after a hearty breakfast at Alice’s Tea cup we went in search of the Magnolia bakery where the girls bought their cup cakes. This shop is a beautiful delight of cake heaven and it’s almost impossible to choose a favourite, we bought a couple to eat later after a wander around the places we missed on our previous visits. I did want to get a photo on the bench outside the shop, a la Carrie and Miranda, but someone was sat on it and showed no sign of moving anytime soon.


Before we sat down to enjoy the cakes we managed to work our way through our list of places we wanted to see; The Dakota Building, The New York public Library, Grand Central Station and The Chrysler Building. We had a pit stop in a little park to eat our fabulous cakes before picking up the High line and walked all the way down to the West 20th exit to visit Kleinfeld Bridal Shop of “Say yes to the dress” fame for a little peak.

I loved this day of wandering around in the beautiful sunshine, because we had no rush to get anywhere and no queues to wait in and no tickets to buy. We were able to take in the beauty of the architecture and the amazing mix of old and new.



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