Family, HOLIDAYS, New York, Princeton USA…. HERE WE COME! 14 October 2012


Sorry for the cheesy graphic… but it sums up how I’ve been feeling lately.

Yep, we are off to the USA for a holiday!!! 

My parents are being fabulous and sponsoring all of us on a family trip 😀 Chris can’t make it since he doesn’t have leave.. but the 2 kids and myself are going. AND HOLY CRAP I AM EXCITED.

If you know me in real life, you’ll know that it’s no secret that I love the USA. I just love it! When I was young, we used to go allllll the time (Dad was always travelling there on business trips, and Mum and I would tag along). When I was older, I would go on business trips to the Bay Area (SF/SJ/LA) and was always so delighted. There’s something about America that really does it for me…… well, it’s probably the awesome food and excellent shopping that does 😉

This time, we will be going to the Boston area (Princeton, to be exact) to stay with and visit family. This will be the majority of the trip. It’s more of a family/kid-friendly trip.. so will be lots of play grounds, parks, etc etc involved.

Then….. then……… we will be going to NYC!!! *faint*

Of all the various states I’ve been to in the US, I’ve never been to New York. And that’s actually a city I’ve been gagging to go for ages – no need for me to explain why, right? 😉

It is going to be ONE. EPIC. HOLIDAY. Particularly because we will be travelling with 2 kids under 2. Think of the madness during the 24hr flight… the way jet lag will affect them… their schedules… etc etc. OMG. But, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

So, I’m going to assume no one is familiar with the Princeton (Boston) area, since it’s pretty small. But, if you have tips for NYC, PLEASE let me know? Specifically….

  1. Places to eat – recommendations I’ve had so far are Pearl Oyster Bar, Spotted Pig, Magnolia Bakery, Georgetown Cupcakes, Menchanko-Tei, Five Guys Burger and Fries.
  2. Places to shop – all the malls along Fifth Ave, SoHo, Woodbury Outlets
  3. Places to do stuff with kids – all I have is picnicking at Central Park, and Central Park zoo..


And, stuff that I’m planning to buy:

  1. Portable potty – any recs for a good one? We need one for Hunter to do his poos.
  2. Digital camera – deciding between Canon S100, Fujifilm XF1, Sony DSC-RX100 (all 3 were released just a few weeks ago, and are compact-sized but with picture quality very close to DSLR)
  3. Handbag – potentially either a Balenciaga mini-city, PS1 pouch, YSL chyc cabas or Stella Mccartney falabella. And for Mum… either a Prada or Chanel tote to replace her current LV for daily way.
  4. …. anything else that is good to buy in the USA?


Best of all, I’ll be celebrating my birthday in NYC.. right smack on Halloween. Planning to have a birthday lunch with friends (any recs for a good place?) and then taking the kids trick-or-treating.

I’m EXCITED. Can you tell?



  • Burger joint tucked away in the lobby of the Parker Meridien Hotel in Midtown (thanks Arlin and Esther)
  • Serendipity Cafe on Upper East Side (thanks Arlin, Kitty and Jackie)
  • Dylan’s Candy Bar on Upper East Side (thanks Arlin and Vanessa)
  • Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse on 148 West 51st St (thanks Arlin)
  • FAO Schwarz toy store on Fifth Ave (thanks Christine, Kitty and Arlin)
  • Momofuku on 207 2nd Ave (thanks Hui, Julia and Angeline)
  • Momofuku Milk Bar (thanks Li)
  • Carmine’s Italian on 200 West 44th St (thanks Stephanie)
  • Halal Guys food cart on 53rd and 6th St (thanks Stephanie, Helen and Silin)
  • Mandarin Oriental at Columbus Circle (thanks Stephanie)
  • Shake Shack (thanks Christine, Mandy, Kitty, Li, Mel, Julia and Vix)
  • Junior’s cheesecake at 386 Flatbush Ave (thanks Vix)
  • Buttercup Bake Shop at? 973 2nd Ave (thanks Vix)
  • Little Pie Company at 424 West 43rd St (thanks Vix)
  • Doughnut Plant (thanks Vix)
  • Sprinkles Cupcakes on Upper East Side (thanks Vix)
  • Amy’s Bread (thanks Vix)
  • MoMa store for kids books (thanks Vix)
  • Balthazar Restaurant (thanks Mel and Christine)
  • Statten Cruise (thanks Yvonne)
  • Eataly Restaurant (thanks Mandy and Julia)
  • Nordstrom Rack (thanks Mandy)
  • Public Restaurant (thanks Li)
  • Modern Restaurant at MoMa (thanks Li)
  • Mercer Kitchen by Jean-Georges (thanks Li)
  • Laduree on the Upper East Side (thanks Li and Silin)
  • Ippudo (thanks Silin)
  • Todd English Food Hall @ The Plaza Hotel (thanks Silin)
  • Bonchon (thanks Silin)
  • Bisous Ciao (thanks Silin)
  • Peter Luger steakhouse (thanks Silin)
  • Lady M Confections (thanks Silin)
  • Buybuybaby store (thanks Silin)
  • Toys R Us (thanks Jackie)
  • Pastis @ Meatpacking district (thanks Esther)
  • Alice’s Tea Cup (thanks Esther)
  • Ess-a-bagel (thanks Esther)
  • Toasties (thanks Esther)
  • Baked by melissa cupcakes (thanks Ros)
  • Bubba gump at 1501 Broadway (thanks Ros)
  • Lego store at Rockefeller Center (thanks Vanessa)
  • Grand Central Oyster Bar (thanks Jackie)
  • Katz for pastrami sandwiches (thanks Stefanie)
  • Billy’s Cupcakes (thanks Kitty)
  • Les Halles (thanks Kitty)
  • Gramercy Tavern (thanks Kitty)
  • Locanda Verde (thanks Kitty)
  • Lupa (thanks Kitty)
  • Le Bernardin (thanks Ally)
  • Patsy (thanks Bisoumoi)
  • Teodora at 57th East (thanks Bisoumoi)
  • Apriary in East Village (thanks Bisoumoi)
  • Waffles and Dinges food cart (thanks Julia)
  • Le Paddock in Brooklyn (thanks Julia)
  • Blue Bottle Coffee (thanks Julia)
  • Chelsea Market (thanks Ally)
  • The High Line (thanks Ally)
  • Union Oyster House (thanks Ginger)
  • Mike’s pastry (thanks Ginger, Julia and Esther)
  • New England Aquarium (thanks Ginger and Julia)
  • Quincy market/faneuil hall (thanks Ginger, Julia and Esther)
  • Newbury St shopping (thanks Ginger and Susy)
  • Century 21 shopping (thanks Helen and June)
  • Neptune Oyster (thanks Esther)
  • B&G Oysters (thanks Esther)
  • South End Buttery (thanks Esther)
  • Flour Bakery + Cafe (thanks Esther)
  • Eastern Standard Kitchen (thanks Esther)
  • Prudential center (thanks Susy)
  • Doughnut Plant at 23rd between 7th and 8th ave (thanks Susy)
  • Billy’s Bakery for red velvet cupcakes; on 9th ave between 22nd and 21 streets (thanks Susy)
  • La Bergamote for Almond Croissants on 20th street and 9th Ave (thanks Susy)
  • Cookshop in Chelsea (thanks Susy)
  • 100 Acres in SoHo (thanks Susy)
  • Maialino in Gramercy (thanks Susy)
  • Bouchon in Columbus Circle (thanks Susy)
  • Top of the Hub inside the Prudential building (thanks Julia)



Let’s Chat!

Let's Chat!

Hi Beverly!

Congratulations on having two gorgeous boys :)! It melts my heart every time I read about how sweet Hunter is with Carter <3.

I actually just came back from a similar trip on the East Coast, except we went to New Jersey, Philadelphia, NYC/Brooklyn, and ending in the Boston/New England area. A lot of people already gave really good tips for places, but I'll second some of them.

Momofuku has two restaurants (not counting their dessert bar), the Ssam Bar and the Noodle Bar. Both are ok (not spectacular), but what IS spectacular are their Pork (Belly) Buns. They are melt-in-your-mouth delicious. So good that we ordered two orders of them. Now looking back, I wish we did three orders instead of entrees lol. But they are offered at both of these places (btw, Noodle Bar is a bit cheaper for food).

Eataly was one of our favorite places to wine and dine. It was also a great place to buy Italy-imported goodies. It has a specific restaurant for pizza/pasta, one for meat dishes, one for vegetable dishes, and one for seafood dishes. If you've already eaten but still want to experience Eataly (which I highly recommend), they also have a full hallway for desserts and coffee.

The Highline is a great urban stroll (without the traffic), and it gives great views of the city. You definitely need to go to the Central Park though. Especially if you're going to Laduree anyway, it's just a couple blocks away, and a great place to eat your newly bought macaroons. It's a huge park, so I would look up beforehand if there are specific areas you want to see or explore (especially with the kiddies). Or you can be spontaneous and just pick any entry point and go from there.

I know you're a waffle fan, so you must locate the Waffles and Dinges food cart.

Shake Shack has one of the best burgers I've ever tasted. While a lot of people compare it to In and Out, I think the Shake Shack burger is tons better. I'm also a big fan of their fries. I noticed that you had Five Guys and Fries in your original post of places to go, I wouldn’t waste precious eating time there =P. it’s nothing spectacular.

I don't know if you'll ever wander into Brooklyn, but if by chance you do, you must go to Le Paddock, even if it's for lunch. They offer a $15 pre-fixe (great deal). If none of the pre-fixe items look tasty to you, their lamb burger is a must.

Being from California, I must suggest that you try Blue Bottle Coffee. If you don't have time to go to one of their shops, they have a stand at The High Line as well.

Unfortunately, I haven't been to the Princeton area…but I have been to Boston and surrounding areas. But if you do happen to go into Boston:
-Quincy Market (big food market but surrounded by shopping as well).
-The North End (This is Little Italy, great restaurants and shops, but you MUST try Mike's Pastries).
-the New England Aquarium in Boston (they have a touch pool for kids, very social seals, and penguins)
-Top of the Hub restaurant inside the Prudential building (best view of the city and delicious food).

Also, if you're planning on traveling a bit out of Princeton… Portsmouth, NH was one of my favorite places that we visited. Its this little historic town by the sea, but it has a ton of cool little boutiques (for grown ups and kids), cafes and restaurants. It's definitely worth a visit. Great place to just spend a day perusing and relaxing.

For shopping, the outlets are hits and misses (depending on the season), but I would definitely recommend going. I’m a fan of j.crew (they also have kids clothing), so I always like to stop at the j.crew factory outlet (their crewcut kids brand is also very cute). Nordstrom Rack is a must. I find Century 21 a bit too chaotic with tourists, but Nordstrom Racks are great for cheap designer finds (they carry kids clothes as well).

Have fun!!

I wrote a long, long entry and it got eaten up 🙁

Anyway, I wouldn’t recommend Junior’s cheesecakes and Serendipity3 as I wasn’t personally impressed with them. You should try Serendipity3’s frozen hot chocolate though, it’s quite good. Junior’s sell slices of cheesecake and they have branches in Grand Central and at 47th St.

Patsy’s, just diagonally opposite Serendipity3, serves great pasta and HUGE pizzas! I had a really good birthday dinner there. Teodora (at 57th East) is wonderful too! We had desserts there and melted on the spot! I had my pre-birthday dinner at Apriary in East Village, the food and service is gorgeous!

Regarding Magnolia, you must go to the Greenwich brand and have their banana pudding. We’ve had it 3 times from different branches and nowhere else can match the one from the original Greenwich branch. You’ll love it! I dream about it since I’m back and if I can make a another trip to NYC, that’s to go eat the banana pudding 🙂

I’m sorry your long entry got lost! 🙁 Thanks for writing it again though 🙂

Quite a few people have mentioned Serendipity’s frozen choc.. I am so keen to try it out now 😛

Thanks for all the other recs too.. ahhh so excited to get to NYC and EAT!

i’ve never been to new york but I am so excited for you especially since I just got back from LA and Vegas last night!!! you have gotta go to the outlets, I heard new york’s got the best brands :p

Hi Beverly – I’m also a first time commenter but a long time reader from NYC! I love this city and its energy – but eating out CAN be a challenge and really a sport, considering the crowd and tight spaces. I highly HIGHLY suggest making reservations (you can use way in advance especially if you’re going out for good food.

Most of the well-known NYC restaurants are not great for families. This is a key concern for some of my friends who have young children, especially when they want to eat at the “hip and happening/top” restaurants (and I noticed you have a few on your list).

Make sure you check whether some restaurants are more ‘family/kid friendly’ via Yelp. I can assure you that the brasseries (Pastis, Balthazar), steakhouses (Ruth Chris, Del Frisco, Peter Lugar) and bbq joints (Hill Country, Wildwood, Blue Smokes) are all ‘family’ friendly. Momofuku (and its chains) are least family friendly (they typically seat you on bar stools/benches and at communal tables). Ippudo is awesome, but go there for early lunch time and grab a table for your family. Other family friendly AND tasty joints are Cookshop (in Chelsea), 100 Acres (in SoHo) and Maialino (in Gramercy – personally my favorite Italian joint in NYC).

I also tell my friends to visit Chelsea for some outstanding baked goods – Doughnut Plant (on 23rd between 7th and 8th ave), Billy’s Bakery (for red velvet cupcakes; on 9th ave between 22nd and 21 streets) and then La Bergamote for deliciously decadent Almond Croissants (on 20th street and 9th Ave). When you’re done, you’ll be on a sugar high that’ll help you walk off the entire day.
Bouchon (in Columbus Circle – an outpost of the one in Yountville, CA) has delicious cookies.

Century 21 in Wall St and on the Upper West Side is great for designer clothing and shoes. Barneys is GREAT (Balenciaga, Celine, Givenchy, Goyard, etc).

Definitely spend time in Chelsea and West Village – both family friendly neighborhoods. Go hang out at the playground around Magnolia Bakery – it’s known to be a celebrity family sighting spot (my firneds have confirmed!).

Please feel free to email me if you have any questions. My bf and I host alot of friends from out of town and we’re used to giving out ideas. I’m more than happy to help!

I’m envious you live in NYC.. how cool! Im def worried about the eating, since we’ll have strollers and babies with us – eek. Guess I have to check reviews and book in advance! Thank you for the tips on which are/aren’t family friendly though, it helps a lot.

I’m going to read up on those places you recommended now. Thanks heaps!

Check out Newbury St for shopping in Boston. Loooove it. If you walk a little bit, you’ll hit Prudential Center which is indoor shopping.

Hey Bev,

Forgot about my recs for Boston…

1. Neptune Oyster – Boston is amazing for seafood and we love it here especially the lobster roll and cioppino. They do not take reservations over the phone. We usually rock up at around 11am for the 11.30am opening.. You can also come by put your name down and they’ll give you a call when a table is ready. Neptune is located at North End and there’s heaps to see and do while you wait. (

2. B&G Oysters – also famous for their seafood. They do take reservations which is a plus! (

3. Mike’s pastry – Located at North End (Boston’s little Italy), Cannolis are THE thing here but they also have cakes etc. Cash only, don’t be too intimated by the queue, it moves fast. (
Alternatively try

4. South End Buttery – yummy breakfast or brunch

5. Flour Bakery + Cafe – also great for breakfast or brunch (

6. Eastern Standard Kitchen – Unique but delicious menu.(

Faneuil Hall Marketplace – nice spot to walk around shopping dinning and entertainment all in one..

You may have already heard about it… but the Yelp app and are some of the best tools I use to find and book restaurants respectively.

welcome to my country! I actually just got back to the west coast from a trip to NYC. For fine dining, Daniel is the creme de la creme in the city and it CAN cost as much as a month rent. Totally worth it and I believe the last time I went they had a pre-broadway show special (aka early dining).

There is also a chicken and rice cart that fosters a block long line every night by central park around 53rd street.

And I had some amazing luck shopping at 21st century by wall street and picked up designer shoes for myself and a fabulously classic ferragamo ties and burberry trench coat for the husband. Love their outlet prices. Good luck!

Hi Helen and thanks for the tips! A few others have mentioned that Chicken cart.. I hope there won’t be a queue if we go 😛

I’ve heard Daniel and Per Se are good, but I don’t think I dare to spend that kind of $$ esp since I’m not there on a date with Chris, but rather with kids!

I’m excited about 21st century now.. thanks for the tip!

i don’t think you got many recommendations for boston, so i hope this helps some…

if you’re a seafood lover, take advantage of the seafood in boston. (last time i was there fried oysters were cheaper than a fruit smoothie.) the union oyster house is the oldest restaurant in the US. legal sea foods is a chain but their food is delicious also. make sure you try the chowda!

visit the north end for italian food. mike’s pastry has the BEST cannolis. (no, seriously, you need to try them!!)

the parker house hotel is where the boston cream pie originated. they actually sell individual-sized ones so you don’t have to buy a huge one.

quincy market/faneuil hall is the oldest food court… lots of food choices there. (i know you love trying different foods so i thought i’d mention this.)

the new england aquarium is awesome and the kids will probably enjoy it.

newbury street for shopping!

duck tour!

YES I remember we used to eat lobster all the time in Boston.. so def doing that again for sure, heh

Boston is about 1hr away from Princeton (where we’re staying) so not sure if w’ell go there, but if we do, I’m def checking those places out -t hank you!!

Hey Bev! Yet another first-time commenter who has been following your blog for ages. There’s a lot of great recommendations already, you definitely NEED to try Le Bernardin. I’m not sure if it’s child-friendly, though (place is quite chi-chi), but the service is great and the food is TO DIE FOR. Chelsea Market is a lovely food market you should check out too. And if you’re up for it, head to Coney Island and try Totonno’s Pizzeria. Their pizzas are absolutely DELISH. 🙂

You should also check out The High Line, a gorgeous elevated public park that was built on a historic freight rail line and stretches over Manhattan’s West Side. It’s a great way to see Manhattan and you get a great view of the Hudson River too.

Oo thanks Ally! I have heard quite a few places in NYC aren’t child friendly.. so I think I better look up reviews before I go to any. I guess NYC is best with no kids 😉

The High Line sounds good, thanks!

Just beware, burger joint is this cramp, little place that’s quite dark. It’s difficult to go with a bub (stroller). Best to grab take away and maybe eat it at the park. We went with C during off peak hour and managed to grab a booth, left our stroller outside. When Sterl & I went on our own again, it was much more enjoyable!

Ooo thanks heaps for the warning Jess, that is def good to know. I like the idea of taking away and eating at the park anyway. No way I’ll leave Carter outside in the stroller by himself 😛

I think they might find a few Halloween parties while they’re there – trick or treating is awesome fun! We’re about to carve our pumpkins and set up our decorations (yes, 2 weeks early lol).

For something to do with kids, go to FAO Schwartz. It’s like kiddie heaven.

For Kids clothes, go to GAP, Ralph Lauren, Janie + Jack…

For eating, I think Billy’s Cupcakes are better than Magnolia:

You have to go to Katz’s Deli – the Pastrami sandwich is killer.

I like Balthazar but I really think Les Halles is a better choice. The food is fabulous. Also, make sure you check out a Whole Foods. Awesome.

Spice Market is yummy food too but it might be a bit clubby? Never been for lunch.

The Shake Shack and Serendipity are also good options.

If you like Mac n Cheese, try SMAC: or Artisinal:

Gramercy Tavern is awesome:

Locanda Verde (owned by Robert de Niro) is good: and Mario Batali’s Lupa is great too:

K xx

Ahhhh so so many recs! How am I gonna stuff all the food into me 😉 Thanks for listing it all. I’m excited.

So bummed we couldn’t meet up btw, when are you next dropping by? 🙂

That’s an excellent link, thank you!!

Wow OK thanks for the tip on pastrami sandwiches.. I’ll have to keep an eye out for them 🙂

Hi Beverly, just realised that the recommendation about pastrami sandwiches may have sounded a bit random 🙂 should have explained better, it’s popular in NYC the sandwiches are piled high with pastrami and it’s really popular with locals, Katz is a popular one.

I personally love Baked by melissa cupcakes, they are mini cupcakes, a treat for kids.

Do try BubbaGump too!

Thanks for the cupcakes rec Ros, mini cupcakes.. aiiieeee!

Bubba gump is a shrimp place, YUM. Will def add that to my list – thanks!

Oh and for Boston – check out:

– South End Buttery for breaky or brunch

– Neptune Oyster for seafood (yum!)

– Mike’s pastry or Modern pastry (both located at Boston’s little Italy)

– Flour Bakery + Cafe for breaky & brunch

– Eastern Standard Kitchen for dinner

– Sam LaGrassa’s for the best sandwiches


Oh you’re super – thank you!! Not sure if we will get to boston (it’s 1 hr away from Princeton MA) but seems that there’s nothing to do near Princeton… so we may 😛

Hi Bev,

I just got back from my second trip to NYC, you are gona love it!

To a name a few places to eat….

1. Pastis @ Meatpacking district –

2. Burger Joint @ Le Parker Meridien Hotel

3. Alice’s Tea Cup (they have 3 locations) –

4. Ess-a-bagel –

5. Toasties –

Actually, I have this doco that a friend’s friend (new yorker) put together about where to eat, shop, visit etc. Happy to forward it on if you like.

Thank you so much Esther, just updated my post 🙂 And please, I’d love to see that list you have! can you give me your email through the CONTACT link at the top of the page and I can reply?

hi there!


definitely the TOYS r US & the huge MnMs, right smack on Broadway/TimesSquare. its huge and I’m pretty Hunter would go crazy in there with all the toys.

Serendipity, someone mentioned this and you have to try their frozen hot chocolate!

Oyster bar @ Grand central station, pretty mean selections of oyster (if you eat them, that is)

then theres the standard SOP of the liberty, which has a ferry ride, WHICH could be fun for the kiddos..

hope this helps!

Ooo Toys r us is def a must… thanks Jackie!

Seems Serendipity is so popular, I’ll have to go 😛 Ity’s right next to Dylan’s Candy Bar I see

Do you mean Pearl Oyster Bar? Someone rec’d that!

you HAVE to visit serendipity – the space is abit tight and is always full.. but for the frozen hot chocolate and the burger, deffo worth the wait

& nope, i’m referring to the Grand Central Oyster Bar. its at the basement of the Grand Central Terminal itself! Two oyster places better than one! 😉

Hi Bev!
First time commenting but thought I would give you some of my recommendations since I’m from Boston and currently live in NY. 😉

To eat – Ippudo (yummy ramen and pork buns – go there when they open though to minimize wait time, which can be up to 2 hrs!); Eataly (Italian food); Todd English Food Hall @ The Plaza Hotel; Bonchon (Korean fried chicken; various locations); Bisous Ciao and Laduree for french macarons; 53rd and 6th halal food truck for chicken and rice (go after 7:30pm though, the morning truck is not the same); Peter Luger steakhouse; Lady M Confections (Mille crepe cake); gosh the list goes on!

To shop – Anthropologie; Bloomingdale’s; Barney’s; Macy’s – Herald Sq; Soho area; 5th Ave; FAO; buybuybaby for baby stuff

Btw do you mean Princeton, NJ? Because that’s not really near Boston. It’s closer to NY if anything. I can give recommendations for Boston too if you need them though!

Oh wow, you are in the exact areas I’m interested in 😛 I mean Princeton in MA (1 hr drive from Boston)! Have you been and do you know of anything exciting to eat/shop/do in Princeton or the nearby towns like Worcester?

Thanks for all the food recs and also the shopping! Think I’ll go mad along 5th Ave/Soho.. and Hunter in FAO.

Ohhh Princeton, MA! Hmm nothing exciting to do out there, not even in Worcester, which is considered another big city in MA. Oh but you can check out Davis Farmland and the Mega Corn Maze in Sterling, MA, which is about 15-20 mins from Princeton. It’s lots of fun for the kiddies. Apple picking is quite popular during the fall time too, but since you’ll be here towards the end of October, there might not be much apples left in the farms. Will you be making a trip out to Boston as well? If not, there’s a mall about 30 mins away from Princeton called Natick Collection that you can go check out. It has some of the designer stores there (Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Ferragamo, as well as Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus – they carry Chanel there too). Oh and tax rate is slightly cheaper in MA than NY. 😉 I’ll add to the list if I can think of anything else for you!

Thanks for the tip about Davis Farmland and Mega Corn Maze! I do think Hunter will like it so will probably go since it’s not that far away. How sad we’re at the tail end of apple picking.. hopefully there’ll still be some left 😛

Probably won’t go to Boston as it’s an hr away.. dont want to leave the kids in the car for such long periods! You got me excited with Natick Collection though, and 30mins ain’t too bad!! Thank you:)

Hi Bev,

Longtime reader, seldom commenter 🙂

Do you mean Princeton, NJ and Boston, MA? I lived in Boston for 4 years so could provide lots of recs if it’s the latter!

I live in NYC now and I *LOVE* Public for brunch, the Modern at the MOMA (fancier), and Mercer Kitchen by Jean-Georges. For sweets, I adore Laduree on the Upper East Side. You can’t go wrong with Shake Shack or Five Napkin Burger for classic American juicy burgers (yum). Oh and you MUST go to Momofuku Milk Bar (amazing, inventive desserts)! I have many other recs up my sleeve if you’re looking for a specific cuisine/budget/atmosphere — just let me know 🙂

Hi Li, I mean Princeton in MA.. about an hour’s drive from Boston. I believe it’s near Worcester? I hear there’s not much to do there as it’s more of a family chill-out place..

THANKS so much for the recs! Shake Shack is a must. I’m after a birthday lunch and dinner place.. so I’m thinking Jean Georges and Balthazar – what do you reckon? 🙂

Oh one more thing, I highly recommend downloading the Yelp app onto your phone. This way, whenever you want to find a good restaurant to eat in your neighborhood, just pop in to a cafe (Starbucks) with WiFi and you can use the app to find the restaurant you want (assuming you don’t have international data roaming plan). You can search by price/type of cuisine/etc and see all the user reviews. I use it all the time both in NY and when I travel within the US. This way, you don’t have to plan all your meals in advance and yet still get really good food. Hope this helps!

hey Bev,
since you love sweets, you gotta try the frozen chocolate shake at Serendipity. and check out Dylan’s Candy Bar. it’s like our candylicious, but waaaayyy cooler!

oh, if you’re looking to buy designer goods in NYC, the european brands are still cheaper in europe (naturally) and actually back home. my colleague paid more for her Celine bag in NYC. though the prices often get updated and changed, so it’s not a sure-fire thing lah.

have fun in NYC. i love the place! it’s a fab city to be… 😉

Oo someone else recommended Serendipity, so I’ll have to make sure I get the shake if we go there!

I have a feeling Hunter would go mad at Dylan’s, lol…

Thanks for the tip about designer goods. It’s a shame, we should go to Europe, haha. But, at least it’s still cheaper than in SG!

oh…i forgot to add. since you love shoes (don’t we all), you have to check out Saks 5th Ave shoe floor. it’s fabulous! it has its own zip code!!!!!!!!!!!!

saks also has a another floor that has trendier shoes with the likes of Tory Burch, Elizabeth & James (by the Olsen twins) and Marc by Marc.

oh, and if your kids love lego, there’s a huge lego store at rockefeller center. you can get loads of stuff for them there. it’s also near the NBC studios, which is fab for getting souvenirs (they still have stuff from Friends) and the nintendo store, which is also fab for gifts and games if you’re looking to buy stuff.

It’s on ZIP CODE? omg.. I can’t wait to check it out. 5th Avenue shopping day is gonna be epic, lol.

Thanks for the tip about Lego, we’ll definitely hit that up!

Hi Beverly – long time reader here, but I believe this is my first time commenting! 🙂

Excited you’re coming to NY…I’ve been living here for the past 2 years. Here are my recs…have fun!

To eat: Shake Shack (it’s in the middle of Madison Square Park, so you can relax in the park afterwards with your meal). It’s got the best burgers in NY and I also really love their milkshakes. In the summer, there’s usually a 1hr wait in line, but now it’s probably ~25min given the colder weather. I’d recommend getting there when they open (11:30) to minimize wait time. Also, try their newest burger, I forget the exact name, but it’s got bacon and chilis in it and it’s to die for! Right next to the Park, there is an Italian food/wine marketplace called Eataly (owned by Mario Batali). A little pricey, but I really like their lattes. Lastly, if you’re into cupackes, hands down the best is Georgetown Cupcakes (it’s actually originally from DC)…much better than Magnolia IMO.

To shop: aside from the obvious places (5th ave, Woodbury, Century 21), I also really like Nordstrom Rack. It’s similar to Century 21 but smaller and better organized and waaaaaay less crowded. You won’t find any super high end brands there, but you can usually get brands like Michael Kors, Kate Spade, etc at a steep discount. Also, another good area for shopping is SoHo which has all the shops in one area.

Places for kids: Central Park! That’s all I can think of cos I don’t have any kids hehe 😛


Hi Mandy and thanks so much for all the recs, you’re really helpful! I’m also super envious you’re living there…..

Thanks for the tip about the Shake Shack queue.. will go around brunch when they open just to be safe hehe.

My gf also reckons Georgetown is better than Magnolia, so I can’t wait to check it out!

Shake shack, buttercup bakery, juniors cheesecake, little pie company (sour cream apple walnut is amazeballs),

Not tried personally but came highly recommended – Amy’s bread (cherry choc bread), sprinkles bakery, donut plant (creme brûlée or pbj donut)

Portable potty – potette plus.

Check out MoMa store – nice kids books/stuff
Carter’s/old navy/gap kids clothes. Century 21 = massive factory outlet type store.

THANKS so much for the food recs! Wrote them all down 😛

I’m glad to hear you think the Potette potty is good.. as that’s the one I’ve been eyeing. Think most likely will get that 🙂

Have fun! Can’t believe you haven’t been to the US! Not sure if you’ve tried Nobu elsewhere but it’s delish! Especially the spicy creamy crab and miso cod! We also enjoy Carmine’s. it’s family style Italian food just off Times Sq. mad line ups though! My parents tried the Halal Guys food cart on Avenue of Americas and like 53rd or so. Long lines for middle eastern plates and shawarma. I haven’t gone yet but my parents enjoyed. It’s been written up in the newspaper here. For an AMAZING view of Central Park check out the Mandarin Oriental at Columbus Circle. The lobby starts on like the 60th floor or really high. Their restaurant Asiate looks over the park. We had a prix fixe lunch there a few yrs ago.

I’ve been to the US a ton of times, but never to New York!

Ooo yes I love Nobu, went to the one in LA and it was outstanding. Good for people watching too hehe.

And THANK YOU for all the awesome recs.. I’ve added them to my post 🙂

have fun in NYC and Boston! 🙂 they are great cities and I am sure you’ll have an amazing time!

The American Museum of Natural History is great for kids..

There’s the FAO Schwartz flagship store in NYC .. the film “Big” with Tom Hanks was filmed here.. tons of fun for kids

Plus the Toys R Us flagship store in Times Square

There’s also the Children’s Museum of Manhattan

The Sony Wonder Technology Lab (it’s free)

And you can go to the top of the Empire State Building, shop along 5th Avenue….
go to Century 21 for incredible shopping deals

Have fun!

Halloween in America is going to be amazing. I’ve already told my Australian boyfriend that we will be visiting the US in October eventually. 😉

Thanks! This is a cheap Japanese noodle joint? Just added to my post above 🙂

You haven’t been to princeton have you? Looking for stuff to do in the area….

Hiya Beverly!

I came across your blog some time ago when I googled Combi stroller. Basically I had the same problem as you did. We have a Bugaboo bee but that’s too heavy for me to lug around on my own so we got the combi too. 🙂 Anyway I’ve been reading ever since cause I saw pictures of your little Hunter and he kinda resembles my son. 🙂 I decided to comment on this post cause I love NYC! And I admire you taking two kids on such a long flight cause we just got back from Europe with our 3 month old son and the flight back was a bit trying. Anyway..just a few places in New York that we love…

To eat: The burger joint tucked away in the lobby of the Parker Meridien Hotel in Midtown. The burgers are wonderful and we never fail to go there. It is a really small place and there is no service but its worth a visit..even just for takeaway.

Also try Serendipity…on the Upper East Side. Very good milkshakes and gigantic portions of food. Also close to that is Dylan’s Candy Bar…one of my favourite stores. 🙂

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse is also very good. Much better than the newly opened one in Singapore. But that’s a chain so you can find it anywhere in the US.

To shop: Pretty much all of Manhattan…haha…but for kids…do go to the huge FAO Schwarz store. The piano you can step on should be fun for the little one.

Sorry this is an extremely long comment..there are a million things I could list but these are the ones that spring to mind. Do enjoy your trip and i’m looking forward to reading more blog posts! 🙂

hi Arlin and thanks for reading! Did you end up getting the Combi? I still love it 🙂

And THANK YOU so much for all the recs.. just updated my post with your suggestions!

Baby/kids stuff! Somehow everyone with babies/kids always but back a ton of babies/kids related stuff

Pity Chris can’t come but your parents are fab to sponsor! Carter’s first trip too!To exciting.