The idea was that going to New York at Thanksgiving would be an exciting and exotic getaway, giving us a chance to sample freezing temperatures at a festive time of year as well as the romance of a big city adventure with just the two of us. Part of the thrill was that we booked the flight just a few days in advance (we got a great deal on United) and we booked a hotel at which we'd never before stayed. I guess that to a middle-aged middle-class highly routinized couple like us, such a trip feels very daring.
The Bryant Park Hotel was great: chilled out, stylish, conveniently located, affordable (thanks Expedia), and with generously sized rooms given all those attributes. I've stayed at The Hudson the last couple of times I've been in New York and the equivalent room there is literally half the size: 150 square feet versus 300 square feet, which includes the bathroom. For reference, a queen size bed alone with a two-foot space around it is 96 square feet. The Hudson is tight in more than one way (and no, there isn't that two-foot space around the bed there).
The Bryant Park Hotel claims that its Cellar Bar is some kind of city hotspot, but even experiencing it only on the night before Thanksgiving one has to conclude that it's reaching a little bit. Jolly fun cocktails and interestingly dressed waitresses, for sure, but probably not where you'd bump into anyone who knew anything about where to be in Manhattan. (Anecdotally, I know nothing about where to be in Manhattan and I was there). Online sentiment, though a little bitchier, would seem broadly to agree.
Waking up Thursday, though, we could from our hotel room window see ice-skaters in Bryant Park---and how deliciously idyllic is that for a cold Thanksgiving morning? We got moving, checked out the parade (a mere two blocks away, thanks to the conveniently located hotel), then walked down to SoHo for brunch. We ended up at somewhere we'd been before, which on the one hand provided some welcome familiarity but on the other hand didn't quite provide enough familiarity for Wendy, who after decades of celebrating Thanksgiving at home with family was understandably struggling a little bit. We went for Thanksgiving dinner that night nonetheless, and found a very nice spot to hang out in West Midtown. We talked about family all night, in honor of the occasion.
The below is not New York. It was taken in Tiburon a couple of weeks ago.