Destinations / Experiences / New York City / Travel

How I Spent 1 Week on the East Coast: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York

How I Spent One Week on the East Coast: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York

Happy Halloween, everyone! I hope you’re all up to some spooky stuff this Halloweekend. I know I am 🙂

It’s been a little over a week since I’ve been back on the west coast and I had promised to share the rest of the photos from my trip…so here they are!

While I obviously hope you enjoy seeing all the pics I took, I’ve also detailed my itinerary for you throughout. Additionally, there’s a handy list at the end with some helpful links if you find yourself in the Massachusetts/Rhode Island/New York area anytime soon. If you have suggestions for other places, though, I’d love to hear them in the comments section!

My trip started on a Wednesday evening. I took a red-eye flight and landed in Boston at about 8am the next day. Check out this amazing Hyperlapse I took of the clouds as I flew into Boston!

And much to my excitement, I discover that while it might not seem like it in San Francisco, it is in fact fall somewhere!

Fall in Boston!

Unfortunately I didn’t really get out to explore Boston too much since I had to get some work done. I was also in a rotten mood — I wanted more sleep, I was feeling a little sniffly and sick, and it was drizzling in Boston. Luckily, I found Wired Puppy (which I chose solely because of its name) and sat down to get some work done. The folks there were super nice while I camped out for most of the day and drank some hot tea.

My dude got into town in the evening and we popped over to North Station. For the evening we were staying with my roommate’s wonderful parents in Manchester (Hi H&N!).

Boston North Station

Oh, by the way, Manchester is MAGICAL.

Manchester Massachusetts

We grabbed dinner with our amazing hosts at Short and Main, a restaurant in nearby Gloucester. It’s part oyster bar, part wood-fired pizza place, and being the vegetarian I am, I went with the margherita pizza. (Pro tip: get it with an egg on top. Seriously.)

Manchester Massachusetts

The next morning we went for a small hike around Manchester-by-the-Sea before catching the train back to Boston…which was hard, because it was just SO pretty there.

My oldest brother (not the one getting married) picked us up in Boston after a quick lunch at Back Deck (helloooo, sangria). We met up with the rest of my crazy family in Little Compton, Rhode Island, enjoyed a great rehearsal dinner, and stayed up around the kitchen table drinking and laughing until about 2am.

The next day was the wedding!

Wedding time!

Honestly, I had every intention of taking a ton of photos (and even getting a hashtag to trend amongst all the guests), but I’m happy I failed. I decided to just enjoy the wedding without worrying about pictures. I’m glad I chose to do that, though, since it was such a beautiful celebration and I had an absolute blast.

Although…I did get one good photo. This is the bride, groom, and best man during speeches (my sister-in-law and two brothers):

Bride Groom and Best Man

The next day my dude and I hopped on a Megabus from Providence to New York. I was still feeling a bit sick — I was that person, the one who has a coughing fit on a bus full of people. But I did feel like I was on the mend. Anyway, we hit a bit of traffic but made it to the City that Never Sleeps by about 7pm. First things first: pizza. We went to my favorite hole-in-the-wall joint near Madison Square Garden and grabbed a few slices.

Madison Square Garden

Monday ended up being the most exhausting day of the trip. We started downtown and checked out my old stomping grounds (Pace University), grabbed breakfast at the classiest spot in town (Dunkin’ Donuts ❤ ), and walked a bit on the Brooklyn Bridge.

Brooklyn Bridge

It was a gorgeous day…and sadly, even a little warmer than it was in San Francisco when I had left. SF y u so cold?

City of Manhattan

When I attended Pace University, the Freedom Tower was not complete. In somewhat the same way that New Yorkers must have felt strange looking at the skyline after the twin towers fell, it was bizarre for me to turn the corner off of Broadway and see a completely new building looming in front of me.

World Trade Center

We walked around and checked out the 9/11 Memorial, which is definitely a must-see for anyone visiting or living in the city. I don’t say that because I’m terribly patriotic or anything, it just really is impressive. It was designed with a lot of things in mind, but more than anything it is respectful of every individual affected by the attacks on the World Trade Center buildings.

9/11 Memorial

We wandered downtown, checked out the view of the Statue of Liberty from Battery Park (I evidently failed to take any pictures of this — slacker!), and got lunch:

NYC pretzel


We hopped on the subway up to 14th Street and made our way to the Chelsea Market. This is a wonderful spot to stop by for food because there are multiple restaurants where you can grab something and go. I had just eaten a pretzel but went ahead and got a roasted cauliflower sandwich at Num Pang (a Cambodian restaurant) and nearly cried it was so good. I want to bathe in whatever sauce they used on my sandwich.

Chelsea Market

Close to the Chelsea Market is the High Line, which I’d never been to before. We walked a good majority of it, which I wouldn’t necessarily recommend to other folks visiting the city. In New York you do a lot of walking — much more than normal, probably — even if you don’t get on the High Line. So if I find myself walking this on my next trip, I’ll do a much shorter section.

The High Line

The benefit to walking most of it is that we got to peek out onto a bunch of different streets, get nice views, and see lots of unbelievable murals and street art. I mean…

Colorful mural

So many colors!

I also really liked that the High Line wasn’t a trimmed and well-maintained garden. It very much felt like some of the plants were just weeds growing on a train track in the middle of nowhere instead of a bunch of precisely manicured rosebushes.

The High Line

And one last really cool feature about the High Line is that there are certain parts with stadium-like seating. Sometimes it’s facing a street, as if you’re watching a NYC reality tv show starring taxis and pedestrians. Other times it’s situated with an area for performers to set up. We sat and watched an awesome fiddle player for a while.

Fiddle player High line

Since I’m not terribly familiar with Chelsea, we used Yelp to see what sort of bars and restaurants were in the area. This is how I discovered that Barcade had a new location nearby! I never did manage to get to the one in Williamsburg when I lived in New York, so we checked it out. There was beer, cider, whiskey, Tetris-shaped tater tots, and arcade games. *HAPPY GAL*

Tetris tater tots

That evening we saw Sleep No More. I obviously don’t have a photo of this (taking photos at plays, musicals, and other theatrical events is almost always no bueno), but the show was stellar. I’d seen it once before, but you could see it a million times and every experience would be different. Unlike traditional shows where you sit and watch the action play out before you, in Sleep No More you are given free reign to explore six stories of a building where the action takes place. It’s based off of Macbeth, but it is movement-oriented so there are very few spoken words. If it sounds confusing or weird, trust me, it is. But it’s also totally worth it, and a very uniquely New York show to see.

Rockefeller Center

The next morning, Tuesday, I was super tired and slept in later than I’d wanted to. We got down to South Street Seaport to get some tickets to Once at the TKTS booth. Since we were already so close to Brooklyn, we took the train to Brooklyn Heights, got some nom at Shake Shack by the bridge, and walked across the promenade to see a gloomy New York.

Gloomy NYC

We then headed up to 49th Street to try and get tickets to see the Top of the Rock. Unfortunately during this trip it just didn’t work out time-wise. We couldn’t get tickets for Tuesday, and the forecast for the next day was cloudy and rainy — so the view would have been meh. It was a little disappointing but life moves on. We checked out Grand Central instead, tried out the secret whispering trick by the oyster restaurant (it worked somewhat well), and got some crazy good NYC cheesecake.

Grand Central

At this point in the trip, my guy split off to do a little networking and I got followed by a bear on 42nd Street. Srsly.

bear chase

While solo, I took the time to enjoy one of my favorite museums, the International Center of Photography. The current exhibit features black and white work by Sebastião Salgado. The photos of landscapes in Russia, Alaska, and the western US were wonderful, although I think the “Oh heeeeey!” seal was my favorite:

O heeeey

We then met back up, met a couple of my friends for some drinks in the theater district, and then headed over to see the show!

Once playbill

Afterwards, we grabbed dinner at Veselka (pirogies!!!) and enjoyed some drinks at a bar on St. Mark’s.

The next morning was another slow start. We packed up our things and headed out for the last day in New York. It started at my favorite place in the city, Columbus Circle. As I’ve already mentioned, I don’t really know why I love Columbus Circle so much, but I do. And strangely enough, on a sort of dark, rainy day it was still perfection.

Columbus Circle

With just a few hours left we hopped over to Astoria to check out the Museum of the Moving Image. I adore this museum — it’s a little interactive, and there are oodles of costumes and props from films to see. So fun! We even made a 5 second stop-motion flip book as a souvenir.

Our last stop was The Smith. I was dying to get inside their photobooth!

The Smith

As it turns out, their not only is their photobooth top notch, but so is their prosecco and macaroni and cheese. When we got there I thought that the restaurant looked a little fussy for my taste, so I didn’t think I’d enjoy eating there. I was oh-so-wrong. The service was amazing, the food was heavenly, and we were there a bit before the dinner rush so it was actually pretty peaceful and quiet inside. Officially one of my favorite spots in Manhattan.

From there, it was time to get to the airport. My dude and I said our goodbyes (he was off to LA and I was SF-bound) and on my way to my gate I could not believe there was a Baked By Melissa store there. I remember getting mini cupcakes from Baked By Melissa in SoHo, her very first store, and it made me so happy to 1) see that she’s been successful and 2) get cupcakes. Tie dye mini cupcakes make my heart go boom.

Baked by Melissa

So there you have it — the nitty gritty of my trip. If you’re wanting to plan your own east coast trip to some of these places, Here are the spots I enjoyed on mine! Please note that these are not affiliate links — I just love these places 🙂

Boston & Surrounding Area:
Wired Puppy
Back Deck
Manchester-by-the-Sea — take a train up there for a kickass day trip!
Short and Main (in Gloucester)

Little Compton & Providence, Rhode Island:
Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard

New York, NY:
9/11 Memorial
Num Pang Sandwich Shop
Sleep No More
International Center of Photography
Museum of the Moving Image
The Smith
Baked By Melissa

Also! Megabus is great for inexpensive travel between cities on the east coast. Have an amazing trip!

 If you could go anywhere on the east coast, where would you go and what would you want to do there?

Photo credits:

3 thoughts on “How I Spent 1 Week on the East Coast: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York

  1. Pingback: Wanderlinks 3.11.15 | Tremendous Times

    • Oh have fun! And yes, Sleep No More is totally worth it. Found out afterwards that they actually perform everything up until the “finale” 3 times over. So if you sit in one room, you’ll see the same sequence of scenes 3 times. Pretty cool!

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