My close friend (and sister-in-law) Karyn and I had a fabulous 48 hours in NYC and here's what we squeezed in.

(Liz Jeressi on the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge, photo from Karyn G.)

If you'd like some ideas to try for yourself, here's what we were able to accomplish:

-- Friday 'Afternoon Tea' at the gorgeous and hip Crosby St. Hotel in SoHo: Champagne, 3-tiers of little sandwiches and pastries, and tea. (They also have a really cool outside garden bar!)

(Liz Jeressi Afternoon Tea at the Crosby St. Hotel, photo by Karyn G.)

-- A walk around SoHo to shop some of the pop-up markets and little stores. We found some really cool stuff to buy and places to hang out next time we're in town!)

-- Dinner outside under the twinkly lights of Little Italy at Da Gennaro (the Gnocci with Pesto sauce was out of this world!)

-- Saturday brunch at French restaurant Marseille on 9th and 46th (it was absolutely delectable!)

(Freedom Tower, photo by Karyn G.)

-- The 911 Memorial Fountains, Oculus, and Freedom Tower park area (A chance to walk around and see where the Twin Towers fell and the beautiful way they have chosen for us to walk on hallowed ground in remembrance of the loved ones we lost.)

-- A walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. In and of itself, this is a must-do at some point in your life. But the bonus is a gorgeous afternoon spent in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn at the foot of the bridge, with its carousel, restaurants on the water, rooftop bars, shops, etc....and a chance to take your own 'money shot' of that famous location of the bridge between the red brick buildings.

(Brooklyn Bridge Photo by Liz Jeressi)

-- Dinner at a 'hole in the wall' intimate, cozy, almost-hidden restaurant that you'll find while strolling through Greenwich Village (the West Village). This one had a guy making fresh pasta in the window, and you couldn't even see this teeny, hip restaurant until you were granted a table, which was hard to come by (we got lucky before a big line formed behind us.) The name of the place was Fiaschetteria on Christopher St.

-- An evening stroll up Greenwich St. (those ultra-expensive brownstones are gorgeous!) to the Meatpacking District's entrance of the High Line, which is an above-ground park/walking path that takes you all the way to midtown near the Javitz Center. Also a must-do! To walk it on a summer evening with a gorgeous full moon is stunning. And there is a brand-new section when you reach Hudson Yards that opens up (above-ground) to a very unusual climbing structure and high-end shopping mall that you probably can't afford to shop at but is worth a walk through.

(The new climbing structure at Hudson Yards, photo by Karyn G.)

(***If you choose to climb this new multi-story structure with views of the Hudson River, you better get there when it opens because the lines are sometimes 3 hours long, and it closes at night, as does the High Line park path.)

-- Sunday Brunch at Spoon on 33rd between Madison and Park Avenues where I had the most amazing chicken & waffles dish but I was torn because the biscuits and gravy looked mouth-watering!

We walked a total of 35 miles in 48 hours (!!!) which justified our 'foodie' weekend (okay and there was some wine, too, lol) but it was the perfect weather to do so, with sunny days and warm evenings. (We were so lucky!)

(DUMBO, Brooklyn, photo by Karyn G. This is the photo that everyone wants!)

We stayed at a DoubleTree Hotel in Midtown (so that we didn't have to carry our bags too far from the train) which was lovely, but you can also get great deals at The Pod Hotel (the suites are reasonably priced and super cool!) in Times Square and I like the Hilton Gardens Inn near Central Park. And there are quite obviously a ton of other options.

So my advice to you is to stop taking for granted that we live next to arguably the greatest city in the world -- a place where some people are lucky to get to see only once in a lifetime -- and go have a touristy weekend!

(Liz and Karyn on our Girl's Weekend, photo from Karyn G.)
(Full Moon over Manhattan, view from the High Line, Photo by Karyn G.)
(Crosby St. Hotel Lobby, Photo by Liz Jeressi)
(Tea Time at Crosby St. Hotel, Photo by Karyn G.)
(WTC and Freedom Tower, Photo by Liz Jeressi)
(Oculus at the World Trade Center, photo by Liz Jeressi)
(Oculus and Freedom Tower, Photo by Liz Jeressi)
(Memorial Fountains where the Twin Towers Fell, photo by Liz Jeressi)
(Engraved names of those who were lost in each tower at the two 9/11 fountain memorials -- one fountain for each tower, Photo by Liz Jeressi)
(Oculus at the World Trade Center, Photo by Liz Jeressi)
(Karyn and Liz, photo by Karyn G.)
(Making homemade pasta in the window at this Greenwich Village restaurant, photo by Liz Jeressi)
(This cool little hidden restaurant spot in the Village, photo by Liz Jeressi)
(A bag of fresh bread and homemade wine at the tiny West Village restaurant we found, photo by Karyn G.)
(Top of the Brooklyn Bridge, photo by Liz Jeressi)
(View of the Hudson River at dusk from the High Line, photo by Liz Jeressi)
(Colorful structure in DUMBO area of Brooklyn, photo by Karyn G.)