I kept meaning to write this post, and then life got in the way, and somehow it’s already been weeks since I’ve been home from my trip to New York City. But I love writing these posts for a few reasons – one, because it’s a diary of sorts for me to remember where I went and what I did, and two, because there are my favorite posts to read from other people!
I will add the disclaimer that I didn’t actually take too many pictures this time. It was COLD and I was so unprepared for the weather! But I still want to share where I stayed, where I ate, how I got around, and what I did!
Where I Stayed
When I go to New York, I typically stay in Midtown, because it’s the most convenient location wise, and this trip was no exception. I stayed at The Benjamin, which is right in the heart of midtown on Lexington and is really ideal for convenience of getting around. We got in LATE on Friday night and I was way too tired to take pictures of the room before we unpacked all over it, but I did take a picture of the (very pretty!) lobby.
We stayed in an accessible one bedroom suite – it had a king bed plus pull-out sofa in the living room, a full kitchenette with fridge, microwave, and plates/silverware, and a bathroom with a roll-in shower. I wish that I had taken pictures, because the suite was incredibly spacious and affordable, especially for New York standards. I booked it because it was a great deal that I couldn’t pass up, and it honestly exceeded my expectations. Location was great, staff was friendly and helpful, and they’re pet friendly, too! I’d definitely stay there again, no doubt.
How I Got Around
So – while the subway is probably the most convenient way to get around the city, it’s also the most inaccessible. Only about 25% of all stations are accessible, so if I take the subway I typically end up going SO far out of my way to find an accessible stop that the amount of backtracking I have to do just isn’t worth it (plus, finding the accessible entrances and elevators in the accessible stations can be frustrating!). So I had plans to walk or take the bus, but I was not really anticipating how cold it would feel with the wind.
We did take the bus once this trip, and it was really smooth – the buses are accessible, and the drivers we had were great about folding up the seats, asking what stop we needed, etc. But again – it was cold! And after we waited 15 plus minutes for a bus back to the hotel, we decided it was time for a plan B.
I had heard you could hail an accessible yellowcab through the Curb app, so I tried that first. And it was a mixed bag… I can see how it would work well for some wheelchair users, but a lot of the accessible yellowcabs were SMALL. I have to tilt my wheelchair back a bit when I’m in a car, and both my sister and I ran into a situation where we didn’t actually fit because of how little space there was for the wheelchair. And the cab drivers that we had were… less than sympathetic about it.
So then we moved on to accessible Ubers (Uber WAVs), and had a lot more success. The cars were all big enough to fit our wheelchairs easily and comfortably, and the drivers were all really nice AND knew how to secure the wheelchair with the tie-downs, drop off and pick up near a corner, etc. It had be really wishing we had accessible Ubers here in Pittsburgh! Being able to take Ubers let me explore different neighborhoods of the city that I wouldn’t normally be able to since they’re not within walking distance.
The only downside is that streets in New York are BUMPY and getting jostled around day after day left me physically tired! Still worth it, though.
What I Did
So – travel can be challenging for me. Getting ready in a hotel often takes more time than it does when I’m at home, because everything isn’t necessarily set up in a way that’s easiest for me. Plus, travel is tiring! So that means I do less when I’m in a new city than a “typical” person would. But I did still have fun exploring the city.
Met My Friend’s Puppy
One of my best friends lives in NYC, so most of the time I’m in the city, I spend catching up with her. She got a puppy at the end of the summer, and after many FaceTimes, I was so happy to be able to meet her puppy in person! Even better – her puppy got to meet my puppy. Just so much fun!
Visited the Sarah Flint Pop Up
As a Sarah Flint Brand Ambassador, I wasn’t going to pass up the chance to check out the Sarah Flint pop up store in SoHo! It was so pretty – I loved all the blue, and it was decked out in the most gorgeous decor. Plus, they had chocolate chip cookies and tea for everyone who stopped by! If you’re in NYC (or DC or Dallas, too), I highly recommend checking it out
Visited the Hill House Home Pop Up
I mean – how could I resist?! I timed my trip really well, because the Nap Dress pop up had only been open for less than a week when I was visiting. They even had some of the sold out Bridgerton dresses in store! There was a slight snafu with the stairlift in store, but the staff was SUPER apologetic and worked with us to get it figured out.
Attended The Warhol Dinner
This was actually the reason for the trip! The Warhol Museum had a fundraising dinner at The Bryant Park Grill and graciously invited me and my sister to attend as their guests. It was so much fun to have the chance to get all dressed up again to celebrate the museum and some incredibly talented artists!! And meeting Billy Porter, who co-hosted the event, was pretty fun, too. It really was all just such a highlight of the trip. I wore a J.Crew gold lame dress I got from Poshmark, a velvet embroidered jacket, and (of course) this clutch.
Saw Hadestown on Broadway
I was really impressed by Broadway’s COVID measures – the checked your vaccination card at the door, and masks were required for everyone while in the theater. I’m so glad they had these measures in place so that I was able to see a show! I have listened to the Hadestown cast album sooo many times, and I was so happy to be able to get tickets to see the show live. Patrick Page as Hades was a real standout – just so incredible!
Where I Ate
Again, I was really impressed by the COVID measures at restaurants. They required vaccinations to eat inside, and checked vaccine cards and IDs at the door. The places I went really took it seriously!
As soon as I knew I’d be traveling to New York, I knew that I wanted to eat at Contento. It’s a restaurant owned/run by a wheelchair user, created with inclusion in mind. There was a lowered area at the bar, an accessible restroom, and a step-free outdoor dining area. And the food was phenomenal, too. It’s not just a gimmick, it’s a truly legitimate restaurant. It is TINY, so it may be hard to get a reservation, but if you can I recommend it!
Full disclosure – I made a reservation here based on the number of times I saw it on Nell Diamond’s and Deux Moi’s instagrams, but it did NOT disappoint. The decor was really cute, and the food was amazing – we all loved our dinners. And the staff was really great – so attentive! It’s a lot bigger but because of the hype, reservations go quickly!! Book early; you won’t be disappointed.
And that’s it! As always after a trip to New York, I’m already trying to figure out when I can go back next.