The second leg of our journey took us to The GEM Hotel in Midtown. We decided to take our three suitcases on the subway to save some money. To say it was difficult would be an understatement. To our surprise most of the subway stations DO NOT have elevators. Good thing I had a strong man to help a girl out.
We were thankful that it was a short walk to The GEM Hotel from the subway. This hotel was slightly bigger than the hotel in Soho and had a Christmas tree decorated in the lobby. The tree reminded us of home and we knew that we were going to be very comfortable here. We arrived around 12 PM and their staff member Ashish was more than accommodating. Zach and I checked in and rode the elevator up to the 9th floor where we were greeted with chocolates and wine in our room. I think we lasted a good 2 minutes before we busted out the chocolates and ate half the box. Cut us some slack, we’re on vacation! The rooms were great at this hotel! Spacious for New York City and equipped with a large comfy bed and a flat screen TV.
We wasted no time dropping off our bags and heading out to explore the area. The Midtown location is great because it is close to a lot of wonderful tourist spots. We decided we would spend the first day in central park. It was a super short walk and subway ride over to the park and we were able to stop and pick up some Christmas presents at one of the holiday markets they have up around the city. Central Park is definitely a site to see! Unfortunately, they had a lot of the grass areas gated off for winter but we still had a great time. We grabbed some hot chocolate from a little café in the park and walked around. One of my favorite things that we did in New York was feed the animals. We bought some peanuts and fed the squirrels and even had some birds fly right into our hands! Snow White status! The park was huge and there was no way we could’ve walked it all in one day.
That night we went to see our first Broadway show. The only show I could get Zach to agree to was “The Book of Mormon” so that is what we saw. We were worried about the show being sold out but we ended up getting some great seats and the show was SO GOOD! I highly recommend it to everyone who’s looking to get that Broadway experience. We ended the night with some Cake Boss café and headed back to the hotel. How could you not feel like a New Yorker with this view right outside your door!
The next morning we went to MOMA. It is $25 /person to see the art in this museum and has 6 floors. It contained everything from films to weird little statues of naked people. Zach and I thought more of the art was strange than beautiful but to each their own. One of the highlights was seeing the real ”Starry Nights” on display. If I could do it again, I would’ve spent the $50 on something else. Maybe the Natural History Museum? MOMA is right next to Time Square so we decided to go walk around there and see the sites. There is a wonderful feeling you get when you look up at all those bright billboards. It is exactly what it looks like in the movies. The streets of Time Square reminded me of Las Vegas with all the people dressed up in costumes and street performers.
We grabbed some dinner at an awesome Cuban restaurant called Havana Central. Get the Sangria and tamales and you wont be sorry! That night we also took the subway over to Madison Square Park where they had an event going on for their tree lighting. We watched the tree light up and listened to come performers singing some Christmas jams before we trekked back to the hotel. We loved staying at this GEM location! If you want to be near Time Square and central park this is the hotel for you! I promise you won’t regret it. Heading over to the last GEM property in Chelsea now. Can't wait!