Living with Style, Travel Notes

New York in 48 Hours

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It’s about this time in the winter that my husband, Jonathan, and I sneak down to New York City to re-charge our batteries. After finishing the year with a New Year’s Eve house party, we enjoy being a guest in one of our favorite hotels. And this year we preceded the snow.

Not only are the hotels and shops sporting “relaxed” prices (read: on sale) but one can almost have this international city to one’s self (such a relief after the madness and traffic of December.) Honking horns have abated, sidewalks are clear, restaurants have reservations and museums are lines-free.

Forty-eight hours, mid-week, is the perfect formula for us to soak up all that visual stimulation, and then relax in the interior charm of New York’s neighborhood restaurants. I find we enjoy this concise time-frame better than a long stay (as my mother always opined… “leave on a high note, wishing for more”) because we keep a sharp focus and make the most of every minute.

So here ‘tis, with quick notes brought home with me.

Where to Stay


The Mark

The Mark Hotel at 77th and Madison, on the “UES” (Upper East Side) is singular in design and sensibilities. While the façade is a handsome example of pre-war architecture, the lobby is a small contemporary jewel box set off with a black and white-striped marble floor. That bandied-about term boutique hotel well suits The Mark, equally apparent in  the “smart” European chic room décor which is comfy as well as a nod to tasteful intent (even the silk-like chartreuse draperies have just the right amount of puddling;) Jacques Grange should do more hotels! With amenities galore — large bathrooms with deep tubs; a TV glass within the over-sink mirror; dimmable lights everywhere; substantial, security-insuring safe; small, gooseneck bed light abutting the headboard AND a Laduree macaroon on our pillow at night — we were not in a rush to start our day.

The Mark - Macaroons
Look what’s on your pillow!


Even if The Mark didn’t boast a top-tier restaurant ( Jean Georges) and “bold name” hair salon ( Federick Fekkai…where I enjoyed a most instructive makeup lesson,) The Mark would still make my top five list of New York hotels.

Breakfast in the glass-ceilinged atrium of Jean Georges is not to be missed. Even the simplest of breakfasts (my choice) is one of the best versions of this staple around…a generous serving of thick, thick Greek yogurt with yummy granola and mixed berries (truly…not just a gratuitous copyline.)

The only item we missed was a chance to check out one of their residential apartments… next visit!

Getting Around


The Mark makes it easy to find your way about town.
The Mark makes it easy to find your way about town.
The Mark
A welcome ride-around-the-neighborhood addition to the streets of NY.


Schweitzer Linens

schweitzer linen 3
My go-to for fill-ins, plus a surprise (really?!) purchase is a multi-floral sheet set to update our spring bedroom.

Alexis Bittar

Alexis Bittar
A singular style that packs a wallop but has a not-too-serious look about the stones and is well-priced.


A small, well-edited fashion stop

Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta
Charge and send, and it’s in my closet in no time.


A Delicate Balance

A Delicate Balance play NYC
A musical it’s not, but we needed a Broadway fix…and I couldn’t pass up Glenn Close.

Metropolitan Museum

Just 11 blocks from The Mark; the inspired entrance to the Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Collection was a trompe l’oeil interpretation of two rooms in his apartment, with the paintings in situ.


La Boite en Bois

Revisiting a favorite in our former Upper West Side neighborhood; three-course, pre-theater menus are tasty and well-priced and the staff keeps a sharp eye on the clock.

 Monkey Bar

Monkey bar NYC
Vintage charm with 21st century updates; the banquettes are a cozy way to spend a long dinner with favorite people.


Frederic Fekkai

Just up the stairs from The Mark lobby; couldn’t be more convenient!


And two neighborhood suggestions for pop-in lunch, afternoon tea or cappuccino:

Chat Noir

Chat Noir 2
Ladylike and comfortable, a perfect stop between shops; mushroom soup and chopped beet salad, a perfect pairing.

Le Pain Quotidien

Le Pain 2
You’ll truly think you’re in a Parisian neighborhood; love the long, oval communal farmhouse table that ramps up the note of charming ambiance.

Do plan your trip soon!


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Bettie Bearden Pardee

About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

8 thoughts on “New York in 48 Hours

  1. Bettie – fun time recently with you and Jonathan in our wonderful city. Good line up here . . . especially enjoyed La Boite en Bois. And you’re right, Le Pain Quotidian is a great lunch stop – there’s one near MoMa too —

  2. Delicious…every photo, every suggestion, every nuance. I like seeing the world through your eyes!

  3. My husband and I loved New York in January – I, especially, for the “relaxed” prices. An absolute favorite lunch spot on the UES is Swifty’s, a not-to-be missed cozy restaurant!

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