Made famous by the gals in Sex and the City ...they have just added to the menu "The Carrie" a white cupcake with buttercream frosting and a pink flower. Probably most famous for their red velvet cupcakes with special recipe whipped frosting. Last Christmas they honored the Rockettes with a limited time Red Velvet Rockette cupcake.
Magnolia's original bakery was opened in 1996 on Bleecker Street . They have since been bought out and have expanded to other locations including Rockefeller Center across from the famed and hallowed halls of Radio City Music Hall (do the Rockettes rock their rockin bodies with an occasional sweet treat?)
Magnolia opens at 8am, a very tasty stop for our travelers. Don't think you'll linger and savor your treat topped in vanilla buttercream..oh no... there are no chairs! You are required to line up outside the building until invited into melt in the early morning aroma of the bakery. Then you are to pass directly out the door after your purchase...not a bench in site. Do what all of us do grab a fork and eat it along the way...who can wait after all the anticipation[Tracy's travel tip wearing red on the day of our trip helps the crumbs blend in.]
Next is the frantic email I received this morning after arriving back in Columbus . One of my frequent New York Tracy's Trip guests Keyah and her boyfriend Eric, had joined us to celebrate Eric's birthday. Their trip included spending $37.00 at Magnolia's on Red Velvet and Carrie Cupcakes.
Check out their website www.magnoliabakery.com/
Blue has dominated the double decker bus in NYC, until March that is, when The Big Bus migrated from London and they are shaking things up in The Big Apple. Forget rude, arrogant, and disengaged tour guides. Big Bus representatives are friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. We were greeted by Thomas who literally stopped traffic and escorted us to the bus. Our guide William asked everyone where they were from (on our bus we had people from Cleveland to Dubai), and we were given ear buds that plugged into a module allowing us to dial in the language of our choice. The on board commentary included both history and popular culture. We were thoroughly entertained for 2 hours. Our tour guide personally approached each group to see if we had any questions or needed help before we left the tour. Never once did we feel like a number or unappreciated.
We had a zero wait time with each transfer. Currently, Big Bus has 35 buses with 15 more ready for integration.
We will provide Big Bus brochures on the bus, which include maps of NYC. You can use your smart phone to download your tickets or print them off.
Go to the website to explore your tour options: www.bigbustours.com/en/new-york/new-york-bus-tours/
I am so inspired this “Black Friday” I went out among the crazies …not for the big screen TV's , or BOGO’s but, for the experience (however, I did bag a very unexpected bargain at Bath and Body Works before 7 am).As I stepped out the doors the snow was flying and my shopping bag was filled with cinnamon spice candles and luxury lotion in holiday wrap.
While promoting Tracy ’s Trips among the masses I was most taken by a single mom. Amy said I‘m in it for the experience . Exactly I thought ! How many people have said my husband is unemployed ,I’m a single mom ,I don’t have money to shop. New York is too expensive……thus my inspiration for It’s Christmas in the City.
Start out in Rockefeller Center at the Weekend Today Show …bring your signs ,wear antler ears and Santa hats ….donate a pair of mittens or a toy to The Today Show’s Toys for Tots. You may even find yourself dropping your gift into a Santa’s sack held by a celebrity….have your camera phones ready! Grab a famous New York Bagel and coffee from a street vendor.
Watch the ice skaters glide by the gilded Prometheus’s [another Kodak moment] Snap a memory in front of the Rockefeller tree [Don’t miss the tree lighting Wed Dec 2nd on NBC 8 pm] Last year I captured my Christmas card photo of my “little angels" in front of the Heralded Angels. Cross the street to St Patrick’s Cathedral and see the crèche and holiness of the season.
For here head to Dylan’s Candy Bar [the world’s largest candy store. Owned by Ralph Lauren’s daughter Dylan] A great one of a kind gift is the candy time capsule …if you grew up in the 50’s-90’s [Black Jacks to pop rocks] they have a collection of treats to bring back sweet childhood memories. Chilly? Slip into Serendipity and experience “Frozen Hot Chocolate” a staple on Oprah’s favorites (Oprah knows chocolate!) [ I'll admit a unique $$$ drink] They also have a very unique gift shop for the Santa in you.
Take in the natural winter beauty of Central Park ..don’t miss the skaters at the Wolfe Ice Rink [think always featured in Christmas movies ] The Tavern on the Green will be twinkling among the trees…..doesn’t have to cost a lot how about a salad and diet coke or dessert and coffee. See Columbus Circle and Strawberry Fields Splurge: Horse and Carriage ride around the park blankets included !
Buy a $7.00 fun pass for the subway to ride all day long. Take the train to Vesey Street and visit the sacred ground zero and the sobering reminder of this American tragedy at St Paul ’s Chapel . Check in on the progress of the 9-11 Memorial. And the Cross formed from the beams of the World Trade Center. Just steps south of the memorial is the bargain designer mecca “Century 21” Next take in Lady Liberty from the decks of the always free Staten Island Ferry.
Take the subway to Little Italy where you can enjoy the Little Italy Christmas Parade on Mulberry and Hester. Strolling Christmas carolers fill the red and green lite streets with holiday cheer. Hungry? Have a slice of deep dish pizza and some sangria. Save room for canoli and cheesecake…http://www.littleitalynyconline.com/christmas.php
[If you are keeping track of the money trail we have only spent money on food]
Take a right on Canal street for an amazing “Shopportunity” and it is knock off heaven…haggle until you get your price! Still need to get your shop on?
It’s getting late grab your complementary store window walking tour up 7th avenue to take in all the tricked out holiday windows and lights. Don’t miss the Christmas Cottage [pick up an NYC Christmas ornament that you will enjoy year after year] christmascottage.com/
The lights are bright on Broadway...Toys R Us Ferris wheel deserves a whirl.
At last, visit the Miracle on 34th Street to see Santa. Meet us near Macy’s and sleep your way back home…with visions of sugar plums in your head and money left in your new designer knock off purse you nabbed on canal street!
The Best Present is Being Present…
By Tracy Mcallister
With sugar plums dancing and my head spinning like Linda Blair at the sight of Halloween displays in August [they weren’t even back to school yet] You know what comes next Christmas carols and Salvation Army Bells fill my previously spinning head with the image of calendar pages flying and what Christmas gifts would make my almost grown kids crown me the queen of gift giving …maybe one of them will author a book highlighting their Holiday memories..no…. maybe a Broadway production on the scale of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas about our McAllister family gift giving traditions.
I vowed to make 2010 the best Christmas ever…after all how many more Christmases do I have to impress them with my Santa Savvy…husband and wives and grandchildren are not far off. So I ask my three teenagers what was the best Christmas gift you ever got? To my surprise all were ask separately and all of them recalled their favorite gifts. For both of my daughters it was a surprise trip to the Mall of America when they were 9 and 11[ a mother and daughters getaway]. My son did not hesitate to answer his astonishing trip to the 2002 National Championship [with Dad] to witness our Buckeyes rise to victory in Sedona [the girls and I watched from home with a big bowl of limited addition Fiesta Bowl Tostitos and salsa]
So put down that Target gift card and make 2016 the year of the experience gift. Choose an alternative to the traditional gift from a city full of possibilities, and create a memory that lasts a lifetime. For $99.00” It’s Christmastime in The City” Redeye Bus Trips to New York City make the one size fits all gift. Be creative wrap up maps, brochures a travel book and an ”I Heart New York t-shirt” along with a Tracy’s Trips Travel voucher.
Our NYC trips make the perfect Holiday gift. “Experience” Christmas gifts are the most appreciated….spending time together and making memories that last long after other traditional gifts have lost their use