It started with a cheap ticket, as these things often do. A Jet Blue flight from Long Beach to New York for a mere $238 – a ticket that begged to be bought. But with no particular reason to buy it and no particular person to join me, that low price sat there teasing me.

But only for ten minutes or so. An idea didn’t take long to hit. The LWD had “eaten” Portland in 2014. We took on Austin in 2015. Why not head to the Big Apple for our next eating adventure? If anything, I knew that my ace/wifey/homechick-for-life Lady Thickleg would be down. So a plan was hatched – 2016’s LWD eating trip would be in NYC. By that week’s end, six of us had cheap seats on flight B6-14 headed to 60 hours of food, fun, fierceness, and fo-sho foolishness in New York.

Despite being a food trip, an eating adventure, we balanced things out with shopping, with walking, with being bonafide tourists, with exploring Instagram modeling, with clubbing. Our Air BNB three-bedroom apartment in the East Village gave us plenty of room to pre-party, and to make obnoxious videos. To have stooped fun like we were all still in our early 20s.

Below, our highlights (advanced apologies for picture quality – our big city venture didn’t seem the right time to tote around my mighty SLR).

Food to Try

Pastries from Dominique Ansel Bakery, home of the cronut (I hear one is opening soon in LA), 189 Spring Street

Cupcakes at Baked By Melissa – plenty of locations, but we picked up our minis in JFK’s Jet Blue terminal, JFK Terminal 4

Trip-worthy ramen and satisfying sangria from Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop and El Colmado inside of the Gotham West Market food hall, 600 11th Avenue

Rolled ice cream from 10 Below, right around the corner from us, along with a couple of other spots serving similar treats, 42 ½ St. Marks Plaza and other locations

Crack pie and compost cookies at Momofuku Milk Bar, an itsy teensy space with lots of sweet choices, 251 E. 13th at 2nd Avenue

A low-key pub brunch at Blue Haven (discovered after a short walk down from brunch favorite Jane, where we were told at 10:15ish that we could definitely get a table by 3:45 or so), 108 W. Houston

This (usual) non-beef eater didn’t regret taking on a chili dog at Papaya King in the East Village, 3 St. Marks Place

Brunch again in the East Village’s Cafe Orlin, seated right away for great cuisine (maybe we’d have had to wait if we’d arrived 30 minutes later), 41 St. Mark’s Place (between 1st and 2nd Ave.)

We found the heart and soul of Chinese noodles with Xi’an Famous Foods (we LOVED the N8 – spicy hand ripped noodles), 45 Bayard Street in Chinatown

Bomb shareables at the Stanton Social – drunk girl favorites included the potato and goat cheese pierogies and Maryland crabcake “corndog” – I’m sure both are pretty excellent sober girl dishes as well, 99 Stanton Street

You’ve got to grab a slice – a thin one that you can walk around with. My favorite slice came from Stanton Street Pizza, withstanding the cold and Lyft ride back to our apartment for a satisfying post-club snack, 127 Stanton Street.

Sites to See:

The Whispering Arch at Grand Central Terminalbv, a place to pass intimate secrets and gossip about friends while some 20 feet away from the listener – located in the station’s lower concourse, 89 E. 42n Street at Park Avenue

Time Square is the ultimate spot to revel in being a tourist, especially if you take a Boomerang, Broadway and Seventh from West 42nd to West 47th

How and Where to Take InstaMom/InstaModel Pics (usually requires a wall, brick if possible)

How?: Laugh. Hold a steamy cup of coffee. Pretend like someone is sharing her darkest secret with you. Keep camera at the model’s eye level. Continuous movement. Scarf it up. Appear to fly or walk on a tightrope. Tote along a kid (we left all of ours in California).

Where: The High Line Elevated Park, (Chelsea, Meatpacking District). In front of Comme des Garçons (Chelsea). Really, any New York City wall will do.

Shops to Drop Cash

Bryant Park Winter Village (holiday shopping that launches in November), Midtown between 40th and 42nd streets and Fifth and Sixth avenues

While those in the crew with lighter wallets posed outside, a couple left the NYC with oh so-fresh-and-so-clean Comme des Garçons gear, 520 W. 22nd Street beckoned us, despite the cold. We did manage to purchase a few Christmas gifts and get a little sweety-boozy with brownies (from Fat Witch) and beer (from Bar Truman – now closed), 75 9th Avenue

We all picked up some stackable rings and things (aka rangs and thangs) at Brooklyn’s Catbird before taking very affordable tequila shots down the street at VeraCruz, 219 Bedford and 195 Bedford

Get Your Club On

Hip hop ruled our evenings. However, not as much as did gin and tonics. So I can’t recall every spot that we chilled. But of note were the chill vibe at Sons of Essex, where we bobbed our heads while lounging along a comfy couch; and the packed Bob Bar, which eventually wore out most of the Ladies with hours of danceable music, 133 Essex Street and 235 Eldridge Street

So this was us. To help us out, we followed (or tried to) this LWD NYC guide of resources, challenges, and a deeper list of shops and restaurants. Perhaps with five or six more trips, we’ll be able to check everything off.