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I recently spent three days in NYC to celebrate my mom’s birthday. I took the train from Washington, DC, and met up with my sister from Miami and mother from Ft. Lee at The Palace where we kicked off our party weekend with three upgraded rooms. How large was my room?  I could have invited 20 friends over, and still had room for a full bar and 12-piece band.

It was time to paint the town red. Our first stop was Saks. Hey, it’s only a block away. I have a few events coming up and was lucky enough to find a dress and shoes that fit the bill, but still left a few dollars in my wallet. Have you seen the shoe department at Saks?  Oh, man, you can get lost in that 10022-SHOE zip code full of pumps, boots, loafers and sneakers. And the big, new thing seems to be “pool slides” with fur for a cool $1,000. I passed on those.

Post-Saks I needed a cigarette and dose of culture, so next up was Prince of Broadway, a memorable musical with winning bits from Hal Prince’s shows over the years. We had orchestra seats and really lucked out when the seats in front of us went empty. It was like winning Powerball (OK…maybe not quite). It’s a limited engagement and worth every penny.

And then there’s the food. My family loves Italian, so our round-the-clock meal plan included Lattanzi just a few blocks from the play. A little pasta, a little Chianti and we were ready for A Little Night Music. Plus, I got a glimpse of a bearded Ben Affleck as he rushed past our table in his go-to leather jacket. I literally had .05 seconds to figure out it was he, but thanks to my   Daily Mail habit I nailed it.

What’s NYC without a stop at the MOMA? We got a closer look at Frank Lloyd Wright’s work and Robert Rauschenberg’s paintings and sculptures, capped off with lunch at the Café and a stroll through the fabulous MOMA gift shop.

These were just some of the highlights. There were also la

te-night stops for Starbucks, pizza, hot dogs and cappuccino that helped fuel our action-packed nights and days. NYC is always fun, but spending quality time with my family? Priceless.

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