Thursday, April 27, 2017

Right Through the Very Heart of it ...

We started Thursday in New York with brunch at Jack's Wife Freda.  There was a bit of a wait, but it was well worth it.  The service was excellent, and the food totally hit the spot.

I had the green shakshuka (two baked eggs in a green tomatillo shakshuka, served with challah toast), and Christopher had the madame Freda (pressed sandwich with duck prosciutto, cheddar bechamel, gruyere, and a sunny side up egg).

We spent the day wandering around, admiring spring in Manhattan.

Mid-afternoon we stopped at S'Mac to share mac and cheese:

We also had some rolled ice cream:

In the early evening we headed to the Comedy Cellar, for a second time, to see some stand-up.  After comedy, we went to catch live music at Club Groove, and also snacked on a Mediterranean platter, and amazing cheese fries while there.  We stopped for late night frozen yogurts before heading back to our hotel.

Friday was the last full day of our vacay.  We slept in a bit, and then had an early lunch at Blossom, a vegetarian restaurant in Chelsea.

We spent a lot of time in the Financial district, and stopped in at Fraunces Tavern, which is a historical landmark in NYC that opened in 1767.  We visited the museum upstairs, including the long room where George Washington bid farewell to his officers on December 4, 1783.

Christopher loves history, so this was a highlight for him.

For dinner we tried a sushi burrito from Poke Green:

So good!

At some point during our trip we also saw a few live, local bands in an intimate setting at Arlene's Grocery, in the Lower East Side.  I think we were the only people there that weren't the band members' friends, which made us a little bit sad that the market for live, original music is dying. 

There are very few places in Manhattan to see bands that aren't playing covers.  Decades ago, all the venues had original music by up-and-coming artists, but now it seems as though people only want to hear songs they've heard before.  You'd think NYC would be the place to hear something you haven't heard before, but that is getting harder and harder to do.  Anyway #supportoriginalmusic #rantover.

We were in bed early on the Friday night so we could get up at a decent time to head to the airport. 

How's your week going so far?  
Do you have any plans for this weekend?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Manhattan babies don't sleep tight until the dawn.

Last Tuesday we went to Mok-Bar for lunch, which is a Korean-inspired ramen restaurant in Chelsea Market

We ordered the kimchi ramen and the bee bim bop, and shared both.

We decided to make it a whole Korean day, and hit up K-Town.  You can find numerous restaurants in NYC that are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  We went to Kunjip, and ate all sorts of deliciousness.

After dinner we carried on to the private Karaoke rooms next door (you can find many private Karaoke places in K-Town).  We got a room for two, and sang our hearts out. 

I stepped out of the room for all of 45 seconds, and somehow ended up making friends with a group of people who were just coming in.  They insisted I go grab Christopher, and that we join them in their Karaoke room.  We hung out with our new Wall Street buddies for the rest of the evening, and had a blast.  We got back to our hotel room very late, and slept away Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday evening we went up to Harlem, and had soul food at Melba's.  We loved the atmosphere in this place, and everything on the menu sounded good.  Their chicken and waffle dish beat Bobby Flay in one of his Showdowns, so Christopher ordered that, and I had the meatloaf with mac and cheese and collared greens.

The food was fantastic, and the service was excellent.  The rap music pumping through the speakers provided a nice juxtaposition to the candle-lit meal in this business-classy looking space. 

After dinner we were off to The Apollo theater for the amateur jazz night

At Christmas I surprised Christopher with front row seats for this show.  The Apollo is such an iconic venue, with so much musical history.

We were feeling munchy after the show, so we hopped on the train and headed back to K-Town to grab fried chicken from Bonchon, and a slice of rainbow cake from Cafe Bene.  We got our goodies to go, and ate them in our room.

It was another late night, but we just couldn't seem to make it back to our room early, even when we tried.  NYC really is the city that doesn't sleep.  There is just too much to do, and see, and eat ...

And it seems as though nothing ever closes.

Do you have a trip coming up?  Where to?  
Do you do any restaurant research before traveling?

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Uptown Girl

On one of our first couple days in NYC we picked up supplies from Whole Foods to have in our room (snacks, water, etc.).  We also stopped at Leo's to grab bagels and cream cheese. 

On Easter Sunday we bought coffees from the lower level of the hotel, and then enjoyed bagels in the room before heading to the Easter parade.  I've been to this parade numerous times before, and it's always so fun to see everyone's get-up and to snap pictures of each other.  We got stopped by strangers to have our photo taken, and we took photos of strangers ... and that is all the parade is, haha!

It was boiling hot out, so the dude in the skirt would have been very comfortable (well, other than those heels).

This little one stole the show:

And the one with the little ducklings didn't do too bad either.

She was letting people hold them - eeeeee!  I was pretty excited.  I hadn't held a duckling since I was a kid. 

We had pizza for lunch:

And then we took a bike-cab to the Gershwin Theatre to see a show.

The bike-cab ride was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life.  I was afraid for the entire nine minute ride, as the rider darted in between traffic, squeezing through places where he barely fit, while we had no seat belts in this little cart behind him.  Yikes!  I thought we were going to rear-end another car, or get rear-ended basically the entire time, and we almost took off side mirrors of cars as we quickly squeezed by them, with an eighth of a millimeter of clearance.  The $45 charge at the end of the ride didn't make it much better!  Next time we want a taxi in NYC, we'll stick to hailing one of the yellow ones (which are cheap, and don't leave you terrified for your life, unless you have the one we did on the way to the airport, but that's another story).

Anyway, we went to see Wicked on Broadway, and had amazing seats up near the stage, and right in the middle.  I had seen this show a couple times before, but this was Christopher's first time, and he loved it too (much more than Book of Mormon that we saw last time).  I think I love Wicked even more now after seeing it yet again; Christopher said that every second time we're in the city we should go to it, and I agree.

After the show we had some turmeric shots in the hotel:

We wanted to make dinner in our room one night to take advantage of our full kitchen, so on Easter evening that's what we did.

Snacks to start:

And then we threw together tortellini with a rose sauce, and some shaved parmesan (we had to use a vegetable grater for the parm):

After dinner we headed out on the town to the Comedy Cellar, which is the best place to go to see professional stand-up comics.  Pete Davidson was one of the surprise guests, there was someone from 30 Rock, and a couple others from Comedy Central.  Hasan Minhaj, the comic who is hosting the White House Correspondence Dinner, came out and did a trial run of his speech with us; it was hilarious.  We actually got to see him run through it again when we went back for more comedy on Thursday.  He had taken out a few jokes that didn't get as many laughs, and added a couple others.  We're looking forward to seeing the finished product on TV on Saturday.

After comedy we went out to see live music, and then finally made it back to our room.  Overall, we had a wonderful Easter.

On Monday we hit up Salvation Burger, for the most perfect looking hamburgers of all time.

The buns are made in-house, the burgers are not cheap (mine was $17, and Christopher's was $25), and they don't come with any sides, but mmmm mmmm, they were good.

Ugggh, so flawless.

After lunch we went on a handsome cab ride around Central Park.

It was the most beautiful, sunny, windless day, and the park was hoppin'.  We sat back and relaxed for a nice 45 minute ride around the park, people watched, and soaked it all up.


Throughout the day we wandered all over the Upper East Side (I swooned over all the things we can't afford on Madison Avenue), and the Upper West Side.  We snacked along the way, and eventually made it back downtown, and had dinner at some Mediterranean restaurant in East Village.

After dinner we headed back to our room, and were happy we still had five sleeps in NYC!

Have you ever been on a bike-cab?  Horse and carriage ride?