A couple of weeks ago, J and I spent a long weekend in NYC. I have been remiss in posting pictures, was told that I wasn’t sharing well on instagram and haven’t posted a recap here, either. The life of a gal with a
huge tiny social media following is haaard. 🙂
I started the long weekend with a trip to the UWS to spend time with one of my nearest and dearest. Also, I met her boyfriend for the first time. This was big.
I had heard about Mr. NH a LOT and it was great to put stories to a real person… the two of them are different as can be (she’s Anthropologie and Ritz Carltons and he’s North Face and camping on a mountain), but they’re making it work and he may even get the Southern Bell into a tent one of these days. They seem to compliment each other’s personalities really nicely…
My assessment? He’s lovely and although there are a lot (too much?) of googley eyes, they’re great for each other. A is happy and N is sweet as can be – I’m so happy for them (but really, her… she’s the best and deserves to be REAL happy).
This picture is on the stoop of their newly moved in to apartment in Park Slope… it’s adorable and I can’t wait to visit. They hadn’t moved in yet when I was there, so we just walked around the neighborhood, ate at a cute Italian restaurant and had yummy “ice cream” for dessert. Ice cream is in quotes because it was some New York genius thing that didn’t have as many calories as ice cream but tasted devine.
I have to admit that I spent much of the night trying to convince A and N that Chicago is better than NYC long-term. It’s not because I don’t love NYC, I do… but Chicago… Chicago is something special (and seems so much easier than NYC). I think that I had N right away (except that there are no mountains), but A is worried about the weather. Oh well, for now I’ll just appreciate a free place to stay when I’m in Brooklyn. 🙂
(I can tell that this post is going to be long, I apologize.)
J arrived the next morning and we met at our hotel in Times Square. I love the convenience of Times Square (the trains, mainly), but the people… oh goodness I could do without the people. They’re EVERYWHERE. I say this EVERY time we’re there… no more Times Square, but the pull of the trains keeps me there.
J and I quickly got organized and then headed to Brooklyn to try Grimaldi’s. We are pizza junkies, so we try a new place (or 5) every time we’re in NY. J watches a lot of food shows and I like pizza, so the draw is there for both of us.
I rate this pizza as good, but not amazing. We got there just as they were opening and were sat right away. Had we waited in line for an hour I would have actually been disappointed (not really, because it’s still pizza, let’s be honest).
From Grimaldi’s we did our annual walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.
I love this bridge.
I take the same pictures every year.
I don’t care.
I’m in love.
This year I saw something that I hadn’t noticed before.
I just googled the locks on the bridge and it looks like they’ve become more popular since 2010. I kind of like the idea of putting a lock up and tossing out the key… there’s something really romantic about it and I’m a sucker for romance.
From the bridge, we walked to the 9/11 Memorial. I had reserved tickets online before our trip because this was one of the things that we really wanted to see. It’s absolutely surreal that 11 years have passed since 9/11/01. I’ll never forget where I was or how shocked I was…
J kept saying that the footprint of the buildings seems so small… 110 stories once stood in this small space…
The memorial itself is very well done. I love the fact that you can never see the bottom of the waterfall – that there’s a sense of continuation.
There are parts of the visit to the memorial that I was iffy on… first of all, there was a huge line to get in. It felt like we were waiting for a ride. You have to go through security, which I understand, but feels sad. There were people posing with the memorial in the background… giggling, smiling… I felt very somber. I’m not sure how you’re supposed to feel, but the smiley photos by other tourists didn’t seem quite right to me.
This is the survivor tree. It’s the only tree that survived 9/11 – they replanted it on the memorial grounds. It’s getting a lot of love.
That’s the museum going in. If I compare it to the displays that I saw in the gift shop, it’s going to be phenomenal. And heart breaking.
The entire memorial is very pretty – very green, very calm. It’s worth a stop by on your next NYC visit.
With heavy hearts, J and I continued on back to our hotel to rest for a bit before our dinner with AB and a show.
I love walking in NYC…and boy did we walk. Less than 25 blocks and we always walked… it was so good.
We met AB for dinner at a burger place in Hells Kitchen and then went back to Times Square to see Once.
It was FANTASTIC!
No seriously, I did. It was so so so good. GET TICKETS.
I downloaded the music and have been listening off and on since – so so so good. Did I mention good? Ya. REAL good.
I don’t remember what we did after the show, but I’m sure that it involved dessert and walking… that was our nightly routine, so even without remembering the deets, I know that’s what we did.
We had a really full day 1 and it was perfect.
The next morning we woke up early to head to the US Open. J is the tennis buff (and decent player) in our household, so he had a list of matches that he was interested in. I like watching tennis a lot, but I like it better when I know who the people are.
We started our day with the Bryan brothers on court 13. J grew up in Michigan and apparently had been following them for their entire career (they’re also from MI). It was a nice way to start the day – the court was small and the crowd was going crazy for these guys… cool to watch.
We watched a few matches in Louis Armstrong and then I got really hot (it was high 90s that day) and needed to walk around. J stayed to finish another match while I entertained myself in the US Open Ralph Lauren store 🙂
At the end of our day we got to watch Venus and Serena! We were up in nosebleed at Arthur Ashe, but it was still really fun to watch.
We ended up meeting my brother and his friend after watching the Venus and Serena match and decided to meet for dinner at John’s on Bleeker. This has basically become a tradition for us. Yes, more pizza but it’s really good!! After sitting in the sun all day there was no interest in anything fancy…
Day 3 and 4 were much more relaxed – we had few plans and mainly decided to see where the day took us.
J wanted to stop in at Doughnut Plant and I wanted to walk the High Line, so we managed both early Saturday morning and both were awesome. We had been to Doughnut Plant before, but not this location and not yet on this trip (see, it’s a good thing we walk everywhere :)). This is another place that I strongly encourage you to try on your next NYC trip.
LEAST graceful person EVER. Evvvver.
After walking over a mile on the High Line, we reached the end with no plans. We were in Greenwich Village, so we walked around a bit, trying to decide on lunch and the next activity. We were standing on a street corner trying to pick a place and J said, “you know, there’s another pizza place that we haven’t tried in Brooklyn…”. (You know where this is going by now…). We hemmed and hawed a bit deciding whether we should go and then said, F it, we have nothing better to do, let’s go.
We took the train to Brooklyn and got off on Avenue J. This isn’t the prettiest part of Brooklyn, but Di Fara was on the corner and we spotted it right away. We walked into a hole in the wall pizza place that I was sure was going to be disgusting.
I was wrong.
There are 2 guys making pizzas, there are a couple of refrigerators with sodas and water and there are some folding tables. This was NOT fancy (none of the good places ever are, right?).
Interestingly, these guys didn’t talk to each other at all. They just had their rhythm going and had clearly been working together for years. Notice the hand cranked cheese grater?
Every time a pie came out, he’d cut the fresh basil right before setting the pizza on the counter.
Pizza’s were $28+ for a plain cheese, which I thought was a bit ridiculous until I bit into it. They apparently use Israeli basil and imported mozzarella, which is why their prices are high and their lines are still long.
We waited over 30 minutes for our pizza (which seemed lucky since there was a line out the door when we left), and then ate it on a small corner of a folding table. I don’t know if it’s my favorite NYC pizza, but it was good and I’d go back for the experience alone.
I have no recollection of where we went from here. I know we got on a train and I know we saw an Improv Comedy show that night… My old age is really showing with my memory loss.
Hold on… actually, I’m fairly certain that we went to Union Square. I know we did this either here or the next day, but for blog sake, we’ll pretend that my memory is fully in tact. I am fairly certain that I told J that I’d like to find some street festivals / street art and google searches led us to Union Square. Apparently, it used to be where a bunch of street artists hung out, but on Saturday it was a lovely farmer’s market.
We spent some time walking through, talking about what we would buy if we were going back to our NYC apartment instead of the Westin.
I would have definitely bought flowers.
(I am posting the following pictures for my Mom and my crafty friends who appreciate beautiful yarn. Skip ahead if you could care less.)
The yarn was gorgeous!
If I actually thought that my crochet skills warranted expensive, beautiful, hand spun yard, I would have definitely purchased some.
I’m pretty sure that from here we went back to the hotel for an afternoon snooze before our Improv Comedy show. We walked to the show and walked back and then I decided that I wanted to see if I could get 30K steps on my fitbit, so we walked more. When the clock struck midnight I had 29,456 steps. I just needed a few more minutes. I know, I’m weird.
On our last day in one of our favorite cities, we decided that we’d make our way to the Guggenheim museum because neither of us had ever been.
I am really glad we went – it’s a beautiful museum. We got there early enough that it was pretty empty when we started. We took our time, we listened to the headphone things, we walked and walked up those windy hallways looking at paintings and photography and a few sculptures. It was just relaxing and good.
From the Guggenheim we ended up walking my the Met where I sat on the steps and pulled out my best Gossip Girl impression. (I’m kidding, I just sat there with 1000 other tourists.)
Like the day before, we had few plans, so we just kept walking. I wanted to see some street vendors, so we searched for them a bit but didn’t see anything too interesting. We did, however, keep seeing black and white shots of the Flatiron building, so we decided to go take our own cool shots. I sometimes get an idea in my head that because I carry around a big camera I can take pictures of ANYTHING just like a real photographer. Turns out I can, they just don’t look as good 🙂
I think it was about this point in the day when I was having a bit of a hunger attack and started getting REAL cranky. Insert J and me trying to find a place to eat (no we did NOT get pizza :)).
To tide us over since we couldn’t make a decision in our current state of hunger, we decided to eat dessert first.
Oh Mister Softee, you complete me.
We finally found someplace to eat (not memorable, clearly) and then walked through SOHO and then back to the hotel for a nap knowing that we had tickets to a late night comedy show at Comedy Cellar.
We were standing in line next to people from Finland and the girl’s name was Linnea, which is the name of one of my besties (Hi Naya!), so it made me smile big.
We were excited about Comedy Cellar because we like live comedy, but we were also excited because Judah Freidlander was performing. He was good, definitely as weird as I had expected. After Judah, we were offered a surprise appearance by Aziz Ansari. So fun!
I guess it’s typical for big names to just show up at Comedy Cellar to try out new stuff. He told us not to lower our expectations because he was going to be trying out all of his new stuff and was really using us to see if it was funny… we didn’t mind one bit! I like that Aziz…
We had a lovely time in NYC. We walked a ton and my feet hurt like crazy when I got home, but it was SO good. Looking forward to next year already.
And with that, insert deep breath, I’m done.
p.s. This post took 2.5 sits to compose. Sorry that’s it’s long winded and probably not that interesting. I feel too lazy to go back and reread it / make edits, so I also apologize if there are spelling, grammatical or other stupid errors.