New York, New York
Earlier in the month you might be aware that we went on a bit of an American adventure. Originally the plan was to just visit friends in Boston but since we were so close it seemed a shame to not try and tag on a couple of days in New York. NM had never been and I hadn't been back since I lived there for 3 months about 7 years ago, so we were both excited about exploring the city. Anyway, I thought I would attempt a little run down of some of the things we got up to and places we went to eat out incase you might be thinking of going, or maybe this will inspire you to add it to your travel list!
Our plane was delayed on the way there but we arrived at our hotel just in time to go out for dinner. NM had done loads of research and this place had been recommended all over the place. Cafe Habana - it was seriously such a good start. We were super tired but we sat at the bar, I had the most amazing taco's (mine were shrimp) and a cocktail and just had fun people watching - the place was small and nothing glamorous but had a great atmosphere (just how we like it).
The first day the weather was pretty grey and drizzly so we decided this would make a good gallery day. We started off with breakfast at a cute little vegan place near our hotel called The Butcher's Daughter. Smashed avocado on toast is always a winner with me...especially if there is an egg on top!
We then headed off to the MET, which even if we only ended up doing one gallery (which we did), was the one that I really wanted to check out. We mostly hung out in the modern art bit (we can usually only last about 1.5 hours in a gallery and this is the sort of gallery that you could spend a week in!) - and they have such a great collection. I was very happy to see Chuck Close, Anselm Keifer, Mark Rothko and a few other of my favourites, and the gallery was not too busy at all. The entrance was busy but the place is so big that when you get into the galleries it is actually really nice and relaxing. I wish London galleries were still like this.
We then headed off for a walk through Central Park which was so nice even in the grey and drizzle. If we had had longer in NY I could happily have spent a whole day exploring this park!
We walked and explored some of midtown having lunch at Empanada Mama, but then the rain got a bit much so we headed back to the hotel to re-group and get ready for an evening trip to Birdland a jazz club near Times Square. We seriously had such a fun night. We listened to Maria Schneider Orchestra while sitting at a little table eating food and drinking wine and it was just such a great vibe. I'm going to make an effort to go to some of the old school jazz clubs like this in London. It is a seriously civilised way to listen to music!
Day two the weather was AMAZING so we decided to cram in as much as humanly possible having had a pretty chilled day on Monday. We started off with breakfast at Black Seed Bagels which was a total highlight. I had ricotta, apple and honey in a sesame seed bagel and it was a total winner! I am definitely going to attempt to recreate this at home.
We then headed straight to the Highline, which wasn't around last time I was in NY so I was keen to check out. It did not disappoint (but was maybe a little bit more crowded than we would have liked). But it was just so nice to walk along and the juxtaposition of all these plants and gardens next to the tall buildings around was pretty cool. There were some interesting sculptures and bits of artwork along the way too which was cool.
We jumped off at the end of the Highline and headed to Chelsea Market, but to be honest found it all a bit overwhelming and crowded...so we checked out our burger map and realised that in our wanderings we were close to Corner Bistro - so we popped in there for a burger. It had a really cool unpretentious old school vibe.
After that we decided since the weather was so good it would be a nice time to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. I love this bridge and the views of the New York skyline as you look back are super cool.
Once we got to the other side we explored DUMBO for a bit and then headed to Juliana's, got a pizza to take out and had our dinner sitting on a bench in a park in the shade looking over the most spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline. I will be honest it was pretty awesome. NM and I are both pretty into our pizza and we both said we thought it was the best pizza we had EVER eaten which is pretty bold but I really think it was true.
After that we were both pretty exhausted from all the walking we had done but we decided to power on due to the good weather and headed down to the Staten Island ferry. We caught it just as the sun was setting (which was our plan) and watched the sunset behind the Statue of Liberty and then on the trip back we got another incredible view of that iconic skyline all lit up. I am sooo glad we did this and best of all it was totally free!
Ok so this is probably going to be the longest post ever - but onto day 3. We started off with breakfast at the Egg Shop, again near our hotel (there were seriously so many good places to eat near where we were staying and I would totally recommend this area to stay if you're staying in Manhattan). I had a truly amazing breakfast of pulled pork, avocado, poached egg, with long thin tortilla chips on top. This is another one that I am definitely going to try and re-create at home. It was a total winner.
We then headed to wander around the upper west side a bit so that I could show NM where I used to live. Annoyingly I couldn't remember the exact address and every street looked the same and also everything had changed...so it was a bit of a disaster..but it was nice to explore a different bit of the city. I then dragged him off to see the Cupcake ATM! Haha so cool, and the coconut cupcake I had was yummy!
Next stop Grand Central Station...that place will never cease to blow me away with its stunning architecture and those windows! The onto lunch. I had it in my head that I wanted to try pierogi, so NM found a highly recommended Ukrainian place called Veselka and we got ordering. They did not disappoint that is for sure. We tried all different types but I think the pork ones were my faves and they probably would have been even better if they were deep fried (isn't everything?) like the other ones we had.
After lunch we headed back to Brooklyn this time to explore the oh so trendy Williamsburg. We started off with cocktails and nibbles in the bar at the Wythe Hotel. The views were so amazing and it was just nice to sit, chat and chill. We had some crostini that were really tasty and just gazed at that skyline again.
We then wandered around and checked out a few of the shops including the Mast Brothers Chocolate shop. As far as design is concerned these guys have totally nailed it when it comes to packaging. I could never justify buying chocolate this expensive back home, but since we were on holiday I treated myself to a bar - made from goats milk no less.
Dinner was a bit of a disaster. We were planning to head back to the hotel and chill and then head out somewhere but my tummy started to feel pretty dodgy (probs too much food already) - so I went to bed and NM went off and got himself a pretty epic meatball sandwich from Parm.
The next morning we headed off to the very cool Jack's Wife Freda for brunch and then packed up our bags and headed to the Port Authority Bus Terminal to catch a bus to Boston, and all too soon the New York leg of our trip was done.
We felt really happy with all of the stuff that we had done...and while there were a million other things we could have done too, we explored lots of areas, saw some amazing sites and ate some incredible food.
Tune in soon for a post about our time in Boston. Happy Friday, really hope you have a good weekend!