I’ve broken down my New York trip into a few parts for easier reading (and writing). Here’s day 1!
Over the last year my friend, Nick, has encouraged me to visit New York City. He said I wold love it. I was skepitcal because I had seen many shows depicting NYC to be sort of dangerous, gross, busy and uninviting. But he convinced me it was otherwise and we were on a plane to JFK early morning, November 17, 2011.
We arrived in New York around 7:30 and slowly made our way to our hotel via the train. Taking the train is very easy, cheap and only costs $5 and takes about an hour. But when you go during rush hour be prepared to be OVERWHELMED WITH PEOPLE.
We stayed at The Jane (113 Jane Street). A very cute boutique hotel where the rooms are like train berths and the bellhops wear those bellhops uniforms and caps! Our rooms were ready when we checked in which, if you’ve traveled anywhere, will always make your day.
We ate breakfast in the hotel at Café Gitane.
Nick had the Avocado Toast which I was a little jealous of. Until I tasted the Bruschetta on Foccacia I ordered. Loads of tomatoes, basil, balsamic vinagerette, olives and capers. It was fresh, herby, salty and I yes, I actually ate and enjoyed the olives. Don’t tell my husband! I loved how the little sugar cubes were wrapped individually.
Unbeknownst to me, our first destination was Tiffany’s. And even further unbeknownst to me was that Nick had devised a plan to get croissants and eat them in front of the window a la Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It was a dream come true and I was completely timid and in culture shock. However, 10 minutes later I was walking down 5th avenue with my blue Tiffany’s bag in my hand. Trip = MADE!
This began the first of many long marches across Manhattan. We walked all the way up to the Flat Iron building. 37 blocks. It took a few hours and we made some detours like Bergdorf Goodmans, The Apple Store, Rockerfeller Centre, the NBC Experience, Empire State Building. Around every corner I looked I was seeing scenes from TV and movies! Everything was everywhere!
This was the holiday display in Bergdorf Men’s.
Our goal was Shake Shack at Madison Square Park but by the time we had walked 40 blocks and twenty of those was in the rain eating outside in the rain just didn’t seem very attractive. But it just so happens that across the street is Mario Batali’s Gourmet Italian Grocery/Restaurant, Eataly. This place is amazing. It’s full of everything good that you want to eat: bread, cheese, fruit, pasta, wine, desserts, cheese – wait did I say cheese already? There are a lot of restaurants to choose from but we went for familiarity: La Pizza & La Pasta. We both got the house specials because they came with a glass of moretti bionda. After walking 10 miles we needed a drink.
With a full belly we were ready to get back to shopping and perused the shelves of every kind of dried pasta imaginable, sauces, pantry items, kitchen gadgets, liquors. When we left I totally held the door for Peter MacNicol! It was my first (and maybe only) celebrity sighting.
Dinner that night was at Cafe Habana on Prince Street in NOLITA. I don’t know why I didn’t take a photo but I can assure you that it was probably the most fantastic meal I had had in a while. Fish tacos with a spicy slaw, rice, beans and a smokey salsa. Perfection. But what you also need to do when you come here is have an order of corn. Corn? Yes corn. Grilled corn (which I suspect from its hammy undertones is boiled in hot ham water) slathered in a mayo/butter mixture, sprinkled with chili powder, lime and a dried salty cheese. It is very very very good.
After Cafe Habana we detoured to Baby Cakes for a take home dessert.
With 10 miles under our belts and a belly full of tacos and cupcakes I declared our first day in New York a success!
Day 2: High Line! Donut Plant! Szechuan food! Macy’s!! Piano bars and more!