We started Day 2 with a delicious breakfast at a diner in the Meatpacking District called Hectors. (Look at me using the proper neighbourhood names!). While most of the buildings are now shops/lofts/studios we did walk by a place where some actual meatpacking was going on. Or else those gentlemen wearing long white coats with dubious stains in the front were up to some shenanigans!
While the food at Hectors was your standard bacon and eggs the most amazing thing happened while we were eating: someone ordered breakfast to go and the waitress put the coffee in a paper bag. This is something that I’ve wondered about for years! In TV and movies when ever someone “brings coffee” to their ladyfriend after a night of sweet, sweet..um…wholesome conversation and tickle fights…they proceed to open up a paper bag and take out to-go cups of coffee out of it. It’s perplexed me for ages. Were people actually bagging their coffee? Didn’t it spill everywhere? Seeing the waitress actually put the coffee and muffin into the bag and give it to the worker who probably had just clocked out from his night from working next door was about as New York as I was going to experience. I proclaimed to Nick that this was the best city in the world and I was having a fantastic time!
We walked off our breakfast by going through the High Line. This was an old rail system that they converted to an elevated walking park. Since you’re above the streets it makes for a very pleasant and picturesque trail. I guess it’s quite a long trail but we only walked a little bit because we wanted to hit Chelsea and the Donut Plant.
The Donut Plant is right next to the Chelsea Hotel: no big deal! (it’s was a super fun deal to me!).
While Nick was adventurous and got the seasonal donuts: chestnut and cranberry. I went more traditions: vanilla bean and coconut. All four donuts were tasty and we enjoyed them with a Stumptown coffee in the lobby of the Ace Hotel.
Moments like these just made my trip. Eating things I had been reading about for years while enjoying them in grand New York style. The Ace Hotel is posh and comfortable and the lobby is a great way to sit and relax, meet and chat with friends.
Through my Dad we arranged lunch plans to meet his highschool friend on Broadway and 39th street and lo and behold on the way there we passed by Macy’s and the holiday window displays were out! It’s hard not to feel Christmassy when there is magical music playing, sparkly ornaments spinning and flying around and kids pointing and smiling at what they see.
We met Ann at her work and she was so welcoming to both of us even though it was our first time meeting. After asking if we liked spicy food (yes). She took us to Szechuan Gourment. We ordered Ma Paul tofu, chilli chicken and green beans with garlic mince. Delicious!
Then we took a spin through Bryant Park where I was squealing inside because I love Project Runway (note: I don’t know if that’s actually where anything happens, but they sure talk about Bryant Park all the time).
Next stop was Momofuku Milk Bar. One of the main reasons I wanted to come to New York! I asked Nick not to judge me before I went in because I wasn’t sure how I was going to react. He smiled reassuringly in the way only your greatest friends can do which said, I know you’re crazy and I love you for it and if you pee your pants I promise I will never tell a soul. I carefully selected a Corn Cookie, Compost Cookie, the Marshmallow Cornflake cookie and….
Oh yeah – and a fabulous Milk Bag tote which might trumph my Marc Jacobs bag (just a few months)
The crack pie is a bit like tarte au sucre only served in a buttery oatmeal cookie crust. You would be crazy to try to eat such a large serving as the one above in one sitting and it actually took me a few days to finish. The Corn Cookie was like a butter cookie but with delicious corn undertones and probably cornmeal. The other two cookies I saved for my husband who graciously shared them with me (both were yummy!).
Wait, did I tell you we enjoyed these treats in Central Park?
And did you know that Central Park has a little zoo?
With sea lions!
And this thing!
And Little Red Pandas!!!!!!
To wake me out of my sugar induced coma we walked from Central Park to Grand Central Station. Nick thought it was something that I should see and I reckoned that it was something he wanted to see again. So we walked in that direction with an occasional window shopping break.
Grand Central Station is pretty impressive. It is chokerblock full of people going off in many different directions.
My feet had had almost enough by this point and when Nick scouted a bar we sat down for a drink.
So let me sum up my feelings at this point. I was sitting in Grand Central Station having a vodka gimlet with one bag full of donuts and the other bag full of cookies. Life was good.
But it was about to get even better:
We had dinner at Shake Shack
It’s not just a burger stand. It’s like a burger mecca.
…and you can get beers and eat your dinner in the park! I’m sorry – I have to say it once: I LOVE NEW YORK!
I had the double cheese burger, fries and the Brooklyn Ale. The meat was juicy and the bun soft and buttery. Nick didn’t think the fries were anything special, but I’m a girl, fries are always special. It was worth the many blocks we walked. I may have teared up a little.
That evening we decided to find some nightlife. While browsing what was near our hotel we came across the BEST YELP REVIEW EVER for a place called Marie’s Crisis. (hint: the second one down). Marie’s Crisis is a gay piano bar that plays only showtunes and Disney songs. It was a lot of fun! People were belting out tunes at the top of their lungs and everyone was laughing and cheering. We stayed long enough to recognize a few songs and then headed back out to enjoy some more window shopping along Bleecker St, or Greenwich St, or Hudson St…not sure where we were actually.
Day 2 was another successful day in proving that NYC is a great city and around every corner there is something interesting, pretty, cool or tasty.
Day 3: Tribecca! Century 21! MOMA! And more!