This past weekend I was NYC celebrating my 33rd birthday. My amazing (younger) sister Megan lives there, and we had so much FUN! I can hardly wait to go back! She was such a thoughtful hostess and planned everything so carefully. I enjoyed seeing the more "everyday life" part of the city as opposed to the touristy stuff we did last time I was there...Times Square, Broadway, Today show, etc. Meg lives in the West Village and there were so many quaint restaurants, amazing apartments, beautiful brownstones, and just about everything in between.
I got there Friday afternoon and made it to lunch at Meg's office (Google). Can I even explain in words how incredible the Google offices are?? Picture taking is not allowed but OH MY HEAVENS, it's unreal. UNREAL. Her office is in Chelsea Market and her building is an entire city block. People were scooting around on these razor scooters, Macs in hand, headed to meetings. There's a huge TV room, complete with bean bags, slides, ping pong tables, Wii games, a massuse, and even a disco ball. And the FOOD...there's food every 4 feet....Anything and everything you can imagine. It's like a grocery store, but free! Chips (full fat to low fat to air popped to fat free), homemade organic granola bars, iced or hot coffees, cheeses, crackers, fruit, veggies, soy bars, granola bars, cereals, candy, gum, hummus, teas, the list goes on and on. We ate at the cafeteria which is catered by chefs like Eric Ripert and Morimoto...need I say more?! Amazing sushi bar and chef? Check. Daily seafood selections like trout amadine? Check. Organic salad bar for a mile? Check. Selections from sandwiches, to burgers, to Beef Wellington, to lobster-stuffed fliet mignon? Check. And it's better than 85% of food you'd pay for in NYC. Unreal. I could write about it for days. I won't even go there about the killer view, which over looks the entire skyline of NY. Feels like you can reach out and touch Empire State Building.
After lunch we went to see her apartment and tour the West Village. From there we went to the Farmer's Market in Union Square, with tons of vendors selling all kinds of veggies like huge heirloom tomatoes, fresh cheeses, fresh honey, jams, lavender, and fresh flowers. Very hard not to buy everything.
Then we headed to Washington Square Park and walked around there for a bit.
Next was back over to Chelsea to see Hi-Line Park, and the West Side Highway. We enjoyed a glass of wine at a wine bar, then ate at Extra Virgin. One of the most delicious meals I've ever had. Mac-n-cheese with TRUFFLE OIL...can you say Holy Cow?! I can't even describe the deliciousness. LAST but not least we headed to Sweet Revenge which is featured in this Chase Bank commercial:
They are famous for their cupcakes and wine/champagne/beer combo. I had the chocolate cupcake with salted caramel frosting and salted caramel center...so delicious. Perfect end to a great day.
We got up and headed to Murray's (famous for their bagels) and had my fave breakfast: Salmon on a bagel with cream cheese, capers, and red onion. I wanted to spend my remaining 3 days in there just eating this sandwich! It was incredible!
Then we headed uptown to pick up our race packets, and walked around the edge of Central Park. We saw Columbus Circle and Bryant Park. Shopped a bit at Bloomingdale's then went and had some wonderful sushi at Mambo in Meg's neighborhood. Then we went and shopped all afternoon in SoHo. We probably ended up walking 19 miles that day...at least it felt like it!
Views from Bryant Park:
For dinner we went to Caracas, an arepas bar. I had never heard of arepas, but after eating them I'm a huge fan! It's Venezulan and it's almost like a version of a taco in a cornbread type pita pocket. I personally hate cornbread but these were incredible. Piled high with cheese, chorizo, peppers, it was spicy but perfect! But the best part was our appetizer: Tostones Mochimeros.Fried green plantains with Mojito Mayo and cheese. I also can't stand plantains but these. were. to. die. for. If you go to Manhattan for anything, stop here and eat these!
We finished off the day by going to 16 Handles:
There's a wall of frozen yogurt machines and you literally can fill up your cup with whatever you want and top it with whatever you want and you pay by weight. The Red Velvet Cake yogurt was just like the real thing.
We got up early to run the Susan G. Komen 5K. It was in Central Park which I was thrilled about...I have never been through it before. You can't really appreciate the size of the park til you are IN it.....it's enormous. Gorgeous too.
Saw Dr. Oz (Love him!)
Celebrating Aunt Vickie!
After the race we rode the subway home, showered and literally 25 min later were having brunch with some of Megan's friends. The mimosas were so tasty and the company was wonderful. The rest of the day was spent in the pouring down rain going to Bed Bath and Beyond getting stuff for her apartment. We did get hungry and had Hummus delivered (apparently anything and everything can be delivered) and it was so good. Too good, as we ate so much of it at 2:00 in the afternoon that by the time our 9:00 dinner reservation rolled around we still weren't very hungry, but am I SO GLAD WE WENT to dinner anyway! We went to The Stanton Socialon the lower East Side. It is a famous restaurant well known for their appetizer type dishes that are meant to be shared.
This picture doesn't do it justice but it was gorgeous on the inside.
This is one of the things we shared: French Onion Dumplings. It is literally a dumpling filled with french onion soup and topped with melted provolone and a crouton. 1 bite feels like you are biting into a hot bowl of soup....I most definitely will be going back there!
Our last day :( We got up and walked on the West Side Highway again and saw Chelsea/Meatpacking District again. Then we rode subway to the Financial district because I really really really wanted to see the Brooklyn bridge. It's part of my sister's daily run, can you imagine that?? It's amazing how tiny you feel on this bridge that spans 1.5 miles...amazing.
Then we walked down to Otto, Mario Batali's restaurant. The pizza was made with fresh local ingredients...out of this world. Next was....drumroll please....CRUMBS!Bakery famous for their cupcakes that are the size of like 5 regular sized cupcakes. Without a doubt, best cupcake on earth. I brought home a sampler pack for JD...we've been tasting them and wishing we had a Crumbs nearby. Actually, it's probably a good thing we don't have one nearby.
We walked back over to Washington Square Park to eat them. Just divine.
The 3 1/2 days flew by much too quickly, but we enjoyed every minute! I'm so proud of my little sis and all she has accomplished! Love you Meg! Can't wait til next time!
I am a 30-something former first grade teacher turned SAHM. I have a wonderful husband and an incredible daughter named Morgan! A sweet yellow lab completes our family. I love spending time with my family and friends, decorating, being crafty, and enjoying this life in which God has blessed us so richly! Here's our story, one moment at a time.