As I mentioned in my birthday post, I visited The Big Apple this past weekend!
My brother has been living in NYC for seven years, so needless to say, this wasn’t my first trip. But I always enjoy visiting him, and his girlfriend Aisling now too! This trip was extra fun, as not only did my parents join me, but my cousin Atlee just moved to the Big City for her first j-o-b post college! I am so proud of her. The six of us really had a nice time – it’s fun having “sisters” (no offense, D)!
My parents arrived Thursday night, and I flew in to meet them the next morning. After a nauseating cab ride to the bro’s Upper West Side (which New Yorkers refer to as the UWS) apartment – no matter how “easy” the cab driver takes it, I still always end up feeling green by the time I arrive – we were ready to hit the town. The New Yorkers were working, so my Mom had a good idea – let’s go SHOPPING! Despite the fact that we’ve visited the city together a handful of times, we have yet to go shopping, as we are always at the will of the men. So we took advantage Friday afternoon! My Dad headed south to Canal Street (his favorite for people watching and cheap watches), and my Mom and I went to Mecca, aka, Macy’s. The Macy’s in Harold Sqaure (34th St.) is the largest store in the world (or so they claim). And let me tell you – it did not disappoint. My mom was in sensory overload – so. much. NOISE! There was a DJ set up in the middle of the MAC counter, for goodness sake. We managed to overcome adversity and spent a couple of hours exploring. My mom bought a dress for an upcoming wedding, and we both bought these Vince Camuto shoes – I’m going to wear them in both Pam and Nash’s weddings! You can’t tell, but they are only about 1.5 inches high and are remarkably comfortable for being so stylin’. Wedding parties, here I come!
After meeting up with my Dad and visiting both the New York Public Library (disappointingly, the Reading Room was closed so I didn’t’ really see any books…) and Grand Central (where I had surprisingly never been), we rested for a short while at D’s apartment before meeting up with A & A for dinner. We dined at Les Halles, where Anthony Bourdain served as executive chef for many years, per the recommendation of my dear college friend Will (who is now a New Yorker). The table spilt an order of truffle deviled eggs (not your grandmother’s deviled eggs!), and for dinner, Aisling and I spilt the mussels and fries (moules and frites), and we each had an amazing arugula salad with very thinly sliced endive, apples, candied walnuts, and a hunk of awesome blue cheese (the photo doesn’t do it justice). If you’re in NYC, I highly recommend Les Halles – it was reasonably priced, too.
Before heading home, we walked to Atlee’s new apartment so we could check out her NYC digs. And let me tell you – no cramming 3 girls into a one bedroom apartment for her! The place doesn’t exactly have a ton of character, but it does have three nice sized bedrooms, 1.5 baths, and a balcony – off Atlee’s room, nonetheless – with this amazing view of the East River. Wow. The cool breeze and white noise of the streets below would make for some great sleeping. Definitely not your stereotypical NYC apartment! My cousin Talya (Atlee’s sister) and I will definitely be visiting for a girls weekend soon!
The next morning (almost afternoon…we all slept til after 10!), I went for my usual run in Central Park. This view from the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir always makes it worth the effort. #notcolumbus
After showering and brunching (no photo – wasn’t anything special), we decided to do something different – ride the ferry! We hopped on the ferry (I think it was the East River Ferry?) on the far east side and rode it south, eventually getting off at DUMBO – Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. Aka, underneath the Brooklyn Bridge! We wandered around a cool outdoor art exhibit, watched kids roller skate in an outdoor arena, and drank lemonade – a very relaxing way to spend an afternoon.
When our stomachs started to grumble, we consulted Yelp (well, my Dad and I did…#yelpnerds) in search of one thing: PIZZA. We settled on Juliana’s, next to the famous Grimaldi’s, underneath the Brooklyn Bridge. We somehow scored a table without having to wait, which was very lucky as not long after, a line started to form outside…and it started to rain. Hard. Which it continued to do for the rest of the evening! After much debate over which pizzas to order, we said “screw it” and ordered three larges (yes, three for six people): the classic margarita (my fav, much to my suprise), a sausage and broccoli rabe, and a fancy one with pancetta and truffle oil. It was excellent pizza – the crust was to die for.
Afterwards, we headed out in the rain and took the train back to Manhattan on a mission: Magnolia Bakery. Those of you who know my mother know that once she gets on a food kick, there is no turning back – until one day she decides she’s never eating it again. We’re still in the former stage with the cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery, so Magnolia is where we headed! I enjoyed a yellow cake cupcake with chocolate frosting – mmm. And earlier in the day, A & A bought me a bday dessert of fancy macaroons (the “new” thing – cupcakes are sooo last year). #sweettooth
My rents then headed back north to my brother’s apartment, while the four of us “kids” hit up one of my bro and Aisling’s favorite spots: Fat Cat, in the West Village. Yes, it’s called Fat Cat! It wasn’t my first time visiting Fat Cat, but Atlee had never been there and it was fun to show her what could be one of her new go-to spots. Fat Cat is a dark, lounge-y bar in the basement of a building, and it’s huge. It features live jazz music, pool tables, ping pong, board games, etc.
The next morning, the six of us dined together once again before parting ways. We had breakfast at Good Enough to Eat, a very popular spot that I’ve never managed to dine at on previous visits because of the very long line. But this time, we got up and went right as they opened (well, that’s not entirely true – my parents did and saved us a table!). I got the Migas, which is a Mexican egg dish with tortilla chips in the scrambled eggs. It was good, but a bit on the cheesy side for my liking. The table also shared an order of the buttermilk pancakes, which I failed to capture a picture of but were to die for!
My parents then took off (they drove, ~8 hours to Cleveland), and I enjoyed the company of my “sisters” a short while longer. We walked 20 blocks south to the Gap, where Aisling bought the entire store (just kidding…but she did have a killer coupon!). And then it was time for me to head to the airport.
I had such a great weekend with my family – all five of them. Huge thanks to my parents for their generosity, and to my brother for hosting us all in his cozy apartment. I love you all! ‘Til next time, NYC!