I know I say this ad nauseam but I love New York. I truly believe it to be the greatest city on the planet. I feel like I can say it with some certainty because I have been to San Fran, L.A., Atlanta, Miami, Charleston, Paris, Venice, Berlin, Geneva, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Sydney, St. Petersburg, Marrakesh and a lot of other cities and still no other city holds a candle FOR ME like NY!
I am like that seven year-old child going to Disney for the first time. She talks excitedly about it, non-stop and then loves every minute when she is there and then talks incessantly about it after returning home. I may have expressed this to you a thousand times before but that little kid is me, but instead of it being Disney it is New York.
So, after packing, preparing, getting nervous and giddy, off I flew to what I call my true home. The only place I have ever lived that when I went on vacation I was homesick. Most vacations, I never want to come back. Sad, but true. But NY, I got sad taking a cab to the airport to leave it. I never wanted to leave. This is a sign of a true home.
So, here I am back at home in Manhattan. The skyscrapers talk to me. The cabs honking is music to my ears. The cab ride took over an hour to reach my hotel. I didn’t care. I was like a kid peeking into a peeking into a pie shop. My nose was firmly up against the glass staring in awe out the window. I was dropped at my hotel. I stayed at the New York Palace Hotel and it was lovely. I dropped my bags, appreciated my view, and went to find my nameless friend.
She is an extremely private person so she asked me to not divulge her name or hometown. I promised to refer to her as “L” and that she is my NY friend, because if I say CT you will know, who it is! (She’s going to kill me for that one! Couldn’t resist. )
L came barreling down 5th Avenue and pulled over at 53rd long enough for me to jump into the car. We went down Park Avenue and landed in my old neighborhood of Nolita (North of Little Italy) it falls under/into a more-well known umbrella or neighborhood called Soho.
We even parked on my old street Spring Street and headed to our first stop. I was crazy cold. I had gone from Fla, to my condo and intervals from place to place, but I had not spent any great lengths of time out in the bitter cold.
We passed the shop windows in Chinatown filled with ducks and chickens. The fish markets, the fruit and veggie markets. Then we hit the street that was going to take us to our first stop. The sidewalk and the street were like a sheet of ice. OH JOY! I hoped it would be worth the risk of almost breaking our necks.
We asked a lady where the place was and she replied in Chinese and signaled for us to follow her. We started to and then stumbled upon the place. If we had blinked we would have missed it.
We entered to find two ladies at a table stuffing brown bags into plastic ones on one side of the room and a janitorial looking bucket with a mop leaning on another wall and maybe 4-5 table in-between. One didn’t go to this place for the ambiance and the smell was not lemony fresh either.
I debated about leaving, but we sat down and ordered. The place is called TASTY’S HAND-PULLED NOODLES. I saw someone on a television show called THE BEST THING I EVER ATE where chefs talked about their favorite foods on the Food Network. This was one of those places. I wondered why till I received my aromatic bowl the size that could hold seven scoops of ice cream comfortably but this one was filled with broth, hand pulled noodles pork dumplings, and spinach leaves. I have been to Asia. I have been to Italy. Here I am in some dumpy hole in the wall joint in Chinatown that is the size of a postage stamp eating the best noodles I have ever put into my mouth. What the hell did they do to these noodles? OH MY GOOD GOLLY. I put it on my permanent NY list of places to go. Who cares about ambiance? I don’t even like, care about noodles. THAT is when you know it is truly amazing. When you find a food that you don’t like and it is so good that you fall in love with it. L devoured her soup. I tried to eat as much as I could. I was stuffing it in there but finally I was really full.
Then we walked and took the subway to one of our favorite hot chocolate joints. CITY BAKERY. Every February, they do a different hot chocolate flavor, every day of the month! http://www.thecitybakery.com/hot-chocolate
THAT day the flavor was Darkest Dark Chocolate and then you can have a homemade marshmallow put on top the size of a small brick.
L is about as thin as a person can come. These normal sized women sat next to us with taster cups of the hot chocolate. L thought they were crazy. Why wouldn’t you get the big one? If you don’t finish it, I will. And I am sure they are thinking skinny lady how do you stay so thin? Little do they know before the bowl of hot chocolate she had a bowl of noodles and dumplings.
We left there and walked over to Book of Wonders a wonderful bookstore that was in the city when I lived there and I wanted to see if I could get a name to see if I could get my books in there. Then she dragged me to this cool, bright colored clothing shop called Joe Fresh. Then I dragged L to one of my all-time favorite bookstores called The Strand. http://www.strandbooks.com/
This store is an institution and if I can get my books in there, I would be elated. I get excited when my body gets in there. Imagine if I got books in there. I would do a hoola hoola dance inside the front door. (And then probably get arrested.)
Then I dragged L to another place from the same television program, different episode. The place is called STANTON SOCIAL (http://stantonsocial.com/menus/dinner/) and it is in the Lower East Side (LES). It was a cool, funky, extremely crowded place. No room for us on first floor, but they said we could order up on the 2nd floor in the bar area.
We sat with some other people, didn’t have a choice. We needed the candles from the table to read the menu. It didn’t work. We then used the light from our phones to read the menu. We felt old until we spotted the 20 somethings doing the same thing. It wasn’t just our eyes.
L ordered butternut squash ravioli, which I was not expecting to be as sweet or as good as it was! I ordered onion soup dumplings. Yes, I do eat things other than dumplings, but it was a fluke that it was just a dumpling day!
They served me what looked like meatballs on an escargot plate, or a deviled egg plate. Each indentation had what looked like a meatball with a crouton on top and a toothpick going through both! Okay, this is just a guess. I think the dumpling was maybe bread and cheese and inside the dumpling was the onion soup and then a crouton of bread on top. Pop this deconstructed gem into your mouth and it was like a bite of onion soup just very cleverly constructed. AND very delicious! I will show you a picture of it.
We walked back to the car. Years ago, I may have been a little hesitant to walk that path I took us in the dark, two women at night alone, but I felt pretty darn comfortable.
My phone buzzed and it was a message from Shirley. Edie had passed away. I stopped and paused. I looked down at the snow. I looked up at the sky. I took a deep breath and knew she was in a better place.
L dropped me off at the hotel. I tried to call Shirley back, but she must have gone to bed. It was a bittersweet feeling. I was happy, ecstatic to be in New York but said for Edie and Jack to have to be separated. Although, I really, really believe she is up in heaven with no ailments and talking to friends and family and having a wonderful time. I am sure she misses Jack as he does her. Bless their sweet souls.
Next morning, I woke up and put on my Lucky Brand blue jeans, a top, and my full length brown down jacket that looks like I am walking around in a sleeping bag, a hat, scarf and tennis shoes. My feet need to be comfortable.
I realized that I needed to pop my Fitbit in my jean pocket so I unzipped my coat from the bottom up. And then forgot to re-zip it back down. Here I am strutting, yes strutting out of the hotel like I am ALL THAT AND a bag of chips. The staff looks at me funny. I get outside and feel a strong draft. Oh yes, I forgot to re-zip the coat. So, it is zipped from the top to the middle and unzipped from the bottom up. I must have been a vision of beauty. It took me a block to figure out A) why I was cold and B) why people were looking at me funny.
I went to meet my friend Michael for breakfast at NOHO STAR. I ordered the Huevos Rancheros. They were yummy. I ordered a VIRGIN bloody mary. I forgot to take a pic of the breakfast. But I have a pic of that bloody.
I do not think I have ever had a better bloody ever. I could suck these things down like kids eat candy. Eggs n’ Apple Benedict is another favorite there. This place is consistently really good. http://www.nohostar.com/Brunch.html
Michael and I had a wonderful time. He is still at NYU and he and I talk so easily. He is such a lovely and special human being.
I left him and went to Dean and Deluca for an iced cappuccino and a bag to make them. Okay, so here is what I did the last time I bought a bag. I know, I am SO my father’s daughter. An iced capp is $4-5 depending on size, and a bag is $15. I figured out how many capps I can make out of a bag. I can make 15-17…so making them at home is such a deal. But I still needed one because I was in NY, and I used to go buy one when I lived there and made a nice living and it was my morning treat on my way to my “I make a lot of money but hate my job” job. http://www.deandeluca.com/ Now, I don’t make a lot of money, I rarely get to drink such scrumptious coffee and racing to get my meeting I was walking and trying to break packets of Domino Sugar into my coffee. I was spilling half of it on me, and then, OH YES, my nose started to run and thinking the SUGAR PACKETS were a tissue I rubbed them over my nose. Do you think anyone was looking at me funny at that point? This odd lady (aka me) wiping her nose with sugar packets. Not to mention leaving the white granules under my nose, granted they were clearer then powder, but still I must have been a sight!
I took a subway and then I figured if I walked from 50ish to 81st Street it would take me 30 minutes roughly. I misjudged traffic lights, treacherous sidewalks, and how fast I would get there. I was 5 minutes late for our first meeting at the Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter ( http://ncsinc.org/)
In a nutshell, this organization tries to get the homeless off the streets into housing and help these homeless folks get their lives back either through substance abuse programs, counseling, or whatever needs to be addressed to help these individuals. The minute these individuals are off the street with a roof over their head, food in their bellies and everything that comes along with the program, they begin to get there self esteem back and then things slowly, hopefully begin to fall in place in their favor.
I guess you need a little background at this point. I had an Aunt who was a famous torch singer and Broadway star and a few other accolades to her name. She died and set up a foundation. Her lawyer at the time found causes that he believed suited her personality and passion. Fast forward many years later, her family is on the board and we have decided to visit these causes and see how they have progressed, if their missions have altered and if so, hopefully in a positive way and how they impact society on a microscopic level and in the big picture. That was our first stop this trip.
We got out of our meeting earlier than anticipated and so I decided to go back to Dean and Deluca (D & D) but at a different locale. I went to the one up near my other apartment. I was oblivious to where I was walking and I turned the corner near the Campbell Funeral Home, which is where the famous go, but I wasn’t expecting to see camera crews, photographers on ladders doubled up on the sidewalks and then to realize I had just walked into (so to speak) Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s funeral.
I stood there in shock and then the coffin came out followed by his longtime partner and their children. I watched them put the coffin in the hearse. I stood there a moment and wondered if I would see anyone famous and then thought, I don’t belong here. This is private, personal and continued to D & D.
I realize when I am in New York or Paris, I drink coffee the way Hemingway drank booze in Key West and Paris. Coffee is so darn tootin’ good in those towns!
Here is where I am very weird (in a good way). I love being nice to the staff anywhere I go, but in particular at D & D because SO many of their customers don’t know how to treat their staff! Pet peeve of mine for years! I do not understand why people are so horrible to the person making their coffee? So, I go in super friendly and watch the Park Ave ladies look at me with disdain. And then the staff….they are so nice back to me. Ah gee George. There’s a novel idea!
I went to a seat at the window to drink my coffee and people watch. A favorite activity of mine esp. on this corner with a yummy coffee in hand. (No, I didn’t get a $5 capp again, this time a $2 coffee.)
A gentleman placed his briefcase next to me and started to look around. I told him I would be more than happy to watch his bag while he shopped or got a coffee. It didn’t hurt that he was incredibly handsome looking a lot like a young Harry Belafonte. No joke!
He replied he was waiting for his girlfriend who showed up shortly after in her scrubs and a doctor’s coat. We talked ever so briefly as she left. The INCREDIBLY secure doc told me to entertain her boyfriend and we would have a ball talking. If only we all could be so secure.
We talked and to make a long story short, he said he used to turn books into movies. Viola. I write books! He asked for BRAND MY ASS. (http://www.amazon.com/Brand-My-Ass-Erin-Moss/dp/1490966463) He wanted to shop it around for me. I was all to eager to let him! It may be nothing. It may go nowhere, but you always have to take a chance and try. You NEVER know! I’ll keep you posted. I would LOVE for that book to be made into a movie!!
I decided when I left that I needed to go from Madison & 85th to 46th & 10th! I was thinking I could walk it, but it was way too far for the amount of time I had. I waited for a bus that was just not showing up! I realized I needed a cab. I rationalized that it couldn’t be more than 6 bucks and that there was NO easy way to get THAT far across town and down South.
I ran into traffic in the cab. It took SO much longer than I anticipated. It ended up being a $15 cab ride. Then I went to get ribs at DAISY MAY’S. I ordered 4 ribs, the smallest order and the cheapest order I could get! Still full after Noho. NO SIDES with the ribs! It was $15. I have now had a $30 lunch and it wasn’t even NOTEWORTHY!!! My friend Shirley’s hubby Ben makes better ribs! I MAKE better ribs. I have been so excited to try this place for years and I love ribs. I crave ribs, but I was so disappointed and then mad at myself for wasting the money.
I walked myself back to the subway. MANY, many blocks back to the subway and managed to get to the next meeting early. I followed a man in a funky black suit that was designed with forks, knives and spoons. The pictures don’t do his outfit justice, so use your imagination.
My dad called as I followed this man and I said, “Dad, I am following a guy in a silverware suit! The man turned said hello and started talking to me. Only in New York. Did I tell you how much I love it here?
Our second visit was to Kaufman Music Center. (http://www.kaufmanmusiccenter.org/) Here gifted kids that are musically inclined can come and fine tune their various talents. The center provides multiple advantages to youths of various ages from various backgrounds that may not otherwise have this opportunity to pursue their passions. The center offers lessons that kids could otherwise not afford. The Center is beautiful. We were fortunate enough to have three different students perform for us. All the kids were extraordinary in their own right. I don’t remember the exact ages, but here are approximate ages. A 7 year-old girl, who played the violin, a 13 year-old boy who played Chopin on the piano, and a 17 year-old girl who played the flute, like I can’t remember the flute being played.
I left the Center thinking that to date all the charities we had visited were all so diverse and special in their own ways and what a tribute it was to my Aunt’s lawyer for finding such great and fitting causes for us to support.
I left the group and walked to the 66th Street subway, which was the stop I was in during the Blackout of 2003. I never forget it. I went to 59th Street and then got out at Columbus Circle and walked from 59th & Columbus Circle on the South side of Central Park and walked down to 59th & Lexington. I took a subway to Park and 28th and then walked to meet L at Blue Smoke. I love how much I get to walk in New York. A bit chilly, I was not in the best shoes, but I love to walk and people watch. I passed a man in a suit with tortoise shell glasses and a Burberry looking coat, and he was so good looking. Nothing sexier to me than a preppy man! He passed by and I turned to watch him walk and he had a backpack on his back that looked like a chimpanzee hugging him. No joke! Something I would do! I had to laugh! Conservative on the outside and funky in the middle.
L met me at Blue Smoke and we talked to the kind hostess and I told her that I heard I was supposed to try the Warm BBQ Chips with the Blue Cheese and Bacon Dip. We chatted with her a bit and she kindly sent it over to our table on the house. We felt so bad, she must have thought we were going to order up a storm. I was going to dinner after. This was my appetizer. L ordered dinner. The chips were really yummy, but the dip was too overpowering and it was because the cheese was just too strong. If there were a milder blue cheese it would have been better or maybe a different cheese. I loved the idea and I couldn’t stop eating the chips.
I was telling L about my hematoma and then pulling my hip flexor and damned if she didn’t get up and start showing me yoga poses and runner stretches to do in THE MIDDLE OF THE RESTAURANT. I thought thankfully the restaurant was virtually empty. A few minutes later I got up and turned around and it was full. Quintessential L! We left the restaurant and said goodbye. I always hate leaving her. She is such a dear, dear friend. We always have so much fun together. When I lived in NY, she would make the trek into the city so we could hangout and it was always fun. I left her with a list of restaurants for her and her hubby to try. We hugged goodbye. She went right and I went left.
I could have taken the subway downtown and then walked West, but I had eaten those BBQ chips foregoing the blue cheese and bacon dip, but I still needed to walk. I walked across Park and Lex and down Madison. I walked around the perimeter of the Madison Square Park and down 14th Street and took a left on 7th. I walked to 18th and realized I was going to be late so I took a subway and went a few stops to Christopher Street and then walked another 4 blocks to RED FARM on Hudson Street b/t 10th Ave and Charles Street (http://redfarmnyc.com/west-village/dinner/) The menu is dynamite. I met up with my friend Kristen. They were originally going to seat us at a communal table downstairs and she asked for a booth upstairs. As she finagled her way to the desired seat, I went to use the bathroom. A man walked out and left the seat up on this hi-tech looking toilet. I saw the box on the wall. I pushed a button and the seat came down. I put toilet paper on the seat and sat down having NO CLUE it was going to be heated. Here I walked for blocks in the cold to land on a heated toilet. It was SO nice….
I finally came out…I just wanted to get warm like sitting in front of a potbelly stove. I think everyone’s house should have such a toilet. It could have cleaned my hootchie cootchie if I let it!
Upstairs we went and we looked at this great menu and started ordering food.
For appetizers: Pac-man, which were dumplings that looked like pac men in various colors: pink, blue, yellow and green. This was their contents: The pink (lobster & shrimp), blue (shrimp & blue crabmeat), yellow and green. I can’t remember those two! Then at the end of the plate a sweet potato deep-fried and cut to look like a pac-man on a bed of guacamole. Who knew the combo would be so good. Here’s a pic.
Then pan fried pork buns…
Then we ordered the rest off the Chinese New Year Special list. Are you ready?
Lotus flowers filled with shrimp with a scallop sauce over them. Yum! Kristen said you just want that one for blog. Yeah, kind of, but it sounded and tasted good.
Black cod and veggies…also good. Not great but good.
And then when we were really full, Kristen went ahead and ordered another plate of food. What is up with my skinny friends that can eat like it is 1999?
Truffled eggs and fried rice….
Out of all those dishes. My favorite was the pac-man.
I really wish I had tried the crispy duck and crab dumplings. I think they look yummy & creative. Next time!
We had a celebrity sighting. Kristen noticed Kelly Ripa and I quickly turned to see her hubby Mark. Sadly, Kelly was facing me. Then they moved and I had a beautiful view of Mark. He’s lovely. I wondered whom they were with at dinner. The one man I didn’t recognize and stars do not have to eat with stars. I decided to go to the bathroom before we left to warm my buns before I walked more and to see who else was at that table. The fourth person at the table was Anderson Cooper!
We left there and I dragged Kristen to Sant Ambroeus for chocolate mousse and coffee. Sant Ambroeus looks like a place you would find in an old, elegant town in Italy. The people inside are European, predominantly Italian looking, glamorous and beautiful. Sant Ambroeus has knock your socks off amazing gelato. We went there so I could try the chocolate mousse that I heard was fabulous. Confession. Not as good as La Maisonette’s mousse (a Cincy legacy). It was a different consistency. It was good, but not that good. They also served us a pot of good coffee. I knew that would be good.
The bartender was incredibly nice. She told us that Michael Hall had been sitting where we were five minutes earlier and had been there for hours. Kristen nearly fell off her seat. I, of course thought she was referring to ANTHONY Michael Hall and I wondered why Kristen was so excited to have missed one of the stars from Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club, who really did nothing for me. “No,” they laughed. “The guy from DEXTER!” Oh, okay. He’s cute. Kristen was going to become a regular. I could feel it! She said she had a whopping crush on the guy who was not from Sixteen Candles. I have this feeling that when I went to the bathroom again, I know, too much water, Kristen rubbed her coat all over that chair where he sat and then wrapped it around herself or is that something I would do?
We left there and then I walked over to 7th and down to Bleecker Street and then from the West Village to the East and caught a subway back to my hotel. I looked at my fitbit and I had walked about 12 miles that day! Who knew!
I went home/hotel crawled into bed with my book and read about four pages and was fast asleep!
Until we meet again…
Enjoy! Eat, travel, laugh…often….
NYC- PART II
Saturday morning I woke up in serious pain. The very short walk from the bed to the bathroom was excruciatingly painful. My two favorite things to do in New York include walking and eating. I was really concerned about my back. I had been walking on average between 8-12 miles a day but I couldn’t fathom that my body couldn’t handle it, unless I was wearing bad shoes. Either way, I took two Aleve and prayed it would kick in fast. I was thankful that the day before I had bought a breakfast bagel at Tal Bagels. My favorite is an everything bagel with capers, cream cheese, lox, tomato and red onion. I just love it and no one does it better than New York! They say the secret is the bagels and the secret to the bagels is in the water. I DO NOT CARE! I am just happy to enjoy it.
I grabbed a cab and had him drop me off directly in front of the door. I called to let them all know I would be late to the board meeting. They told me I didn’t need to come, but traveling so far, I felt obliged to go and I WANTED to go. Plus, my mom taught me if I miss school, I couldn’t do after school activities. It translates to other circumstances as one ages. If I want to play with my friends after the board meeting, I must attend the board meeting.
After the board meeting, we always go to this little French place around the corner that astonishes me they are still in business. I don’t care for it and therefore will leave out the name. I think there French bread rocks and reminds me of a baguette in Paris, but I think the rest of the food leaves little to be desired. Each year, I try something new in hopes of finding something I like and each year I regret the waste of calories. This year, I ordered an iced capp, a freshly squeezed o.j., a pain du chocolat and only ate about half of it.
I also knew after giving my back a break, I was meeting my friend Eric for a late afternoon snack. I know it was crazy but I decided to walk to meet him. My back was so stiff, but I couldn’t help thinking that the walking may help it. I know it is illogical but I am too flippin’ young to feel so old and stiff.
I arrived early to meet my longtime friend Eric at Bar Boulud.
(http://www.barboulud.com/nyc/menu). I know I am such a five-minute late girl this is so un-me to be so early. I went to use the restroom. AGAIN! A lady stopped me and asked me if I was with the Vogue party. I looked down at my sleeping bag brown long coat, my tennies, and thought, you can’t be serious? But secretly I loved it, even though I knew she would have thought I was on the business side. I came out of the stall to wash my hands and I did it next to two transparent women. They were so thin that if they turned sideways they would have been invisible. They were so tall that I kept looking at them to see if they were NBA basketball players posing as Runway models.
I walked back up the stairs to the main restaurant to discover the walk looked like rock and it was covered with a wire like fence. The shape of the room looked like a tunnel. It really was a cool space.
My friend Eric walked in and we sat down and he ordered lemonade that came with a sprig of rosemary. He ordered the French toast. I ordered what I was told was scrumpdilly-umptious…a Croque Madame.
I lived in Paris for a bit, but I don’t EVER remember having a Croque Madame or Monsieur that was that delicious. Every bite that I put in my mouth was like a party. What can you expect, Chef Daniel Boulud is an exemplary FRENCH chef. The dude makes a great sandwich! It was yummy. Eric and I had such a nice lunch. We stayed and talked for a few hours and then my back beckoned for a warm shower and a nap!
I walked back to the hotel and did both! I was supposed to meet my cousin for dinner but he was leaving town. I called Kristen and asked her if she wanted to do a late dinner. A light dinner of sushi. She said yes and suggested up places that I used to frequent, but now that I live in the middle, I don’t get out of this world good sushi. When I am somewhere I can get it, I want it. I don’t want mediocre. I want knock my socks off good.
I convinced her to meet me in Tribeca at Nobu Next Door (http://www.noburestaurants.com/next-door/experience/introduction/) She told me she could only afford one roll. I was thrilled to tell her the price difference b/t her suggestions and Nobu were cents on the dollar. And the taste was leaps and bounds ahead. I try to never come to NY and not eat at Nobu. I love it. I always sit at the bar because I love to watch the sushi chefs prepare meals.
We started with three rolls. One was a yellowtail and scallion, one a bigeye tuna spicy and the third a salmon and avocado.
Then we shared a black cod and miso, which is Nobu’s signature dish and won an award for best dish in the city the year I moved to NY, years ago.
Then we shared a piece of tamago, because I learned to eat tamago in Tokyo and loved it.
Then Kristen wanted a piece of sweet potato tempura and then the chef made us a treat that I have NO idea what it was and he told us but his English was hard to understand so I smiled, thanked him repeatedly and ate it. It was fish, perhaps yellowtail, and it was the best thing we ate all night!
I was finished. Kristen ordered a bento box that contained some incredible chocolate cake comparable to my mom’s pot de crème and it was served with green tea ice cream and it was divine.
We ate and sat and talked till about midnight. I got to see my favorite waiter Lee. I walked Kristen to the train. I told Kristen I may go to Clinton Street Bakery in the morning if she wanted to meet me. I tried to go there years ago with Eric and his then boyfriend, but the line was so insanely long that we left. I assumed years later the buzz, hype had dwindled. Kristen said no it was still popular, and she would think about meeting me but we had to go early.
I really love my New York friends. I love my Boston friends and Atlanta friends. I have been really lucky!
Then crazy lady (aka ME) walked through Tribeca, down Canal Street to the subway. It was as if I had never left. I instinctively knew how to get home. It is funny that my NY friends were all teasing me that I knew the city so well. (Loved it, proud of it.) I walked in at 1am. I can’t believe how much I walk in New York, no wonder why I was in such great shape living there and Boston. No car in either city. I used my feet and my bike and wow what a difference it made!
I crawled into bed with my Nobu smile on my face. I was getting sad that tomorrow I would leave. I really love it in New York. I love the city, the energy, the food, the walking, the people, the chance meetings my dear friends. It is a wonderful place and I am so lucky to have lived here.
I fell asleep and the next morning, as per usual, I woke up homesick and I hadn’t even left. I had a full day in the city and I was sad. My back was mad at me for not taking it easier the previous day, but I would pamper it when I got back to Cincy. I slapped an icy hot on it. I got a text from Kristen. She said she would meet me. I hemmed and hawed about going down there and thought, DO IT! I really push myself on trips to do as much s I can. I always figure I can sleep at home. On a va-ca, I need to move!
Murphy’s law. I wanted to be at the CLINTON STREET BAKING CO. (http://clintonstreetbaking.com/) at 8:45. Doors opened at 9. The next subway train wasn’t for 11 minutes. I got out at Astor Place and took a cab to the restaurant and good I did, because it was SO much further down on Houston Street than I realized. If I walked, I wouldn’t be there till 10!
Kristen sent me a text about a wardrobe malfunction and she was going to be late. I was counting on her to be early since the subway forced me to be late. I thought wardrobe malfunction? Who cares what you wear just get there!!!! It ended up being a broken purse handle. I get it.
The line was around the block when I arrived and had moved by the time she arrived. The people in front of me and I talked till Kristen arrived about our hopes of people not wanting to wait in the frigid air and leaving. They didn’t.
Suddenly, the doors opened and the line shortened. It opened again and the line shortened more. Then a gal came out with an I-pad and the line slowly disappeared. I reached her and this is technology for you. SO COOL! She asked my name and cell phone number. I walked away and I immediately got a text telling me my wait would be an hour and I was 10th in line.
And then the people in front of us in line, Kristen and I stood there, and a woman came storming down the sidewalk and yelled, ‘FORTY FIVE MINUTES FOR FUCKING EGGS!” I said to them, “Damn straight!”
Kristen and I walked around the block and then came back to the Cafe across the street called Café Pause. We went in and there were the couple from in front of us. We talked about the text the restaurant sends. I told them how cool it was to see how many were in front of us in line. She didn’t try the link. She checked it on her phone and said 4 were in front of them, which meant 5 in front of us. We drank some yummy coffee and then they got a text, followed by us getting a text saying come back to the restaurant.
Clinton Street is first known for their wild blueberry pancakes and then secondly for their benedicts. How good could they really be? Would they be worth the wait? All I can say is “OH YES THEY ARE!!!” I couldn’t believe how good they were! Knock my socks off, butter my biscuit and call me sunshine. That kind of good! Holy Moly! I couldn’t finish them. Kristen’s benedict was good too, don’t get me wrong but I almost bowed to the blueberry pancakes. I should have gotten a side of bacon. The bacon is supposed to be good to, and I missed the bacon. Guess I have to go back!
Here is the eggs benedict!
Here are my killer Wild Blueberry Pancakes!
Kristen and I said goodbye. Again, hard to say goodbye to such a dear friend. I know I will see her, L, and Eric again, but hard to go!
I left there and went to Bob’s Bagels (http://www.bagelbobs.com/) on University. I used to go there when I lived downtown. When I lived uptown, I went to H & H Bagels. Bob’s are great and he has this classic crumb coffee cake that is delicious.
I got bagels to take back to Jack in my building and so a few friends can come over and we can eat bagels with him and keep him company. He keeps kosher and he loves NY bagels, so it is the perfect thing to take back to him. I got a couple extra for me.
The bagels were heavy. I climbed into a subway. I sat with two sisters that had the biggest afros and they were really cool looking. I thought they might have been models in for fashion week. Then the one sis started to talk to me. She was a children’s author too! We both wished the other good luck. I am telling you, in NY, you meet people in the most unexpected places! I dropped my bagels at the hotel. I am sure now everyone’s luggage will smell like a NY bagel shop!
I went to run errands. I first stopped at DSW and found a pair of shoes that would not kill my feet like mine were. I went to Zabar’s and bought coffee. I waited in line for pastrami behind a couple that was in NY because their dogs Dolly and Kara were in the Westminster Dog Show. THIS IS NY! You meet interesting people ALL THE TIME and ALL over the place! I also bought smoked salmon. They make a great smoked salmon.
I left there and had to walk through my favorite grocery store of all times. CITARELLA! Then I walked through Fairway. Loehmann’s was having a sale so I tried on ball gowns. Long story for later.
I went to LeVain’s (http://www.levainbakery.com/) and waited in a long line for dark chocolate chip cookies.
I went to Bouchon Bakery for Thomas Keller’s Quiche Lorraine, but they didn’t have it. It was going to be my last NY meal. I ended up with a ham and Swiss baguette from there.
I went to the hotel. I collected my things. Bagels being more important than the suitcase. I took both!
I got in a cab and the sky looked as if it could snow at any moment. It was dry when I arrived at LaGuardia.
I went to the gate to wait for my flight. The bulk of the seating had been replaced with tables and high chairs with I-pads on them. It was so new age. The future.
I got on the plane and looked out the window and saw there was a lot of snow on the ground. In such a short time frame. Then some crazy lady sat next to me who looked like she lost someone, was super angry, on drugs or all the above. Fun!
I landed in Cincy. My friend Jo greeted with me with two Oreos. If she only knew how much I didn’t need those Oreos! It would have been rude to not eat them. She is such a sweetheart and dear to come get me so late.
I went home and unpacked and ate an everything bagel with butter and enjoyed every single bite of it. I already miss New York.
Here are a few random shots of what I saw and why I miss it…..
Until we meet again…
Enjoy! Eat, travel, laugh…often….