Thursday, January 10, 2013

New York City! - Part 2/2

Day two in New York started with a lazy Saturday morning which I don't think we've had in at least a year. Indiana is an early-to-bed, early-to-wake kid. No complaints, but it was nice to lazy about a little. We were up in time to brave the Subway for our 10 am visit to Ground Zero, and we only got on the wrong train once. Not bad for a couple yahoos from Texas.

9/11 memorial is still very much under construction, so we could see World Trade Center One and pay tribute at the memorial pools. We'll have to make a return trip to see it.

We walked up to Tribeca on a short pilgrimage to find some authentic bagels. I had the traditional: toasted everything bagel, cream cheese, lox, capers, red onion, tomato. Yum.

The plan was to explore lower Manhattan, take the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty, walk the Brooklyn bridge. But as Casey was still getting over being sick, we decided for plan B, to take the subway and see the Chelsea food market. Chelsea and Tribeca really struck as very livable neighborhoods, but it's a good thing I don't live near that food market. So many bakeries and specialty food shops...would be too much temptation!
After that, Casey took it easy at the hotel and I walked way down 5th into Koreatown, past the Empire State Building, doing a little window shopping.
Unfortunately, neither Koreatown nor Madison Ave have any cute jewelry shops in my price range, but the Holiday shops in Bryant Park do. It was full of unique little booths with at least 20 jewelry shops, and various crepes, belgian waffles, French macaroons, a giant syringe full of chocolate ganache (no kidding!), kettle korn, pickles and grits. It was like the State Fair, just colder.  Instead of Scientologists, I was stopped by two girls who wanted to tell me about the Holy Mother, the feminine personna of God. I tried to be nice and chatted with them for a while, but it was pretty wacky.

And it was time for pizza.
 And what a pizza. Yes, Casey had calamari on his side....but mine had delicious eggplant parmasan, and under both of them was the best crust I've ever had. Crunchy and chewy and not soggy in the least. It was great.
But better yet, was coming home the next day to this sweet little boy. So happy to see my banana Indiana.

Monday, January 7, 2013

New York! - Part 1/2

Casey and I went to New York Thursday through Sunday morning to celebrate our 7 year anniversary. My mom-in-law, Cindy, came up and stayed at our house and watched Indiana. It was good to know that he was in loving hands. We got there Thursday afternoon and quickly got to our hotel in midtown with a decent view. Very comfy and classy.
We went for a quick stroll through Bryant Park and enjoyed the beautiful architecture at the New York Public Library.
We were somewhat disappointed with our dinner Thursday night. I read three guide books and spent a bunch of time on Yelp trying to find the best places to go...but even the best laid plans sometimes go awry. I bought tickets to the Book of Mormon since we were in the theatre district...but I bought them for the wrong week. We got a refund and went to the movies instead.
Casey saw Zero Dark Thirty, which isn't out in Dallas yet, so he was super-happy. And I got to see Les Miserables, so I was very happy with the theater mishap after all.

On Friday, the plan was to walk up 5th Ave, window-shop in the fancy stores, see Central Park and then go to the Modern Art Museum. It was really fun exploring that part of the city.
They were doing some filming outside the NBC building, but as neither one of us watch NBC, we didn't stick around. If it had been the food network, it would have been a different story!

Casey, making a sad face because it was cold, at Rockefeller Plaza. It was pretty cold, but we ducked inside to get warm often.
Like in the shoe department at SAKS 5th Avenue. It was a dreamland of shoes.
Trump Tower was a nice place to warm up too. They even have a Starbucks inside, so you can drink tea and watch the 5 story indoor waterfall.
Where did all of the big rocks in Central Park come from?  Seriously...does anyone know?

It was funny seeing the sight of so many tv shows...I kept expecting to see a CSI NY crew out there.
For the sake of Eloise, we had to go into the Plaza. I loved the chandeliers.

In case you need a gift idea for Casey, this lovely specimen is only $2,000 at Bergdorf's.

Next, we went to the Museum of Modern Art.
The Scream and Starry Night were the big draw, and they were nice. Casey asked and The Scream last sold for $119 million. Yikes.

But my favorites were some of Monet's waterlilies and a few Kandinsky's. They had a series of five amazing Kandinsky canvases commissioned by Chevy's founder for his Manhattan apartment. Man, what an apartment that must have been.

We had dinner Friday night at a very elegant Italian restaurant, Ai Fiori: canapés of steak tartare and house made cheese, velouté soup, panna cotta with sea urchin, slow poached egg with the most amazing chicken broth I've ever tasted, ravioli with duck confit, bouillabaisse, a venison chop with gnocchi, granita over panna cotta, and lovely bit of chocolate cake with poached pears and pear sorbet. All was delicious, and some outstanding. Even the coffee was wonderful.

After dinner, we walked back through Times Square, which was a zoo. I cannot imagine why someone would want to crowd in there on New Years Eve.  We ended up finishing up the evening at the hotel's piano bar, serenaded by the very nice piano playing of Jacques and the slightly horrible singing of Marie.

Saturday's NYC be continued!