Saturday, May 17, 2014

{Travel}: New York City 2014, Part Two.

My second trip to New York City this spring was a few weeks after my first, but this time Jake and I went together and stayed with our great friends, Eric and Claire, in Brooklyn. This was a totally different experience than the first trip. In talking with another friend about travel to NYC, we remarked how you can have a unique experience each time you go to NYC because there is just so much to do and so many different kinds of things to do.

We left Thursday after work and spent the night in Nashville before flying out to NYC:

We got into NYC (LGA airport) and took a car service (so sophisticated!) to Saint Mark's Estate (also known as Eric and Claire's apartment). They live in Crown Heights, an up and coming part of Brooklyn.

Food was a must after a long morning of travel so as we explored the neighborhood, we hit up E&C's favorite neighborhood pizza place, Rosco's. We got a NY style pizza with pepperoni, sausage, roasted garlic, and mushrooms (on half). It was life changing. Second best pizza of my life (first best is Tony's in San Francisco).

After chilling for a while, we hit the subway to explore Brooklyn & meet C for dinner.

Our first stop was DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) neighborhood. We walked around the park and checked out the uber-trendy area.

We went into West Elm's outlet:

After exploring for a while, we hopped back on the subway and headed over to Chinatown.

We met up with C for dinner at their favorite restaurant in Chinatown, Vanessa's Dumpling House.

We got so much food, all for $20 for all four of us. Dumplings (chicken+basil were the best), potato pancake sandwiches, and more.

After wandering around SoHo (and seeing Lindsey Lohan), we went back over to Brooklyn, where we got ice cream from E&C's favorite ice creamery, Ample Hills.

We left in time for a great Brooklyn sunset:

It was fun to see how many steps we took each day, thanks to my fitbit. I don't think you can be out of shape in NYC.

The next morning we had some amazing pastries for breakfast from down the street and then later got brunch from Catfish, a cajun-style Crown Heights bar+restaurant.

After brunch we headed over to Manhattan to visit E's Apple Store in the Upper West Side. My poor iPhone needed a new battery and that's what friends are for.

Eric and his store.

After a new iPhone, we walked through Central Park - the weather was amazing and everyone was out and about.

From Central Park we went to the Highline, which is a restored elevated rail line turned into a walkway. It was probably a little too packed to enjoy that day but the views were still great.

After the Highline, we stopped in Chelsea Market to check out all of the cool spots. Starving, when I found out there was a taco stand, I was excited. Little did I know the taco would change my life. Best. taco. ever.

So it was actually a "quesadilla" but you ate it folded up like a taco. Homemade corn tortilla, melted cheese, chicken, salsa, cilantro.

Foreground: spice store in Chelsea Market, Background: Lifechanging Taco Stand

After Chelsea Market we were headed down to an urban park. On the way we saw this cute fire station - I took a picture of it only to learn from Jake that it was the Ghostbuster's movie fire station. #famous.

From the urban park we had a great view of the World Trade Center new tower.

We sat and soaked in the sun, checking out the New Jersey views, for a while before heading on...

There was a Shake Shack near by so naturally we had to stop:

We headed back to Saint Mark's Estate for a while before heading out for dinner. E&C recommended this little Italian place near their apartment. I know I'm saying this a lot but this meal was life changing. It was absolutely delicious. Cent'anni was a mix between a hole in the wall Italian restaurant and a hipster haven. Pastas handmade, great selection of sauces. I had the Grandma's Ragu with pappardelle and Jake got the lasagna. We shared fresh green beans as a side, which were a great choice.

After devouring our food, we went back to E&C's for a mean game of Cards Against Humanity.

And another fitbit update, Day 2.

Day 3 we hit up a bagel shop in Claire's old neighborhood (Prospect Park) , Terrace Bagels.

After that we headed over to try to {unsuccessfully} find Brooklyn Flea in Williamsburg. Turns out it wasn't open quite yet. But the site had some great views, so we explored a bit.

We also found a neat artists' market and ended up getting three small pieces from PJ Cobbs Arts. I loved her funky, vibrant take on typical NYC scenes.

The three we got:

After that, we headed over to Times Square so Jake could get his first glimpse.

From there, we checked out Rockefeller Center (which was packed because of a parade of crazy hats!):

After that we went back to Brooklyn- I snapped this picture of a pretty street that just made me happy.

Next on the agenda was Smorgasberg, a food fair with hundreds of vendors right on the water in Brooklyn's Dumbo neighborhood.

There was so much to choose from. Claire & Jake got sandwiches from Schnitz:

I saw people with street corn so I found the legit, authentic looking tent and got a bowl of street corn (the guy in front of me said that it is what they eat at home in Mexico).

Beautiful views as we ate our food:

Round two meant dessert for others but for me, it was an Asia Dog.

I got the Mash, which was spicy ketchup, jalapeño mustard, and crushed potato chips on a beef dog. Seriously amazing.

As we headed home, we made the decision to revisit Rosco's (yes - it was that good).

And Day Three was in the books. Thank goodness we walked so much, to balance that food.

We got up bright and early and took the car service to the airport, saying goodbye to New York City as we flew away.

We were so grateful to experience an authentic New York life with our great friends - they were amazing hosts. If you're visiting New York and you're looking for some different things to do, definitely head over to Brooklyn!

In pizza and tacos,

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