Saturday, May 17, 2014

{Travel}: New York City, Part One.

I actually travelled to New York City twice in three weeks, once for work and once for fun. The first trip was full of work appointments and was all in Manhattan, where the second trip was mostly in Brooklyn with two of our dear friends.

So - first trip...

In addition to a lot of work things, we got to do some fun things as well. This was my second trip to NYC, the first being a whirlwind 24 hour excursion. This time we were here for four days.

Times Square, a must. (side note: In work clothes #notcute)

The first of several multi-story H&Ms we visited:

Skating at Rockefeller Center

NYC nightlife. Seriously the city that never sleeps.

Used TKTS booth in Times Square to get cheap(er) Broadway show tickets. Bullets Over Broadway, Zach Braff's new show.

Central Park:

Museum of Modern Art (with Claire!!):

Dinner one night at Bill's Bar & Burger. We wanted something near Rockefeller center (the girls wanted to ice skate), reasonably priced, not tourist-y too much. This place was great. Burgers were excellent, shakes are a must.

Mini corn-dogs:

Jalapeño burger:

Delicious asparagus:

Thin mint shake:

The next morning we headed out for authentic NY bagels. A few blocks from our hotel (we stayed at the Doubletree Metropolitan on Lexington - it was right on the subway line, highly recommend it), we found Ess-a-bagel, which has two locations and was legit. It definitely had that NYC authentic feel. Best bagel I've ever experienced.

There's a serious system to ordering, including an older grumpy Jewish man who moves the line along (and was probably the owner):

We took the subway almost everywhere - got very skilled at riding.

Our last full day in NYC we toured Columbia University. After our tour, we went across the street to Ollie's Noodle Shop, a Columbia favorite that was actually recommended to us by a Broadway actress that sat next to us on the plane to NYC. It was seriously the best Chinese food I've ever eaten in my life. No hyperboles.

I got the chicken with garlic sauce:

Two different kinds of dumplings, which were bigger than a softball:

Later that day we made a must-stop, Shake Shack. They have locations all over NYC (and beyond) but this particular one was in the Upper East Side. I got the Fair Shake, which is a coffee shake. Ridiculous.

One thing I have to recommend - we used the Transit App (free in the app store) for our entire trip and it never failed us. We went all over Manhattan (Upper West Side, Upper East Side, SoHo, Midtown, etc) and had no trouble at all. Definitely download it if you're traveling to NYC.

Our last night we went down to explore NYU and SoHo. We may have gotten lost looking for Uniqlo, a trendy clothing store recommended by one of our hosts. Apparently Broadway and West Broadway are different but Apple Maps does not recognize that fact. We got a great tour of the neighborhood in the process!

Washington Square:

The only Chobani bar - right in Soho.

After more shopping and finally finding Uniqlo, we hit up Balthazar for dinner - a NYC must. It didn't disappoint.

The steaks were perfection and the fries were beyond amazing.

Our resident vegetarian got a spinach creme crepe, which got rave reviews.

My steak:


We also got a goat cheese and onion appetizer but let's just say that didn't sit around long enough for a picture. Best part of dinner? When we apologized for being touristy and taking pictures of our food, our sweet waiter said he actually thought we were NYU students - a compliment for both me and the girls (in different ways...).

After that it was time for an early morning cab ride to the airport and then home to Memphis!

If you travel to NYC, definitely check out the restaurants we visited - I'd go back to any of them!

In subways and taxis,

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