Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I want to wake up… in a city… that never sleeps…

And find Im king of the hill - top of the heap.

So we’re back from wonderful New York. Where to begin?!

I bought those Aldo shoes – the brown ones below. $180 a pop – but well made and cute as anything. They will do me well through the winter. I’m looking forward to teaming them up with skinny jeans.

I also visited H&M in mid-town Manhatten near 5th Avenue – the biggest H&M in NYC! I found this dress which I saw a couple of months ago and loved! I couldn’t find it anywhere else – and it was the very last one in this store – in my size! Score! Its a little longer on me than the model! Knee length! I’m also thinking about ordering this cardigan from H&M to go with the dress. Although you can’t see it on the image, the dress has some mustard coloured flowers on it also.

The first day I got there I was pretty tired. Took a red eye and got into NY at 5:30am. Ouch! Dunkin Donuts were at the airport – I indulged! After catching a cab to our hostel in Upper West Side, I jumped out, full of adrenalin to arrive at my husband’s room. He and his flatmate were sleeping. So I showered, changed and dropped my gear off. Went to Tal’s Bagels for a great coffee and blueberry bagel with cream cheese. Wow. I love New York bagels! Last year Tal’s Bagels were my favourite, this year I found a new place, even closer to our hostel.

I walked the streets near Riverside Drive, took it all in, smiled at everyone and everything. Finally the boys got up and my husband and I went to Greenwich Village – explored the streets there – found a comic book haven my husband loved. I found expensive vintage stores where I made no purchases. At 2pm we stopped and had lunch at this amazing café/bar. We drank mojito’s and margarita’s. We also strolled through West Village – found a park where these guys were tap dancing to honkey tonk old-school piano – it was fantastic! They were so talented! Also in the park was a little jazz band. Our explorations proved to be quite entertaining. We weren’t sure exactly what to do in West Village and Greenwich Village, but exploring was enough – we came across so many nice haunts.

That night we went to Smalls Jazz club and heard an old school jazz band which was amazing! It was in an underground pub. We drank scotch and were entertained by them. The bass player was an old African/American man who was brilliant. There was clarinet/saxophone/trumpet/piano/drums and bass.

The next day we slept in till 9am then slowly got up and met up with friends at 10am for bagels. We went to Loab’s boat house in Central Park and paddle boated around a lake there. It was beautiful and so much fun. It could be quite romantic if there were just two of you. In a group, its fun. We were in hysterics. Amazingly – we were all quite good at rowing, it ended up being fairly easy. The lake is covered in moss and surrounded by breezy leafy green trees. Parts of the manhattan skyline can be seen. It’s a real treat. When done with that we headed to Gray’s Papaya for the “best hotdogs” which, have to say were very very good! The sausage tasted like actual meat, and the dressings were superb. In the afternoon we headed to Brooklyn and a friend and I went vintage clothe shopping at Beacons Closet (tonne’s of variety – at reasonable prices!) It was such a hot afternoon, we all ended up making our way to an old pub in Brooklyn, ate French toast and drank cold beer. Couldn’t have been better. It was such a hot muggy day in NYC on Saturday. They were expecting thunderstorms. Instead sunny and muggy. I was well pleased for the latter! In the evening we frequented Café Habana. For those of you who haven’t been – go! It is a must. We had a tonne of amazing food in NY, as we always do. But this place always tops our “best meal of the trip” list. There were five of us, and we all agreed on this. All of our meals were amazing. We started with the corn. Wow. I wish I was there right now… digging into their cheesy spicy corn. Once finished stuffing our faces on Cuban food we taxi’d it over to Tribeca and visited the Brandy Library. Not a cheap haunt, but a classy one with a romantic atmosphere and chilled vibe. My husband did a tasting of 6 brandy’s. I had a port and chocolate dessert. When done we subway’d it back to Times Square, all running on adrenalin at 1am – and enjoying the big lights.

Sunday we slept in (again!) and went for a stroll in Central Park. The boys left me and went to Coney Island. I went shopping! I walked from 72nd street down to 42nd street that day, visiting Upper East Side, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and sitting in Bryant park drinking iced tea. It was nice to have some time to myself exploring, taking it all in, shopping and doing whatever I wanted! Ha! In the evening we went to the Yankee Stadium! Which was the whole point of our visit to NYC. My husband wanted to see the stadium before it is closed down. So we saw the Yankee’s play the White Sox. It was a fun game. The New Yorkers are so lively. The Yankee’s won and there were some real highlights. We subway’d it back into East Village and found a Lebanese hole in the wall café which happened to get lots of awards. I got a fantastic Shish Kebab. My friend got falafalel which he said was very good (he is Lebanese! And knows his food!). My husband and other friend got chicken kebabs. A good last stop for the day.

Then yesterday… sniff sniff… was our last day in New York. We wanted to make the most of it. We had breakfast with our friends staying in Times Square then headed our separate ways. In case anyone is confused, there were 5 of us. Another married couple and our friend N, who is my husband’s best mate. He stayed in our room with us.

So after breaky, we went to the M&M store in Times Square. Then sub’d it over to Union Square and had THE BEST HOT CHOCOLATE EVER. Ok, here’s the deal. I had read about it in the NYTimes a few months ago and read good reviews elsewhere. City Bakery. I read they have thick hot chocolate. Mmmm. I get in there, there is a coldron of hot, melted chocolate. They pour some into a cup – about half the cup. Steam the milk – and pour that in. The chocolate they used was some kind of swiss chocolate I think. It was good. No, it was heavenly. And I’ll definitely be going back for more! I sat in there, writing postcards and feeling in pure bliss as I slowly sipped on my rich, satin-ey hot chocolate. Sigh.

As you can tell, we did fit a lot in 4 days. My husband was there a little longer and visited a few more pubs. He did a few different things to me, when I wanted to go shopping etc. We had such good travelling buddies who I have become closer friends with now. It made, not broke the friendship! It was really such a fun trip. I love the personality of New York. There is always something going on. So much culture around. Always a band playing, new types of food to try out.

I’m glad to get home to some quiet. However loved being in New York, having a change of scenery and getting to experience some of the things I miss in my everyday life.


Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness you DID fit a lot into your days in New York!!! It sounds amazing. I wish I could have been there with you. Especially just drifting the streets and drinking satiny hot chocolate with you! Miss you. Loved your blog!

Love Miss R.

Its Just Me - Daring to Dream said...

WOW! You had such an amazing time just from what you wrote, I can only imagine what it was like to be there in person.

Hubby and I leave for New York tomorrow (airport at 5am...eek!).

But hopefully we will at least have as much fun as you did on your venture.

Thanks for sharing!

Tea Lady said...

Thank you Miss R & Daring to Dream!

enc said...

This was a lovely account. I felt I was there with you the whole time.

Thank you for your nice comment on my ban post(s). I never knew you were lurking there. And then I came over here to find that we have the same taste in blogs, and that you added me to your roll! Thank you very much!

I hope you'll keep commenting, and being a part of things over at my place. If you hadn't commented, I'd never have known you were reading.