Thursday, March 15, 2012

Taking A Bit (or Two) Out of the Big Apple - Part 1

On Tuesday morning, bright and early, Maryam and I headed to NYC for a quick trip.  We took Bolt Bus, which was extremely affordable, and got super lucky with a great deal on a hotel directly across from the bus stop - we couldn't have planned it any better.  We also lucked out and had fantastic weather while we were there.  And happily we achieved everything on our "to-do list," which mostly consisted of shopping, eating, and visiting a few parks.  And eating some more.

After dropping our stuff off at the hotel (and getting to check in early, woohoo!), we took the subway downtown and got some coffee from a place we had been a few years ago called Third Rail Coffee, which is close to Washington Square Park.  I got a small Americano, and it was absolutely delicious - some of the best coffee I've had in a LONG time.

We headed to Washington Square Park to enjoy our coffee and people watch - two of my favorite things.

After awhile, we went in search of a late lunch and had a French bistro in mind.  The amazing thing about NYC is that if you want a certain type of food, you're basically guaranteed to find it.  This could also be very dangerous, because the same goes for cravings :)

We found exactly what we were looking for, and I had a delicious sandwich (grilled Portobello mushrooms and vegetables on a baguette) with a side salad.  Hit the spot!

For dessert we went to popbar, which was on our list of things "to do" (meaning "to eat").  I had a mixed berry yogurt pop, dipped in some pistachios.  There's also gelato and sorbetto pops, and all of them are made from great ingredients.  And the yogurt pops are only 100 calories (without toppings).  It was absolutely delicious and refreshing.

Next we walked down to SoHo for some shopping.  We did a lot of browsing, and I picked up a few things at Uniqlo.

I got a gray hoodie to replace my very favorite Gap gray hoodie that I bought umm... 10 years ago?  Yeah.  And it has holes in each cuff.  While the Uniqlo is not a perfect replacement, I should look a little more presentable wearing it.  I also got a blue button-up shirt to beef up my professional wardrobe (and it was only $15!) and a lightweight, dark gray sweater (also on sale!).

Next on our list was the High Line, which Maryam and I had both heard about on NPR.

The High Line is a park made from reclaimed, elevated train tracks, and was completely breathtaking.  Definitely one of my favorite things in NYC.  There are lots of different seating areas (my favorite was the built-in lounge chairs!), tons of plants and greenery, and artwork.  It was really unique and even more enjoyable than I imagined.

While we were walking from SoHo to the High Line, we passed Magnolia Bakery, which was also on our to-do/ eat list.

We picked up a vanilla cupcake to split, and enjoyed it while the sun set over the Hudson.  Pretty incredible (the cupcake and the view).

We were happy campers.

After our cupcake break, we continued on our walk along the rest of the 1.45 mile path.  Walking between the city buildings, above the cars and sidewalks, was such a different experience and was really an oasis in the city.

And we had great views down the long city streets.

We were initially disturbed by this half-naked man peering out of his window, until we realized it was just a decal :)

After our walk along the High Line, we headed back to the hotel to change and rest our weary feet, then went to the Lower East Side.  We wanted to eat at The Meatball Shop and were shocked when we got there at 8:30 and were told there would be an hour to hour-and-a-half wait.  We decided to stick with our plan, though, so we wandered around for awhile exploring the area (and ended up splitting a very delicious crepe with olive tapenade and artichoke hearts as an "appetizer" since it was so late and we were getting really hungry).

I didn't get a picture of my meal, but did snag these awesome matches.  I love "fancy" matchbooks like this! It was totally worth the wait, because The Meatball Shop was really amazing.  The menus are fun - you use a dry erase marker to check your selections - and I chose a hero with beef meatballs, classic tomato sauce, and provolone cheese, on a whole wheat bun, with a side salad.  The hero was really, really good - I could only eat half of the bread, but ate all of the meatballs.  The side salad was good, too, and had apples in it - nice little surprise.

We went to a couple of other places after dinner and really enjoyed exploring the Lower East Side - it was a very fun place to go out.

Whew, I think that's enough for one post - I've got more pictures and food to share next time.

Reader question:  Have you visited NYC?  What's your favorite place to visit/ thing to do/ food to eat while you're there?

Song of the day:

"Let's Go Surfing" by The Drums.  Because even though I didn't go to an actual "Spring Break" destination, it's 80* and I'm wearing a summery dress.  I'll take it.


  1. Thanks for showing just how awesome my city is =)


    1. It truly is awesome. I'm jealous that you live there! Growing up I always thought I wanted to live in NYC, but that hasn't happened... yet :) Thanks for reading!