My flight got in at 9 pm. Liz and I went straight from her cute apartment in the East Village to her (and now my) favorite wine bar, Terroir. There we had one of the best cheese plates I've ever had and a delicious glass of vino.
The next day we walked. And walked. And walked. Oh, and we did a lot of eating too. I loved seeing the farmers market in Union Square. Farmers come from all over the NY area to sell their beautiful produce and goods, including maple syrup producers from Vermont. I loved seeing the contrast of farm fresh produce against the backdrop of super tall shiny buildings. The kids bundled up in their winter clothes and dogs in their sweaters were just too cute for words for this California gal.
The #1 activity I was dying to do was ice skating. Yes, I realize it's touristy and cliche. Don't care. While we do have ice rinks in California, they lack the magic of the outdoor ones in New York. If you've seen the movie Serendipity you know what I'm talking about. Ice skating is just plain fun - there is no way to ice skate without a big smile on your face. After a glorious, though wobbly, skating session in Bryant Park complete with a random 50 Cent sighting (yes, the rapper!), Liz and I power walked to the glamourous Plaza Hotel for a glass of Champagne. Though we felt rather disheveled with our windblown hair and frosty red noses, this was the ultimate place to sink into over sized plush chairs and splurge just a little and cheers to friendship and NY.
ABC Home was also on my list of places to visit. It was filled beautiful clothes and home furnishings. It's a good thing there was not any more room in my suitcase or I could have gotten into trouble here.
We had lunch at ABC Kitchen, which is attached to the home store. I had read about ABC Kitchen and was excited to try some of their fresh and unique dishes. We loved the roasted kabocha squash toast with fresh ricotta and apple cider vinegar (pictured above). We noticed a couple eating the same thing but with a side of kale, and decided that looked better as the squash on the toast was very sweet and dark greens would cut that sweetness perfectly. I'm going to try making this at home and will report back. Next time I want to have what Slim had: a mushroom and egg pizza!
After lunch we walked to the High Line, a wonderful place to walk and take in the city views. The path has a fascinating history as an old railroad.
Right across the street from the entrance of the High Line is the Chelsea Market. This is a must for any food lover. There are many delicious shops and restaurants and we even stumbled upon a sample sale here. There's Liz smelling the bowls of herbs and teas.
Also next to the High Line is the perfect place to watch a spectacular sunset over the city. The Boom Boom Room is a swanky longue that sits at the top of the Standard Hotel. Liz and I decided to forgo the pricey drinks and long wait but enjoyed the stunning view from the glass enclosed room for a few minutes before heading to...
I cannot stop thinking about this pizza and will have to return to NY soon just for a fix. Luzzo's Pizzeria is cozy and overflowing with Italian charm. Pizzas come from the coal burning oven piping hot straight to the table. Crusts are thin and soft on the inside but slightly charred in spots on the outside - perfect. Liz and I went with a buffalo mozzarella pizza, as it's always a safe winner. And then after we were close to polishing that off, we ordered a second pizza with eggplant, zucchini, and mushrooms. Hey, we had done a lot of walking!
My favorite meal may have been at a little place in the East Village called Cara Cas serving Venezuelan food, specifically arepas. Our favorite was an arepa filled with cheese, avocado, tomato, sauteed peppers, and chimi-churri sauce. I was blown away by how flavorful and comforting these little pockets were, and at around $7 each, an inexpensive dinner out in a fun atmosphere.
After running through a subway station and hailing a cab, both with a ridiculous grin on my face thinking "wee this is fun!" I headed back home with "I heart NY" teddy bears for my girls.
Want more NY? Check out my friend Slim's post here.