Karl and I had been planning a trip to NY to celebrate our birthdays, and last weekend, it finally happened. We were only in NYC for two short days, but every single minute spent there was awesome. Somehow we checked everything off our long tourist-y to-do list.
We took a bus to NYC from Boston early Friday morning, and the first thing we did in New York was head to a pizzeria for some authentic NY pizza. There were so many options – it was nearly impossible to choose. We tried two pizza places – Joe’s Pizza and Bleecker Street Pizza. Both were incredibly delicious. My favorite was Bleecker’s pepperoni-sausage. Karl’s was the cheese pizza from Joe’s.
Karl said I was a natural when I folded my pizza in half. It was the only way it was going to fit in my mouth – I did it out of sheer necessity.
Three slices of pizza later, we made our way to the corner of Grove and Bedford St. What’s there you ask? Only the holy FRIENDS apartment. On the way there, a tiny macaron shop (Bisous Ciao) caught my eye. I went in and came out with 4 pretty macarons (and $11 less dollars). The honey lavender and jasmine green tea were one of the best macarons to have ever made contact with my taste buds.
Next on our itinerary was picking up our cronuts from Dominique Ansel. Let me just remind you that I ordered these highly coveted pastries three weeks in advance. I couldn’t wait to try them! The flavor of month was green tea and pineapple, and they were everything I had dreamed of and more. There are no words accurate enough in the English language to describe how good they were.
I think cronuts could be the key to world peace – I don’t think it’s possible to be unhappy when you have a cronut in your mouth.
I’ve had dreams of visiting the Plaza ever since I discovered the book Eloise at the Plaza in my second grade classroom. It was decided early on that we’d pay it a visit. Our plan to just stop by evolved into afternoon tea, which couldn’t have been lovelier. Our kind server brought out four macarons and a chocolate Empire State Building on a plate. The words “Happy Birthday!!” were written in chocolate, and there were two candles – one for me and one for Karl.
At that point, I was like, “NY, you’re killing me!! I love you!”
We walked down 5th Ave from The Plaza to our hotel located in Times Square. The street was lined with shops filled with the most expensive merchandise. I wasn’t at all interested in going inside these shops, but when we saw this massive cathedral (I found out later that it was St. Patrick’s Cathedral), I yanked Karl’s arm to follow me inside. I made an abrupt stop when we made it past the foyer as I was so taken back by the beauty of the space. The ceilings looked like they went on forever, and the architecture was so magnificent.
Before dinner, we made quick stops to the Ghostbusters HQ, Wall St, the NY Stock Exchange, and the new World Trade Center. The well-designed memorials at the World Trade Center were incredibly moving and evoked strong feelings of both sadness and pride. I couldn’t believe I was standing there.
At the end of the night, we had dinner at La Sirene, a cute little French restaurant in South Village. Karl ordered their filet mignon, and I had their duck breast. I fell in love with place before I tried any of the food. After our meal, I knew we’d have to come back again some day. Karl’s filet mignon was topped with foie gras and served with a red wine truffle sauce. The bite I had was so rich and decadent. My duck was served over a sweet and tart cherry sauce – it was prepared so well. The veggies that were served on the side were also incredible, and the romantic ambiance was definitely a plus.
Day 2 of our trip was much more mellow. We didn’t try to pack as much activities or food into our day. We went up the Empire State Building. That was a lot of fun, but we couldn’t spend more than four minutes outside on the deck because it was really windy and cold. The view was amazing, and I’m so happy we did it (I was hesitant because I was told there would be long lines and crowds). We didn’t have to wait in line at all, and the deck wasn’t very crowded. This was Saturday morning around 9:00 am.
We knew we couldn’t leave NY without getting a bagel, so we did a quick Yelp search for the best bagel in the area. Low and behold, the best bagel in NY was at Best Bagel and Coffee in Midtown. My everything bagel was so stankin’ good, and they really packed on the spread. In other words, it was the perfect bagel. While we were on our way to the bagel shop, the sweet smell of waffle batter and maple syrup got our attention like an olfactory siren. There was a little stand called Wafels and Dinges selling, well, waffles and dinges. We had absolutely no regrets about getting one. Our belgian waffle was topped with two dinges – maple syrup and whipped cream. All I couldsay after devouring our waffle was, “Wafels and Dinges, please come home to Boston with me.”
It started to snow post-bagel, which was lucky for us because we were heading to the MET. I could have spent all day in there. The museum was enormous, and the galleries were so beautiful. After the museum, we found our appetite and were craving hot dogs. We, foolishly, skipped the street vendors and sought out a placed called Papaya King in Yorkville. It was quite a disappointment. The hot dogs were nothing to write home about. The drinks they served should be outlawed! And that’s all I’ll say about Papaya King.
We did a lot of walking, and our shoes were starting to make our feet very unhappy. We stopped by a nearby Crocs store and got us some freakishly comfy and stylish footwear. Who knew Crocs designed such cute shoes??
The little piece of Central Park that we visited was so lovely, and I can only imagine how beautiful it gets when everything is a little more green. We also made it to Rockefeller Center and Grand Central Terminal that day. We were only there for a short time, but it was a lot of fun to see.
NY in two days can be done. We prioritized and planned, spending little time at places we weren’t super excited about. We got to try lots of food by sampling and eating lots of small meals rather than a few big ones. Karl and I kept asking ourselves if we’d want to live in NY for a few years. The answer is unclear, but we’ll certainly be back for bagels, wafels and dinges, cronuts, and pizza.