We did it. We got away for three whole days and took New York by storm. Or maybe not by storm, by sun. It was briefly overcast when we first got there, but the Midwestern sun and warmth caught back up to us after a few hours and it was gorgeous all weekend. Here are my partners in crime – my mother-in-law and sister-in-law.
My MIL wanted to go back to New York this year after a visit last year over Thanksgiving. My FIL did NOT wish to go back, so he called up his two DIL’s and offered to send us along with his wife. “Hmmm… let me check my calendar. A free three day weekend in New York City? I think I can make some room.” Yes, it was a no brainer. And we had a blast.
We spent our first afternoon in Manhattan, and shopped and walked and wandered our way up through Central Park and then back down to the hotel which was located in the Theatre District.
We cleaned up and headed out for a nine o’clock dinner at The Fat Radish on the Lower East Side. I did not take the picture below (it’s from their website). The place was bustling when we got there, and stayed that way. They pack you in. It’s a gorgeous space and you’ve got to like your veggies – but if you do, oh, you are so in luck. I had grilled scallops on a bed of sauteed mustard greens over a beet and sweet potato mash with some sort of ridiculously good cream swirled through it. We split the roasted banana pound cake desert. Yum, all around. Highly recommended. (It was recommended to us, and since we had such great luck we kept taking our recommendations seriously!)
We got up Sunday morning and headed down to see the 9/11 memorial in progress. The sun was out and it was a nice walk from the Subway over to the site. We had passes and only waited in line for maybe half an hour.
It’s still a mess down there – but the Memorial site looked good. There were hotels with lobbies stripped of flooring and giant tubes of water extractors and fans everywhere. What a royal mess.
We spent about an hour there, and then tried to navigate back over to the subway station – there is so much construction going on down there that it’s not as easy in person as it looks on the map. We did walk down to the waterfront and saw the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, and then we headed north a few blocks and caught the train to Brooklyn.
We hit up this tiny little brunch spot in Prospect Heights called The Spot, and we waited about an hour for a seat. It was really beautiful, and we got some good people watching in. Only one celebrity sighting (we were hoping for Michele Williams) but instead we got Jimmy McMillan. Remember him? From “The Rent is Too Damn High Party“?
Kenan Thompson did a superb impression of him on SNL a few years back – clip is here. So no Michele Williams, but at least we got a good laugh in while we waited for a table.
Speaking of high rent – man oh man. We strolled through Prospect Heights and over to Park Slope after brunch and ogled the buildings. Then we saw some real estate listings in an office window and saw that one of those basement apartments (1 bed / 1 bath) might go for $5500 a month. Yikes. Maybe Jimmy McMillan is onto something. Still, what a place.
5th Avenue in Park Slope is a great place to get some good shopping done – lots of trendy little boutiques and shops and bars and restaurants and parks. We really liked Habit, and Cog and Pearl, an Pink Olive. We slowly filled our arms with craft paper brown bags with hand stamps on them (apparently that’s the only way to wrap up gifts in Brooklyn), and we stopped for a nice pint and a handmade ice cream sandwich at Bierkraft. We resisted the sandwiches there, but they looked amazing. Don’t resist the cheese plate, trust me on that one.
We dined at another great recommend spot in TriBeCa – Locanda Verde – on Sunday night at 10. Yum. I ordered the housemade pumpkin pasta and it was delicious. So was our crostini and herbed ricotta spread, and our salads. We left some food on the table, but not much. We did our best. We split a maple flan with an apple cranberry relish and cranberry sorbet plus candied pecans for desert. It was like eating fall on a stick. Or a plate, I guess. And then we admired the scent of the soap in the ladies restroom because we’re weird like that. More house drooling – here it was large loft spaces with their lights on. Another neighborhood we could move into.
Back in Manhattan on Monday we decided to stroll up Madison Avenue in the morning and
walk gawk around the Upper East Side. It is seriously gorgeous up there – tree lined streets with incredible homes and Central Park and all the museums and shops. Needless to say, there were no real estate postings in windows there. But lots of nannies and dogwalkers and stroller and leashes.
We grabbed the subway and headed south to Soho and picked up some lunch – sushi and sandwiches – at Dean & Deluca, because yes, we are tourists and we aren’t ashamed. I date myself when I say that I watched all four seasons of Felicity religiously, but no Kerri Russell sightings in there either. We wandered the streets of Soho and bopped in and out of stores. And yes, we could live there as well.
We headed back uptown for a bit, and then picked up our bags and headed out to the airport – just in time for the fog and weather to roll in and keep us on the ground a little longer. But unlike my ghastly luck with Delta and broken planes this summer, this time around on American I had mechanical issues on both flights that were resolved in under thirty minutes each. Monday night was a late night, but M arrived at the curb to pick me up with two pajama-ed girls who were very happy to see mom and hear all about my adventures. They had their fair share of adventures which I’ll post about soon – along with my shopping finds, so stay tuned.