Saturday, November 26, 2011

NYC part 4: Saturday

 Yeah, I'm still not done writing about my New York weekend.  I know, you're over it.  You read about the Chocolate Show.  The rest is just touristy, it's true.  But I'm still gonna write it.

Saturday we had every intention of heading downtown to Doughnut Plant for breakfast.  Wouldn't you like to start your day with a creme brulee or coconut cream doughnut?  This place has been on my list to try since before I lived in New York (that's 7 years ago), ever since I saw them on the Food Network making rose petal glazed doughnuts for Valentine's Day.  I lived in Brooklyn for 3 years, and do you think I ever made it there?  (It's harder than you'd think.) 

So we started walking the block-and-a-half to the 7 train, but the the subway entrance was closed.  Which meant we had to walk another block-and-a-half to Grand Central subway station to catch a 6 train.  No biggie.  But that also meant we had to cross Lexington Avenue, which when we did, we saw this.

"What's going on?" we wondered.  We decided to walk north a bit and find out.  And would you believe, it was an honest-to-goodness street fair.  Two blocks from our hotel.  And we almost missed it.  But we didn't.  Going to a street fair is something else that was always on my list, but never happened when I lived there.  They go on from about May to November, a different location in the city each weekend.  It's a lot of cheap stuff, but some great stuff too, that you can't really find anywhere else.  So we walked and shopped and shopped and walked. 
 Then we remembered we were hungry. And there was a crepe stand.  So Doughnut Plant will have to wait, because we couldn't. 
 Nice choice, Juli, getting strawberries and Nutella.  But I got banana and Nutella, and that's awfullly hard to beat. 
 So what did we buy?  Oh, who can remember it all?  I got some hair thingies - a cute lady with gorgeous long hair showed me how to do my hair up in a fancy chopstick.  She let me film her on my phone so I could practice at home, but I had to promise not to film her face or put her on YouTube, so I guess I won't put her on here...but it was cool!  She did my hair for me nice and tight, so I know it can be done...but strangely I haven't been able to do it like her since I got back.  I think the street fair was magic.

We also got gifts for the kids.  It was the perfect place for gifts.  Juli got her daughter a stinkin' cute tiger winter hat.  I got my girls pretty cloth scarves - they love to borrow mine - and were they the HIT when I got home!  Ginger has worn hers to school every day.  And...some other cool stuff. 

So, only a few blocks from the hotel, we were already heavy laden so we made a quick dash back to drop off our stuff.  But only after popping into the Gap, which was also on the way, and which had an irresistible window display we had walked past a hundred times by now.  Which contained this - did I mention irresistible? - kids' skirt.  Which I went ahead and got for Ginger's birthday.  And a shirt to match. Who can resist this?!

And here's the Chrysler Building in the daytime.  Reminds me of The Fountainhead.  Just love it.  

Moving on.  Shopping is very tiresome, but we pressed on into what turned out to be an amazingly gorgeous day.  Since we were sore and blistered from Friday, we figured, let's walk the mile-plus across the Brooklyn Bridge!  Despite our ailments, it was a great idea to get some sunshine and views.  

 So one of our reasons to walk to Brooklyn was for Grimaldi's extremely famous coal-brick oven pizza.  When we got there it was about 2pm on a Saturday.  And the line outside was down the block, about a 1 1/2 hour wait.  So...our official story is that we came that far, and had that good pizza.  An alternative possibility is that the line at an inferior pizza place around the corner was much shorter, and we wanted to make the most of our last day in New York, so we didn't and said we did, so to speak.  Either way, we had great New York style pizza.
What was next?  Central Park of course.  Because it's so close to Brooklyn.  And because it's so amazing, and it's fall, and Juli wanted to see it.  She realized quickly the scope of the park, something that's almost impossible to imagine until you see just how big it is.  We got there just at dusk, and walked and talked until it was dark.  It reminded me of Time and Again.  If you like New York, or history, or time travel books, I highly recommend it. 

A sidenote: On Thursday, Juli immediately observed everyone in NY wears black.  I hadn't noticed, but it was true, as evidenced in this photo.  Didn't stop Juli from wearing her lime green trench, or me from my purple fleece...mostly because those were the only jackets we'd brought.
 By now it was about 5pm and we weren't hungry for dinner yet, so we chose to kill some time at the Empire State Building.  And here's what I have to say about that.  It is incredible, it is beautiful, and I'm so glad to have seen the view at night.  It is also one of the worst tourist traps I've ever visited...and, being from D.C., that is saying something.  Just know, if you ever go, it is not like in Sleepless in Seattle.  Enter, go up an escalator, wait in line to go through security, wait in line to get tickets (and they ain't cheap - and the "laminated" souvenir map ain't laminated), wait in line for the first elevator.  Go up to the 80th floor, wait in line for the second elevator.  Finally come out at the 86th floor observatory, which has an indoor enclosed area and and outdoor observatory like in Sleepless but much more narrow and crowded.  And breezy!  It was the first time all trip I was actually cold. Good thing I had my new scarf from the street fair, how do you like it?
But like I said, the views were spectacular. 

 Then when you're done, you guessed it, you wait in line for the first elevator, get down to the 80th floor, where the only way to get to the next elevator is through the gift shop, wait in line again, then finally get down to ground level and taste your freedom again.  Beginning to end it took us almost 3 hours, and the crowd wasn't even that bad. 

Time for dinner!  This time we did make it to Baluchi's and Juli was kind enough to let me order all my old favorites - samosas, naan, raita, lamb rogan josh and chicken korma.  Everything was as good as ever - love that place!

But for dessert, and as punctuation to our entire escapade, we needed something extremely special.  No Paris Baguette, definitely no Crumbs.  What we needed was the BEST dessert New York had to offer.  Luckily, Brian had already told us where that was. 

Kyotofu is a cute-but-chic little Japanese dessert bar & bakery in the hoppin' Hell's Kitchen district.  And it makes a Chocolate Souffle cupcake that New York Magazine voted the best in the city.  Awfully surprising for something made with white miso, Japanese bread flour and tofu...and not even frosted!

But when we got there, the menu had other enticings as well.  We actually ordered the fresh ginger crème brûlée with green apple sorbet and vanilla bean tuile (and something purpley-black and crunchy on top, very delicious.)  Amazing.  Fabulous.  And we got a couple cupcakes to go.

Saturday ended with our great feat of hailing a cab...on a very busy taxi night, no less.  After having several stolen from us, and the last from some very cute girls in short skirts, we got aggressive, and slunk exhausted into the back seat for a rather harrowing, but, in the end, safe ride back to the Hilton.

We stayed up late packing, a little depressed to be leaving.  But even well-fed, chocolate-filled, sites-and-sounds intensive, perfect-weather, seriously-perfect weekends in New York have to come to an end.  

Next post:  we head home; Disco Mom reflects.

1 comment:

tona said...

PS I LOVE the new header!!

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