Thursday, May 24, 2012

rewind: new yaaaawk

Not many places capture my heart the way New York does. Every time I visit, I fall more and more in love with that city. As I have mentioned, I recently planned a quick trip to NYC to visit my friend Katharine. She lives in Brooklyn and works in Manhattan, and as luck would have it, my trip coincided with her birthday celebration. Below you'll find a recap of our weekend. Unfortunately, this post is a little light on pictures- I didn't do my best at remembering to take pictures and several places we visited did not allow pictures at all. You'll just have to take my word for it that it was a fabulous trip!

I arrived in the city Friday afternoon around 3pm and grabbed a cab to Kat's apartment. She lives on such a cute and charming little street in Brooklyn. I got settled in and we did a little catching up before we headed out the door, bound for Manhattan. Knowing my obsession with the 50 Shades books, Katharine had planned a little surprise outing before dinner. We met up with a couple of other girls (also fans of the books), and attended what we will just call a 50 Shades-themed cocktail party. Further details on the blog might be unbecoming, but it was definitely a fun (and interesting) experience.

Cocktail Party - the sole picture

Next, Kat, the girls, and I headed to Cafeteria for our dinner reservations. I love this place- it's so young and hip and quite the celebrity hotspot. In fact, an episode of Sex & the City was filmed there once. And can we talk about the mac and cheese spring rolls?? This appetizer is served with a smoked gouda dip and Comfort food heaven. The parmesan truffle fries are also to die for. And don't miss out on the Prickly Pear Champagne Mojito - great girl cocktail!

After dinner, Katharine and I had tickets for Sleep No More. This was an experience like no other. How do I even describe it? Essentially, you and the rest of the "audience" are in the show/play. You wander throughout a hotel with 5 or 6 floors and witness various scenes that are loosely based on "Macbeth". Now, I'll be honest- the concept itself was very cool, but I found the actual scenes a little strange and couldn't quite connect how many of them related to "Macbeth". While some rooms had actors carrying out scenes, other rooms were just "sets" filled with props. Audience members were free to wander around, open up drawers, look in closests, pull back bed sheets, and essentially touch anything they wanted. When you first entered the hotel, you began your journey on an elevator. They encouraged people to split up and experience the journey alone, so the elevator conductor made sure to sneakily let me off on a different floor than Katharine without us realizing it. We both followed different actors and gathered pieces of the story, until we eventually stumbled upon one another in a random room. Once you followed a few different actors and learned their story, some things started to click and scenes started to fit into a story. I think a person would benefit from going back more than once to fully see everything and understand the entire story. While a little strange (and a little disturbing at times), it was a very unique and cool concept and a great experience.

All guests were required to be masked for the duration of "Sleep No More".

Saturday morning, we slept in a bit then picked up a delicious bagel from a deli near Kat's apartment. We enjoyed our bagels beside the water with a gorgeous view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the city skyline. After breakfast we had tickets to a Brooklyn Heights home tour. The tour was made up of five houses, and it was so interesting and fun to see how each home was laid out. It never ceases to amaze me how different homes are there versus here in Alabama. I loved elements of each home, but my favorite was one with breathtaking views of Manhattan. As we roamed the streets, I thought it was so cute to see families having "stoop sales" instead of "yard sales". Unfortunately, the Brooklyn Heights home that Sarah Jessica Parker just bought was NOT on the tour, but we did do a little street-stalking.

After the tour, we explored DUMBO (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass). This area has a lovely park (complete with a beautifully refurbished carousel) and so many cute shops and restaurants. According to Kat, DUMBO is becoming so hip that Ann Hathaway recently purchased a place in the area. After a full day of walking, we decided that a margarita was in order. We found a cute little Mexican restaurant called Pedro's and recharged our batteries with margs and gaucamole.

After freshening up at the apartment, we met several other girls for a dinner reservation at Park Avenue Spring to celebrate Katharine's birthday. I have wanted to dine here for so long- talk about breaktaking ambiance! The restaurant not only changes its menu with the seasons, it completely changes the decor as well. It closes down for about a day and a half at the end of every season to revamp and reopen. The spring decor only lasts a little longer (until the first of June I believe), and then the restaurant will shut down for its summer transition. Katharine and I shared the escargot and gnocchi appetizer, and then I had the Halibut with Black Truffles for dinner. Absolutely divine! For dessert the table shared a Goat Cheese Progression and the Birthday Girl's Chocolate Cube. No doubt- the cube was everyone's favorite! However, my favorite part of the dining experience was my before-dinner cocktail called the One in Ten. It was a gin and tonic based drink infused with Shishito peppers,which created the perfect amount of spice. So good!

The Birthday Girl and Me with the Chocolate Cube

After dinner, we hit a couple of bars, and I had the pleasure of trying a Basil Tomato Martini at one place. Without a doubt, we had a fun night on the town celebrating the birthday girl!

Again on Sunday we slept in, then eventually hopped on the subway for brunch in the city at The Dutch. There's nothing like a good bloody mary and a mushroom frittata to start the day. After a leisurely brunch, we spent most of the day shopping in Manhattan. Doesn't get much more fun than that! I loved Chelsea Market - reminded me so much of The Ferry Market Building in San Fran. There were tons little shops and lots of gourmet foods and pastry items. We also walked The High Line, which I had never done before. Just as the sun was setting, we headed over to The Frying Pan to unwind and have a beer. This is a seasonal outdoor bar located at Chelsea Pier. The boats and water make the location very scenic, and Coney Island Mermaid Pilsner can't be beat!

The K's need to step it up. We went in so many stores that had things 10x cuter than Dash.

This cookie shop in Chelsea Market even made Hunger Games cookies for the big premiere!

High Line

Frying Pan

After a full day of shopping we had worked up an appetite. Our next stop was Taka Taka for dinner. This place combines two of my favorite things- Sushi and Mexican food! Sound strange? Take it from me- delish! And the coolest part, you got to select your food from a conveyer belt! You can pick something from the menu that sounds good (each item is numbered) and then look for that number to come around on the conveyer belt. I can't tell you how many times something "sounded" good (especially sushi), and then when it came out and I actually saw it- gross. This way you can read the description and actually see what your food will look like. It was a lot of fun and really yummy!

That about sums up my visit to the Big Apple! Katharine was a wonderful hostess, and the trip was over entirely too fast. Aready ready to return!


Mallory said...

have i mentioned that i am often jealous of your life? let's trade lives for a day. we both have brown one will notice.

Dee {Strings and Buttons} said...

My husband and I took our engagement pictures in (or under should I say) DUMBO. They turned out gorgeous and we got to see a wedding ceremony take place! There is something about NYC that makes me happy. Such a hip, happening city. Visited so many times but still have yet to see. Glad you enjoyed it! Have a great long weekend! x