Sunday, March 4, 2012

New York

Back in early February my brother and I went up to NYC to visit my cousin, who has recently moved to Brooklyn.  We had a marvelous time!!!  Alex and I rode the train up, which is a wonderful way to travel to NYC, and drops you right in the heart of Manhattan next to the subway.  Luckily, my brother is gallant and he maneuvered my suitcase and let me handle his.
We made our way over to Brooklyn and to Brooke's new digs--so cute!
 Brooke lives in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn, which is charming.  There is a great neighborhood feel, coffee shops, families walking around--and a short subway ride away from Manhattan.
Brooke was wrapping up some work stuff, so Alex and I wandered around her neighborhood and ended up grabbing a drink at this neat little bar called Oak and Iron. It had a juke box that we could play for free, so that allowed for some nice entertainment before we headed back to Brooke's apartment to get ready for the evening ahead.

 We started off our first evening in NYC at Mexican place!  It is called Barrio Chino and we ordered jalapeno margaritas to go along with our homemade guacamole and tortilla chips--absolutely delicious!

For the main course, Brooke and I split the vegetarian Enchiladas Verde--everything was great!  After our super yummy dinner, we went to an event at the old Woolworth's Building (amazing architecture and beautiful on the inside) that was sponsored by Bushmill's Whiskey.
Elijah Wood was on hand to DJ--a fun time was pretty much had by all.  If the only thing being served is whiskey...then there are going to be some fun and happy people; they might not be able to walk or talk in complete sentences by the end of the night, but they will be happy.

This is the best shot I could get of Elijah playing some tunes.
You might think that we would call it a night after this, no way Jose, we went to meet some more of Brooke's friends at another quite swanky bar (I can't tell you the name, have not the foggiest).  At the end of the night in the cab on the way home, I apparently insulted one of Brooke's friends by referring to him as a hipster--I had no idea that this would be an insult.  I thought that people who were into indie music, wore tight jeans, had thick rimmed glasses, wore sneakers, were into creativity, art appreciation, witty banter, and progressive politics go into the "hipster" category and did not know that it would be considered an insult; did anyone else know that if you called someone a hipster it was an insult??  I apologized profusely for insulting him, letting him know that it was my ignorance. Ah well, something learned, for sure.

The next day, we went to an amazing little place called Du Mont for some post-whiskey cheeseburgers and french fries.  I had mine sans bun, it was just as delicious.  I LOVE a good cheeseburger--nothing like it.
After getting some sustenance, Alex and I headed over to Rockefeller Center for the NBC Studios tour--it was really cool.  We were able to see Dr. Oz's set and the Saturday Night Live set, where they were actually rehearsing for that upcoming show!  Very cool.  If you are in New York and looking to do some touristy things, this is a really cool thing to check out.
We couldn't take pictures inside on the tour, but Alex and I got some good ones outside.

 We even got to pose with Matt Lauer...

And Alex got to pose with a few Smurfs...
Anyway...we then went to the Top of the Rock, it was right at sunset so we got some pretty amazing views.  Another great thing to do if you are in New York.

Then we headed back to relax before our dinner reservation (are you noticing a theme  We went to Bobby Flay's restaurant Mesa Grill.  I had been there several years ago when I had come to NYC with my Mom and was thrilled to go again--it was amazing!  My Mom and Dad generously paid for us to enjoy this yummy meal.
We started with a margarita and appetizers, then had a delightful dinner, followed by dessert.  We were there for NYC Restaurant Week, (good timing right?) so we got a three course dinner!


Then we went home and went to bed :)

The next day, Alex and I headed to Chinatown, which is always an experience.  We went to the one of the Dueling Indian restaurants--so good and the cheapest meal we ate all week at $6 for appetizer, soup, entree, and dessert.  The interior was decked with lights of every possible concoction and draped down low.  It was truly a sight to behold; not sure I would copy that particular design technique in my home however...

 Here are some scenes from our walk from Chinatown to the Indian restaurants:
 A Dalmatian wandering around outside of a...firehouse.
A colorful trio of apartment buildings and fire escapes.

After fortifying on Indian fare, we headed to the Financial District and walked around the 9-11 Monument (though we couldn't see anything as you need tickets to go in and there is a lot of construction going on), and hit up Century 21 for some deals.

After our sightseeing, we went back to Brooklyn and I went to Ikea with Brooke (somewhat of a hellish experience I have to say) and Alex went to watch the Tar Heels with some of his friends who live in NY now.  We met back up for dinner at this great Italian restaurant in Brooklyn called Caselnova.  They had a ton of gluten-free options (which is why I wanted to check it out) and it was great!  We met up with some of our other cousins, Rachel and Erin, and had a blast catching up with them.
 After dinner we headed to a Beer Garden before heading home.  It was a great last night!

  The next morning Alex and I got up and hit the road--driving the Tahoe back to Virginia.  Not a bad trip, pretty much interstate the  entire time.  Alex did a great  job driving and we had plenty of Starbucks breaks along the way.

It was such a great trip, I loved spending so much time with my cousin and brother, seeing the sights of New York, and eating some amazing food!  New York is one of my favorite cities--I hope Brooke lets me come visit again!