Thursday, August 21, 2014

New York City :: Day 5

Krista had the day off my last day in New York. We decided to sleep in and then head downtown for brunch. We went to Crema, which apparently has a great brunch special on the weekends. Since it was a Wednesday, we got no such deal, but it was still good!

Our big activity for the day was to take the Staten Island Ferry right by the Statue of Liberty. My friend told me to do this instead of going to Ellis Island with the rest of the tourists. It's free and we got close enough for me!

We asked this random guy to take a picture for us with my DSLR and I seriously thought he was going to throw my camera into the ocean. He held the camera over his head to take the picture. I guess he thought we wanted the skyline more than us or something.

Lower Manhattan

The same guy offered to take a picture of us in front of the Statue of the Liberty. Why, oh why, did I say yes? He kept saying he statue was blurry. Oy.

There she is! Lady Liberty!

Since it was my last day, I had a few things on my list of possibilities. One of them was High Line Park in Chelsea. The park used to be a section of elevated railroad, but it's now an areal greenway. It was gorgeous. If I lived in New York City, I would be there all the time to read and sunbathe! I loved it!

We hung out there and relaxed for a while. It was one of my favorite things in the city!

For dinner, we went back to St. Mark's Place to Papaya King. It is not to be missed! I heard of it on How I Met Your Mother first, but then I was told it was the best hot dog in the city. We both got the meal deal: two hot dogs, a side, and a soda. Since I changed my mind from tater tots to curly fries at the last minute, we got the tater tots free. Now that's the dream! The hot dogs were delicious and the curly fries were to die for.

We headed to the East Village for trivia at Dempsey's, where Krista plays sometimes with friends. We didn't do very well, but I'm always down for trivia. And I like to see how different games run, compared to the one I do in town.

The next morning, I had to wake up at 3:15 to catch the bus to go to the airport. Once I got to the airport, I realized I had read my flight itinerary incorrectly. I thought my flight out was at 6:12, but my flight landed in NYC at 6:12. So I was off by about 45 minutes. Which means I could have woken up at 4:00AM instead. But I did see an airport worker on the bus watching porn very indiscreetly, so there's that.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

New York City :: Day 4

For my last full day in NYC on my own, I decided to see SoHo and the Financial District. I took the subway to Houston and then got off to walk around and hopefully find somewhere to have lunch.

While I was looking for places to eat, I stumbled upon Laduree in SoHo and decided to stop in to get my sister a half dozen of macarons. This location had a restaurant in it as well and I just loved the table settings!

I walked around SoHo for a while (and found Georgetown Cupcakes, but I'm convinced Sprinkles is better). I really liked SoHo. It was a lot more quiet than the other parts of town I had been in, and I loved the cobblestone roads. I also went into Dash, the Kardashian's boutique, and I couldn't believe the prices! Yikes!

Instead of having lunch in SoHo, I ended up back at the pizza place where Krista grabbed some food a few nights earlier, 2 Bro's Pizza, on St. Mark's Place. Oh my gosh, this pizza was delicious. And the whole lunch only cost $2.75!

I headed downtown to the Financial District after I ate. One of the things on my list to see was the bull statue. I wanted to just get a picture of the bull, but it was swarming with foreign tourists and as soon as one would walk away from their photo op, more would jump in. I figured the only way to get a picture of it was to be in it. So here I am!

I wanted to see Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange. Whenever I think of Wall Street, I can't help but think of Inside Man.

I sat on the steps of Federal Hall just to people watch for a while. I swear this kid (I say kid, he was probably around my age) was about to propose to his girlfriend. He was holding a Tiffany's box, wearing a suit, and kept looking at his watch. I can't believe I didn't stay to watch.

My phone battery was awfully low again (thanks Maps!), so I decided to hang out in the cafe at Equinox Gym on Wall Street to charge my phone. That made some interesting people watching. And I obviously passed the time with Snapchat. This snap has to be my best yet! (My friend Kris is trying to convince me to make the switch to the iPhone.)

I walked a few blocks to visit the World Trade Center Memorial. I wasn't sure if I wanted to go there. I had been to Ground Zero in 2008 and it still looked like a mess. All we saw were plans for the memorial and the museum. But I decided it was worth seeing the progress they've made. The place was incredibly crowded, and I hate to admit that some of the tourists were being anything but respectful. Seriously, can we not take smiling selfies here?

This is one of my favorite pictures from the trip. It's Freedom Tower (the new 1 WTC) reflecting in the museum of the old World Trade Center and the 9/11 attacks. I wanted to go into the museum, but the line was long to get in and it was $24 to enter. I just didn't have enough time.

I hung out around City Hall Park until I had to meet Krista for our evening adventures. Funny story: I watched Hitch on Netflix the day I got back from NYC and after Hitch has an allergic reaction, they walk through this park!

This was easily my favorite subway stop. It's not hard to pick since most of them are tucked away on street corners and dingy and hot and smelly, but this one outside City Hall was gorgeous! I love the subway tile all over the ceiling.

Krista and I met outside the subway station to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. (It was literally right there.) It ended up being perfect timing because the sun started to set behind Manhattan as we walked toward Brooklyn.

By the way, the bridge is about 1.1 miles long. Fun fact!

 This might be my favorite picture of the trip.

Or maybe this one. Krista and I kept joking about how romantic the whole thing was.

Once we got to Brooklyn, we immediately hopped on the subway to go back to Manhattan. We decided to go to Little Italy for dinner. (Seriously, get me and Krista together and pasta is the only option.) We had dinner at Caffe Napoli and it was amazing. I had the mushroom ravoli and we sat on the street. Again, so romantic. Ha!

We walked around a Christmas shop across the street after we ate. And no trip to Little Italy is complete without some gelato. Yum!

Monday, August 18, 2014

New York City :: Day 3

Day 3 in New York City, once again, got off to a late start. I decided to take the subway back to the same stop on the Upper West Side and find somewhere to have brunch. I was really craving waffles.

I ended up finding Sarabeth's on my phone and when I saw they had these lemon ricotta pancakes, I was sold. They were the best pancakes of my life and the mimosa actually came with refills! Woohoo! I just wish I hadn't ordered a side of potatoes ($7 later) because I wasn't even hungry after I finished the pancakes and no side of potatoes is worth that much! Sheesh!

After brunch, I walked through the park (and of course picked the path that's actually a street and was the only moron walking on that sidewalk) and then went to the Met. I'll admit, part of the draw was the steps (thanks, Blair Waldorf), but there was construction outside and it didn't make for a very good picture. Anyway, I wandered around for a few hours and it wasn't even close to enough time!

After walking around for a while, I sat down on a bench and a family just walked by me and the mom said, "Who paints ballerinas and horses? Does anybody know?" The little boy said, "Ooh, it's the old guy! That really, really old guy!" I just thought that was hysterical.

I wish you could see just how big this painting was. It seemed to be the star of the American wing.

I heard there was a bar on top of the Met, but that you needed to purchase admission to get up to the roof. Since I had already been inside the museum, I decided to go up to the roof, but the bar was way out of my price range. I just enjoyed the scenery instead.

Funny story, I offered to take a picture for a woman and her daughter and the woman offered to take a picture for me. She did, but the angle was awful. I waited a bit and then asked another woman to take my picture and it was somehow even worse. After a while, a girl about my age came up and asked if I could take a picture of her and said, "I'll just set it to square so I can upload it to Instagram right away." I asked her to take a picture for me and it finally turned out! Ha! 

After I left the Met, I walked to Starbucks to charge my phone for a while. Then I took the subway to Sprinkles again. I ended up getting another four red velvet cupcakes and I thought this zebra print wallpaper was the perfect opportunity for a photo op.

After I purchased my cupcakes, I had to get to the Upper West Side and I had about 45 minutes to get there. I asked the girl at Sprinkles the fastest way to get there and made it in the nick of time. I had registered for the 5:30 class at SoulCycle and I couldn't have been more excited to take class!

The class was seriously amazing, but you can read all about it on the link above. I wish SoulCycle would come to Colorado!

After class, (when I was sweaty and disgusting), I met my cousin for dinner at La Cocina Economica on the Upper West Side. I had a steak burrito and it was a little similar to Chipotle, but it was literally the best burrito I've ever had in my life!

I really enjoyed catching up with my cousin Brittany, who I hadn't seen in about 2 years. It was so great to see her and especially over a delicious dinner! Krista met us at the restaurant and then she and I went back to her apartment and called it a night. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

New York City :: Day 2

My second day in New York City got off to a late start. But hey, who needs to set an alarm on vacation? Krista went into work, so I set out to explore the city on my own. I really wanted a bagel with lox, but I had registered for a class at Physique 57 on the Upper West Side and wanted to be sure I found it with no problem first. I took the subway with no problem, then used my phone to find a bagel place nearby. I sat in Verdi Square eating my breakfast (okay, lunch) and people watching. (I got a bagel at 72nd Street Bagels.)

As I was walking back, a woman asked me how to get to Columbus St. and I gave her correct directions. Score! She thought I was a New Yorker!

The whole time I was staring at this building thinking about how beautiful it was, and that ended up being the building were Physique 57 was! I discovered this after I had walked up and down Amsterdam for a while. And I was still about 30 minutes early to class.

Seriously, this building was amazing. I sent my friend this picture and it just took her right back to her days in NYC.

After class, I met Karen back at Verdi Square and then we set out to find somewhere to grab a drink (or two). We stumbled upon Josie's and ended up just sitting by the window talking for forever! Karen lives in Georgia, but we just happened to be in NYC at the same time and we had to meet up! It was my third blate ever and it was a blast. 

Karen and I have been following each other for a while now and it was so great to finally meet her!!

Sunshine on the Upper West Side.

I had heard about Strawberry Fields before, but I wasn't sure where it was. I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled upon it right away. The flowers on it were beautiful and the pigeon in the corner hung around for a long time. I'm glad I saw this.

Central Park.

 More Central Park.

I discovered a good way to have my picture taken was to ask people if they wanted me to take their picture. I didn't do this on purpose, but the poor girls were trying to take a selfie with a DSLR and I wasn't going to turn down proof that I was actually on my own trip!

I felt like I was in a movie walking down this path. I've seen so many scenes that were filmed here.

It was seriously such a beautiful day in the city (and it was never as hot as I thought it was going to be). I ended up walking the whole length of Central Park.

That'll say "...with Stephen Colbert" soon and I can't decide how I feel about that.

I kept walking for a bit longer (and wasted another $7 buying the worst strawberry milkshake of my life), but then I ended up in Times Square. I pride myself on having figured out the subway system during my trip. Or at least enough to get where I wanted to go (for the most part). But once I saw Times Square, I started to panic. I didn't want to be around that many people and Times Square is the worst part of the city. So I ended up taking a $12 cab from about 50th and Broadway to 14th and Broadway. Little did I know, the station I needed was on 42nd St. and there was a station at 49th St. Oh well, live and learn. 

Anyway, I went to The Strand, the bookstore where Krista used to work. I ended up walking a few blocks to go to dinner. I wanted sushi and found a place on my phone, but discovered there was a whole block full of sushi places. Anyway, I ended up at Sharaku and I think I chose well. They were playing Beyonce the entire time.

After Krista got off work, we walked around for a bit and ended up at The Grassroots, a place she frequents with her former coworkers. We each had a Strongbow and listened to some live music before calling it a night and taking the subway back to her apartment.