Saturday, September 10, 2011

New York: earthquakes, hurricanes and amazing food

One week ago today I got back from my trip to New York and I've had a hard time thinking of anything else since getting back. Routine life feels just a little duller. It's a beautiful, stunning city that's vibrant and full of culture and activity. The buildings are iconic and the cityscape is so much more breathtaking than I had imagined. I felt so blessed to walk down the streets and be part of the city if only for a while.

In case the city wasn't exciting enough, there was both an earthquake and a hurricane while I was there. Being from the west coast, the earthquake wasn't anything new and actually I didn't feel it. I was walking through Chinatown where the sidewalks are uneven and the ground rumbles from the subway below. People around me felt it but there were too many new things competing for my attention for me to notice. The hurricane however, was harder to miss. The subway system shut down, my flight to Toronto was cancelled and there was palpable concern in the air. But in between natural disasters, I did as much as I could and had some amazing meals along the way...

Mario Batali's restaurant in Greenwich Village was amazing. It's in an old carriage house bordering the village and residences. Trying not to be intimidated, I sat at the bar and enjoyed a spectacular dish of Pappardelle Bolognese with a glass of red wine and Warm Cherry Cake “Sottosopra” for dessert. It was by far one of the best meal's I've had.

A charming yet modern burger and shake joint that's suspended within the city at Battery Park. The menu includes burgers, hot dogs, shakes and frozen custard - all with a local, urbanly hip twist. The order line-up was an hour long but well worth it: a tasty little meal in the park, the chance to rest my feet and the people watching! I had a chocolate shake and the Second City Bird Dog, which comes with relish, onion, cucumber, pickle, tomato, banana peppers, celery salt and mustard.

While my sister tipped me off to Eataly before my trip, I ended up coming across it quite by accident (while on my way to check out the Chelesa Hotel). Eatlay is one the largest artisan Italian food and wine marketplace in the world. I wandered the store wide-eyed and literally drooling checking out all the sauces, olive oils, dried goods and produce. Heaven! They even had the dried, sugar powdered cherries I've been looking for. They have an unusual taste to them, slightly sweet and highly addictive.

The Fairway Market on the upper west side is by far one of the best grocery shops I've been in. Huge sections dedicated to cheese, meats, olive oils and produce... and so many different tins of San Marzano tomatoes. More than once I seriously considered packing my suitcase full of them to bring back with me. On our last day in New York, my friends and I went straight for Fairways to pick up some groceries for a delicious little brunch in Central Park. One of the best things we did during our stay!

During my second day, I wandered down Central Park West, past the New York Athletic Club to Sixth Avenue and down to the great Rockefeller Centre. I'm a fan of the show 30 Rock so I was looking forward to seeing the plaza in person and taking the NBC studio tour, which is led by an NBC page. In between checking out 30 Rock and when the start of the tour, I went to a nearby bakery for a quick americano and croissant. The coffee was good and the croissant was even better but the simple awareness of where I was and taking it all in was a sublime feeling. I will go back!


Patricia said...

Very nice post. I live in So. California and I consider myself lucky if I get to NYC every 3 to 4 years. After reading your post and viewing your photos...I am ready to pack my bags!

Melody Wey said...

Thanks Patricia:) I will consider myself lucky if I get back there in the next 3-4 years too. I'd like to go back now to be honest. It's such a gorgeous city, I loved it.

Lorelei said...

Shoot, I gotta get myself there one of these years. Looks amazing, Save me one of those dried cherries for next time I see you! You've been talking about them since Italy so I'm dying to taste one!