And I promised myself I'd update along the way...

Trip Start Mar 19, 2008
Trip End Mar 29, 2008

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Flag of United States  , New York
Saturday, March 29, 2008

Ok, so much for updating along the way, New York is exciting 24/7 so I guess I didn't have the time. Anyway, I'm at JFK Airport, been here for half an hour, my flight's in 3 hours.... I got here early to say the least haha, and that's even with me having walked all the way from E 6th & 2nd Ave all the way to Grand Central! :) What can I say, I like my morning walks. (Oh wow, I just checked the weather, it's 34 degrees, probably was below freezing this morning.)

Ok, anyway, relatively abbreviated summaries of my days here:

Ok, there aren't that many pictures from this day, so I guess I ... went to Zabar's on the Upper West Side, did a ton of things all day long, got an H&H bagel? Yes? Yes, I think so. The fluffiest, most delicious everything bagel I've ever had, and steam came out of it when I bit into it. Yum. Then, "August: Osage County" matinée, it was the most amazing play ever!!! Three hours and 30 minutes (including intermission), and I enjoyed every minute of it. Honestly, it's my top recommendation of everything I saw all week. I wish I could convince you all to go, haha.

Dinner at 'Smac, good god, why don't I have a picture of my mac and cheese? This place brings tears to my eyes to remember, it was so delicious. Long story short: like 15 different types of mac and cheese, deliciiouusss, we shared a big veggie one. AAAH.

And then I walked around the city at night until my friends got out of RENT or wherever.

The Popover Café!!!! Now seems a good time to explain where I spent ALL my money on this trip. I ate well at every single meal. Honestly, I did good. I did spectacularly. It helped that my sidekicks, Stacy and Shaina, were also very into the spending money on food. Of all the lots of money I spent, literally every dollar was on food except for my broadway tix, a Zabar's mug I got myself (kinda food-ish!), and a surprise gift I got for my sister. I did not shop. I did not buy shotglasses. Even my souvenirs are food.

So, the Popover Café was my first ridiculous and wondrous breakfast. Popovers are basically like hollow brioches. We split a Popover vegetable sandwich/salad/hot mess, and a delicious Italian Flopover (omelette-ish). And latte's. :)

Stacy and I then sauntered across the Central Park to the Met (closed!), despaired not, and happened upon Vosges Haut Chocolat, a really fancy chocolate shop where we got overpriced "flutes" of aztec hot chocolate and talked with the really nice shopkeepers.

Then we took the subway to Ground Zero, walked around all the way down to Battery Park, and then came back to David's place in the East Village, making our first pit stop at Veniero's, one of the oldest pasticcerie (Italian bakeries) in the city. It was amazing. I had another sfogliatella (I love it!), and then we also split a chocolate and a plain cannoli.

Got an early start going to get tix for Spring Awakening, and then, breakfast at Good Enough to Eat. I got a delicious corned beef hash with perfect poached eggs, and all the food was great. Plus the decor was filled with COWS! (I thought of you, Gim Lei.)

After a walk through the Upper West Side and the park, we got to the Met again, which was now open. I won't waste your time talking about the Met, there's too much to say. I'll just say that this is definitely the trip in which I realized I really do love museums and art, and my museum visits really didn't feel like they came out of motives of a kind of "tourist obligation." Ah, the Met.

The evening was Spring Awakening. I wish I remembered where I ate dinner, I'm sure it was great.

I was freaking back at H&H Bagels, of course. Too good! Then, I guess I went off by myself and walked up from Chambers Street up through Little Italy. That was fun. (There are SO many Italians in New York. Not in Little Italy, EVERYWHERE. Honestly, it seemed at times that Italian was second to English.) I stopped at Ferrara's, the oldest pasticceria in the city, and got a Baba al rhum that I took with me to share with Shaina and Stacy. More on that later....

Then I went through SoHo, and stopped by Marie Belle's for another expensive but deliciousssss hot chocolate. I got the Panela, European Style. It was essentially molten chocolate in a little espresso cup, and it was really amazing.

Late lunch at Cafetasia near NYU!!! I got chicken and shrimp Shu Mai + Chicken Basil Udon, all for $7.50! Gotta love the lunch special. Such a freaking delicious meal.

Then, Shaina and Stacy and I went and took the Staten Island Ferry (free!! what?!?!) to enjoy the view and the ... wind. Haha, it was reallyyy fun though, and beautiful. Then we sat in Battery Park and ate the Baba al rhum. Or rather, tried to. Now, I knew what a baba al rhum is -- it's just like a little cake, soaked in rum. But the problem is, it wasn't soaked in rum. It was SOAKING sopping wet with rum. Shaina took a bite and thought she was going to throw up, Stacy optimistically said "I think I could try to like this!", and I was indignant, taking one burning bite, then deciding I would take another. Well, the second bite was too big. I couldn't swallow it for about 4 minutes. Every time I tried to bite it even, a tablespoon of rum would leak out. Oh my goodness, it was terrible, haha. Anyway, there's a video of THAT on facebook.

Was dinner tonight at Le Zie? I think so. Delicious Italian in Chelsea, I got "The Best Spaghetti and Meatballs in the City", and it was. :)

Breakfast ... somewhere... We met up with Shaina's friend, Jordan, who stayed for a day. We got tickets for the evening to A Chorus Line, and hmmm... I don't remember exactly what we did during the day. It involved going around Washington Square Park, and then we got pizza at some random place that was good and cheap. We met up with Jordan's friend from NYU who took us to the Earth Room, an environmental art piece. It was an entire, enormous room just filled up to the waist level with fresh, brown dirt. I wish I could have taken a picture!!

We did random stuff, then ended up at Saigon Grill for dinner. When we told them we were in a hurry, they seated us immediately, took our orders, and then honestly, within FOUR MINUTES of ordering they had our food ready. It was preposterous. And also, the best Vietnamese food I've ever had. Honestly, you'd have to taste it and experience that place to believe it.

"A Chorus Line" was hit and miss, but I really liked it a lot. It was their first experience with the show, so I guess that's sad that a few of the actors were pretty bad. For me, I was just really pleased with the ones who were good. The actor for Paul was amazing, so that made the show for me, and Diana (Natalie Cortez) was, haha, awesome.

Then, late night Magnolia Bakery, what could be better? Mmm, cupcakes. And we tried the banana pudding, too.

So, we woke up really late. We started the day off with lunch at Katz's Deli!!! I was really excited to go, it was like a pilgrimmage for me! Haha, to the oldest deli in New York. I got a really good pastrami sandwich (if you know me, then you know that that was basically the only option).

Then we walked the Brooklyn Bridge, there and back. Beautiful! :) After that, I went up to Zabar's and back down to Veniero's to get a few little gifts and thangs, and the 1 train broke down... Imagine 42nd Street-Times Square station, and then imagine the train resuming service. It was so packed, people were practically falling off the platform. When I got on a train, I ended up standing next to one of the cast members of Spring Awakening (just looked it up, it was Jonathan Wright), and unfortunately also these little teenage girls (with braces, too, how cliché!) who were ogling over him, asking him if he was in Spring Awakening, and then talking loudly about him... next to him.

Dinner at The Coffee Shop (Bar) on Union Square West. NOT a laid-back coffee shop!!! Actually, a hip bar and restaurant. I got a barbeque chicken sandwich with herb fries, and then split dessert with Shaina. Mmm, passionfruit crêpes!

One last night chilling in the NYU dorms, experiencing OFFICER MATTHEWS, the security guard at NYU/Palladium who I am actually going to file a complaint against. He made me want to cry, and I hate him, I mean strongly dislike him. Basically, he is an angry angry man, and yelled at me about my ID. Not my fault either, but hey, he's got to release his spite for the world upon someone.

Anyway, it was really nice to just hang out with David's NYU friends again, and when Shaina and I left we were both... really sad. They went off to a party in Brooklyn, and we went off to sleep before our flights.

So I'm here at JFK now. I got breakfast this morning at Bloom's Delicatessen, just another midtown deli, but also the first NY deli I ever ate at (and thus the site of my first egg cream).

I took the bus to the airport. A taxi would have cost $55. The bus costs $15 normally. But even better, I'd read online about a student discount that was very unpublicized. I asked for it.... and my ticket cost $8.50!!! Haha, ask and you shall receive!

So I'll be back in Cali tonight, sad to be leaving, but kind of excited to be home. And I know I'll be back in New York soon anyway. And in about 2 and a half years, I'll move here, so it's ok. I love you, New York! It's been a pleasure, supporting your restaurant industry this week :)
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