Friday, May 30, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend Recap

My apologies for not posting for a while, but S and I spent Memorial Day weekend in New York City and we were quite busy both leading up to and recovering from our Thursday afternoon thru Tuesday morning mini-vacation!  We got to see a lot of family, explore all over the city, watch a broadway show, and eat some incredible food.  Here's the day by day rundown!

We'd planned on going out upon our arrival on Thursday night, but rainy weather up in NY closed down all but one runway at La Guardia and our flight was subsequently delayed 4 hours.  Boo!  We got to my cousin's apartment on the Upper East Side around 11 pm and promptly crashed.  

Friday morning we got to make friends with my cousin D's new 5 month old Golden Doodle puppy Emmett!  He was such a cutie, but such a handful too (he was a big fan of humping my leg....)!  The morning was actually pretty nice out, so after going out for lunch, S and I took Emmett for a long walk through Central Park.  After we'd worn Emmett out we dropped him off back at the apartment and then decided to hit up a museum.  The rain started just as we arrived at the Guggenheim for their Italian Futurism exhibit, which we quite enjoyed!  That night after the museum and before dinner we went out for drinks with D and his awesome wife S and then met up with my other cousin J and his girlfriend for dinner at Commerce.  The food was insanely delicious and the company was fantastic!  For desert we got a yummy ice cream and salted caramel confection from Big Gay Ice Cream.  A wonderful first day!

Saturday started out with brunch at The Smith with my cousin J and his girlfriend S.  Once again, good food, great company!  We wandered around a street fair on Lexington and then S and I went off on our own, catching the subway to Brooklyn!  It was my first time in Brooklyn and I kind of loved it there!  We went for a brewery tour offered by Urban Oyster.  They started us out learning about how Greenpoint Brewery makes their beer at Dirk the Norseman Brewpub and then proceeded to take a walking tour past the historic breweries of Brooklyn (there used to be 48 before prohibition) and learning about the history of the area.  Very cool!  We ended up at Brooklyn Brewery where we got to try a few more local brews.  A very fun afternoon!
Amazingly enough, I don't have any other pictures from the remainder of the day.  Which sucks (although I suppose it could also be a good thing since it means I fully experienced all of it in person and not through a camera lens...) because the evening was absolutely phenomenal !  We met up with my brother J and his wife J (henceforth referred to as J&J) and ate a quick snack at The Perfect Pint, and then went to see HEDWIG AND THE ANGY INCH!!!!  Neil Patrick Harris was AMAZING and according to S I had the biggest ear to ear grin on my face during the entire show!  Even S and my brother, who are not big broadway fans, really enjoyed the show and both chalked it up to NPH's incredible performance.  After Hedwig, the four of us went out to Momofuku Ma Peche for a late dinner.  I'd been wanting to try one of the Momofuku restaurants and was not disappointed.  They did a tapas meets dim sum style presentation with small plates that come around on carts.  The food and drinks were all very good with the highlight of the meal probably being the legendary Crack Pie from the Momofuku Milk Bar for dessert.  (I've already found a recipe online so I can try making it (with quail eggs) at home).  We had such a wonderful evening with J&J!

On Sunday we went to brunch with my cousin D and his wife and then S and I proceeded to explore a huge chunk of Manhattan on foot - it was a LOT of walking but also a lot of fun!  We started off at Washington Square Park, which was bustling with street performers and artists.  Scott was enthralled with the Tic & Tac hip hop dance group and their amazing strength and muscle control while I was thrilled that I actually got to see sand artist Joe Mangrum creating a sand art installation right before my eyes (you can see the nearly finished piece here- it's so intricate and colorful)!  Then I went to Venus by Maria Tash to get some more holes punched into my ears!  I went there because they offer 14k gold jewerly (I have a history of reacting to earrings with a stainless steel base) in beautiful delicate designs.

They used needles, not a piercing gun, which was interesting.  S loves my face in that first picture (which was taken during the second piercing) - it kind of hurt, but I LOVE my new piercings!  After getting my ears punched full of holes, we walked all the way west to the river and then continued north along the water.  The weather was beautiful and there was some excellent people watching!  We veered back slightly east then to check out the highly touted High Line Park.  The park was indeed beautiful, but due to the lovely weather it was also completely packed to the gills with people.  I'd love to try going back another time when it isn't quite so busy.

About a third of the way through the park we stepped down to street level and hit up Chelsea Market to pick up some goodies for lunch.  We had no idea how huge Chelsea Market was and didn't really have time to fully explore it before our bellies started demanding food, so we grabbed some bread, cheese, salami, salad, and fruit and took our stash back up to the park to have a little picnic on a bench!  We walked the rest of the park and then walked all the way back over to Central Station to catch the subway back up to the apartment.  While it was definitely a lot of walking, we really think we started to get a feel for the city.  That night S and I were completely exhausted, so we just stayed in for dinner and ordered out like real New Yorkers.  We were amazed that a huge Peruvian chicken dinner was delivered to our door within 15 minutes of calling in our order - ah the perks of NY living!

On Monday we went to my cousin D's favorite bagel shop, Ess-A-Bagels for breakfast and then walked over to Rockefeller Plaza to eat.  While sitting on a bench noshing on our bagels we got to talking with an older couple sitting next to us who were in town to see a bunch of broadway shows (they'd seen about 10 already over the course of the weekend!!!) who just happened to be from Houston!  We then took the elevator to the Top of the Rock to get some amazing views of the city (everyone we asked said the Rock is better than the Empire State Building).  That afternoon my cousin D grilled out, his wife S made pitchers of yummy alcoholic beverages, and I whipped up S's favorite kale salad and we all had a Memorial Day barbecue!

That evening S and I went out to Central Park one more time to walk around the reservoir during sunset.  We got some beautiful views of the city silhouetted against a colorful sky - a lovely way to end our trip!  That night we packed up and (very) early on Tuesday we caught a cab to the airport for our flight home.  We had such a wonderful time in New York and we're already talking about another trip out there in the future!  Another amazing weekend in the books!

After such a busy couple of weeks, we are just going to take it easy this weekend.  Get stuff unpacked, do chores around the house, spend time with the kitties, and relax. Did you do anything fun over Memorial Day weekend?

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