The last time The Boy and I went to NYC (in 2010, for his marathon with Team Diabetes), we decided that the NEXT time we go to NYC, we’d do all touristy things. After all, we’d each been to NYC several times, but neither had seen the Statue of Liberty, we’d never been to (or been up, if you need the HIMYM distinction) the Empire State Building, and we’d never visited any museums.
This last weekend, we had our babymoon and shared it with MH and RS. RS has been to NYC before, but this was MH’s first time! After some drama leaving Canada (apparently MH has a very similar name to someone very wanted), we all arrived in NYC on Thursday evening. The Boy and I had a couple of hours to kill before MH and RS arrived, so we ran some errands and hopped to Union Square so I could return some boots to DSW and hit up the Whole Foods for some snacks. I know that Ottawa is getting a Whole Foods eventually, but in the meantime, I still need my fix of those little nut-and-chocolate-covered toffees. What are they even called? They’re like souped-up natural-er skor bars. My fave.
In any case, when we were all finally in town, we went to Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen in Times Square and gawked at the guitars, ate the dragon fries, and drank delicious drinks. I have no idea how they keep the fries so crispy and yet coat them in delicious wing sauce, but they did. We went to see The Lion King at Minskoff Theatre (so beautiful) and then walked around Times Square. We went to the M&M shop (obviously) and the Hershey Shop (DARK CHOCOLATE REESES!) and took in the city.
On Friday, we woke up earlyish to beat the lines at the Empire State Building. It looks nothing like it did on HIMYM! It was beautiful to see the skyline and the art deco was gorgeous. From there, more touristy things: Grand Central Station (where I had a brief Gossip Girl moment), Rockefeller Plaza (a Serendipity moment), and NBC Studios (an SNL moment). We actually did the NBC studio tour and saw the TINY SNL stage. I demonstrated my TERRIBLE teleprompter reading skills during a fake weathercast. Never put me on tv. Seriously.
On this visit, I even got to go to Magnolia Bakery (a Sex and the City moment) and we chowed down on these delicious goodies (my favourite was the Mocha) inside Radio City Music Hall before we saw the Rockettes show! The Rockettes were awesome. They’re just putting in the big tree at Rockefeller and the Rockettes are breaking out their Christmas gear. They’re super precise and really regimented! The only downfall was the asshole couple who came in late, and the proceeded to talk through the rest of the show. I even looked pointedly at the man, who gave me a half smile, shut up for 20 seconds, and then started talking again. Rage.
After the show, the four of us went to the Lamb’s Club for dinner, a Geoffrey Zacharian restaurant full of magic, love, and more precision. It’d have been awesome to see the Iron Chef in person, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Still full from dinner, we met up with MHT and NT, who now live on the Upper West Side (seriously) and went to the Cake Boss Café for dessert (to be fair, I’ve never actually seen the show).
Let me be perfectly clear:
Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen: despite crappy reviews, I recommend it.Lion King: Recommend Recommend Recommend!
Empire State Building: Recommend.
NBC Studio Tour: Recommend.
Magnolia Bakery: not the best I’ve ever eaten, but they were indeed delicious. Recommend.
Radio City Music Hall Rockettes Show: Recommend.
Geoffrey Zacharian’s Lamb’s Club: Recommend wholeheartedly.
Cake Boss Café: DO NOT RECOMMEND. SAVE YOUR HARD EARNED CASH! BUY OREOS, CHOCOLATE PUDDING, BOXED CAKE MIX AND TASTELESS WHIPPED TOPPING INSTEAD. THROW OUT OREOS, PUDDING, AND CAKE. MARVEL AT THE RIDICULOUSNESS OF THIS PLACE.
It was terrible.Tasteless and devoid of texture and piles upon piles of whipped cream. We couldn't finish one thing. Gross. Actually, I lie. I think The Boy finished his biscotti. But the oreo mousse was disgusting. How do you ef up Oreos? The Cake Boss knows. Apparently he is famous for beautiful creations, not for tasty creations. If I’d watched his show, I might know this. :P
On Saturday, we had a quick diner breakfast (served by an aspiring actor?), we walked west to the USS Intrepid Space and Air Museum. This was the one thing that was a must-do for The Boy, so explored airplanes and submarines and the real Enterprise. The Boy, though 36 years old, was like a little boy. So cute.
We had a late lunch at Daisy May’s BBQ (so so so good) and then made our way down to Battery Park for our faraway view of the Statue of Liberty. Another trip to NYC down and I still haven’t seen the lady up close. Apparently it takes a whole day to get out there and back, but next time I am going to splurge and take the time to go. It might cut into my time at Century 21, which is where we went next, so I will have to take this into consideration. I love Century 21. We finished the day off with some massive NY pizzas. I’m drooling just thinking of them.
Sunday, we all went to Central Park. RS and The Boy went for a run, and MH and I walked leisurely through the park, taking pictures of the changing colours of the leaves and the pretty bridges (more Gossip Girl moments – where did B and Chuck get married?). After their runs, we met up with our spouses for candied nuts and a visit to The Met. Talk about extensive. You could spend three days at The Met and not see everything. We did our very best though, and I had my pic taken out at the front steps (yet another Gossip Girl moment).
MHT came and met me at the Todd English restaurant attached to our hotel for a pretty decent hot chocolate and we took our requisite matching belly shots (she is two months ahead of me but somehow we are the same size) before MH, RS, The Boy and I went back downtown to Marc Forgione’s restaurant, Forges.
Forge’s was my most anticipated restaurant to visit, I think because I was a little in love with him when he was on Next Iron Chef. The food was excellent, don’t get me wrong, but I think I preferred Lamb’s Club. My three dinner companions voted this one as the best food we’d eaten all weekend, though.
My favourite? Halal. You just can’t get halal truck food in Ottawa. Nowhere has this magical mixture of rice, lettuce, tomatoes, corn, fried fish, French fries, and red and white sauce. *drool*.. I’d go back to NYC just for Halal, in fact. And the Statue of Liberty.
Another recap, for your NYC-trip planning:
Space and Air Museum: Recommend! Especially if you have kiddos.Daisy May’s BBQ: definitely recommend. Get the corn. And the wet ribs. And the baked beans. Omg. I want it right now.
Central Park walk: Recommend
The Metropolitain Museum of Art: Recommend (we bought our tickets in advance but you can just pay by donation)