P and I visited NYC for the weekend for really no reason, except to have some fun and pretend we were on vacation, if only for a couple of days. We hopped on the 6 hour long bus ride (so much traffic) from Boston to NYC and were looking forward to the weekend. Lucky for us, my cousin had an apartment in the city that he never used on the weekends because he was home in Connecticut with his family. So, we got to stay in a luxury apartment building on the 26th floor in the heart of Chelsea. We woke up on Saturday morning to a glorious view of towering skyscrapers and a glimpse of the Hudson River. Also lucky for us, the weather was surprisingly amazing for winter.
Since, we hadn’t really planned anything for Saturday, we decided to just wander and see where it would take us. We came upon the Bowery mural, which displayed a colorful canvas of crossing stripes. The mural humbly stood at the intersection of Bowery Street and Houston Street and is an exhibition space for contemporary street artists to share their work. I thought the idea of art as part of the city was genius.
As we kept walking, through Chinatown and Little Italy, we eventually reached the Brooklyn Bridge in all its grandeur. It certainly was an architectural feat with its impressive pillars. It is also one of the oldest suspension bridges in the U.S. P and I walked part of the way up the bridge to admire its beauty before we became fed up with the tourists hogging the narrow pedestrian walkway. I would have loved to bike the bridge. Maybe another day…
Many friends had recommended we try Caracas Arepa Bar in the East Village for their famous arepas and Venezuelan goodness. So, for lunch, P and I decided to go. We were seated immediately despite the small venue, and I couldn’t help but love the gaudy and colorful decor. We ordered some guac and chips, the La de Pernil arepa (roasted pork shoulder with tomatoes and spicy mango sauce) and the La Surena arepa(chicken, chorizo, avocado, and their famous chim-churri sauce). The guac needed more salt, but I liked the taro / plantain chips that came with it. Both arepas were delicious! Wonderfully savory and flavorful! The fillings were a perfect match with the fried arepa dough pockets. Yum!
Next stop, Central Park to enjoy the weather. Central park is always our “go to” when we visit the city because no matter rain or shine, it’s always beautiful. We picked a nice smooth rock to lay out on and took a cat nap under the sun while children ran around us screaming with joy and anxious parents hollered after them.
Unbeknownst to us, our good friends and Boston neighbors, Y and A also happened to be in NYC the same weekend. So, we joined them and their friends for dinner and drinks in K-town near Herald Square. We enjoyed a full on Korean BBQ with pork belly, marinated beef, and spicy sticky rice noodles and chatted with new friends. Because our bellies weren’t full enough, we went to Lady M just a few blocks away to try a New York dessert favorite, cake made of thin layers of crepes. The only flavor left when we got there was green tea, and our group literally got the last two slices. We took our slices across the street to Bryant Park and all nine of us dug into the delicious layers of fluffy goodness.
After dessert, it was time for drinks! P and I followed the crowd to the Ginger Man where they had tons of beer on tap. We had a great time getting to know our new friends and relaxing.
The next morning, P and I met up with my old college friends at Essex for brunch. This place was popular for its three mimosas (or bloody mary’s or screw drivers) and a selection of over 15 dishes for $23.95. The place was so packed that we ended up getting kicked out of our table to the bar. I had been looking forward to seeing them all week, and it was a perfect afternoon of girl talk, career talk, and reminiscing the good ol’ days. Because we were eventually forced out of the restaurant due to the crowds, we found a table in Essex Market right next door and continued chatting over Honey Lavender flavored and Drunkin’ Salted Caramel Bourbon flavored ice cream. I was so sad when P and I had to leave to catch our bus back to Boston. Til’ next time, NYC! We’ll be back for more food and laughter!