This weekend was pretty great. Involved a lot of yoga, a lot of walking, and some good friends.
I went to my usual 9:15am grueling vinyasa class on Saturday morning, ran a few errands after, and confirmed with my two good guy friends that we were grabbing coffee downtown and walking up to Central Park because it was just that nice out. They both agreed and we wound up at Yaffa Cafe in Alphabet City; a place we’d been together almost exactly a year prior (except there was lots of wine involved that day). Michael brought his DSLR and was snapping shots in a paparazzi-esque way the entire day. This shot happened at brunch:
We brunched out and then made a pit stop at Butterlane from cupcakes and coffee (that’s what everyone does after brunch, right?) and walked over to Academy Records on 12th so they could record shop (as I do not own a turntable). We eventually made the extremely smart decision to go to the DSW in Union Square (nope, it would never, ever be packed!) so the guys could shop for shoes. I hate shopping but somehow I was the only one to walk away with shoes (gold/brown strappy sandals).
Shopping worked up appetites again so we walked over to Doughnut Plant on 23rd and his mind (and tastebuds) was blown.
We continued walking, going into various music and shoe stores as we passed them. We also saw graffiti which I was instructed to pose in front of since I was wearing a pink leather coat.
Somehow we were convinced to duck inside Macy’s and check out their men’s shoes. God, I hate that store. It really is the seventh circle of hell. We were treated to espresso at Culture Espresso after though. It totally made up for the venture into hell.
We finished our coffee and ended the afternoon in Bryant Park (also lovely). Eventually the blues happened (see the photo below) and it was time to go home. Walking from Alphabet City to midtown West can really make a person exhausted.
But I couldn’t have had more fun doing it.
So, I played tour guide for the first time ever last weekend. Growing up on Long Island, most of my friends had been to Manhattan before and whenever a friend would come into the city, I wasn’t responsible for showing them “New York,” because they’d already seen it with their families when they were six, or if they were from out of town, they had been to New York before already, which was the case with my [other] friend Emily [we had 5 Emily’s in our program] when she came to New York to visit in 2008. Needless to say, I had no idea what to do with first-timers.
Anyways, after they survived their massively delayed flight from Milwaukee they hailed their first cab at LGA and made their way to my apartment. [Travelers tidbit: If you’re coming from LGA to a destination on the UWS, the cab is going to cost about $35.] It was like one of those slow-motion movies as Emily and I hugged hello for the first time in three years. She introduced me to her boyfriend, Brad, and I showed them up to my apartment. After a moment of relaxation and some changing, we discussed where to go and they said they wanted to go to the places I usually go to and not the touristy places. So we devised a plan and went for it.
We started the night out at Edwards, my favorite downtown spot that I frequented many, many times while in college, where we had drinks, fries, and calamari. Next we headed up to Mortonio Pizza on East 12th Street, making way for their first ride on the L train (woo!). We shared a pie and a few drinks, which were delicious (this had been a suggestion from my friend Amy, so it was my first time there too). Next I introduced them to the cupcakes of downtown New York first at Butterlane, and then at Chikalicious. Our last stops downtown was for drinks at Destination, of course, and Zaragoza Mexican Deli afterward. It was surprisingly dead inside for 10pm on a Friday night, so we lucked out. Brad’s a huge Mexican food fan and was extremely pleased with the food inside the hole-in-the-wall deli. The official last stop of the night [where we couldn’t eat or drink] was Times Square. Emily wanted to see it at night, and admittedly, it is quite the spectacle so off we went.
On Saturday, we got up and made our way toFred’s Restaurant for brunch. I’ve been to Fred’s a few times but never for brunch, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had heard that Good Enough to Eat has a fantastic brunch and although I’d never been overly-impressed with their food, I decided why not. Well, when there was an hour wait (as, I’m told, there usually is), we walked across the street. Well, I’m happy to say that it’s just as tasty for brunch as it is for lunch and dinner. It was here that I learned from Emily that in Milwaukee they put hot sauce in their Bloody Mary’s and not horseradish, after she sent her’s back deeming it undrinkable. I took them by Cafe Laloafter for a photo op, and then led them towards Strawberry Fields before having to say goodbye-until-Monday to go meet my family at my apartment and then head to New Jersey for Green Day.
Fast-forward to Monday evening when I met them at the St. James Theatre to see American Idiot. We had dinner before the show at Film Center Cafe (they have great salads), one of my favorite midtown establishments, which they both enjoyed (or at least lied and said they did!). They both loved the show (it ended up being Brad’s favorite part of New York!) and afterward we headed to Glasshouse Tavern on 47th Street for martinis (I had the Key Lime Martini which was delicious) and dessert, and then to The House of Brews on 51st Street, because Brad is a lover of all-things-beer. Due to exhaustion, I called it a night at 11:30pm and hugged them both goodbye (Emily for longer, obviously).
Hopefully in the near future I will go be planning a trip to Chicago and Milwaukee to visit them.