31 December 2014

NYC Trip: Days 2 + 3

The second and third days of our trip to NYC were a marathon! By the end of the 3rd day I felt like I needed a vacation from our vacation :)
We woke up bright and early Friday AM and walked down to Amy's Bread for breakfast. I had an olive twist (pictured above) and M got a breakfast sandwich. We were still hungry after that, so we split an amazing pain au chocolat.
We had some time to kill before the
Rockettes, so we naturally we took selfies in front of the giant ornaments on the Avenue of the Americas.
Then it was across the street to Radio City Music Hall to cross off an item that's long been on my bucket list: the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. I may or may not have shed a few tears when Santa came in and started greeting little kids in the audience. M was pleasantly surprised by the whole thing and thought the Rockettes would make good women's lacrosse players. Of course he would find a way to tie it all back to lacrosse. My favorite part of the performance was the toy soldiers, but I FREAKED OUT for the live animals in the Nativity scene. I have like 10 pictures of those camels on my phone.
A quick trip to Rockefeller Center to wave hello to the ice skaters...
And then we headed to Ippudo Westside for lunch. I've only eaten at the downtown location, so this was a new experience for both of us. We split an order of the pork buns (my favorite!) then I got the akamaru modern and M got the karaka-men. His was definitely better; I loved the extra spice. Not that mine was bad :) I wish we had a good ramen place in Burlington...it's so cozy and satisfying when it's cold out and it's cold here a lot!
We headed over to Le Parker Meridien to take a gander at the Gingerbread Extravaganza. I loved the little Saturday Night Fever Santa, but we both agreed that King Kong was the winner.

There's a Milk Bar just across the street from Le Parker Meridien, so we popped in for some compost cookies and a slice of crack pie. We took our treats over to the St. Regis to eat in the lobby before I checked out Bronson Van Wyck's Holiday Pop-Up Shop, which was amazing. It's what I imagine my dream Christmas living room would look like, complete with red Christmas tree covered in jewel-encrusted lobsters. There was lots of tartan and taxidermy and even a few mink lined-and-trimmed tree skirts! I fell in love with these Hessian andirons, but at $495 and us with no fireplace to speak of, M put the kibosh on that purchase.
After we left the St. Regis, we wondered around Midtown to check out all of the holiday windows, of which I took no pictures. There was barely enough room to move with all of the other gawking tourists, let alone pull out a camera (although a lot of people did anyways). Bergdorf's windows were my favorite. Each window was dedicated to one of the arts. The ones for music and film were breathtaking! I did manage to snap this one picture at Ralph's inside of Ralph Lauren:
Antlers + Pheasant Feathers + Magnolia Leaves = Sarah Christmas Arrangement Bingo!
We mozied over to the Plaza Food Hall so I could check out the Eloise store. I could have stayed in there for hours. I was not-so-secretly wishing it was more socially acceptable and less creepy for an almost-30-year-old woman to join in the Eloise tea party going on in the back room. And then we randomly ran into one of M's players and got to meet his entire family. So, so random. 
After we dropped off our bags at our hotel room, we headed back out. We had to make a quick stop to say hello to these charming fellows!
And then it was over to the Grand Central Oyster Bar to meet a friend for drinks. Oysters and sparkling rose are my favorite couple of all time.
Since we were already halfway downtown, we decided just to head to our dinner at Bianca and eat with the old folks at 6pm. This might be my favorite picture from the trip, not because of how cute M looks (but he does look awful purdy), but because of why he is making that face. Bianca is one of my favorite restaurants. M got their lasagna; if you ever go, that is what you should get. It's life-changing. But because I've had the lasagna many times and because we don't like to both order the same thing, I ordered a plate of Gorgonzola gnocchi.
M hates blue cheese. Absolutely will not touch the stuff. But before I could stop him, he took a bite of my gnocchi. And then another bite. And then another...and raved about how incredible it was. I waited until our waitress had cleared the table until I told him he just ate half a plate of gnocchi in a blue cheese sauce. MIND BLOWN.
We were pretty beat after dinner and headed back up to our hotel to grab a drink at Lodge and then call it an early night. I also happened to lose my Metrocard at some point that night. Not a happy scene.

Saturday morning we had plans to meet one of my oldest and dearest friends for brunch at Café Cluny. We got there a little early, so we wondered around the neighborhood for awhile and oogled real estate. I have no desire to live in NYC, but I could be persuaded to change my mind if one of these babies was an option.
Brunch was delicious; I had a short rib hash, M had eggs Benedict, and A had the ham and gruyere croissant. The portions were quite teeny, but mine was so rich that I didn't mind. Café Cluny's dining rooms are quite cozy, so you're eating in close quarters with your fellow diners. I looked up halfway through our brunch to realize that Leslie Mann was sitting right across from us. Apparently she had already caught M staring at her. I spent the rest of brunch trying not to stare.
After brunch we moved the party to Starbucks and caught up over peppermint mochas before A had to catch the train. M and I mozied over to the Union Square Holiday Market. I had such high hopes for this and was disappointed. In addition to the insane crowds that made it impossible to move, I didn't think the booths offered up that much cool stuff. There were a few things that caught my eye here and there, but nothing that I just had to have. Bummer.
The good news is that we had a few hours to kill before meeting up with M's friends and we were only a few blocks from Pete's Tavern, which M wanted to check out anyways. So we went there and had brunch #2 with decidedly NOT teeny portions. They go all out with Christmas decorations inside, so it was a great place to spend the early afternoon drinking Bloody Marys and eating cheeseburgers.
And then there was Rolf's. I had heard of the Rolf's Christmas spectacle before and Molly recommended we go while we were in town. It just so happened that M's friends had suggested we meet up there for a drink before all going out together for the evening. We went and got there early, so went ahead and staked our place in line. We had to wait an hour to get in, but we passed the time by doing shots of Fireball with the folks in line behind us. When our friends showed up, it turns out that the guy offering us shots is the father of one of our friends' girlfriends. Another random interaction. After we were all inside, it was kind of crazy. There is no way it is safe to have that many people crammed into one space, but with all of the decorations (and beer), everyone is in a great mood and doesn't seem to mind the fact that you are cheek-to-cheek (face and backside) with total strangers drinking overpriced beer.
After someone spilled mulled wine all over my coat (it smelled so gross for the rest of the trip), we decided it was time for a change of scenery. We spent the rest of the night bar hopping with M's college buddies, with a pit stop for amaaaaaazing Artichoke pizza. I would like 10 more slices, please.
We pretended we were still fresh out of college and stayed out until 3 in the morning and somehow ended up at a Princeton lacrosse/New York Knicks party in Tribeca. So that's fun.


Charity said...

Looks like a wonderful trip! Happy new year!

MCW said...

Yayee for Rolfs! It's freaking insane isn't it??? Chaos, but I think worth it for the drink. You should have done the eggnog :)

So glad you had a great trip!!!