Monday, January 12, 2009

New York City in 30 hours or less

I spent this past weekend in my favorite city in the United States.

For Christmas, we, along with Tony's sister and her husband, gave Tony's mom and her husband a trip to New York City for the weekend. We left all of the kids (nine of them between us) and a 97 year old mother behind and left for the Big Apple on Saturday morning. It started snowing on the way up and continued all through the day and evening. Tony's mom had not been to New York in 22 years so there were A LOT of things that she wanted to see. We stayed at the Millenium Hotel in Times Square. Six of us checking in and we looked like we were staying for a month!
Our first stop was the Carnegie Deli. I thought I had been there before, but I realized as soon as I walked in the door that I hadn't been.

The place was packed and very warm which was a very good thing--I don't think I was warmer all weekend! The sandwiches are crazy huge there so we split three sandwiches between the six of us. Pastrami and the Bacon Whoopie (chicken salad with a boat load of bacon)
Our next stop was the theater where we saw Jersey Boys. I am not a huge theater fan usually...I've seen Les Miserables (and I was miserable) in DC, Mamma Mia, The Producers, Hair Spray and the Lion King here in Baltimore. This was by far the BEST show! I would even go see it again!

We left the show and walked around in the snow. We decided to stop and get a drink and try to catch some of the Ravens game. We went to Heartland Brewery and couldn't find a seat at the bar. We ended up at a TGI Fridays where they actually carded us! Apparently, there is up to a $30,000 fine for serving minors and the manager takes it seriously and cards everyone. As the youngest one in the group at 42, it was quite funny. How about them Ravens! We stopped in Toys R Us to look around. Just a big FYI, don't try to take a picture with any of the real live costumed people...it's against the rules! No personal photos.
We went to Bottega del Vino on 59th Street for dinner. It was amazing!
We ordered Prosciutto Crudo di Parma (Parma prosciutto served with marinated artichokes and a black olive p√Ęte), Caprese di Bufala (Sliced cherry tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella served with fresh basil), Risotto all’ Amarone (Vialone Nano rice cooked in Amarone wine), Gamberoni (Sauteed jumbo shrimp with scallions in a creamy Limoncello liquor sauce) and Branzino al Balsamico (Oven-roasted Mediterranean sea bass in a balsamic glaze).

We wanted to take a carriage ride around Central Park, but they weren't running. We ended up at Jekyll and Hydes. We had been there before with the kids and had good memories. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a disappointment this time. The guy with the red eyes did wish Tony's mom a happy birthday though!
We returned to the hotel and started again at 8:00 a.m. the next morning. We went to the Brooklyn Diner. I didn't take any pictures of food here because really, how interesting is a fruit plate and a bagel and cream cheese?
Tony's mom really wanted to go down to Ground Zero so we decided on taking the subway for the experience alone. Note to Tony's mom: When going through the turnstile, move quickly or you will get stuck!
Tony had spent much of December working on a case that involves the development of the World Trade Center property. He was able to tell us a lot about the plans for the future of the site.

Check in tomorrow when I will tell you about our visit to St.Paul's Chapel across from the site. It was unbelievable and deserves its own posting.
We decided to walk from Ground Zero over to Battery Park so we could see the Statue of Liberty from afar. On the way we passed Wall Street.
We passed this guy. Beggars are creative in New York City. If you gave this guy money, you could take a picture with him. (We didn't) There were three of them around the entrance to Battery Park. These guys were much better than the guys we saw dressed up in Times Square as Elmo, Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse. Plus, the guys in Times Square got in trouble with the police!
We decided against taking the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty, but walked to the water's edge and saw a glimpse of it. Did I mention that it was cold? And windy?
Next we headed to Greenwich Village for shopping and lunch at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill. We enjoyed another fabulous meal. We ordered Goat Cheese Queso Fundido with rajas and blue tortilla chips, Eggs and aged sirloin tortilla with grilled red onions, roasted peppers and avacado relish, mesa burgers with double cheddar cheese, grilled vadalia onion and horseradish mustard on a house roll with southwestern fries and spicy chicken and sweet potato hash with poached eggs and green chile hollandaise.
Then we walked though Greenwich Village and SoHo-- where else but in New York City would one of the playground rules be No Adults except in the company of children?
We took the subway back to our hotel and then we left for home.
But I sure am tired!

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