i feel like i should take a moment of silence. a moment in gratitude for the impeccable timing of our trip: divine intervention. sure we had all weather varieties in the 72-hours we were in the city, but the fact that we debated on this weekend vs. last weekend, and last weekend won... and now this weekend the east coast is getting blasted with some sort of "worst storm in history" means that it's yet another little (or not so little) miracle from this trip. thank you!!!!
now, for the second half of the trip. this was presidents day, and the city was strangely quiet...
first up, city bakery for hot chocolate. i've learned that everything in manhattan just blends in- i swear the "hot spots" should stand out somehow, but they just... disappear. mapping on my phone was useless since everything is so packed together-
best bakery in the city is next to bodega
is next to bikram yoga
is next to starbucks
is next to another h&m
is next to kosher market
is next to sausage shop
is next to another starbucks
is next to graffiti covered closed-up daycare
is next to another bodega...
phone says: "arrived at destination." what? where? I DON'T SEE IT!! that happened like 98 times.
once we really did "arrive at destination." we got their famous cocoa and marshmallow, and a berry scone. the scone was my favorite thing this entire trip. oh, it was bliss! the cocoa was so rich- it needed a gallon of milk to make it more drink-able. even sharing, we couldn't even get it all down.
next up, a walk to flatiron. which, we couldn't find the building for the life of us. again my phone kept saying we were there... do new yorkers have a better app than google maps? google maps is terrible. either way, we were there. it just didn't look as triangular while standing at the tip. hey! found it!
i was so excited to walk the brooklyn bridge- the morning was freezing cold, but the sun was finally out and shining! the walk took my breath away (for multiple reasons) it was so stunning! we started early enough that it was quiet and calm. we kept turning around in circles trying to take it all in. (on the way back it was snowing lightly, which was almost equally as lovely looking.)
we explored dumbo for a while, walked down the promenade, then went to juliana's pizza (our only sit-down the whole trip) as soon as they opened...
after a walk back across the bridge, we spent the afternoon doing even more walking around. we decided to just explore, so we went up and down the streets for miles. we stopped at the smith to play in the photobooth and check out the unisex bathroom (what an idea!)- we were too cheap to eat there, but the booth was fun!
we ate dinner at shake shack, and were sorely disappointed! all the talk! all the praise! so much disappointment. so much garlic. we shared a burger, fries, concrete, lemonade, and caramel cocoa. i didn't like any of it. none! none of it! meh. so sad.
tuesday is it! the last day. we started out stopping at multiple bagel shops for a side-by-side comparison, as well as take-home treats. we then headed downtown.
perhaps the best part of our trip was this view- a friend works on the top floor of 7 world trade center let us come see the morning view. wow. a 360 of the entire area- uptown, brooklyn, ellis island... everything. we could even see along the hudson where he pointed out all kinds of fun details we never knew. what a city, what a view, and what a host! we also might have gotten stuck in the high-tech elevator. how embarrassing. who gets confused and stuck in an elevator? us. it was unreal to look up- another 50 floors to the top of 1 world trade center. so. tall!
it was also surreal to look down at the site of the twin towers and the beautiful memorial, which we went to look at after...
more walking, magnolia bakery & central park followed.
about magnolia bakery: for a non-banana-pudding fan, i will say that famous banana pudding was delish. as was their hot chocolate. and this blueberry shortcake thing. wow!
so, it was really cold. but i was so sick of being in a coat, hat, scarf, and gloves for every photo, i thought i was brave enough to brave the cold without for a bit! i made mike hold it all, and i skipped around pretending to be warm. that idea was dumb, so after 6 minutes, i threw it all back on and we got a hot dog in central park while watching people ice skate. mike also fed the birds.
who then attacked us.
more walking, this time mostly around the uws. we stopped at zabar's and beard papa's (for on-the-spot-fresh cream puffs!).
my favorite thing about the city is there's always something to see and eat. i adored looking at the fresh flowers, fruits, and all-around goodies on hand all the time...
i feel like i should do a little shout-out to our hotel. we went back and forth about this, and couldn't be happier with the choice. basically, we wanted something super cheap and in a good locale. hotel marrakech fit the bill, but we were way skeptic. i set my bar low. mike and i loved it though- it was a boutique hotel, and it was cheap, so naturally it was small. (small beyond compare. small. it was small.) however, it was literally 10 steps from the 103rd street station, clean, and the employees were super nice. it had this young, hip vibe that made me feel old at 30:) it was a walk up, and we were on the 2nd floor, so it was loud as well from our room, but again- manhattan. you can't expect quiet in that city. if we were on the 5th floor, it would probably be a bit quieter, but then we'd have to climb 5 flights of stairs, so 2 works for me! for $80/night, it was a home run.
and just like that, with an abrupt ending shot of mike walking from the subway toward the hotel ( ^^ see! close!), that's the end of our weekend in nyc.
until we meet again, concrete jungle, until we meet again.