My dude attended a conference in NYC this week, so I tagged along over the weekend (which meant spending barely 24 hours in the city). I covered a lot of ground!
We stayed at the Kitano Hotel on Park Ave. As we were walking up, we discovered that all of Park Avenue (nearly 7 miles) was closed to cars due to the Summer Streets program. It was amazing – just thousands of pedestrians filling the streets. How cool would it be if you were training for something and got to use that big open city street to run or bike?
The rest of my pic-heavy eating and shopping adventure –
The Kitano Hotel is Japanese-owned, and it came with a few quirks such as this high tech toilet. It also had a “deodorizer” function that started spraying as soon as you sat on the seat.
And yes, of course I tried it. I couldn’t stop laughing at that unexpected sensation. Whoever used it before me had the pressure turned all the way up, which I don’t think is a beginner move.
Another Japanese quirk was The Teaching of Buddha accompanying the nightstand Bible. Pretty cool.
After throwing my stuff in the room, I took advantage of the street closing and walked about 1.5 miles down to Baohaus. I was starving after the bus ride and luckily I snagged some free Cabot cheese that was being given away along the route.
I was a big fan of chef Eddie Huang even though I had never been to his restaurant. Without getting into a book report, his commentaries on identity and about fighting the fight are really significant. He is so badass, he called out TED talks on their bull. After following his articles for a few years, it was great to finally be able to eat at his shop. I had the “Chairman Bao”
And an order of taro fries.
I was trying not to order a lot because I was making my way towards Smorgasburg, but that order of fries was really big! It made me sad that I couldn’t eat them all and had no one to share with. They also make their own soymilk but I sadly didn’t have room for that either.
Lucky for me, on the same block as Baohaus was a nail salon that was offering a mani/pedi combo for $24! What?! I hit that up to give my food some time to digest.
Eventually I made it to Brooklyn for Smorgasburg. Imagine your town/city’s big food festival or a food truck fest. Now imagine that every weekend! Luckyyyy. I got a cafe au lait flavored doughnut from Dough:
And paired it with a “New Orleans coffee” from Blue Bottle. I loved visiting Blue Bottle in San Francisco so it makes me happy to be able to visit them in New York.
I love donuts, and you will probably see them pop up a lot here. This is my second time at Dough and I don’t think they’re OMG-amazing, but I do give them props for their fancy flavors. I just find the donuts a little too heavy and too big.
After that I did some shopping and even found the bathing suit I was looking for, and at half price. Who goes to NYC and finds bargains? Only me.
I bought this awesome Hello Kitty bowl at Pearl River Mart:
It’s the perfect lunch container because it’s a ceramic bowl (microwavable) with a leak-proof lid. And it’s completely adorable, duh.
I also went to a tiny shop that only sold rubber stamps. I have actually been searching for a mason jar stamp. I did not find one there, but I did find this yarn stamp.
Not only is it yarn, it is a cake of yarn! In case you don’t know, yarn does not come in “balls” that you see in kitten-images. Knitters usually re-wind their hanks of yarn into these balls that we call “cakes.” It’s kind of special to see yarn portrayed in cake form, so I snagged it up. The top of the spool even says “Florence Knitting”. I don’t even own a stamp pad yet, haha. If I ever knit you something, you will be graced with this cool yarn stamp.
That night, I met back up with my dude and we went to Momofuku Ssam for dinner. The noodle bar had a huge crowd but we walked right into Ssam with no wait. We started with the Benton’s Ham plate with red eye mayo, because we just watched the episode of Inside the Mind of a Chef where he visited Benton’s farm. Then we had the signature pork buns. Hah, I ate pork belly bao twice in one day. The main course, also shared, was a whole roasted deboned porgy fish in kombu broth. For dessert, it was a black pepper shortcake with berries and creme fraiche.
The whole meal was perfect – sorry that’s not much of a description. But the really brilliant, stand-out dish was the dessert. By itself, the “shortcake” was savory and tasted like a scone. When paired with the berries, cream, and pudding-type stuff, the flavor changes so you mainly taste some berry while your mouth is slowly permeated by the heat of the black pepper. I still haven’t made it to Milk Bar, but this dessert made it quite ok.
By this time, we were pretty beat so we just hung out at the hotel and fell asleep around midnight cuz we’re old like that. I had high aspirations to hit up the gym on Sunday morning but when I woke up my feet were sore from all of the walking, so that idea went out the window. I lazily rolled out of bed and we hit Culture for our morning coffee.
Hello, perfectly sharp espresso art! Mine was the cortado in the foreground. It was a great, rich, dark, very chocolately espresso. I wish I had taken note of what kind it was. After coffee time, it was donut time again. At least I had a partner so I could try more than one flavor. We went to Doughnut Plant:
That’s the coconut-lime cake doughnut, tres leche yeast doughnut, and a peanut butter with banana cream yeast doughnut (it was huge). The shop is gorgeous and fun but I wasn’t all that impressed by the doughnuts themselves. Maybe we just chose the wrong flavors, because everyone seems to insist that these are the best doughnuts in the world and even David Lebovitz thinks so. I do want to try the Valrhona chocolate and vanilla bean flavors if there is a next time.
We did some more walking, some more shopping, and had a leisurely lunch before catching the bus home. Check out these pretty deviled eggs at Rattle ‘n Hum.
Those eggs were ALL FOR ME. Does anyone else like deviled eggs? I could eat a dozen at a time. Along with pretzel bread, deviled eggs must be on the hot list. I can’t remember ever seeing deviled eggs on restaurant menus before this year but now I am seeing them a lot.
I ate a ridiculous amount of food and did more shopping than I intended to, but such is life. It was all worth it. I also walked sooo much and my feet are still recovering. I keep waffling between, “We should go to NYC more often” and “It’s a good thing we don’t go more often because our wallets & waistlines can’t afford it.” I’ll go with the latter until I can get it figured out.