Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Weekend in NYC. Happy Mother's Day 2015!


Mother's Day has passed, but I have to highlight the awesome gift I received from Jeff and the kiddos - a solo trip to NYC!

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Jeff booked the tickets to coincide with the Memorial Day weekend, which also happens to be a long weekend in Bermuda. With the kids and Jeff both off from work and school, I was happy to fly off relatively guilt free. 

Check out the fabulous view of Times Square in the morning, taken from the concierge lounge at the Marriott Renaissance Hotel. 

And check out the other ubiquitous NYC shot- pidgeons, per Jordan's request. 

"Mommy, take a picture of the NYC pidgeons!"  

He still likes birds. NYC pidgeons deserve their own screen time, I guess. 



There you go, Jordan. I wonder if he remembers the story I told him about the time I saw a flock of them ripping apart hot dogs in the street that someone had tossed from a hot dog cart. 

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The trip didn't start out too well. I guess everyone on the island was trying to get off that day, so I wound up literally in the back of the plane.  I mean, exactly the back of the plane.  Right next to the toilet. 

Ugh.

Double ugh, was the fact that the passenger sitting next to me took up almost half of my seat.  I tried hard not to look miffed about it, because I'm sure she was just as uncomfortable as I was.  There's got to be some easy way to break the tension in situations like this. There's no ignoring the obvious size issue. We're both annoyed - neither of us is comfortable, we're both crammed in. What's the point of being a jerk about it? Everyone on the plane is miserable. What can you do?

Turns out, the absolutely horrific turbulence we experienced wound up breaking the ice as we both sat there panicking out loud.  Each time one of us gripped the arm rest, sharing looks of fear, the minor issue of lack of space became meaningless.

When the passenger seated across from me started throwing up from air sickness, I really started praying.  So was my seat mate. Nothing like a shared plane crash to initiate a friendship.

We landed, thank God, and as soon as possible, I charged out of there - ready to start my adventures.

People approach NYC trips differently.  Some go for the Broadway shows and tourist stuff.  I go to see friends, shop and eat.

A lot.



My one desire was to indulge on these guys. And loads of them.  Fresh oysters are non existent in Bermuda, at least to my knowledge. When I've asked about it, I've been told they bring them in frozen. 

Not the same. 

I also haven't had any as last seasons pregnancy got in the way of my normal eating habits.  

Needless to say, this craving has taken on a life of its own. 

So, after checking into the hotel, I headed downtown about twenty blocks to Chelsea. Home of one of my favorites: John Dory Oyster Bar
 
It's a great oyster place that I managed to visit twice in my weekend in NYC.  Yes, twice.  So gluttonous.  Jeff and I went there once on a rare kid free weekend. It wasn't quite the same without my oyster buddy.

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But I soldiered on. He would be proud.

That first night, I met up with good sorority friends/ex housemates from college.  



 One of the main reasons I stay active on Facebook is because it's a great way of maintaining connections when you live abroad. With the ease of a few messages  to friends, I was able to set up the weekend. I'm lucky enough to have a handful of friends who actually make the effort too. They are the best!

Of course, it's a little tricky fitting in everyone and everything into just a couple days. Which is why I clearly need to do trips abroad more often!

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My Leonia girls met me out to celebrate among the rooftops at sunset.  I suggested this place I read about called "Gallow Green."

My Jersey girls hit the rooftops. #gallowgreen

Really lovely garden setting atop the old McKittrick Hotel. The Highline is right next door and it's a gorgeous spot of foliage in an otherwise urban landscape. 

Doing some damage as the sun sets. #gallowgreen

We did some damage, as we caught up on town gossip and eyed the hipsters around us.  Ok, we may not be 20 something whippersnappers, but we're obviously comfortable enough in our dotage to command an entire table for hours on end and rate a chilled wine bucket from the bartender. We got some looks on that one.

 No standing in line at the bar for single beers for us, thank you.  We're old, tired and have earned the right to sit down. 

The departure however, was slightly more macabre than I am used to. Remind me to read up on interactive theatrical productions ("Sleep No More" is the show being performed downstairs) before I drag my poor unsuspecting friends through one of these again. Oh NYC, you never disappoint.

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Sundays used to mean brunch for us. So what better way to spend it than with this guy- who trained it in from CT.   We had a lovely, chic lunch at the Nomad hotel.  It was so chic that I had to go get more food immediately after.

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Yes, that's me.  Eating my second brunch.  Secondies?  At John Dory again. 

It's especially convenient because it's right next to this place!!

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EATALY!!  The lines turned out to be too long, so we wandered further uptown and found a gelato place that was just as good.

Eating my way through NYC continued that evening as I met some friends out for    dinner in the west village. Oysters first, of course. At a tiny little niche called "Virgola."


It was a challenge finding the place because 1. I have no sense of direction; and 2.  Because it is a tiny place. 

But if you can get there (28 Greenwich Ave x 9th ave)  the oysters are worth it. The manager was also incredibly nice to us. First, he discussed oysters with me in a way that helped educate me without being condescending. And despite the fact that the reservation I made was for two only, he didn't make a fuss when two more friends showed up just to sit for a bit, drink prosecco and leave. Very gracious as the tables are right up on each other and seating was coveted. We tipped accordingly. 

After, we headed over for dinner at Agave  - a lovely Mexican/Southwestern place not far from NYU.  A friend picked it out and my only criterion was "I want a place where the maĆ®tre d' isn't telling me that I am being too loud."

It delivered. Great food, great company. And they stuck us in the back so I could cackle to my heart's content.  I have a loud laugh. What can I say?

Of course, in between all this gluttony, I did do the very specific shopping I had in mind (running shoes and American Girl merchandise for my daughter's upcoming birthday). 

The American Girl store deserves it's own post, no doubt. I was overwhelmed. I did manage to buy the things I knew my birthday girl has been asking for since last Christmas. So I hope she will appreciate that I used my very limited overseas duty exemption to cart this stuff back on the island. 

Without a doubt, one of the most extravagant Mother's Day gifts ever. I have the best family ever!


P.s.  

As an addendum, for those of you confused about how to behave on an air
plane and why, read this:  How to be a good person on an airplane
 

I cracked up. 
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