Day two in New York City and my Aunt Georgann and I repacked our suitcases and moved from Queens/Forest Hills to our Airbnb apartment in Manhattan! We also took our first ever ride using Über – a great service we used a few more times during our trip.
Our apartment was located in the Upper East Side and was soooo nice! We really lucked out with this one. We “checked in” mid-morning, spent some time unpacking and settling in, then headed back out again.
We took the subway to the Meatpacking District and the wonderful Chelsea Market. This market was not at all what I was expecting! I had pictured a typical outdoor market selling the standards: fresh produce, flowers, etc. This is a really nice indoor market that is chock full of some great looking eateries, gourmet food shops, specialty shops and so much more. I absolutely loved it!
We walked the length of the market checking out the dining options then decided to eat at Num Pang which had been recommended to me by a friend. Great choice! We picked up delicious sandwiches and salads and took them up to the High Line to eat.
The High Line is a former elevated train track that ran from 34th Street to Spring Street. It was last used in 1980 and is now a nearly 1½ mile-long beautiful public park.
After finishing our meal, we walked along the High Line for a bit. What a great place in the city to take a stroll! If I lived or worked near it I do believe I would be up there every single day. In the summer. 😛
We returned to Chelsea Market to check out some of the shops. I absolutely loved perusing the gourmet/specialty food options! Georgann bought some artisanal cheese at Lucy’s Whey, then we went to Bar Suzette for some crepes.
I ordered a honey, almond, banana crepe and Georgann selected a chocolate, coconut, strawberry crepe. We had to wait awhile for them to be made but we enjoyed just sitting at the counter chatting and watching the crepe makers.
A few more shopping stops then we headed back to our apartment for a bit of a rest. This became an almost daily activity – afternoon nap for Georgann, afternoon writing/reading/online browsing for me. 🙂
After awhile we decided we should start figuring out where to eat dinner that evening. Georgann sent a few texts to Maxine’s family and we finally settled on one of their recommendations: Yefsi Estiatorio, a Greek restaurant a few blocks from our apartment.
What an excellent choice! We arrived and were told that the wait for a table was 45 minutes, but there were seats available at the bar so we sat there. Another excellent choice! The bartender was great and we were treated so well by him, the restaurant manager and the wait staff.
I love these local places that make you feel like family. All of the staff we came in contact with were from Greece and continually spoke Greek to each other (quite passionately I might add 😉 ). We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner here!
The following day, Wednesday, was supposed to usher in thunderstorms but we ended up experiencing some lovely weather instead. We started our day with a very European breakfast of cheese, baguette and fresh fruit – all purchased the day before at Chelsea Market.
Our day out on the town began with a visit to the Frick Collection – an art museum located in the former house (mansion!) of industrialist Henry Clay Frick, an avid art collector who built his home with the intention of turning it into a museum upon his death.
He passed away in 1919 and the museum started welcoming visitors in 1935. I really enjoyed visiting this unique museum and seeing not only the exceptional art and furniture but also the incredible architecture in each room – very reminiscent of places I’ve visited in Europe.
We picked up audio guides as we entered and listened to them as we walked from room to room.
As we left the Frick, my stomach was most insistent that we find some lunch sooner rather than later. 🙂 We decided to just pick something up at a local grocery store to take back to our apartment, but made another quick stop along the way: Laderée on Madison Ave., otherwise known as macaroon heaven.
I have quite the obsession for French macaroons. Those small, delicate, uniquely flavored sandwich cookies that just melt in your mouth. Mmmm…
We had intended on purchasing just one each but of course I walked out with half a dozen colorful cookies. Of course. I couldn’t even wait to get back to the apartment before devouring one. So, so yummy.
We ate lunch at the apartment, each enjoyed our new afternoon pastimes, 🙂 then got ready to head out for another evening on the town.
This evening brought us to Westville in SoHo, another restaurant recommendation which I absolutely loved! Totally my kind of place – great atmosphere with a great, veggie-heavy menu. In fact, I ordered the Market Plate which included a selection of four of their 20+ Market Sides.
These aren’t your typical side dishes, however. I had Brussels Sprouts with Honey Dijon, Snow Peas with Sesame and Ginger, Asian Kale Salad, and Fennel with Parmesan. All of it was delicious!!!! And the servings were huge – I couldn’t finish all that was on my plate! Loved this place!
After dinner we took the subway to the Rockefeller Center area. Neither of us had ever been there before so we were planning on getting some dessert and enjoying the atmosphere.
By the time we arrived, there weren’t a whole lot of “dessert” places still open other than Magnolia Bakery – which was perfect as this bakery had also been recommended to us by a local!
Magnolia Bakery has a few locations in Manhattan and this one was just around the corner from the rink at Rockefeller Center. They are known for their banana pudding so Georgann and I had decided in advance that this was what we were going to order.
That is until we arrived and were told they were all out of pudding. And most of their other bakery items – cupcakes, cookies, tarts – were nearly completely wiped out. I guess that’s what we get for arriving less than an hour before they closed!
Determined not to leave without something, I got in line to order. Once I made it to the front of the line, I asked again, just to confirm, if they were out of banana pudding. Yes, they were. BUT, they were expecting a fresh batch to come out any minute! Score!!
So we each left with a small (HUGE!) container of some pretty darn good banana pudding.
Since we were already out and about and somewhat near it, we decided to walk to Grand Central Station. It took some time before we actually found it but I’m really glad I got to go in and see this famous and historic train terminal. It really is beautiful and massive.
We took the subway from there back to our apartment and called it a night. Another long, fun day in NYC!!