Sunday, April 10, 2011

Our Bite of the Big Apple

Nathan and I were so glad to be able to go to New York again this Spring Break. We really enjoyed ourselves. This time we took it much slower and just enjoyed the city. We flew in on Monday and we were there through Saturday.

Our hotel was very close to Grand Central Station, which is actually one of my favorite buildings in NYC. The night we got in we got some dinner and then went over to Times Square. For dinner, we went over to our favorite place in the city, Greenwich Village/Soho. We ate at John's Pizzeria on Bleecker Street. We heard it was one of the best joints in town, and boy was it ever. It is my favorite NY pizza so far. We got pepperoni and basil and a pitcher of RC Cola. Yes, they have RC Cola on tap! How unique? We liked the ambiance too. The wood panels are all etched up with carvings of names and love notes.

The next day we slept in kinda late, and then we headed right over to Katz's Deli. We went there last year. The pastrami sandwiches are to die for. Absolutely the best! The meat is moist and the rye bread is soft and the fries are just right. Everything is made in house. Tuesday was a rainy day, so we thought sandwich and soup would hit the spot and it sure did. We got Matzo Ball soup since Katz's is a traditional Jewish deli. And you have to get the Dr. Brown's Cream Soda. Hands down, the best meal in town! The owner even came up and introduced himself. We shared a table with an older NY native gentleman with whom we started a conversation. He works in the music industry as a music publisher. His name is Jeffery. After lunch he offered to show us around the neighborhood. Under umbrellas, we walked around the Lower East Side as we continued to talk and share stories. Eventually he had to go pick up his daughter, but it was great talking to him. We find that those who were actually born and raised in the city are quite helpful and friendly. They are proud of their city and they want to show it off.

After lunch we ended up in Times Square, as it was one of our subway transfers. We did some shopping.

That night for dinner we went to another pizzeria, Gramaldi's in Brooklyn. We heard great things about it and had been to the one in Vegas. We looked forward to going to the original. Sadly, we were disappointed. Compared to John's and even the Vegas one, it was not as good. It was still good, but just not my favorite. As we sat there we noticed the waiters were talking in some language, which was not Italian. We thought Russian maybe. Way to kill the authentic vibe of the place right? As we left, one of the workers was taking his smoke break and Nathan asked him directions to the bridge, he also asked where he is from to which he replied, "Poland...aye...Italy...".lol...even he knew it is lame that is isn't Italian, but working at one of the most famous pizza places in NY.

After dinner we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. It was 42 degrees! Even though it was so cold, it was worth it because the view of Manhattan was gorgeous. I've always loved the view of a city skyline at night and NYC is the most beautiful of them all.

Wednesday we took the train into Philadelphia where we enjoyed some cheesesteaks and the historic sights.

We've heard of the competition between Pat's and Geno's steaks and we wanted to decide which we thought was the best. We got one from each, and while they were both great we both agreed that Pat's is the best. Their meat had a better flavor and the bread was better.

From there we went over to Liberty Square. We saw the Liberty Bell and Liberty Hall. There were a lot of cool things to see like original portraits of the founding fathers and other signers of the the Declaration of Independence and original journals of Lewis and Clark.

We then hopped on a tour bus that took is all around Philadelphia allowing us to get a glimpse of all the cool sights of the city. Some of the sights include: Masonic Temple, Betsy Ross House, City Hall, Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul, "Rocky's Steps" Museum of Art, Eastern State Penitentiary.


That night we met my cousin Kristen and her boyfriend Matt for dinner at a really nice Brazilian restaurant, Fogo de Chao. The salad bar was the most glorious salad bar ever! It had aged cheeses, fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, smoked salmon and other delicious yumminess. It was great catching up with Kristen and her boyfriend and Nathan got along well too.


Thursday was the Yankee Game. Last year the Yankees were away so we only walked around the stadium, but this year we could go! Nathan was in baseball heaven. We sat where we could have a good view of the whole stadium. It was cold, but fun. I love that Nathan was able to do something he has always wanted.





After the game, we went to Katz's again cause we love it that much! After lunch we walked around the neighborhood again and just enjoyed the sights of the city.

On the first day in the city, Nathan found a bug on our bathroom and knowing that NYC is having a bedbug epidemic Nathan brought the bug to the front desk where we were told it is not a bedbug. This was on Tuesday. On Thursday while on the subway, we saw an ad. about bedbugs and low-and-behold a picture of a bedbug and guess what, it was the same bug! So we went back to the hotel and after some "discussion" we were upgraded to a suite and we had one night comped from our bill. They also paid for all our dry-cleaning. It was a little bit of a hassle, but the room was nice and I don't have to do as much laundry now that we are home.

All week long I wanted a back & white cookie. They are a famous NY treat, so we went to a cute little cafe, Rocco's, over in Greenwich Village, but I was disappointed. It really wasn't that good. Maybe I got a bad one, but not impressed. We went back the next night and got a piece of chocolate mouse and red velvet cheesecake and they were delicious, so they redeemed themselves.

I had some fun taking pics. on the balcony connected to our suite and the view was great and looked right onto the Chrysler Building.



Friday we woke up and went to Chinatown and Little Italy. I bought my "I Heart NY" t-shirt here. We thought is was interesting all the cultural things. There were vegetable, fish and meat markets. The craziest thing we saw was a garbage can half full of toads. For sale. To eat. Yuck!

We ate lunch in Little Italy. We really didn't know where to eat, and we knew we didn't want more pizza, so as we were pursuing we came across a quaint little place called Pellegrino's. We decided we had to eat here because of the name. Nathan's family name may have been Pellegrino before his great grandfather emigrated from Italy. So we went there. It was a good little place with great service.

We then went over to Central Park and went to our favorite bridge and took some pictures. Oh, right before this I almost died. No joke! Let me explain. In NYC people just go at crosswalks. Even if it's not their right-of-way. People are ruthless. Well we were at a crosswalk and the hand was blinking, so we went. We ran across. Halfway through the cross walk, my lipstick fell out of my bag so I quickly bent over to pick it up. Well, somehow I ended up dropping my cellphone out of my hand and I had to sscramble to pick that up. Meanwhile, the light has turned green and Nathan has made it across. Time slowed down. I thought I was going to get run-over by a crazy cab driver. Nathan did say that a cab even darted out and then saw me so it stopped. Even now I shake thinking about it. I had to sit down for 5 minutes and calm down because I thought I was going to die. Thanks goodness I am alive!

We went and saw a movie in the Upper West Side to get out of the rain and to rest our feet for a while. For dinner that night we went to Mono+Mono a Korean fried chicken restaurant next to the Empire State building. It was recommended to us by a local at the Yankee game. It was yummy with a cool, young vibe. After dinner we walked around and then went back to the little cafe Rocco's for dessert and hot chocolate. We then went back to the hotel to pack because we needed to be up early for our flight.

We really enjoyed this trip. The cold weather didn't even bother us. It was in the low 40s pretty much all week, but we liked it it added to the whole vibe of the city. There is just so much to do and see in NYC. We love how you can just go out, no matter how late it is and go to a little cafe or diner and just hang out for a little while, or walk around one of the great little neighborhoods and see something interesting. It truly is the city that never sleeps and we enjoyed our bite of the Big Apple.

Check out our New York trip from last year HERE

9 comments:

  1. OH MY ... lovely pics, it almsot feels like I've been there with you.
    you had so much fun!!

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  2. We love NYC! We've been there twice. Hoping to go back this Fall. Why no broadway shows during both trips?? You have to see one!

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  3. My mouth is watering while your story hops from restaurant to restaurant :) Looks like you had a great trip.

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  4. I want pizza now! Love it all! Great pics and narration of your adventures in the city. Super cute outfits. Did you have to pack a seperate suitcase for all your jackets and coats? Nathan's coat was cool too ;)

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  5. Great pictures! I loved reading all about your trip! The food looks so delicious there, it made my lean cuisine lunch not as desirable as it usually is.
    Seriously now that you tried Grimaldi's in New York and Vegas, you guys need to try Grimaldi's here in AZ! ;o) Afterwards I'll take you guys to this crazy delicious place called Nielsons for some frozen custard. I just tried it this weekend for the first time and almost died over how yummy it was. I think you and Nathan would love it too! In fact I think I just might take Brooke on a little date this afternoon for some! Miss you and I'm so happy you guys had such a fabulous time in NYC!

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  6. WOW!! These photos are amazing. I really want to go there some day soon! Thanks for posting. You are so beautiful in every photo!!! CUUUTTE couple!! xo

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  7. Looks like you had a great trip. I am glad you were able to go into philly and meet with Kristen. Does the pizza taste like Chi Chi's or better? All the pictures are good!

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  8. Looks like you had a wonderful time. I have only been to NYC once but I just love the feel of the city and there is so much to see and do. I would love to go back there someday!

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  9. I love your pictures and descriptions! I've never been to NYC, but this makes me want to go there even more. Before I'll do, I'll have to refer back to your blog about places I should visit while I'm there! :)

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