1. Whole wheat bagel with sundried tomatoes cream cheese @ Leo’s bagel

2. Fried egg bun @ Momofuku Noodle Bar.

3. Spicy miso ramen @ Momofuku Noodle Bar.

4. The crowd @ NJ Transit Platform – Penn Station


NYC Day 3: Food and Shopping Galore!

Some of my friends wanted to check out the rest of the tourist attractions before leaving, so it’s the perfect time for me to enjoy some time with food. I looked up the best breakfast place in the financial district where we stayed and came across The Brooklyn Breakfast Food Truck. Unfortunately, it was not open so we went to grab some bagels at “Leo’s Bagels” instead. Of course, I also needed to try some of the best coffee in NYC as well at FIKA cafe. We then headed over to the waterfront to enjoy these goodies. What more can I ask for? The whole wheat bagel with sun-dried tomato cream cheese I had was not as good as the bagels I’ve had in Ottawa (Kettleman’s Bagel being the best). My friend really enjoyed her bagel breakfast sandwich though and there was a long line up at the bagel shop, so I think I may have to choose another item next time to fully evaluate this shop. The latte I ordered at FIKA was very good though, and I would highly recommend it.

We then headed up town to meet up with our friends at the New York Public Library. Unfortunately it was Labour Day and it was closed. We decided to do some shopping instead. Shopping can definitely work up an appetite. We decided to head to the highly recommended Momofuku for some ramen. I have been to the same chain in Toronto but this was supposedly different. We started their special bun with fried egg, scallions, smoked pork-loin, and hollandaise sauce. It was quite tasty but messy as well with the over-easy egg. My friend had their Momofuku ramen while I tried the spicy miso ramen. The noodles were perfectly cooked and the broth was very delicious. It definitely met my expectations and fortunately, did not disappoint my friend as well. The problem with ramen is, it is always so filling, I rarely have room for dessert. I guess I will have to visit their milk bar another time.

Time definitely flew by as we made our last stop at Grand Central for some photos before it was time to pack up and make our ways home. The trip home was again an adventure of its own as hundreds of people are trying to get home for the long weekend. There was a moment in Penn Station when I believed I was not going to make it onto a train to the airport in time for my flight. The announcing of the track number 10 minutes before the departure time of the trains, led to a flood of passengers all hoping to get on. Luckily, it all worked out at the end but it was then that I reflected on how big cities definitely has their own problems to be worked out.

Since this was a short trip, I only have a few summarizing thoughts:

1. Best coffee – FIKA cafe

2. Best noodles – Momofuku Noodle Bar

3. Best musical – The Lion King!!

4. Best atmosphere – The High Line

5. Best dessert – Ben and Jerry’s

Till next time!

NYC Day 2: Musical Splurge

I enjoyed The Lion King so much, I decided to watch another Broadway musical. This time, we tried to get the discounted tickets at the TKTS booth instead. I heard great reviews of the Jersey Boys from multiple sources so that was show I was hoping to snatch tickets for. We went 1 hour before the booth opened but the wait really was not that bad with some Starbucks and a friend. We ended up with really good seats for half the price. 

While waiting for the show, I decided to grab some infamous Shake Shack. I really felt like getting a hot dog, so I chose their “ShackMeister Dog” with some fries on the side accompanied with their peach flavoured lemonade. I brought these goodies over to Bryant Park and enjoyed it there. To be honest, I was not super impressed with my choices. I think I should have ordered one of their burgers with cheesy fries instead. Note to self: order a burger at a burger joint. The lemonade did not taste peachy as advertised. Oh well. Next time I will make better choices. I would also like to try their frozen custard at my next visit. 

I stopped in Loft on the way to pick up my friend to go to watch Jersey Boys and was really interested in their collection. I will be sure to come back (foreshadowing intended)! Jersey Boys was really good as expected. The vocals were amazing – especially from the lead actor. After watching The Lion King, however, it did not have the shock and majestic factor. After the show, we were greeted by a bunch of rickshaws waiting at the exit. It was quite an interesting sight.

We then went to The High Line to meet up with our other friends. I was very impressed. It was like an oasis above the hustle and bustle of NYC. There were lots of food trucks there but I did not have the chance to try them out as we were heading to dinner soon. For dinner we walked toward the subway station and stopped into a Thai and Japanese fusion restaurant. The food was not noteworthy, so I look forward to another day for food adventures tomorrow.

NYC Day 1: Commuting Adventures

My day started early with a 6am flight to catch, but I really enjoyed having the option to park and fly. I used to hate having to rush down when the taxi/uber got here. I appreciate being able to proceed at my own schedule. The parking was easy to find and the shuttle service very efficient. Because YOW is a smaller airport, the customs/security process was very speedy as well. I got to enjoy some downtime before I boarded the express plane to EWR. It was a short 1 hour flight over to EWR. While I was getting off the plane, I thought about how nice it is to just get away briefly from real life sometimes. A change in scenery can be so refreshing. 

I looked up the directions to get to the hotel ahead of time so I hopped onto the AirTrain in the airport, then transferred to the train to Manhattan. Unfortunately, I did not know there was Penn station in Newark as well as New York, so I purchased the wrong ticket. It was good the conductor was nice and allowed me to pay the difference while I was on the train. Why must it be so confusing though? Why is Newark next to New York and why do they both have Penn Stations? Anyway, I then took the subway to the hotel but of course another adventure. Since the subway route is closed for the long weekend, I needed to take a shuttle. But of course they did not call out the stop so I missed my stop. Finally arrived at the hotel and reunited with my friends! Traveling alone can be nice, for the flexibility, but I think that was enough adventure by myself for one day. 

First stop, Top of the Rock! I have been here before but I decided to go up again since none of my friends have been. After many pictures and enjoying the view, we went down and had some Ben and Jerry’s sundae. I had the caramel fudge one and it was amazingly delicious. 

We slowly made our way over to The Lion King. I was so excited. I’ve seen many musicals before but this one was truly magical! The stage and props were utterly amazing. They really brought this Disney Movie to life. I was in awe throughout the show.

After the show, while waiting for our other friends, when we saw a crowd of people around “The Halal Guys”. I remembered the gyros being amazing in NYC, so we needed to get one. My friend and I shared one and was a fan immediately. Next, we headed over the central park and had a little walk before dinner. For dinner, we scoped out Hell’s Kitchen for some good eats but did not find something that we all agreed upon. So we headed downtown to get some Ramen at Ramen Lab. Unfortunately, they were closed for the weekend as they were changing chefs so we will have to wait until our next trip. Fortunately, we looked across the street and saw L’asso Pizza. It looked busy so we assumed it was good. And we were correct! What a pleasant surprise! Their thin-crusted pizzas were incredibly tasty. We had their L’asso Supreme and also a vegetarian one (sorry I don’t remember the name and the menu online doesn’t show it) and they were delicious in their own ways. The L’asso Supreme was tasty on first bite. The vegetarian one, with asparagus, zucchini etc. gets more delicious as you ate more. We also had their meatballs, which were alright. 

We were all exhausted so we were excited to head back to the hotel. Unfortunately, there was some more rerouting of the subways, which caused us to take a detour across the Manhattan bridge and back again. After several transfers, we arrived safely back to the hotel. Time to pass out.