So, New York feels like such a long time ago...i am in slight disbelif that we are speeding through February. Wait, we're in February? ALREADY!! Valentine's Day is next Tuesday, and then the following Friday (24th) I am off to Brussels with Marianna to visit Andrea, our American/Polish/Portugese copine. It has been a whole year since we all saw each other in Bristol...apparently we are making yearly reunions our thing : )
Anyway, i have a few things to share with you about the rest of my trip to NYC over the Christmas holidays!
Eileen's Cheesecake (17 Cleveland Place, by Spring Street subway) JB and I stopped off here one Sunday morning after brunch at Freeman (info with a pic below) ...The place had held obvious appeal for me since the first time I spotted it (exiting Spring Street subway back in October 2010) because Eileen is my mother's name. However, until this third trip, I had always hesitated about stepping inside - because of the whole name association thing. But now i'm in a much better place about all that, so caution to the wind and belly already full from brunch, i stepped in and plonked for a Rocky Road cheesecake...it was absolutely yummy. JB kept it simple and went for a plain cheesecake, which was delicious. I was already stuffed but could have taken a box out with us, as there were so many mouth-watering flavours to choose from.
Penelope (159 Lexington Avenue) Guys and Gals, this is a wonderful place to brunch at the weekend. But I also feel this is somewhere i would choose to go for a low-key dinner or catch-up drinks with friends, if i had the luck to live in NYC! JB and I went last time we were in the city on Mother's Day - we had to wait for about an hour. This time, the wait was only about 40 minutes, and they spelt my name on the board as Luiz, but whatever! The food is definitely worth it. This is Sam I Am - eggs, asparagus, spicy potato wedges with wholegrain toast. We totally went for it and got 3 plates to share. We had the pancakes which came with strawberries and blueberries, as well as Abuelo's egg sandwich, which was delicious! Seriously, you should go if you get the chance. It's really the place where anyone can go: families, boys brunching, young couples, old couples, students with parents in town, people suffering from hangovers (although i'm not sure that the wait would be so manageable for this last category!)
Good old Starbucks - Vanilla Latte or Peppermint Mocha. These are my S'bucks drinks when i'm out of France. I think i have accepted how many freaking Starbucks shops there are in NYC (around 2 per block!) . So now i can safely say that I don't feel so nauseous if i see one roughly every 4 minutes whilst walking around the city. I'm not sure Louise is a common name in NYC - people had problems either spelling it, pronouncing it, or both. A thought has come to me as i'm writing this - I believe that not many people in France who know me as "Lou" realize i'm an actually "Louise", and that if you call me "Lou" it's technically a privilege and you're kinda in my special inner circle. Although that rule has pretty much gone to pot in my adult years, as my BFF in Cambridge has always called me Louise, whereas as all of JB's friends know me as Lou and we're not particularly tight...Everyone at work obviously knows me as Louise. I think though, my general rule is that once i get to feel comfortable around people, i'm much more "Lou" around them. "Louise" is brought out only for professional / formal occassions. I also really like blueberries! Feel like i just shared a part of my soul there!!
Freemans restaurant (8 Rivington St) Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! Cute interior, quite vintage inspired. Where we sat to eat looked like the kind of little dining area you'd have in your own house (if you had an awful lot of money I hasten to add!) But the bar area was rather swanky...!
I took the poached eggs with roasted tomato cheddar cheese grits and buttered toast, and JB went for the skillet eggs, bacon, spinach and Gruyere, with buttered sour dough toast. For refreshment, he was in need of a coffee and i was slightly more adventurous in having a lemonade which had something special in it. It was like homemade lemonade but had a slight aniseed taste to it. Again, this is another location (if i lived in NYC!) that you could go for a catch-up drink, or brunch with friends. Maybe even a low-key dinner en couple. Yes, i can see that.
Obviously, i indulged in a little culture during my stay (it would be rude not to partake, n'est-ce pas?!) Carnegie Hall concert season had pretty much wound down, and Louis CK was not scheduled to appear at the Comedy Cellar, so that was a bit of a bummer...BUT, there was the Ukrainian museum (222 East 6th Street)to keep me occupied. So off i trotted (i'd attach a picture, but i've had trouble uploading the last 3 for this post unfortunately!) and took in their Invitation to a Wedding exhibition, which was very colourful and interesting, from a historical and cultural perspective. Upstairs, there was a showing of selected works by Borys Kosarev. Again, this was interesting from a historical perspective (censorship makes me sad) - some of the paintings certainly had an impact, but I didn't know Kosarev's work at all before seeing this expo, so it was a great introduction. Are any of you out there a fan? Any of his works in particular which you'd recommend I look at?
Also managed to make it to The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1000 5th Ave) First of all, what a walk!!!! I went from the NYPL from 42nd and 5th all the way to the Met - it got particularly cold and windy once i'd passed the Apple store and Central Park was to my left and fancy buildings to my right. No tall buildings left me absolutely exposed to the blustery weather! I have only myself to blame: I am known for miscalculating distances, getting lost very easily, and not being able to read maps very successfully. However, NYC is a lot easier that getting around Paris with its sneakly little short-cuts and side-roads!! The Met is enormous. I think i saw in total about 15% of the museum. I bypassed the Greek pottery (sorry, hope i'm not causing any offense to anyone here, it's just not my thang) to head to the Fabergé eggs, and the modern art. I discovered an artist by the name of Florine Stettheimer - I read online that her best-known works are the following four paintings, all of which are displayed in the Met, and are said to celebrate modern life in New York: Cathedrals of Broadway (1929), Cathedrals of Fifth Avenue (1931), Cathedrals of Wall Street (1939), and Cathedrals of Art (1942). Look them up, i enjoyed them.
I also took a peek at the Roman artefacts, and was impressed with all the grand statues, the well-preserved objects and the talented young artists to be found sketching in that particular area of the museum.
Folks, i am going to sign off here...i don't want to bore you and have run out of steam somewhat. I hope you enjoyed. There will be a conluding NYC blog arriving soon, to wrap up photos not as yet successfully uploaded, and a shout out to other fabulous eateries/cultural hotspots...to be followed by a post with some anecdotes and photos from a couple of weeks ago -otherwise known as the weekend Marianna came to visit Paris!
Enjoy the rest of your week, and hope you are all looking forward to the weekend!! Lou xxxxxx