Adventures in NYC, Days 2 and 3

We started our second day much as we started our first. We had a lazy morning and then walked across town to Café Blossom. According to their website, they “are first and foremost animal caring.” But they also know that “eating an organic vegan diet encourages a healthy lifestyle.” Sounds like my kind of place! d

NYC has the best signs:

I got the veggie burger and Alex got a “bacon and egg” Florentine. My veggie burger was delicious and perfectly spiced – a bit soft, but I’ve come to expect that from home made veggie burgers. Alex liked his too, although I think he’d take actual Eggs Florentine any day of the week.

I was really disappointed by the sweet potato fries, which were soft and gummy and sort of cold. Not that we didn’t eat them, but we didn’t enjoy them as much as we COULD have. #firstworldproblems

After lunch, we grabbed the bus and went over the Highline. The highline used to be an elevated railroad, and when the city threatened to demolish it, a group banded together to save it and now it’s a long parklet. Walking around was beautiful and offered a unique view of the city:

Another awesome ad:

We walked from end to end and then needed to get out of the cold – so we headed over to a store we passed the day before, Good Beer. On the way, Alex stopped at Think Coffee for a small cup – and it was sized correctly! I wish we had more time so we could make another Think Coffee trip; they are socially minded and have great sourcing practices. PLUS, they are a bar and a coffee shop. We need more of those in SF!

When we got to Good Beer, which we’d spied the day before, we settled in to warm up on the inside and the outside!

Alex got a flight sampler while I enjoyed a small, mystery beer:

Good Beer also focuses on local sourcing:

Then we went to Pure Food and Wine for dinner. I didn’t take pictures because it was kind of fancy. I had made reservations thinking the restaurant was organic and vegan, not realizing the food was also raw.

Dinner was delicious – the food was incredibly creative and Alex got a tamale plate that rocked our world. Considering we don’t really like regular tamales, that’s saying something!

But I have to say that given that I was so cold from walking around without enough layers all day, the surprise of the food being raw and thus not piping hot, was disappointing. That has absolutely NOTHING to do with the quality of the food or service, both of which were great.

I was in need of something hot after dinner, so we hustled our way through the wind to Chickalicious Dessert Bar first, which is across the street and is a small, quiet dessert resatuarnt a pre-fixe menu and wine pairings. It looked fancy and crowded and there was no way we were waiting in the cold. So instead, we headed across the street to sister restaurant Chickalicious Dessert Club, a hole in the wall dessert place that was packed and pumping club music. I got a decidedly NOT vegan chocolate lava cake and vanilla ice cream. And Alex got a banana caramel bread pudding ice cream concoction:

We took our full bellies back our hotel and enjoyed the rest of the evening lounging about.

Our flight left at 2 on Monday, so we didn’t have much time to explore, but we did graba  healthy and yummy breakfast at Le Pain Quotiden were I sipped a bowl full of warm chai latte:

Clearly we needed it:

Allie introduced me to LPQ when I was in Washington DC a few summers ago, and I knew I had to take Alex there. It reminds me a bit of La Boulange in the city.

We walked around for a while, stretching our legs before we were forced to sit for 5 hours, and found yet another giant, crazy ad:

Finally, we ended the trip with the best falafel of my life. I searched Serious Eats and came up with the list of 10 best falafel in NYC and even though the #1 restaurant, Taim, it was across town from our hotel, we are such huge falafel lovers, we wanted to try it. Worth it. Best. Falafel. Ever.

On the way back to the hotel to grab our stuff and head to the airport, we discovered the Chelsea Market, which is a lot like the Ferry Building. I bought a raw, vegan chocolate ganache tart at One Lucky Duck that I ate later at the airport.

I’m not embarrassed to admit I ate the whole damn thing, even though it was so rich and decadent my biodegrable fork almost lost the battle a few times. Worth it!

I was overwhelmed by the number of vegan/vegetarian/healthy but delicious restaurants in NYC; I thought I was lucky in SF but holy smokes! I felt a little bad that I dragged Alex all across town just to eat for three days, but he seemed to enjoy it. We both agreed though that the falafel (still vegan but maybe note QUITE as healthy) was our favorite meal.

Walking and enjoying meals are my favorite ways to explore a city. On this trip, we discovered that we really like the Village and would definitely stay there next time. We also want to check out Brooklyn, since we didn’t get a chance to head over there this time. I suggested that perhaps we make it a five year tradition to visit NYC and discover even more of what it has to offer.

I know NYC is filled with museums and holes in the wall and fun places to go and things to do, but all of that seemed to require more planning. Considering we didn’t get out of the hotel until noon each day, it seemed like a miracle we got to the show and the highline.

Our first trip was all about doing the tourist thing. Our second trip was all about food. Our next trip can be all about finding fun and unique things to do that only NYC offers, and maybe enjoy some of the nightlife, too. Plus, we really want to try Dirt Candy, which had absolutely no reservations while we were there.

Having a few days to let the idea of being engaged sink in and just be present with each other was absolutely perfect. As much as we love celebrating with our friends and family, I felt lucky to have a few days alone to say, “hey guess what? We’re engaged” every ten minutes, without annoying friends and family.

And now we start the wedding planning journey – a process I’m excited to share on the blog. I plan to share specifics, along with thoughts and reflections on the process and how I am taking care of myself during it to avoid stress and tension. Looking forward to sharing with all of you!

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