NYC!

Aug. 14th, 2016 08:20 pm
wildflowersoul: (strawberry shortcake)
We're back from Summer Vacation #3 (#1 was a week in Maryland in July, #2 was a couple of nights in a cabin in Maine last weekend). The drive home from New York always leaves me feeling so much more drained than the drive there. But Drew pointed out that we also walked 6 miles this morning before leaving the city, so there's that.

We drove down Friday morning, it was a surprisingly smooth ride, not as much traffic as there normally would be in the morning, and we triple-protected against West's motion sickness- half a chewable Dramamine, those sea sickness wrist bands, and lollipops made for morning sick pregnant ladies. It worked! And the Dramamine did not dope him up too much, so we were ready to hit the ground running on arrival. We parked at the Met and started our visit there. We walked in via the Greek/Roman statues wing, so West immediately saw statue butts and thought that was the height of hilarity. Got some comically overpriced lunch at the museum cafeteria. Saw the armor exhibit, the medieval exhibit, the Egypt exhibit, more ancient stuff, and European paintings. All while playing Pokemon Go, because the entire museum was covered in lures the whole time and there Pokemon everywhere. Talked to someone from Miami who was happy to see how into the game everyone is up here. After the museum we went to our hotel, which was in a great location, was pretty comfy, and had a super sketchy scary elevator. So I took the stairs a lot. Anyway, after freshening up, we walked down to the area where we knew we were having dinner, stopping in stores along the way because it was a thousand degrees and like 200% humidity, it was seriously epically uncomfortable the entire weekend. We went to The Strand, Forbidden Planet, Dylan's Candy Bar, and a Lego store (NYC business establishments got a lot of our money this weekend). Once we got down to The Village we stopped in a bar for a quick beer before dinner, then headed into Jekyll & Hyde for dinner. I had a groupon for dinner, which is the only way that place is remotely affordable, and even with that I ended up feeling like it was waaaay too expensive for what it was. We thought it would delight West, but he was kind of terrified the whole time. He did laugh at some things, and I think the rose colored glasses of time will make it a fun memory.. eventually. The food was beyond meh. Luckily we were right across the street from Big Gay Ice Cream, so we got delicious ice cream after dinner, and actually walked all the way back to our hotel from there. It was a lot of walking and West was a trooper for it all. It's not a Meger vacation until we have walked a punishing number of miles every day!

Saturday we got breakfast at a super New York corner diner that was super tasty. Then we walked up to the Nintendo store to drop some cash on Pokemon products. We played Pokemon Go the whole way, then went up to Central Park for more Pokemon action. We walked back to our hotel and got lunch at a bar with soccer on tv and a good beer selection, then I made a quick shopping detour to the row of awesome Korean beauty product stores (our hotel was in Koreatown). West and I attempted to nap at the hotel for a bit, completely unsuccessfully. We'd intended to do a ghost walk in the evening, but by the time I went to buy tickets that day they were all sold out, which was a bummer. So, change of plans, we took a bus way down to Bowery and Banyard, and then walked around Chinatown and Little Italy. Got some gelato because it was a thousand degrees and we lived off ice cream all weekend. And the gelato was delicious. We walked all the way to Avenue B to an HP Lovecraft themed bar that turned out to be underwhelming in its devotion to the theme. After that we found a bar specializing in hot dogs, so West could have a hot dog for dinner. A mouse totally ran across the floor in the place, but what can you expect from a restaurant below street level in New York.... We went back up to the area around our hotel (by cab this time, we aren't total gluttons for punishment, that would have been a crazy walk), Drew and I got some dinner, and that was the end of the day.

This morning we walked through Times Square to get to Ellen's Stardust Diner for breakfast. Ok, it's a total tourist trap, and in keeping with our food theme of the weekend, it was super expensive for meh food, but the waitstaff sing while you eat (I thought it would be like all the waitstaff singing to tables individually, but it's one person at a time singing with a microphone, so it's not as chaotic as it sounds). West was totally delighted with it, so it was worth the price tag and mediocre food, and looking like total tourists. We walked up to Central Park again, did more Pokemon Go-ing, then walked back to our hotel to check out. And that's that!
wildflowersoul: (strawberry shortcake)
We had a surprisingly AMAZING time in New York this weekend!

After the cut! )
wildflowersoul: (strawberry shortcake)
First child-free vacation, completed! We so needed some time for ourselves, and nothing says vacation like walking most of the length of Manhattan in a day.

We took the Bolt bus down on Thursday, met up A-Dot for dinner at a really nice bar, and went to see a cheap UCB improv show that was done by some of the Daily Show staff writers. We stayed at the Library Hotel that night. The hotel had a rooftop bar, and the night was pretty nice, if a little brisk, so of course we had a drink up on the roof. The hotel is stupid expensive, and it was pretty luxurious. They upgraded our room for no charge when we got there, and we happened to be put into the Law books room. We had a great view of Madison Ave, but with the view came the price of it being loud really early in the morning.

Friday we went to the Frick Collection to look at some art. It was surprisingly worth it. The building is gorgeous, and it's a reasonably small collection to look at, so you don't get art fatigue. Maybe I'm weird getting tired of looking at priceless works of art, but there's only so much I can handle. So that was totally worth it. We wandered around some after that, got lunch, then moved along to check into our next hotel, the Kitano. OMG, I want to live there. Everything about this hotel was so comfy, the beds and pillows were amazing, the toilet seats were heated (!), it was super nice. After a disco nap we walked down to the Village to our favorite place in the city, Vol de Nuit. Moving along, we grabbed some pizza and then made our way to Burp Castle, which is now my new favorite place in the city. The bartender regularly shushed everyone, and amazingly, people obeyed! It was awesome. Great beer, a place where you can actually hear each other speak... if only more bars could be like that.

Saturday we saw a bit on the news about a festival in Tribeca (there was a film festival and a family festival), and we also knew there was a street fair on part of 8th Ave., so we walked down to Tribeca via 8th. A few hours and some sore feet later, we popped onto the subway to head back up to midtown. Grabbed some lunch, then we figured we could walk up to the Met slowly and stop at some bars on the way. It turns out that at a certain point on 5th Ave bars kind of disappear, or they become only too-fancy-for-us hotel bars, so we ended up walking all the way up to the Met with no breaks. Seriously, so much walking. We had a ghost hunting tour of the Met scheduled for 5:00, so we hung around until that started. The tour was The Ghost Doctors of NY, us, and another couple on vacation. The other couple talked about how their house in LA is totally haunted and showed us a video of their pots falling off the wall hooks in their kitchen by what could only be supernatural means. So we all walked around the Met pointing EMF meters and thermometers and geiger counters at things to look for ghosts. Say what you will, but there was one area of old portraits where the EMF meters went totally bananas and the temperature was fluctuating wildly, and we were pretty sure we were onto something. Anyway, it was a lot of fun, and a nice way to see a museum we've already been to a few times in a completely different way. The looks we were getting from people were pretty priceless, too. Some people definitely thought we were crazy, but some people looked like they wished they could get in on the hunt, too. After all that, we headed back to our general hotel vicinity for dinner and drinks. We ended up wandering into a practically deserted bar called The Archive. We ended up chatting with the bartender and stayed out way later than we intended (and I drank more than I should have, a lesson I swear I never learn in New York). That turned out to be lots of fun.

This morning we caught the 9 am Bolt bus back to Boston. The bus, ugh. It's cheap and all, but now the cheap buses have to load/unload way out in the middle of nowhere, and there was no organization about lines or which bus was going to Boston and which was going to Baltimore, so it was just total chaos for like half an hour. I wish the train was cheaper to be a more viable option. Anyway, that's it, that's our little trip to NYC. West had a great time at Camp Grammie & Grampy, and he turned up the cutes all evening.
wildflowersoul: (SPN- too precious)
I had a fabulous weekend. Finally! We are officially all moved in to the new place and officially totally out of Somerville. To celebrate, I just deleted all davis square related crap from my LiveJournal.

So Thursday night [livejournal.com profile] cayetana had the genius to set up some drinking at the Burren, and it was tons of fun. Just what we needed after an egregiously hard week of getting up at 4:30 am and doing lots of last minute moving/cleaning chores.

Friday Drew & I headed down to NYC on a late afternoon bus. We were not wowed by awesome on the Mega Bus this time, as the trip down took about 5.5 hours and involved lots of traffic and slowness. So we straggled into the city, checked into our hotel (a great find, too, on East Houston and much nicer than we'd expected from the price tag- the Gem Hotel), grabbed a couple slices of pizza, and went on our merry way to the Metafilter meet up. I maintained the perfect level of drunkenness, something I strive for on New York visits but rarely achieve (mostly I achieve "kill me now" hangovers that last the entire next day). Is it sad that this is an accomplishment? Anyway, we hung out with a ton of really interesting people, had lots of good conversation, and stayed out until 3 am. Woo!

Saturday we got up too early and obtained the cupcakes I have dreamt about for months from Sugar Sweet Sunshine. I actually now think the cupcakery in Beverly has cupcakes that are even better than the NY place. Trooped around the city in an exhausted haze, got lunch at Burgers & Cupcakes (I have a problem). B&C has changed ownership and changed both their burger recipes and their cupcakes recipes, and I sadly report that I'm not sure I'd recommend going back. Not as good as the last time we went there. After that we piled onto the bus and headed back to Beantown, where I arrived just in time to make it to [livejournal.com profile] dr_alycat's lovely and fantastic bridal shower. Fun times!

Yesterday we got a lot done on the unpacking front, and now have a living room cleared of boxes (not that the boxes are actually unpacked, mostly they've been shuffled up to the office and drawing room to be dealt with later). The kitchen is, like, half-unpacked at this point.
wildflowersoul: (Bunny!)
So much indie rock in one weekend! Saw Dressy Bessy last night at TT's, it was a great show. The Built to Spill Don't Look Back show in NYC was also awesome.

Our New York trip: fun and exhausting.

Thursday we arrived in the city, dropped our bags off at our weird "b&b" (bed, no breakfast, surly owner), and headed over for our long, long wait for The Daily Show. They overbook their reserved tickets, so you're not guaranteed to get in even if you have tickets. We got there wicked early, waited in line for a looooooong time, but it was worth it because we did get in. The actual taping of the show is so fast, it really is just about the time it takes to watch the show without commercials. Jon Stewart is awesome and comes out before the show to take some audience questions. The show was conveniently about five blocks away from the venue for Built to Spill, so we left the taping and went over to the concert. I had been hoping to get there after the Meat Puppets finished their set, but we were early and had to sit through them. Dinosaur Jr. rocked out, and then Built to Spill played Perfect From Now On, and they were amazing, and it was all I hoped for. It's my favorite BtS album. After that we met up with the rest of our traveling group in Times Square, went to a really crappy bar, and headed back to Brooklyn to sleep.

Friday Drew & I went to the Central Park Zoo, it was raining so the giant bunnies were not outside and I felt a little cheated. Yes, the highlight of every zoo experience for me is seeing bunnies, even though I have three perfectly good bunnies at home to see all the time. But the polar bears were adorable. We then hit the Met, which I've been to a couple of times, so I hit my museum tolerance pretty quickly. Since it was raining, I think half the population of the city was hanging out inside the Met, making it kind of claustrophobic. We fled the museum to meet up with friends and commence to drinkin'. Continued drinkin' at Vol de Nuit. Got a tasty late dinner at a place called Acme, and by the time we got to Brooklyn our store of energy was spent. Why does it take so friggin' long to get anywhere in New York?

Saturday we had brunch in Carroll Gardens, waited forever for an F train to take us into Manhattan, scored The Best Cupcakes I Have Ever Had, Ever at Sugar Sweet Sunshine, and went to The Strand for some book action. By the time all this was done, it was pretty much time to catch our bus home. Ok, seriously, those cupcakes? They were divine. They were better than Lyndell's. I would take the 4 hour bus back down to New York just to get those cupcakes and then come right back. Nom nom nom.

So that's that. It was a ton of fun, but involved way too much public transportation. If it hadn't been raining I would have walked much more and probably wouldn't have burnt out so much on getting around town.
wildflowersoul: (Love is all you need)
What a day. Tomorrow: off to New York at the break of dawn. Daily Show taping, Built to Spill concert, drinking, seeing friends, more drinking, gawking at big buildings, and food. So excited!!!!!
wildflowersoul: (Default)
Local bakery update (not cupcakes!): When Pigs Fly officially makes the best bread ever. Picked up a loaf of sundried tomato bread to go with our lasagna last night, and it's ridiculously tasty.

In sad non-local news, I've been informed that Burgers & Cupcakes has closed shop in New York. But I need it to exist so that once a year we can have one perfect day in New York. That perfect day involves: a heck of a lot of walking, reading books at Vol de Nuit with begian beers and french fries, and then dinner at Burgers & Cupcakes. I am a simple woman with simple needs, and a restaurant that serves only burgers and cupcakes is one of those needs.

Also, I've decided that I seriously need to read more books. Next year will be a year for reading books! I'm reading The Thirteenth Tale right now, which is entertaining enough. But it has reminded me that I never read Jane Eyre, and I think that needs to be rectified. There are a bunch of other "classic" type books that I need to actually read, too. I'm not sure if that will involve Ulysses or not.
wildflowersoul: (Bunny Cookie!)
So [livejournal.com profile] aphorisic rules because he told me of a magical place in New York. That place is Burgers & Cupcakes, and if that idea alone doesn't fill you with delight, let me just say: bacon and cheddar burger and a chocolate peanut butter cupcake. So tasty I don't think I have the right adjectives to describe it. So we had a great trip to NY, the Metafilter meetup was tons of fun, Saturday we hung out for a bit at Vol de Nuit, and this morning we went to the Central Park Zoo. This week there's awesome sweeps television to look forward to (Veronica Mars and Supernatural, I'm looking your way!), and I should get back into something of a more regular routine with kung-fu. Life is good.

Also, speaking of Metafiter, some of you will find this amusing humorous SNL meme.
wildflowersoul: (Princess Sparkle)
So last night involved way, way too much booze, a drunken climb to the top of some dude's office building, and what I'm sure must have been a spectacular view of Manhattan. Alas, I was too drunk to actually appreciate that view, though I'm sure I was cutely enthusiastic about it at the time. New York is awesome and I love it. I am not touching a martini again ever, though. Srsly.
wildflowersoul: (Arise Chicken!)
We are in New York! Yay! It is awesome! We have much drinking to get on with shortly. And some nerding out. And a lot of walking. Woooooo!
wildflowersoul: (Logan holding Veronica)
So, a little more detail on NYC, though Drew hit the highlights of our many wonders of serendipity.

For lo, the hotel was not where/what I thought it was, but it was super cheap and had comfy beds, and that's all that matters. So on Thursday we arrived in the city, checked in, then headed down to Chelsea to attempt to find the club. It turned out to be in a converted church, which was a great venue to see a show, not such a great venue to try to find, as it was devoid of signage and addressage. And what on earth is up with New York's casual disregard for street numbers making any kind of sense? I don't know how a street ends with number 121 and picks up a block over with number 20 (and this is all West, not going West-to-East or vice-versa, which I could understand). So we found the club, realized that our Must Get To Show panic was for naught, as the ticket time was the door time, and found ourselves some absolutely delicious Mexican food at a little hole in the wall place. Seriously, the best enchiladalas I've ever had. Yum yum. So then the show, Architecture was fantastic, there were lots of high school kids.

Saturday we wandered, ducked into a bookstore to kill time during a torrential downpour, and then met up with our walking tour in the Lower East Side. The tour was entertaining and interesting, and was a good way to see parts of the city we otherwise wouldn't have ventured into. After that we headed on a semi-wild goose chase to find Waikiki Wally's. Got a teensy tiny bit lost and ended up stumbling onto The Library Bar. It turned out to be lucky we did, as we killed time there, figured out that the tiki bar was about a block away, and still managed to show up for tiki time about 15 minutes before the place opened. Go me. But we tikied, we headed back uptown for some comic books, dinner, and beer, and collapsed for sleep and listening to high school kids in the room next door play poker until 6am, at which point they kindly called us (for the 7th time that night) and informed us they were going to McDonald's. We informed them that we weren't their friends.

Sunday involved aforementioned cupcakes, walking from the Upper West Side to the Village, wandering around there exploring and hanging about, then visiting Vol de Nuit. That place was spectacular, and well worth the very weird opening time. What bar opens at 4:00 on a Saurday? Anyway, we then headed back towards our hotel, drank some more, grabbed some pizza, and hotel-ified.

Yesterday morning we walked around for a couple of hours, through the park and through a huge street fair, then drove home through sunny and un-trafficy Connecticut, which was not Teh Suck this time.

Yay!! I *heart* New York.

Off to kung-fu, here's hoping I didn't fall too far out of shape this weekend.
wildflowersoul: (Veronica- Pony!)
We're back! The trip was very fun, despite some... adventures. Or near-adventures. Drew will probably write about it in a more entertaining fashion than I can, though.

I will say this- we pilgrammaged to Crumbs, and while they do offer tasty cupcakes, Lyndell's in Somerville (a convenient few blocks from our place!) trumps the fancy NYC cupcakes. I studied this with much science, and empirically found the Crumbs cupcake to be lacking in two key cupcake factors: structural integrity (a must!), and cakey consistency. The frosting was fluffy and creamy, thus gaining a slight advantage over Lyndell's, whose frosting is merely creamy, not fluffy. But the cake portion of the Crumbs cupcake tasted more muffiny than cakey, and crumbled apart too easily. The peanut butter cup cupcake was also a little too densely covered in delicious Reeses morsels, leading to further crumbliness and messiness.

So the verdict was: delicious, but not something for which I wanted to spend $40 for a dozen. After eating the cupcakes we finished our walk from 94th street to 4th street, which had to have been a few miles, thus negating any caloric powers the delicious baked goods may have had.
wildflowersoul: (Jim Pam Kiss)
Good morning lovely people of the LiveJournal!

I seek recommendations from you! Your favorite places to eat and drink in Manhattan and Brooklyn, pretty please.

Because we are creatures of habit, and without some ideas in mind we're likely to end up at the Heartland Brewery and the place with flaming chili again. Oh, and Waikiki Wallys, because this time I'm not coming home until I have gotten my tiki on.


So glad this'll be a short week. I love my job, but I'm past due for a vacation. Off to bang out a bunch of market intelligence research, catalog the twenty books that have been waiting on my shelf for over a week, and pay the libes bills. Woot.

Oh, and The Office season finale? AWESOME.
wildflowersoul: (hello kitty)
So it looks like a lot of bands are doing things with MySpace, so I gave in and got an account. If you're on MySpace, please friend me so I don't look like a total loser: my thingy. I will then friend you back. Danke!

In other news, this weekend's Book Club meeting to discuss The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, by Jose Saramago, was a smashingly good meeting. The book was good, too! Any day that starts at 1:00 in one part of town and ends at 11:00 across the river has got to be a good day.

[livejournal.com profile] c_m_i and I are getting plans under way for a NYC trip in a couple of weeks. We have tickets to see Architecture in Helsinki, and plans to see comedy at Caroline's, a walking & eating tour of the LES, Chinatown, and Little Italy, and a plan to finally explore Brooklyn and check out the Brooklyn Brewery. Can you believe that in all the times I've been to New York, I've never ventured out of Manhattan? That's just silly.
wildflowersoul: (Claire)
So, those of you who watch Scrubs may recall the "man cards" featured in last week's episode (and those of you who don't watch Scrubs, uh, you guys are missing out on some fine, fine comedy gold). [livejournal.com profile] c_m_i and I are trying a new system of "grace cards" in an attempt to alleviate my horrible clumsiness. Seriously, yesterday I broke yet another wine glass, this is getting absurd. So I get 5 grace cards a day, and lose them for knocking crap over and running into things and generally being an oaf. My ultimate reward for learning some grace is a trip to New York. Because I lust for New York City in an almost visceral way now. I usually finagle one trip to The City a year, but this year a couple of trips to England took precedence (and, well, ok, England wins any contest with NYC, that country is just sublimely awesome). I don't know exactly why I love New York so much, but I do. The funny thing is that I don't actually want to live there, ever. I just need an injection of big city every once in a while. It's the Maine Girl in me. The teeming streets, the big buildings, the smell of garbage and pee... *sigh* I just love New York. Oh, and it has Waikiki Wally's, and I need to go to Waikiki Wally's sometime very soon.
wildflowersoul: (Default)
I was just reading this site about abandoned T stations, it's pretty nifty. I think it's fascinating to think of all the history buried under and above the tunnels.

One of the reasons why I love New York so much is that it just awes me to think about the sheer number of people in such a relatively short period of time that's taken to make the city what it is today. It's so vibrant and alive (and stinky).
wildflowersoul: (Default)
Drew has the best ideas. Like when he says "you wanna go to New York?" and when I saw "now?" he says "why not."

Awesome. Totally awesome weekend. We rocked the city hardcore.
wildflowersoul: (Default)
whee.
so, so glad the powers that be at work made the call to give me a snow day in the early am, before it looked all calm and kinda pretty out.
nyc was a blast. )
wildflowersoul: (pirate bunny)
i have no shame. i'm addicted to a nelly song.

so tomorrow i'm off to NYC with [livejournal.com profile] eye_abstains. i *heart* new york. all those big buildings and exciting things (i'm from maine, give me a break- i still get a thrill from boston sometimes). we've got a few things on tap as far as stuff to do goes, but any suggestions for good bars from anyone who's been there recently? the last time i went i recall a place called "the stoned crow." -Aside- [livejournal.com profile] tintin1, i don't think you were there with us, but it was the time R.E. and i went to visit you. i'm hoping to not cause as much chaos this time.

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