We woke up to a hot and muggy Manhattan. Bluestone Lane offered a cool blue atmosphere, but with a table in the sun, I sweltered away, desperately using the menu as a fan.
I perked up a bit though, when just in the knick of time, a delightfully ice cold latte landed in front of me.
And after a few glances at the menu and a dual order of Green Baked Eggs, a hot skillet bursting at the seams with chimichurri, cherry tomatoes, spinach, portobello mushrooms & feta, served with Balthazar toast, our breakfast arrived.
The vegetables had a lovely broiled texture, and the eggs (although cooked longer than I prefer), added just the right oomph. Their homemade bread had a satisfyingly crunchy crust and chewy center. Bluestone Lane was a great choice and one that I'll undoubtedly make again. Read more about them here.
Since we hadn't had quite enough sun just yet, we decided that a walk around the Union Square Farmer's market, where my sister used to work, would be perfect for the late morning.
It was our next item on the itinerary that really gave me that extra spring in my step, a visit to the MET.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has long been a destination on my ever-growing list of such. They say you can't see all of it in a day, much like the Louvre (another must-see if you haven't already), and so I went with a plan, mapping out what I wouldn't leave without seeing.
Manus x Machina, Fashion in an Age of Technology, is an exhibit which caught my attention immediately. Short of sitting front row at an haute couture fashion show, where else would I be able to see these pieces of art, so close that it took all my might not to reach out for a sneaky feel of their exquisite fabrics.
Here are some of my favorites.
We eventually made our way upstairs to the European Art dated from the 19th through the 20th century (my favorite centuries for art).
It's hard to ignore the statues as you make your way from one end of the museum to the next.
As we walked out onto the steps of the MET, I couldn't help but take a seat and live out a moment of Gossip Girl fiction. I would gladly eat my lunch with this view every day.
We spent the rest of the afternoon, peering around the corners and cobble-stoned streets of SoHo, popping into shops and trying on clothes, and even taking a shameless dressing room selfie now and again.
For dinner, Helen and I met my best friend from my Belgium. We hadn't seen each other in 17 years! It was so much fun catching up and sharing what were once lost memories that just needed a good dusting off, that I didn't snap a single photo at the restaurant. Buvette is a tasty, cozy, small plate Parisian joint. I would certainly go back. The have a location in New York and in Paris. Check them out here.
Still craving something a little sweet, my sister and I scampered over to Odd Fellows Ice Cream.
It has a cool decor and pretty cool flavors, but I don't need to go back any time soon. I had a sampling of nearly every flavor in the box, and only one struck my fancy.
I ordered the Oatmeal Cookie Dough which was quite satisfying as it had mammoth-sized chunks of chewy goodness.
The evening ended on a sweet note, having seen priceless art, been reunited with an old friend, and explored new nooks and crannies of the city.
We awoke on our last morning, hopped over to a really neat Oatmeal cafe, appropriately named OatMeals, and scarfed down a warm breakfast accompanied by a cold coffee.
With that boost of energy, Central Park called us once more.
I adore the Bethesda Fountain and couldn't pass up seeing it once more.
We had just enough time to walk by the Flat Iron building, then pop into Chelsea Market, a place I'd like to revisit and spend an entire afternoon sampling food, before heading back to the impressive Grand Central Station, picking up some food for the bus ride home.
New York City was just as I'd remembered it: full of life, excitement, and a bit of mischief. What more could you want? I wonder what new things I'll discover next time I go. Any suggestions?