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Saturday, September 14, 2013


NYC Skyline
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Instead of my usual odds & ends post today, I want to do a quick recap of our recent trip to New York City. This is the third time we've been to NYC since we've been married--first a 24 hour whirlwind in the middle of our trip to Connecticut and then last August we spent a weekend there visiting my friend Katie, who had recently moved there after her June wedding.
Central Park
Given that Katie's one of my favorite people ever and she happens to live in a city we really love, it was no question of whether we'd return this summer. We spent Labor Day weekend trouncing around Manhattan and the Bronx, where Katie and Matt live, and are already counting down until next year's trip! 

If you came for Odds & Ends or a recipe, come back Monday for regularly scheduled blogging! I like to capture our trips on The Sweets Life, both for the benefit of readers who might be visiting those places, and to capture memories via an online travel journal of sorts. 

A few of this year's NYC trip highlights...

Things we did:

  • Visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art. None of the four of us had visited this art museum, and we had fun exploring for a few hours. Highlights included the Everyday Epiphanies photography exhibit, recognizing art from Degas and Monet and Van Gogh, and (some) of the modern art. Don't miss a visit to the rooftop, where you'll see incredible views of the city!
  • Meandered through Central Park. Walking through Central Park never gets old, in part because there is so much to explore. This was the first time we walked (not ran) through the park, and it was nice to enjoy the scenery a bit more. We ate a picnic lunch, people-watched, and checked out the conservatory gardens. 
  • Indulged my foodie self at the Union Square Greenmarket, Eataly, and Fish's Eddy. I drooled over the fresh cheeses and bright vegetables at the market, watched chefs make orecchiette pasta in Eataly, and wanted to bring home one of everything from Fish's Eddy! 
  • Saw Jersey Boys. I love (love! love!) musicals, and couldn't resist the opportunity to see a show on Broadway while we were there. We didn't realize how much of Frankie Valli's music we'd recognize, and it was fun to see the songs come to life on stage. All four of us were blown away by the talent these actors have! 
  • Went to the US Open. Okay, this was Ryan and Matt, not me, but it bears mentioning. It was by far the highlight of Ryan's weekend! The boys went Sunday night and saw Djokovic destroy Sousa as well as Li beat Jankovic in the women's singles. Ryan already has his hopes set on attending next year, and with all the hype, I'm wondering if I should join him!
  • Enjoyed quality time with friends. Although we did a lot of great things over the weekend, this was the primary reason we came. It was so fantastic to spend so much time with Katie, and fun to see the boys get to know each other much better too. It's always better when the husbands love each other too, am I right?! Distance hasn't hindered our friendship in any way, but there's nothing like spending time face to face. Love you Katie!
New York City Restaurants
Places we ate:
  • Bistro SK. Matt & Katie took us to this little French restaurant, located on City Island in the Bronx on Thursday night when we landed. Aside from a great ambience on the back patio, we all loved our meals. Matt will tell you that the burger there really is the best he's ever had (I sampled and have to admit...it was a darn good burger!), but I couldn't resist the French onion soup and beet salad. Ryan enjoyed the soft-shell crab, a special of the day, and liked it so much I didn't even get a bite!
  • Wrap-N-Run. We grabbed wraps to eat in Central Park at this little sandwich shop. It's crowded and tiny, but the employees were incredibly friendly and the portions were huge! It's a great place to grab a quick lunch if you're wanting to picnic in the park (probably a 10 minute walk from the park). 
  • Satya Eastern Kitchen. We were in need of a quick lunch before heading to our matinee of Jersey Boys and popped into this fast casual Asian restaurant. As disappointed as I was to not have time to wait in Shake Shack's lines, this hit the spot! I highly recommend their dumplings, and we were obsessed with the crispy seaweed and lotus root chips that came with Ryan's sandwich!
  • Shake Shack. I'm dying to know if this place lives up to the hype, but alas, it was not meant to be this trip! We did manage to grab shakes here (the ice cream line is much, much shorter!), but I'll be back to try the burgers! I was only half-impressed by the black & white shake (vanilla with fudge)...it's hard when you live in the city of the best custard ever. Next time I'll go with my gut and order one of their fantastic sounding concretes...I prefer eating with a spoon over a straw!
  • L'asso NYC. This funky little spot off the main drag in Little Italy was a great place to pop in for dinner. Their pizzas are looooong and rectangular, vs. round, and although they have a ton of unique sounding pizzas, I think some of their classics are their best. The tomato sauce here is to die for and my favorite pizza featured thick pieces of bacon and roasted brussels sprouts! 
  • The Wicked Wolf. While the boys were at Arthur Ashe stadium watching tennis, Katie and I grabbed dinner at this pub near their place in the Bronx. We both ended up with the hamburger, topped with cheddar, sautéed mushrooms, and caramelized onions. The burgers were HUGE, but that didn't stop me from taking down nearly the entire thing, along with a plate of fries. Needless to say, it was a great meal to end our trip on, and one that kept me full for a good 18 hours!
So many fun things and good eats...can't wait to introduce Baby McLaury to NYC next summer!

One Year Ago: Caramelized Onion, Blue Cheese, and Bacon Pizza with Fig Jam
Two Years Ago: Pesto Berry Balsamic Flatbread with Goat Cheese
Three Years Ago: Hot Bean and Cheese Dip
Four Years Ago: Veggie Bagel Sandwich