Weekend Shenanigans: NYC Edition

On Saturday morning I woke up early to catch the Megabus to New York City. My parents were in Manhattan for the weekend as my mom was headed to Astoria for a 60th anniversary celebration of the Saint Francis of Assisi School, which she attended as a child.

The two-hour bus ride went off without a hitch, and before I knew it we were arriving in Manhattan. Following are a few photos and thoughts from the weekend:


While my Mom headed out to Astoria, my Dad and I wandered over to Central Park. It's quite the oasis in such a bustling city.


By the time we wound our way into the park we were both ready for lunch, so after grabbing a $4 map, we headed straight toward the Boathouse for lunch.


We both had burgers (veggie for me, of course!), shared a bucket of fries, and we also each enjoyed a Stella Artois with our meal. (Quite refreshing!)


Following dinner at McCormick & Schmick's, my Dad and I wandered over to Times Square to take in the sights and sounds before heading back uptown (um, is that the right direction?) to Rockefeller Center.


We woke up the snoozing lady in the ticket booth outside the building and bought tickets to visit the Top of the Rock Observation Deck. A short wait for the elevator, and then a quick ride up 60+ flights to the top of the building.


The observation deck offered great views of the city. Unfortunately, there were no sightings of Brian Williams or Liz Lemon in the building. Sigh. Though the plan was to hit the city once more for a drink once my Mom arrived back from her festivities around 11p, we were too zonked from our multiple-miles of walking around the city all day long and opted to call it a night instead.

On Sunday I got up early for a run from the hotel to Central Park. I got in about six miles, which included a loop around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. After breakfast in the hotel, my Mom and I headed out on a quest to find some black & white cookies for me to bring home for Dustin. A google search for "best black and white cookies in midtown Manhattan" indicated that Zaro's Bakery, which has several outposts in Grand Central Station, was the place to go. We opted to hit up the store in the marketplace, but unfortunately the market was closed due to filming of Food Network's Next Iron Chef. Disappointing, but I'm pretty sure I spied Anne Burrell with the film crew inside the market -- and then I also spotted Alton Brown hanging out with the producers/crew in the hallway. I didn't take any photos, as I didn't want to be That Girl, but fun nonetheless.

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After our Food Network celebrity-spotting, we headed back out, stopping at Crumbs Bake Shop on our way back to the hotel to pick up a couple more black and white cookies (you know, for comparison purposes) as well as a chocolate coconut cupcake. Their cupcakes (including some seriously jumbo cupcakes) all looked quite delicious, and um, rather calorific.

After a quick break back at the hotel, Mom, Dad, and I headed out with the intention of hitting up the Central Park Zoo. Unfortunately, our plans were thwarted by a massive Celebrate Israel Parade occurring across Fifth Avenue. The only cure? Retail therapy. Mom and I shopped through the sales racks at Barney's, while my Dad became increasingly bored; he opted to head back to the hotel while we headed for more shopping at Bloomingdale's and Zara.


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Mom and I arrived back at the hotel around 3p. After freshening up, the three of us headed out for an early dinner at Teadoro Ristorante. We shared a fantastic meal. For my meal, I started with:


followed by:


and for dessert, my Mom and I shared (can you spot the menu typo?):


We also all shared a bottle of Barbera d'Asti and a bottle of Pellegrino -- perhaps not the brightest idea to drink so much before a two-hour bus ride!

Following our delicious dinner, we returned to the hotel, where I grabbed my things, and we headed off via the subway to the Megabus departure stop. I arrived to find several people already in the queue for the 6:40p bus to Philly, though I was nearly an hour early. Mom, Dad, and I said our goodbyes and I took my place in line. The bus ended up being 20 minutes late in departure, but aside from a therefore-delayed arrival, the trip was uneventful. D and Leroy met me at the station, and we walked back home together. Once home, D and I shared one of the black and white cookies (because, even after such a big meal earlier today, how could I refuse a cookie?), and then we called it a night.

Whew -- all in all, quite a weekend! I had a great time in NYC, enjoyed hanging out with my Dad on Saturday, and had fun shopping with my Mom on Sunday. (If only I had more disposable income!!) I'm glad I opted to take the trip in to the city, and given how convenient it was, I think I may have to visit again soon.

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