New York City

March 23, 2010

Disclaimer:  This is going to be pretty lengthy!

Back in November 2009, I planned to visit to New York City so I could check out Tim Burton’s exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art.  It didn’t happen because a relative passed and I had to postpone my trip.

I knew I wanted to do something for me & my boyfriend‘s 5 year anniversary (March 1), so I thought, why not go to NYC and celebrate there?  A lot of my friends live there now, and I’m always up for a long weekend away from home.

Well, it rained all weekend and our clothes were soaked 90% of the time.  On a good note, we were able to visit most of the places we wanted to see buuuut I really wanted to just walk around the city and get lost and even stumble upon random eateries/sites/parks.  I REALLY wanted to go to Central Park because I still haven’t been!

Sigh.  I am almost always prepared for a trip — I’m a planner, it comes naturally!  But this time, I wasn’t focused!  Had I looked up the weather forecast and stuck to my what-to-pack list, I might have been more ready…

We made the best of it.  We flew, which only took an hour, took a cab to our hotel (located right next to the WTC site), and started looking for a reasonably priced sushi joint.  We decide on Takahachi in Tribeca.  Everyone was really nice and greeted us, and the decor was great.

Being the cheapskates we are, we order from their lunch specials!  Haha.  I ordered the Shrimp Tempura which came with miso soup (I ordered the white, should have ordered the red!) and 2 sides of the day.  He ordered a sushi special of some sort.  All in all, it was okay.  Nothing memorable though.

I wanted dessert soon after, so I said, let’s try Red Mango!  Unfortunately, the Red Mango that was showing up on my bf’s Google Maps was really a Pinkberry. I guess it wasn’t too unfortunate — he’s never tried it before.  I had a small cup of chocolate froyo with cheesecake bites.  He had their new mango froyo with mochi & other goodies.  I asked him if he liked it, he said it was “just okay.”  I agree!  Too much hype.

Then, we went back to the hotel to nap.  Couldn’t really meander through the streets of NY because it was raining anyhow.  But when we woke up, it was almost 6:00pm and I was starving.  At that very moment, I received a text message from an old friend who now lives in the city.  He asked if we would meet him & my other friend for dinner.  He said there was this  fusion joint that served a 4 course dinner for only $12.95 and it was pretty good.  Um, didn’t I mention how cheap frugal we are?  We were so there.

When we got there, it was very reminiscent of Cooper 35 — a local watering hole that served Asian cuisine for cheap.  My friend even mentioned how this was his “Cooper 35″ find.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a website to provide for my readers, but I do have pictures!

Wow, I was pleasantly surprised with the food.  It was actually pretty good and I had the itis afterward!  I had white wine, fried spring rolls, salmon teriyaki, coffee & tiramisu!  Yep.  All for $12.95!

The next morning, we woke up early to catch our hotel’s complimentary continental breakfast before heading to MoMA.  We had timed tickets to see Tim Burton’s exhibit from 10:30am-11:00am.  Luckily we got there at 10:35am and since I already had tickets, we surpassed that ridiculously long line!

Could you imagine sitting in that position for 700 hours?

Another womp womp moment:  I wasn’t able to take pictures of his collection, er a lot of stuff at the museum actually, but I did appreciate it all.  I will admit — I got a bit teary eyed when I saw his art work/props from this movies.  I am a huge, huge, HUGE fan.  My bf (and my sister who texted me later that day) asked if I liked it.  I told them about how happy I was… but didn’t want to admit how lame I was because I started tearing up.

Anyway, 3 hours later and we were ready for lunch.  We wanted to try Hello Deli or Stage Deli but both had long lines and for some reason, out of all the days we were there… it was the most wet on that Saturday, so needless to say, I wanted to pick a place and dry off ASAP!  We ended up at Lindy’s.

As you can tell from the reviews.. it wasn’t the best we’ve ever had, but it satisfied our hunger at the time!  We ordered Lindy’s triple decker, a side of fries, and a slice of strawberry cheesecake.  I think our bill was close to $50.  Like I said in my Yelp review, it’s a tourist trap and service lacked.

The weather wasn’t getting any better, so we went back to the hotel, took an other nap (so lame, I know) and woke up in time for our hotel’s complimentary happy hour!  We were supposed to meet up with my friends for happy hours at Sweet Revenge but we were all traumatized by this pseudo tsunami, so we decided not to meet up.

Me and the bf were going to stay in and order from the hotel’s take out delivery service — their restaurant isn’t open yet, so that’s why they offer complimentary breakfasts and happy hours along with their delivery service — buuut none of the participating restaurants were picked up!  Hmm, I wonder why?

I Yelp-ed and found a place to eat — The Odeon.  I’m sorry I don’t have pictures to share, it was jam packed that night and I literally sat 3 inches away from the next party.  The host actually had to move the table for me so I could sit in my chair!  With that said, the restaurant was fantastic.  They played my kind of music (trip-hop) and the food was superb.  My bf had their hangar steak and I had one of the specials, braised flat iron steak.  We both practically licked our plates clean.  We also ordered their Warm Apple Galette, served with salty caramel sauce & cinnamon ice cream!  Quite foodgasmic.

The next morning, the rain had stopped!  Well, not completely, but we definitely took advantage!  After breakfast, we headed to Chinatown/SoHo.  Didn’t really pick anything up at Chinatown except those I love NY shirts for our parents.  I did end up buying 2 necklaces: one with a cupcake pendant & another with an elephant.

We stopped by other stores along Broadway in SoHo, then stopped by Dean & DeLuca.  I was so excited!  I think I took pictures of every single thing and regulars/employees were getting annoyed.  Whatever!  We don’t have a Dean & DeLuca where I live, let alone a Dean & DeLuca market!  I bought a Nutella cupcake from their bakery and that, my friends, was a lovely idea.

We were supposed to meet up with my bf’s friend & family for lunch, but they were traveling from NJ to meet up with us, so it took them just a little bit longer than we anticipated.  So, we told them we’d meet up with them for dessert.  I was craving a burger for some reason so we stumbled upon a cute little place called Soho Park.  You literally feel like you’re eating at a park because the chairs are park benches, there’s greenery everywhere, and they have windows for walls.

That cute little baby is Rafael, btw.  Don’t you just want to pinch his cheeks?!

Well, we finally met up with my bf’s friend & family and they showed us around.  First: South Street Seaport.  We all had bubble tea for dessert then continued to the “Charging Bull” in the Financial District.  We took necessary tourist pictures then headed to Battery Park.  Finally, we all headed towards the hotel and we parted ways.

It was our last evening in NYC, and we made reservations at Antica Venezia Ristorante. What an experience.  I mean that in a good way.  I found the restaurant on Open Table and the reviews describe this place as romantic, great for special occasion, and a neighborhood gem.  We were seated right away, then we were greeted by their maitre’d.  Everyone was so attentive and enthusiastic about their food, it was contagious.

To start off, we ordered their Carpaccio di Manzo e Rucola (beef carpaccio served with arugula, shaved parmigiano, mushrooms, and aioli olives) because I love me some carpaccio! The bf ordered their Ravioli d`Aragosta (lobster ravioli, chopped asparagus, mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, and white wine sauce). I ordered Pollo Scarpariello alla Veneziana (lightly coated chicken breast in white wine sauce and garlic with a touch of lemon). For dessert, we shared a warm apple tart. Can you tell we like fruit + ice cream for dessert?

That’s pretty much it.  I will definitely be going back much more prepared!  Anyway, thanks for reading!  If you made it to the bottom, you’re awesome.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 katrina March 23, 2010 at 11:00 pm

Mmm that carpaccio looks delicious!! Your pictures look great and the MoMa looked like a lot of fun! Wish I had enough time to go to it.

…and “some asian bistro” lol.


2 Olive March 24, 2010 at 3:45 am

sounds like you had a really wonderful time in NY city and thanks for sharing your experience, I enjoyed reading about it, I like your visit to Dean &Deluca best, so many yummy treats! :)


3 Janelle March 24, 2010 at 9:18 am

LOVE your new blog, fia!! Looks very nice. :) I also love the review of your NY trip. Can’t wait to go again later this year!


4 RLV March 24, 2010 at 9:34 am

@Katrina: Haha! There wasn’t a name for the bistro. I think really was just called “Asian Bistro.” I couldn’t even find it on Yelp.

@Olive: Thanks for reading through it all! Dean & DeLuca was amazing. The treats were calling me, so I just had to buy one!

@Janelle: Thanks! We really need to plan our trip! I’m dragging Katrina with us! :)


5 Aly March 24, 2010 at 10:24 am

Oh my! I’m glad you had a ball on your gettaway to NYC! Your photos are amazing & I’m glad the Tim Burton exhibit moved you. Yeah, it stinks you’re not allowed to take photos, but at least you got to actually see it (cause Francis and I just saw the outside of it, LOL). But, yay! You make me wanna go back to NY soon :]


6 Rick March 24, 2010 at 7:58 pm

I live in New York and the Tim Burton exhibit is great. Next time you go you should check out St. Mark’s, lots of good eateries there.


7 RLV March 24, 2010 at 8:24 pm

@Aly: Thanks mare! We definitely need to plan a trip up there… early June perhaps? :)

@Rick: Yeah, we actually spent a lot of time around St. Mark’s. We only managed to grab some Pinkberry because we had sushi beforehand, but I loved it there. I gotta do more research!


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