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April 05, 2011

New York City - two weeks late

I realize I haven't updated my blog in almost three weeks. And when I look back at my calendar to see why I haven't posted, I notice it has been a busy, busy few weeks. In mid-March though, my mom, sister, aunt and I ventured to Manhattan for a weekend of Broadway, shopping, laughs and great food. We were blessed with awesome weather - 80 degrees in March! And what's not to love about the city that never sleeps?!

a) The Shows: When you have 4 artsy gals in one artsy city, the theatre - or should I say "theater" - is a must. We wanted two totally different experiences, which is what we got with American Idiot and Mary Poppins! American Idiot - the Green Day musical about media and pop culture - was loud and proud, with clever choreography and set. The raw story challenged modern day ideals and norms and left everyone in the crowd singing and cheering.
Me outside American Idiot at the St. James Theatre
Mary Poppins, by contrast was full of sugar and spice and everything nice. When Disney backs a show, you know it's going to be fantabulous - and Mary Poppins was nothing short of Supercalifragilisticexpialadocious! Inticate sets that move and change, stunning wardrobes and voices that soared. Mary was Practically Perfect in every way, and this show is a must for the entire family.

The four of us with Mary; New Amsterdam Theatre

b) The Tours: You can't go to NYC without sightseeing, of course. And while I've been to the city a handful of times, this was the first trip for my mom. One of her must-sees was Lady Liberty, and so we ventured to Liberty Island on a beautiful, albeit very windy, day. Tourists are finally able to get into the Lady Liberty's crown, but the waiting list is about 5 months long, so if you want up, you'll have to reserve in advance.

One experience I'd never had was a carriage ride through Central Park. So we boarded our very own Rusty (Seinfeld reference), and took the slow and steady stroll. Because it was so warm, the park was filled with kids playing and joggers, and even those playing beach vollyball!

c) The Food: New York City has some of the best restaurants in the world, and I'm sure you could live there forever and still not eat everything in this city. In four days, it was my mission to have just a sampling of what the city had to offer. I realize I could write an entire blog on the restaurants we went to, but here's a taste:

- Ceci Cela: It's touted as having the best croissants in the city, so when we found this French patisserie on Sunday morning in Soho, we immediately went in. The aroma of vanilla and butter filled the small pastry shop up front, and in the back, a sanctuary of mismatched chairs and small tables were huddled into the tiny space. I love stumbling upon gems, and this one definitely one of them.

Ceci Cela is a busy spot on a Sunday morning in SoHo
- Nizza: A friend of mine, who lives in Chelsea, recommended Nizza in Hell's Kitchen. By 6:30 p.m., this tiny Italian restaurant was packed with diners. I love looking for interesting items on an Italian menu, and I came across this appetizer: fried ravioli filled with a soft cheese, accompanied by tomato sauce to dip. Heavenly.

Appetizer at Nizza in Hell's Kitchen
- Dos Caminos: I had read so many great reviews about Dos Caminos before I left, I knew we had to try this Mexican hot spot. In my opinion, I could have spared the entire lunch and filled up on their delicious homemade guacamole and margaritas. I can't wait to try making the guac on my own.

Mom and I at Dos Caminos in SoHo
- Buddakan: Lastly, my favourite meal of the trip was at Buddakan. I had made reservations at Buddakan a month ahead of time and I was so excited to introduce my mom to Pan-Asian cuisine. It certainly did not disappoint. We took our server's suggestions and ordered about 10 different dishes to share: appetizers, entrées and sides. Between the raw tuna rolls, the spring rolls, the edamame dumplings and the chili chicken, we left feeling totally satisfied. I'm so proud of my mom for venturing out of her comfort level and trying a new cuisine - it was so worth it!

The four ladies after a great meal at Buddakan
And so, after four days of fun, it was time to say goodbye to Manhattan until next time. I don't think I could ever get sick of this city.


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