Autumn in New York

Popovers. Delicious Popovers. This is how we began our indulgent trip to NYC in Autumn of 2006. Immediately upon landing, after our first flight was cancelled and our First Class seats were then lost, we dropped our bags at the Hilton Times Square and scooted our way to the Popover Cafe! Along with a crab-meat, asparagus, and scrumptious cheese omelet, I received this delicious popover. Served with strawberry butter, this welcome breakfast addition was heaven!

Following breakfast, Prince Charming and I strolled toward Central Park... where one could get lost for hours. It really is like another land stuck in the middle of the greatest metropolis on the face of the earth (actually, second to Chicago of course!).

After exploring many facets of Central Park, we found ourselves staring into the cold stone of an unbelievable castle! Prince Charming and I found our way to the entrance of the castle and began to poke around.

Erected in 1869, Belvedere Tower served as a lookout for many years, but now houses the city's Meteorological Observatory and served us as a window into the wildlife that may be found in the Park. It is also important to note that the view of the city from this spot is unbelievable!

After a tiring day of walking and exploring Central Park - yes, it really is a 'whole day' thing - we observed Times Square in the 'dark' of night and waltzed through Grand Central Station. If you ever visit Grand Central Station, you must walk into the building and proceed to look up. Stare straight up as if looking into the sky... and prepare to say "ahhhh..."

Another random stop we made was at the grandest cathedral in the States. St. Patrick's Cathedral was built in 1858 with a scale so grand that its architecture still baffles us today. So massive, 2,200 parishioners may be seated in these benches at any given mass. Among many facts (that may be found on the website link above) that astonish our minds, this cathedral maintains three organs of which the pipes reach over two stories high. This photo depicts one of the side aisles within the cathedral.

After a quick nap for Michele, it was time to decide our plans for the evening. Being the foodies that we are, Prince Charming and I had a list a mile long of restaurants we would like to visit. That evening, Prince Charming was in the mood for steak. We prefer 'off the beaten path' types of restaurants (aka Not Chain Food) and found a wonderful place called BLT Steak. You'll never guess what dinner rolls were served prior to our fantastic meal... go ahead guess... you'll never get it right... Popovers! Unbelievable, I know - but true! I highly recommend this great spot for all of you meat-eaters.

Once dinner was concluded, we jumped in a cab and headed for my choice spot of the evening, the Bubble Lounge. A self-proclaimed champagne lover, I was feeling warm and fuzzy upon entering this rough space softened up with an old-world feel... and once enjoying my beverage of choice.

Day two began with a desire for some fantastic breakfast in a fantastic neighborhood. The Village. However, our fate was not determined by ourselves. After waking slightly later than planned, we rushed out of the Hilton and into Times Square. Jumping on the NYC subway for the first time, we learned we had two routes from which to choose our southbound path to breakfast. Subway line 'A' and subway line 'E'. Both of these lines allow the rider to enter from the same 'terminal' and we grabbed the 'A' as it was already at the station. However, the 'A' line did not move... we got antsy... we switched to the 'E' line as it pulled into the station. It swiftly took-off and we were on our way!

Until we stopped.
In between stations.
For a longer bit of time than desired....

Our conductor announced that we would NOT be moving for an undetermined amount of time because a passenger in the train ahead of us was injured. A few moments pass and the conductor announces that the train will NOW NOT be moving due to police activity within the train ahead of us. Turns out some human being was under the train ahead of us. Ohhhh boy. We end up exiting the train by walking from the end of the line of train cars to the first car, which had managed to pull partway into the station. Phew! (Funny thing is, we never heard another word about this accident. Not on the news, nothing.)

Now we were basically right back where we started... no progress southbound. In that moment, breakfast at Dunkin Donuts sounded better than no breakfast at all. The remainder of the afternoon was spent, after finally making it southbound, exploring The Village. Shopping, Walking, Eating.... Delightful!

After our day of exploration, we were planning on making a stop for pizza and then conclude with the most important aspect of the day.... to pay our respects at the site of the World Trade Center. The emotion surrounding the crowd of tourists as we collectively gaze into the enlarged photographs is astounding! It is bizarre to me the amount of 'realness' you feel when standing there, looking into this large whole in ground in the middle of Manhattan. How it has been so long, and yet we still have this gaping whole with no progress.

While we were walking around the site, a mini-demonstration was in play: a group of individuals hell-bent on showcasing reasons they believe that 9-11 was an "inside job." I prefer not to discuss my views on this matter within this blog, but feel it necessary to share each aspect of my trip with you.

Also: Did you know that directly across the street from the WTC stands a tiny little church? St. Paul's was built in 1766 and has withstood all of the history NYC has to offer!

After this active day, it was back to the hotel for a nap and then on to dinner! We dined at NERO in the meat-packing district and LOVED LOVED LOVED it! You must check out their website for a menu and review of the ambiance! If anyone attends this restaurant and is not completely satisfied or is not dying to return ASAP, they are from another planet! The lack of a delicious breakfast was definitely made-up for in the terms of an amazing dinner! After dinner, we headed to Blue Water Grill for jazz music, warm molten chocolate cake, and some bubbly. A sweet end to a fantastic trip!

One disappointment about the trip:

Neither Prince Charming nor I took any photos at any of the restaurants. Very peculiar and unlike us! I promise to deliver scrumptious photos after our next trip!


Prince Charming said...

What a fantastic summation of a fantastic trip! It really was a great experience of New York City at a great time of year. You always describe my favorite parts in the best detail! Can't wait to go back ASAP. I love you.


Karrie said...

What a vivid way to describe NYC! Also, the photos are very good! Sounds like you guys really enjoyed your trip!