January 14, 2009

New York City

When a friend phones you up with no warning and says you have 30 minutes to pack for a roadtrip to New York City the only appropriate thing to do is to start throwing clothes into a suitcase. This is what happened to me last Monday and shortly thereafter I was on my way to NYC for the first time. What happened next?

An Open Letter to the city of New York:

Dear New York,

Thanks for the Gershwin Hotel, a somewhat reasonably priced hostel in Manhattan. Located in the shadow of the Empire State building and a short walk away from Times Square, it served as home base.

Thanks for providing us with an awesome roommate who treated us to dosas at her favourite Indian restaurant a couple blocks away from the hostel. For another awesome roommate who was a Kiwi and came out and partied with us. And for giving us the strength not to kill the group of young Aussies who were particularly loud, way too early in the morning.

Thanks for a subway system that runs 24 hours, works on a swipe card system and will take you wherever you want to go. Take note Toronto, take note.

Thanks for Magnolia Bakery and their ridiculous cupcakes. I don’t even like cupcakes and yet somehow I was compelled to go there, get cupcakes, eat cupcakes, bring cupcakes back to the hostel and then eat more cupcakes for breakfast. There was a line up, I was not the only one doing this.

Thanks for great entertainment every night but especially for hosting the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble at Joe’s Pub. These guys are an amazing 8 piece brass ensemble, plus drummer who play jazz arrangements with a hip hop flair. Definitely check them out.

Thanks for letting Thomas Keller expand his empire into New York with Bouchon Bakery, (and I suppose Per Se as well but my bank account refused to let me dine there as it has to prepare itself for The French Laundry…). And thanks for being home to many Daniel Boulud restaurants, but Bar Boulud and CafĂ© Boulud in particular, (more on those in the next post).

Thanks for being enormous and for and making me walk from morning to night to see everything which helped to counteract the damage done by eating cupcakes for breakfast followed by lunch and dinner at your many wonderful restaurants.

Thanks for being home to Dorie Greenspan, (even though she wasn’t there while I was) and for having an enormous M&Ms store to support her M&M habit, (which I might soon adopt, have you tried the premium Mocha M&Ms???).

Thanks for Danielle and Dave of Habeas Brulee who were nice enough to take me into their home, greet me with a freshly made beef heart burger and let me watch their creative madness for an evening. Thanks also to Danielle for telling me I needed to visit Kalustyans, a magical place filled with fine foods and hard to find spices, which happened to be right down the street from my hostel.

Thanks for your diverse neighbourhoods, bustling streets, bright lights, big things and a week of fun. My only complaint? The depletion of my bank account at such an alarming rate! On my next visit I would appreciate retaining some of my meager assets. Or, at the very least, point me in the direction of a wealthy New Yorker who wants to take me in. It’s the least you could do after the nice things I’ve written about you.

Much love <3



Mike of Mike's Table said...

Sounds like a fun trip and it looks like you packed a lot of good stuff in during a quick stay. Call me jealous!

Snooky doodle said...

wow what a nice trip! wish to go to New York someday. The selection of spices there is incredible. Didn t know there are so many spices in the world :)

Bellini Valli said...

Sounds as though if you didn't love New York before you LOVE it now!!

anna said...

Ooh, now I'm getting really excited for my trip down there in the spring (to check out a cooking school!)...I'll have to check out Kalustyan's while I'm there, it sounds amazing!

breadchick said...


I'm glad you had fun in my city! It takes care of you and feeds you wonderful things and despite our reputation for being rude, unforgiving, cold and sometimes dangerous to the visitor, it is all just a front.

Next time you are in town, let me know, we'll do Murray Hill, dim sum at 3am and I'll show you my secret baker's supply shop ;-)


kickpleat said...

sounds like so much fun! i've never been to nyc and am dreaming to go.

LyB said...

I am sooooo jealous right now! What a great surprise trip, sounds like you had a great time. :)

Madam Chow said...

And thank YOU, for not writing a post saying that New York or America are dreadful places. Come back any time!

Deborah said...

Oooh, NYC is definitely the best place...