Sunday, September 25, 2011

New York In 5 Days - Day 4 & 5

Day 4. It was our last full day in New York, and we had a pretty relaxed day planned. (Relaxed for me.)
We started our day the way you should, with a nutritious breakfast at Norma's. Located inside Le Parker Meridian, it was not like going to breakfast at Denny's, we were dressed cute and fashionable, but still way under dressed compared to all the businessmen and women around us. (Note to self - Bring formal clothes for breakfast at Norma's) I had been looking forward to this restaurant our entire trip, so I knew exactly what I was going to order, the Chocolate Decadence French Toast, but then after looking over the menu I found several other things I would like to try as well; Lemony Griddlecakes, Very Berry Brioche French Toast, Norma's Supper Blueberry Pancakes, Crunchy French Toast, and the PB&CWaflle'wich. I fought the temptation and stuck with the Chocolate Decadence French Toast, and now will just have to wonder how fabulous the PB&CWaffle'wich really is. I did find out how fabulous the Chocolate Decadence is though; it could be the best thing I ever ate in my life.  (I am not just being dramatic either.) It was like eating a chocolate lava cake for breakfast, each bite of warm chocolatly gooey "bread" melted in your mouth. Even the chopped pistachios sprinkled on top and in between the layers were delicious adding just a little crunch. The only thing I didn't absolutely love were the sliced strawberries that were with the pistachios in-between each layer of "bread". They were cooked, so it was a little slimy for my liking, but it was still the most amazing french toast I have ever had. It also had an amazing price of $86.00 for two plates of french toasts and two glasses of orange juice, but it was worth every penny.

After breakfast we needed to burn off a few of those calories, so we walked back down to Rockefeller Plaza and went to the Top of the Rock. The Top of the Rock is the 67th, 69th and 70th floors of the GE Building with gorgeous views of the city. The view from the 70th floor has to be the best view in the city. Unobstructed by glass, you can see the entire city, including the Empire State Building, which you obviously cant see when you are actually in the Empire Sate Building. If it weren't for the bragging rights of saying "I have been to the top of the Empire State Building, I would skip it and see the city from the Top of the Rock.

From Rockefeller Plaza we walked a few blocks down 6th Avenue to the MoMA. The MoMA was large, but not overwhelming, what was overwhelming was the hundreds of rowdy school kids. (SHHHH! YOU ARE IN A MUSEUM!) We did our best to avoid the maniac school kids and wandered around looking at all the big names like Warhol, van Gogh, and Monet.

We left the madness of the MoMA and went to another important New York destination...Tiffany &Co. where we each bought a small piece of jewelry to remember our trip by.
"If I could find a real-life place that made me feel like Tiffany's, then I'd buy some furniture and give the cat a name." - Breakfast at Tiffany's

Next on our itinerary was the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We could have taken a taxi or the subway, but then we would have missed all of the Central Park landmarks, so we choose to walk the 2 miles through the park to the Met. Another thing that enticed us to walk was the Waffles and Dinges cart at the entrance of Central Park. I had read about their Belgium Waffles topped with ice cream and chocolate sauce on yelp and I think they were even featured on Throw Down and The Best Thing I Ever Ate. It sounded like the breakfast my dad use to make me, except with Eggo waffles, so I was so excited to try it with "real" waffles. Unfortunately it wasn't what I expected. The waffle was hard; I mean break the plastic fork hard, and very bland, less flavor than a frozen Eggo. The chocolate and ice cream were OK but not good enough to save it from the trash can nearby.

After disposing of the waffle we wandered through Central Park. While the park looked picture perfect, we did noticed that the city must be polluting the park, because The Pond had giant mutant goldfish swimming around (: (They reminded me of the Dr Seuss book with the kid that feeds his gold fish too much and has to move it into the bathtub.) Once we finished marveling at the radioactive fish, we continued walking past the Chess & Checkers House, the Dairy, and the Carousel. When we reached the the Conservatory Water, we found a bench in the shade and rested our feet as we watched the little boats sail across the water.

We finally made it to the Metropolitan Museum, and it turned out to be the best art museum in New York. They had so many famous artists on display, Degas, Monet, Matisse, Picasso, Renoir, Seurat, van Gogh, Pollock and Warhol. We oohed and ahhed our way through the paintings, accidentally wandering into the Wrightsman Galleries for French Decorative Arts.  What a pleasant surprise, the Wrightsman Galleries were perfect for someone like me with a slight Marie Antoinette obsession. I felt I walked out of a New York museum and into a 18th century french chateau, where Marie might have just stepped out, leaving the candles still lit.
We had one more exhibit I wanted to see, the Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty. We searched high and low for the exhibit, winding up in the European Sculptures several times, before finding it, well we didn't exactly find the exhibit, but the line for it. Not wanting to spend our last day in New York standing in line, we decided to continue on to our next destination.

We left the Met, grabbed a hot dog and pretzel from a street cart, and made our way down East 82nd Street towards the Two Little Red Hens Bakery. It seemed like a much longer walk than the .7 miles it was, maybe it was the heat, or perhaps it was the blisters on our feet, but next time I am taking a cab. Inside the bakery the cookies, pies, cupcakes and beautiful floral cakes were all calling my name. (I was actually thinking of a way to bring one of the cakes back in my luggage) We ended up ordering 3 cupcakes, Carrot Cake (delicious), Lemon (refreshingly tart), and Peanut Butter Fudge (Reese's lover's dream). Like everything else we ate in New York (beside Magnolia), they were definitely THE BEST cupcakes I have ever had. (I wonder if I could pay someone to go in and buy me one of everything, then ship it to me?)

We left Two Little Red Hens and head back downtown to Time Square, this time by subway. We ended up having a little time to waste before seeing our last Broadway show, so we walked up a down Broadway and 7th Ave, then climbed up the bleachers at Duffy Square and did the best thing you can do in Time Square...people watch.

45 minutes before show time we headed over to the Minskoff Theatre to see the Broadway show I had been waiting to see for so long, The Lion King. I had heard amazing reviews about the Lion King and always wanted to take my kids to New York to see it, and now here we were, in New York and finally seeing The Lion King...Wah-Wah. What a disappointment. Maybe I expected too much, but I didn't like it at all, it was boring, weird, and annoying. (Zazu and Rafiki were the worst.) If I didn't pay so much for the tickets I would have probably left at intermission. Boo!

We left the theater around 11:30pm and walked back to our hotel just as it started to rain. By the next morning we were leaving New York in a full blow storm. As we sat at the airport waiting for the weather to clear, we were already talking about our next trip back.

I went to New York expecting not to like it, not only did I like it I loved it. When I do go back (New York is expensive, I will have to save some money for quite awhile.) here are a few things I would like to do; SoHo, see more of Brooklyn, NBC Tour, Hayden Planetarium, Coney Island, Gray Line Bus Tour, Night Tour of Statue of Liberty, more time at the Metropolitan Museum, eat at Sant Ambrosa, Doughnut Plant, Lulu Bakery, Chickalicious, Balthazar, Juniors, Daisy May, Stand, Max Brenner, E.A.T, Baked,  Katz Deli, Hill Country Fried Chicken, Lady M Confections,  Macaron Cafe, Bubby's Pie Company, Momofuku Milk Bar, Francois Payard Bakery, The Chocolate Room, Takahachi Baker, and the list continues to grow. I ♥ New York!

*  Tip - Bring a warm jacket to the theater, they keep it freezing inside.
             If you only have time for 1 museum go to the Metropolitan Museum

* Cost - Norma's: 2 Chocolate Decadence French Toast & 2 Orange Juices = $83.68 (20% tip)
             Waffles & Dinges: A Waffle with Ice Cream & Chocolate =$7.00
             Two Little Red Hens: Lemon cupcake, Peanut Butter Fudge Cupcake & Carrot Cake
            Cupcake =$10.75


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