Days 50-53 – New York City, NY

While my actual time in New York was only 2 nights, it was surrounded by 2 one-night stays of which I’ll briefly include here. I had not been to New York since December 2013, the year I returned from Holland. I was excited to see my friend in Brooklyn, and grateful for the place to stay (and the free street parking 4 blocks from her place).

In order to be in NY when my friend had time off work, I stayed in Conneticut for the night (near Milford). Nothing exciting, but I did stop at a sweet Café Atlantique for lunch (and a HUGE salad) and I got my oil changed at the MINI of Fairfield County (exciting, right?).

I have driven many places in my life, and feel I’m a generally competent and aware driver. I’d been getting used to the more aggressive driving of New England, but was still nervous to drive in New York. It was a bit of a cluster (the lines between lanes were worn away in many places) and it left me feeling like I was driving in Mexico City, I handled it like a pro, kept my bearings, and didn’t hit anyone (or get honked at/flipped off)!

I had a bit of time before Jeanne was off work, and found Angry Wade’s a great place to kill it – particularly since they allowed Jasper inside (during non-busy times of course). When Jeanne got home, we laid low, ate some leftovers, caught up on life, and crashed out at a reasonable hour.

Our next day was full – Atla for brunch (Mexican food, at a place Jeanne was impressed I knew – and that’s saying a lot coming from a true foodie), Washington Park, Stumptown Roasters for some nitro coffee (there’s a bit of PDX everywhere), a stroll through Chelsea Market, a walk along High Line (a cool old rail line turned park with pop-up shops along the way), and a afternoon end at a cocktail bar I’ve had on my list for years…the Dead Rabbit!

We headed home, I walked Jasper, and prepped to head out for 2nd shift! We popped in Crif Dogs… to put our name in a secret spot and then went to the Hanoi House, a place Jeanne has been enough times to be chummy with the owners – who graciously let us sit and eat, even though they were booked (yay for Jeanne being a frequenter and great guest).

Around 45 min later, we were granted access to one of the most highly rated and sought after bars in the world – PDT! The cocktails were great, and I couldn’t resist buying their cocktail book (I mean, I’ve seen it at almost every cocktail bar I’ve been to, I know it’s a good one). We made a final stop at Bar Goto, before calling it a night and heading home. Jasper was happy to see us, and I was happy to be off my feet!

My time in New York came to a quick close because I wanted to be to my cousin’s for the weekend (since they were out of town soon after). I traveled through the magical Holland Tunnel, and made a layover in Philly (well, I actually booked a hotel in New Jersey cuz it was cheaper) to have dinner with a different cousin (again, my grandma was one of ELEVEN…so I could probably throw a stone and hit a cousin :)).

It was a bit awkward meeting with a guy I didn’t know, but we quickly found that we had some common ground in that we’re both accountants (though I knew he was alright before that when he knew both restaurant suggestions I put out there and we easily agreed on one). We had dinner at the BYOB Sate Kampar, a great Malaysian restaurant. After ordering, we had time to run to the Bottle Shop and buy some beers to accompany our food…oh the liquor laws in America! The food was some of my favorite so far, unique and flavorful. After dinner, we stopped for some further libations at Southwark, where we had the run of the joint and lots of chances to chat with the bartender.

And with that I was off south for Gaithersburg, MD!

Stayed At: (1) Motel 6, Branford, CT – (dogs stay free); (2) La Quinta Inn & Suites Mt. Laurel – Philadelphia, Mount Laurel, NJ – (dogs stay free)

Ate At: (1) Café Atlantique: $ Tuna Salad, $ Cappuccino, dog friendly; (2) Atla: $16 Arctic Char Tostada, $14 Flax Seed Chilaquiles (green sauce) w/ chicken and egg ($3 each), $15 Enfrijoladas, $15 Salado Verde (welcome to NY cocktail pricing!); (3) Hanoi House: $13 Spicy Frog Legs, $14 Papaya and Crispy Pig Ear Salad; (4) Bar Goto: $8 Gobo Fries, $13 Classic Okonomi, $15 Old Fashioned (and a pretentious bartender); (5) Sate Kampar: $12 Sate Kajang Goat (skewer w/ sauce), $10 Sate Melaka Pork (skewer w/ sauce), $8 Nasi Ulam (rice type dish), $13.50 Rendang (meat dish)

Drank At: (1) The Dead Rabbit: Ask for tastes of the punches! $12 Admiral Vernon’s Grog, $15 Old Mule Skinner; (2) PDT (Please Don’t Tell): $15 King’s Cup, $15 Benton’s Old Fashioned;  (3) Southwark: $15 The Owls are Not What They Seem, $13 This is Bat Country, $11 Mamie Taylor (in honor of my great aunt Mamie Waller)

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