M had promised to take me to New York for my birthday, but then finals were looming, and the city was being all wicked expensive during the Christmas season (rude), so we put it off.
And so it happened that, just a few days ago, I happened to find myself sitting across from this handsome dude at The Stage, introducing him to the concept of Matzo ball soup.
He enjoyed the concept very much, but kindly requested that I not take pictures of him mid-chew. So much work, this marriage.
We were staying with a friend from M’s summer at the USAO, who was pretty much the best hostess on record. Seriously. If you looked up “superlative host” in the dictionary, you would see a picture of Michelle going across town to stay with her boyfriend so we could have the entire apartment to ourselves. They’re coming to Boston in a month, and I’m already feeling lame about only having an air mattress to offer them. (My secret weapon will be happy hour at Marliave. Who’s thinking about an air mattress when they are delightfully tipsy on Boston Tea Parties* and dollar oysters?)
Since we were staying at her apartment, we spent a lot of time in the subway stop for Columbia University. Not trying to be biased or anything, but it’s most def the prettiest one. Look at that blue tile! Semi-Grecian swirls! Really wishing I had taken art history in college!
We ate at Prune on our first night in the city, and that was the only disappointment of the trip. Not because the restaurant wasn’t great, because it was! It just turns out that lots of drinks plus way too much bone marrow equals sick me. However, by the next morning I had totally rallied in time to embrace my inner Jew yet again. Bagels and lox! Never has such a beautifully perfect food been created. And Murray’s in Chelsea is THE place to admire it up close and personal.
I am not exaggerating when I say I wanted to order everything in this establishment. Bagel crates stacked almost to the ceiling: cinnamon raisin, onion, salt, everything. 17 kinds of cream cheese. It’s a good thing we don’t live nearby.
Or is it?
After consuming our weight in smoked fish, we trudged through the snow to the Guggenheim. Such a cool building.
The exhibit while we were there was Maurizio Cattelan, who apparently is kind of a prankster and displayed his life’s work by stringing up all his sculptures and hanging them from the ceiling.
M and I liked Cattelan’s work a lot more than we anticipated. They’re pretty simple, bold pieces, and I liked the immediate, visceral reaction they evoked. Especially this one:
And this one, which we thought was just a chill elephant decked out in the easiest Halloween costume…but Conrad informed us was instead a KKK elephant.
I didn’t know. I would never have patted his trunk had I known.
This little girl was just the greatest. She was perched on the floor in the Kandinsky exhibit with her sketchbook, so seriously copying the artwork. She was just shadin’ away with her colored pencils, and you could tell from her look of concentration that she saw no reason why her finished product couldn’t match the one on the wall perfectly.
New life mission: get back some of that innate confidence.
Museums make you hungry and exhausted, and then you have to get burgers. (It’s the law). We went to Shake Shack to put the old “In-N-Out versus SS” test to rest. (SS= Shake Shack, not the Gestapo. Let’s be clear, cheeseburgers win over fascism every time.)
Verdict = come on. Seriously? I mean, Shake Shack, your custard is very nice. But my tiny imaginary chihuahua ate one of your burgers and then asked when we were having lunch. You straight cannot charge eight dollars for that little guy.
Good thing we had (somewhat) fortified ourselves, though, cause then we stood in line at ye old TKTS and got tickets to…MEMPHIS!!!
Do you like gospel music? Soul music? There is only one correct answer to such a question, and as soon as you say it (“YES!”) then I will tell you to get yourself over to this 2010 Tony Award-winner with great speed. (Also, go to Lantern’s Keep in the Iroquois Hotel for drinks first. That’s a very important step.)
Oh man. It was so great. It was GREAT. And the greatest thing about it was that M now truly enjoys going to see shows (even musicals) just as much as I do. And it is so much fun to look over at your partner during an amazing experience like that and be able to tell that they’re loving it as much as you are.
The one event of which I have no pictures is our dinner at Hudson Clearwater. It was epic and totally worth taking documentary evidence, but the busboys were so gay-beautiful, and the waitress was so skinny and eyeliner-y, and I felt altogether too nerdy to pull out my iPhone and starting snapping away. However. Some cabbage-y slaw thing, an amazing duck dish and an apple-and-salted-caramel dessert were all filed into the mental vault marked “Please Sir, May I Have Some More?”
The next morning we made our way over to the West Village for brunch at Home. They had $5 dollar brunch drinks, which is clearly the price point at which you become financially irresponsible by not ordering one. So I got a bloody mary (which I always feel like I should like, being such a lover of savory things) and this time I really did like it. Very successful brunch, is what I’m trying to say here.
Afterward, we wandered around an elevated park called the Highline, which was constructed out of an abandoned railway platform…
Apparently these benches slide around (when there isn't a bunch of snow blocking their tracks) and you can configure them into chaise-y couches for you and your beloveds.
…and said goodbye to our wonderful hosts and their absurdly cool city. Before we left, though, we had to make a pit-stop at this place I heard makes a decent cookie.
I can’t even talk about it. We got chocolate-chip with walnuts, and dark chocolate. They were enormous, gooey in the middle, and made out of heaven. We brought one home and now it’s gone, and… seriously, I can’t talk about it anymore.
M’s final shot of the city, the beautiful trees on Columbia’s campus lit up for the winter. Does he have an eye, or what? So, so beautiful.
I love you, New York. See you in three weeks!
*Tequila, Earl Grey Tea and Ginger beer. Check it out. You’re quite welcome.