I know, I practically came over from Siberia, but it turns out we are warmer back where I live than it was when I got to NYC. I wasn't anticipating snow...but I certainly got it! If you are wondering why I ended up traveling from Japan to NYC in January, I have a very good reason. I am starting my pilot research in the DCN program at Rutgers and to start the term we had a research and statistics workshop to attend. I gave myself a few days to adjust to time zones and account for weather, since we all know what happened last time. Thankfully I got in a day before the storm because my flight would probably have been cancelled. I got lucky!
Class was in Newark, but my aunt lives in NYC so I decided to spend a few days relaxing (translation: shopping and eating) with her. Let me just say, I swear we did more than eat. However, I only have food pictures. It was so brutally cold that I did not take pictures of anything outside, nor did we really stay outside for too long. I mostly shopped, did homework and spent time at the theater. Yes, I saw 3 Broadway shows while I was there! That may seem excessive, but my aunt is in the theater business, so there is no such thing as excessive theater in our family!
The first night we went to an Italian restaurant nearby called 44SW. I had been traveling for nearly 24 hours and was ready for something hot and filling, so pasta was the obvious choice. I went with the penne puttanesca, which was awesome! I also drank a glass of wine in probably 5 minutes. Oops!
The next morning we awoke to snow, which isn't always the easiest to get around in, especially in NYC. So we went for breakfast because I was dying for something American. We don't get a lot of American breakfast foods unless we make them at home (which we do, but not necessarily so elaborately). I went with the challah French toast and some eggs.
Lunch was at a place called Blossom Du Jour, which is a vegan restaurant and sort of their "to go" operation. I believe they have sit down restaurants too. The menu looked awesome and I wanted to try one of everything.
We ended up splitting the split pea. Anytime I find a vegetarian version I have to try it. It is one of my favorite soups but so hard to find in restaurants without meat.
My aunt had the cheese "steak". It was very tasty.
I had a buffalo "chicken" wrap and it was amazing! I highly recommend this place if you are looking for vegetarian food in NYC, especially for something quick or to take on the go.
Dinner that night was at a pizza place called Two Boots.
My aunt had a nice veggie slice with some soy cheese.
I had one with mushrooms, red pepper pesto, and onions. Tasty!
Then it was off to see the first show of my trip. I saw Kinky Boots. Obviously I heard lots of good things and everyone else in my family had seen this, so I was anxious to see what all of the hype was about. It was awesome! Such a fun show! And if that wasn't fun enough, my aunt has some friends in the show so we stopped backstage after. If you have ever wondered what it looks like to look out from a Broadway stage into an audience, here is your chance. Sorry, the lights are a bit bright and you really can't see much but you can tell there are seats out there. Empty of course because the show was over.
And here I am on the stage with a nice glowing light above me. I look like an angel! Haha!
I took a few pictures of the set while we were back there.
And here I am with my aunts friends, who are both in the show.
Later on that night I did enjoy a lovely cupcake from Amy's Bread, which is a long time favorite of ours in NYC.
The next morning it was still not so nice out, but we managed to trek to the Edison for cheese blintzes, which is a must do on every trip to NYC.
My aunt had the matzo brie. We ate and ate but never seemed to make a dent in either dish!
After more shopping and relaxing (not to mention trekking through the snow and wind), we headed to dinner before heading to the theater. Dinner was at one of my all-time favorite restaurants, Blue Fin, located in Times Square.
They always bring bread to the table, and while I certainly didn't need to eat it, it looked too good not to try.
Then came out my favorite dish here. This is the lobster bisque, which is served with a flan (at least that is what it is called on the menu) in the bottom of the bowl...
...and then the server pours the hot soup around it.
For dinner I ordered the steamed shrimp dumplings. This was my first time ordering this and it was fabulous.
My aunt had the branzino, which is her favorite, and one of mine as well.
That night we went to see Pippin, which by the way, was amazing! I loved it. Lots of fun acrobatics. My aunt has a friend in this show too, so I was lucky enough to get to go back stage. Here I am on the stage.
And here I am with my aunt's friend, who plays one of the leads in the show. I loved the show and highly recommend it.
The next morning we went out for breakfast again. Since I can't really get American breakfast food in Japan, other than cooking at home, I enjoying going out to grab breakfast when I am back in the States. I think if I lived in the States I wouldn't really find it necessary to have anything other than oatmeal or cereal for breakfast (or yogurt and fruit and similar things). I kept it pretty basic and had some eggs, potatoes and toast. No, I definitely didn't end up eating everything, but I like the option of being able to have a little of everything.
The next stop was actually in route to go shopping. We passed by the Cake Boss Cafe and decided to stop in and see all the awesome treats they had for sale.
Merchandise for sale, of course, and lots of very happy employees making sure they treats looked perfect and there was not a shortage of tasty things on display.
Lots and lots of dummy things. I only had a little cookie sample. I was stuffed and we were heading out for shopping so I didn't want to be carrying cake or cookies around all day.
More happy employees.
I did manage to do a little more shopping, and then we ended up eating at an Afghan restaurant. It is an old favorite and I hadn't been in years. My aunt and I split the mixed fish kebab platter. It was super delicious. The fish was cooked perfectly and it had wonder seasoning.
We also split a side of pumpkin, which is one of our favorite dishes there.
Of course we had to get some of the traditional bread too. Yum!
That night I had to teach class before heading to the theater so we ended up picking up a salad with soba noodles from Mooncake Foods. It had veggies, soba noodles and tofu. Very tasty and perfect for a light meal before teaching and more theater.
This was my last night in NYC before heading to Newark for class at Rutgers. After teaching we made a rush for the theater to see The Bridges of Madison County. Now, I had never seen this movie before nor had I read the book, so I was a little bummed to find out there was no happy ending. Oh well, not everything can be so peppy, perky, and perfect!
Well, that about does it for my 4 nights in NYC...freezing with the arctic blast that is hovering over the US right now. I had a great time and was able to rest up before heading to my statistics and research workshop over the weekend. Speaking of which, if you noticed I post less and less these days it is because I have started back at school for a doctorate degree. I am just starting off my pilot research, so needless to say after researching and writing all day for school, I prefer not to sit in front of the computer anymore. However, I will have 2 very fun Asian adventures planned in the Spring/Summer so I will definitely be posting all about those, along with scattered updates from Japan. More to come on this trip home, as well.
QUESTIONS: What is your favorite Broadway show? What is your favorite thing to do in NYC (if you have been)? Have you ever taken a research class before?