Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Itinerary: 10 Days in NYC

Every year my parents come into town for about a week and I get the pleasure of touring them around the city.   Each time I consider it somewhat of a challenge, utilizing a short window of time to showcase my favorite discoveries in the city over the past year.  The most difficult aspect of this challenge is completing the week without utterly exhausting myself and my family.  I'm not sure I've ever really been able to pull a NYC tour off without tiring everyone out, but we always have a great time and this year was no exception. 

In the format of a running calendar, here's the details of their latest trip and my personal guide to showing some fun-loving, up-for-anything parents around NYC.

Saturday, October 30 - Halloween night, including a dress up party at our house, a transformation into the entire Scobby Doo gang and the surrounding cast of characters.  Off to American Retro bar for a Halloween Party where we met Sookie, Betty Francis, a Mummy and a recently slayed matador. 

Sunday, October 31 - Sie and Kate, the awesome Washington DCers via Texas depart, and we sob.  Recovery comes in the way of Calle Ocho sangria and one of their tasty new entrees (including a breakfast burrito and delicious quesadilla de Salvador), a walk through Central Park and a movie at home.

Monday, November 1 - Work day and party night.  Meet for of the most upscale and relaxed happy hours in town at B Flat which turns into a live jazz bar when happy hour ends, at 8 pm.  Great music but to loud to chat so off to Cafe Nior where we dine on tapas (such as Moroccan Pizza, Brie frito con miel, and Ceviche).  The final game of the World Series is viewed on my iPhone and the Giants win....celebration!
Tuesday, November 2 - Onward and upward, to the Highline Park in Chelsea; the best new sight in town in the past 5 years.  Then, take in a complete Chelsea gallery tour before hitting up a nice lunch at Spice on 9th Ave.  With food on the mind it's off to Mario Batali's Eataly for a glance at some of the best Italian imports in town before stopping in Sagaponack for a martini happy hour. Uptown to Broadway for a new musical, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, to satisfy the NYC itch.  Awesome seats, fun show, beautiful voices and awesome set.

Wednesday, November 3 - Spa Castle day with mom, dad is off to lunch with a friend at Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem.  Spa Castle is a whirlwind of relaxation and Korean artistry in Queens.  Home again for dinner and a movie.

Thursday, November 4 - Decadence at it's finest.  A day at the MOMA to check out the Abstract Expressionist New York exhibit.  A new restaurant discovery on west 55 Street, Menchanko-Tei, which works out better than I dreamed and offered big bowls of tasty noodles and broth with chucks of fresh tofu, seaweed, shrimp and mushrooms to cold and hungry customers.  The evening took another turn towards high society when we we left Midtown West and headed back to Chelsea.  We checked out the Beatrice, and reveled in views from the Cloud Lounge on floor 53.  We sipped on espresso and coffee martinis at Food Parc and finally dined on the finest Basque food NYC has to offer at Bar Basque.  The space is phenomenal, the interiors are jaw-dropping and the food is pretty damn good too.  It's been way too long since I took 3 hours to sip, slice and munch my way through dinner - which included a blood sausage stuffed calamari, wild mushroom croquettes, slow baked piquillo peppers, acorn-fed ham, monk fish and the best damn ice cream in town.

Friday, November 5- A long work day, and an evening of realized fun.  Happy hour at the Dove Palour before moving on to a couple of the upscale cocktail joints in NYC for a beautifully mixed drink or two.  The well-known unmarked doorway on 7 Ave and Carmine Street which leads to the downstairs speakeasy tavern known as Little Branch was already out of seating by 7:30, so we carried on to Employees Only, hidden behind a fortune teller and dark curtain on Hudson Street.   Employees Only offers a Billionaire cocktail that makes my mouth water thinking about it with bourbon, lemon, homemade grenadine and bitters.  Then we headed over to the Red-Eyed Grill for a quite table and some dinner (which came in the format of overpriced, less-than par food but the quiet table and upbeat waiter made up for it).

Saturday, November 6 - Tourist extravaganza!  Kick off the day on a tour bus called The Ride that is part theater, part spectacle, part experimental and part ridiculous fun.  View midtown Manhattan sideways.  Jump on the train to Atlantic Ave. and tour Fort Greene including the Brooklyn Flea, a market like no other, and fancy drinks at No. 7 including a cherry infused bourbon Old Fashion.  Williamsburg was the next neighborhood on our list and we headed to a friend's house to get the full effect (from a locals perspective, of course).  A couple rounds of Fette Sau BBQ, Cafe Dumont mac n' cheese, and Rock Band later we headed home.

Sunday, November 7 - What better time to kick back and relax than the first cold Sunday of the year?  We started off our morning with home made breakfast sandwiches and mimosas while bundling up for the outdoors.  We watched the NYC marathon on TV before heading down the street to see it live at Marcus Garvey Park.  Viewing exhilarated runners dash, stumble, trudge and sprint across the 22 mile mark made for some great photos.  We toured 125 Street and picked up some goodies at Best Yet for a chili feast.  Chili feast was accompanied by football watching, game playing and cupcake eating.

Monday, November 8 - Sadly, the plane took off and I'm waiting for my phone call saying mom and dad made it home safely....


Brede Westby said...

I enjoyed your account or Phil and Florence's visit. Just the right lenght--some blogs are too long,especially when you are just waking up and hungry and want to get some breakfast. Sounds like you all had fun, glad to hear it. My son used to live in Chelsea, by 34th street--it sounds like the area is more upscale than when he was there, about 10 years ago. He is in Berkeley now. Have a terrific Sunday! brede westby

Lost in Harlem said...

@Brede - So great to hear from you! We had a blast with Mom and Dad on the E. Coast. Phil took some beautiful shots of Chelsea during his trip that you and your son would be amazed by. I've only been here 6 years, but the area has undergone some amazing changes. Take care! - AC