If you've never had the chance to explore New York City, what are you waiting for? Some of the best food I've eaten and some of the best shopping bargains can be found in this city.
Even something as simple as flying into the city is jaw dropping amazing....just look how large Central Park is!
We arrived in the evening starving hungry so after dropping off our bags at the apartment, we hit the streets in search of sustenance...pizza and red wine...
I'd read a recommendation on the blog site
about a new pizza joint that has opened up in Saint Marks Place in the East Village called
.....wow, what a pizza. As you can see, it was delicious. I don't know if it was due to a little jet lag but this place hit all the right spots. It was unpretentious, warm, and very inviting.
Meet our neighbour who came to visit us every morning...
One of the things I loved about this holiday is that we managed to walk just about every block in Manhattan. Actually, I think we did walk every single block as my feet can still attest to that (and the fact that I lost a few kilos). It allowed us to see some of the most amazing sights away from all the tourists...little boutique shops and gorgeous cafes hidden down little lanes.
One of my favourites included a little place on Prince Street called Cafe Gitane which we stopped at for breakfast one morning. A bowl of granola with yoghurt and fresh fruit and some avocado and lemon on toast. What better way to start the day.
Another wonderful find was a little cafe called Jacks which was located Downtown where we picked up some yummy bagels and coffee for breakfast one morning. After a biggish night out the evening before (watching the John Butler Trio in Central Park), these bagels did the trick!
On day 3 we booked ourselves into a 5-6 hour cycling tour which took us all through Central Park and up through Harlem. This was a major highlight of the holiday and a fantastic way to see the city if you're wanting something a little different and not into organised tours (like me). I'd highly recommend it.
On our way down to pick up our bikes earlier in the morning, we stopped at a delicatessen called The Garden of Eden. The name is very apt if you love your food. This place is a mecca of all things edible from fresh cheese, freshly baked rolls and bagels, beautiful deli meats and every single condiment you could ever imagine. We grabbed some rolls and bagels (and of course coffee) to eat before we got on our bikes, and sat down at some pretty little tables located under the shadow of the Flatiron building (right next door to Madison Square Gardens). In the distance - the Empire State Building.
If you're a fan of the movie When Harry Met Sally then you can't miss going to Katz's Deli located in the East Village, one of the oldest New York deli's still standing serving mouth watering pastrami on rye sandwiches with a side order of pickles. Would you believe this was our breakfast....heaven on a plate....
Before arriving in NYC, my number 1 activity to do on my 'to do' list was to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and indulge in a yummy ice-cream on the other side at the Brooklyn Ice-Cream Factory.
My wish came true....
What a view!
After crossing back over the bridge, we slowly wandered west to the Meatpacking District where we discovered a little oasis called
. It's an abandoned elevated railway line which has been converted with gorgeous gardens and large deck chairs that roll along the rail tracks. Unfortunately it was a little too hot to stay out there all day, so after relaxing for a little while we headed downstairs to the shade of the Chelsea Market. What a wonderful surprise. I would have loved to try every little shop and food outlet inside, but even I have my limits.
I have a confession. I'm obsessed with Dean and Deluca.
I can't quite remember when it started - maybe seeing a glimpse of the shop on an episode of Felicity many years ago, so as you can imagine I was very excited to locate the store. It was like the mother ship calling to me...come in and buy lots of my stuff....come in and buy lots of my stuff....and I did!
Needed a little lemonade to keep me going....
One of the things that shocked me in NYC was the price of food...it's sooooo cheap! You could pick up punnets of berries for $1 and restaurant food seemed ridiculously low.
One evening we headed to a quaint little Italian restaurant on Bleeker Street on the boarder of Noho/East Village which we had stumbled across earlier in the week on our travels called
This place is now officially one of my favourites of all time.
It was packed (with queues of people waiting for a table out the front). It was loud with lots of laughter, and most of all, it was delicious. We started with a couple of entrees - marinated portabella mushrooms served with goats cheese (OMG) and puff pastry squares rubbed with garlic and served with your choice of goats cheese or salami. I then decided on the seafood pasta for my main which was loaded with so much seafood and only $12...yep....$12!
Lots more to show you, so stay tuned for Part II.