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Empire State of Mind

What a weekend?  Week?  Seemed much longer than four nights and that’s a good thing!  Boy did Mom, Dad, Bryan and I have a good time frolicking in the Big Apple, from start to finish.  And I felt totally like a New Yorker for a while.

Thursday was the day that never ended.  I took two naps, still only slept about 5 hours, and felt like we had three days in one.  Upon arrival in NYC and check into our new swank NYC apartment on 31st and Lexington we settled into our surroundings.  We soon headed around the corner to the recommended Penelope for lunch.  After an amazing lunch of cobb salad, roasted Brussels, snagged fries and a cold brew coffee we explored our neighborhood, shopped at Macy’s and “rested” in Times Square.  The afternoon concluded watching sports with store-bought chips and salsa, beers and Limearitas!  After nap #2 we headed to the East Village by foot for a late night of tapas and flamenco.  Boy were we in for a treat.  Amazing flamenco show, lasting nearly a whole hour.  Spanish tapas that were so delicious and authentic, filling and yet inexpensive; patatas bravas, chorizo wrapped in fried potatoes, octopus, skirt steak, fried cod, salt cod stuffed piquillo peppers, and chicken croquettes.  One by one they brought them out and time and time again I was highly impressed.  The atmosphere was intimate and it truly was a worthwhile experience all around.  Bed at 1:30 am.

The dancers!
The dancers!
At dinner
At dinner
At dinner
At dinner
Post dinner
Post dinner

Friday started off sleepy with an easy breakfast in and then a walk to Chelsea Market for impromptu shopping and then a stroll on the High Line.  This was a very cool and relaxing experience.  We headed for an early dinner at RARE for burgers and a shared trio of fries.  Totally hit the spot and fueled us for a night at the US Open.  We took the #7 subway from Grand Central to Flushing.  The evening session got off to a late start but we were treated with a beautiful night and two tennis stars to watch:  Sharapova and Federer, how can you beat that?  Both were victorious in quite different matches to watch.  The atmosphere was exciting and the talent was phenomenal to watch in person.  We were back on the train to Manhattan around 12:30pm.  Bryan and I went searching for a late night snack and finally fell upon Indian food open past 2am, unquestionably delicious!  Bed at 3 am.

Strolling the High Line
Strolling the High Line
The High Line
The High Line
Dad at the Open
Dad at the Open
Great group shot at the US Open
Great group shot at the US Open

Saturday was the beginning of college football in my books.  UM handedly defeated Appalachian State which was a relief.  We took Uber to Little Italy to meet Bryan’s sister, brother-in-law, and niece and nephew for lunch at Katz’s Deli.  We were fortunate to get table service in the chaotic and lively restaurant.  We all ordered pastrami’s and the sandwiches were to die for, the mustard and variety of pickles to compliment them so well.  Despite being stuffed we took a quick walk in Little Italy before stopping at our next destination for dessert and coffees. We ordered a variety of cannolis, tiramisu, lemon meringue, and chocolates.  We said goodbye to Bryan for the night and headed uptown.  Mom and I were treated to mani/pedi’s at Refresh Salon while Dad watched a few games at Nevada Smiths.  We rejoined and headed back to the apartment to get ready for the rest of the night.  The three of us headed back to RARE for their 16th floor rooftop bar.  Great terrace with nice views of the city.  We got two rounds of cocktails, chips, salsa, and guacamole.  It was a nice opportunity to just get to chat together.  We picked up Thai on the way home for another late night snack.  Bed at 12:30 am.

Go Blue!
Go Blue!
The legendary Katz's Deli
The legendary Katz’s Deli
Madness of Katz
Madness of Katz
Italian bakery
Italian bakery
Rooftop terrace at RARE
Rooftop terrace at RARE
Los padres
Los padres
Drankin
Drankin
Empire State Building ready lit up for Labor Day
Empire State Building ready lit up for Labor Day

Sunday was supposed to bring rooftop yoga but that just didn’t happen.  So Mom and I ran to Times Square to wait in line for our Broadway tickets.  Per our usual selves we had a last minute change in ticket selection and scored four tickets to the matinée showing of Pippin.  We ran back to the apartment in the sweltering heat and humidity.  Showers, changed and to Le Parisien for a French brunch.  The three of us ordered the goat cheese, pesto, and red pepper frittata, Gruyère and ham omelet, and spinach Florentine Benedict, which all came with salad and frites and a beverage; I opted for the refreshing mimosa.  It was a fantastic brunch at a very reasonable price and no wait.  Bryan met up with us again and we headed to the show, just in time.  Pippin was amazing!!  Acrobatic, funny, touching, a variety of scenes and emotions, talent, and just purely enjoyable.  We all quite enjoyed it.  Upon leaving the theater we realized we were fortunate to have missed the downpour of rain.  We walked to Grand Central to find the Vanderbilt Tennis Club, which I enjoyed.  We then took Uber back to Little Italy for dinner at Lombardi’s.  Oh NYC pizza…delish!!!  We ordered salads to share and a large pizza with fresh mozzarella, mushrooms, red peppers, and half prosciutto and half pepperoni.  Yeah, we cleaned everything up.  We walked uptown and stopped at the 230 5th rooftop bar on the 20th floor.  A much larger bar, older crowd, great view.  We sat and chatted and enjoyed each other’s company and the ambiance.  We stopped at 16 Handles for froyo before heading back to the apartment.  Bed at 12:30 am.

Brunch at Le Parisien
Brunch at Le Parisien
Vanderbilt Tennis Club
Vanderbilt Tennis Club
Tennis inside Grand Central!!!
Tennis inside Grand Central!!!
Rooftop at 230 5th!
Rooftop at 230 5th!
Posing
Posing
Familia
Familia

Monday was unfortunately our last day in the city, but we wasted no part of the day.  We had quick breakfasts at the apartment before setting out to bike the city.  We reluctantly found bike rentals on our 3rd try to set out for the East River.  We biked along the southern tip of Lower Manhattan, finely got to see the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, and all of the crowds.  We continued from Battery Park north 11 miles to 125th St. for lunch at Dinosaur BBQ.  We were seated right away and got filled to the brim with fried green tomatoes, brisket, ribs, salt potatoes, southern greens, cornbread and iced tea.  Just the right amount of fuel for our ride back along the Hudson.  We returned bikes, walked home one more time, took cool showers and then Bryan and I had to say our goodbyes to the parents, the apartment and the city.  We took the subway and Air Train back to JFK and were back in bed in Seattle at the early hour of 12:30 am PST (or you know, 3:30 am EST).  Bed 3:30 am.

Bikes at Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem
Bikes at Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem
H is for Harlem
H is for Harlem

What a great trip we had.  There was nothing we didn’t do that I wanted to do.  There was nothing we did that failed.  We lucked out immensely with the US Open and the weather all around.  I couldn’t have asked for a better trip to NYC with the boy and my wonderful parents!

Chelsea

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