Earlier this month I jetted off to the Big Apple with just my littlest little. My parents are living on the Upper East Side for a year, and I had to get out there to see them and their new urban stomping grounds.
My mom actually came to visit the week before so she could see the bigger kids, and then we flew back together. It was so nice to have her help for the flight. Having a lap infant may be a cheap way to travel, but, man, is it tiring! Amiright?
In New York, we spent three days walking around 20,000 steps per day (thanks, FitBit!) and riding trains, buses, and taxis. We explored Central Park, the Upper East Side, the Upper West Side, Chelsea, Chinatown, Brooklyn...and a bunch of other neighborhoods I don't know how to specifically name.
I also got to see a dear old college friend, which is pretty much the best thing ever. Thanks for making time for me, Suz!
The city is so beautiful. The buildings. The trees. The people. Part of me wanted to take a picture of everything, but a camera can't really capture it. I found myself often just putting my phone in my backpack and trying to take in the feel of the city.
Speaking of taking things in, we also did a lot of eating. The main focus was Chinese food and bakeries. Shocker, right?!
^^this chocolate chip walnut cookie from levain bakery was perhaps the most delectable thing i ate the entire time i was in the city. there may have been an entire stick of butter in it, but i did not care. it was so damn good. i wasn't sure what to order (read: i always panic!) so i asked the guy working. after the obligatory "get whatever you're feeling like; it's all good!" comment, he agreed that if i was only there one time, i should definitely get a cookie. he was not wrong.^^
^^we went to xi'an famous foods for their noodles, but i was more impressed with the lamb dumplings (pictured above). as you may or may not know, it is HARD to find a good dumpling outside of asian, but these were legit. the sauce was fantastic. the noodles were good too, although i may have ordered wrong. too many options! i froze. if i went again, i'd share noodles with someone and also order a vegetable to balance things out. the noodles are hand-pulled (or as they say, "hand-ripped!") and fantastic, but quite heavy.^^
^^we also tried joe's shanghai in chinatown. their xiao long bao were pretty good! but not amazing. the ambiance, however, was great. the bustling restaurant felt festive but not too touristy and the service was quick and kind. the tables were communal, so we had a nice chat with a lady in town from LA for work. i really enjoyed our meal there. and zoë tried my favorite dry-fried green beans, so that was pretty exciting!^^
^^there were drinks to be tried, too. i enjoyed this one at my parents' favorite bar: caledonia.^^
Another special experience I had while in the city was going to the 9/11 Memorial. It was really moving to see what they've done to that area, and to take pause to think about the significance of that event. The architecture of the new buildings in that area was particularly impressive. I was a bit put off by all the tourist taking selfies and such in front of the ponds...but I guess to each their own?
We had such a nice visit to NYC. It was wonderful to see my parents, and to bop around the city and see places I hadn't seen in years. One of my mottos for life lately has been "it's good to do things," and this trip was a prime example. I am so grateful to have been able to go! And big thanks to my Mom and Dad for hosting us! And Happy Anniversary! ;)