New York, New York. “The city so nice, they named it twice!”
This was my first time flying to NYC on a regular evening flight and NOT on a Red Eye. We arrived in Manhattan late and went right to our hotel in Times Square.
The next morning the boys went to the jet convention, the girls went to SoHo. We went to Rice to Riches, tons of retail stores, and before we knew it – it was 3:00 pm. We ate a really late lunch at The Mercer Kitchen. It was my first time, but I am definitely going again. SO delicious.
We finished up our shopping and then met up with the boys for dinner. Rachael took us to this place called Eataly on Fifth Ave. It’s an Italian Market with a restaurant inside. The food was great and the atmosphere was so fun. The best part was that the pasta was super authentic: cooked el dente, thin layered lasagna, just how I love it!
I am so jealous the people of New York get to have all this amazing food around the corner. The bread alone would occupy me in the market for hours. Not to mention all the fresh produce and pasta. After dinner we hustled on over to our first Broadway show of the trip: Catch Me if you Can. It was so nice staying in Times Square because we were so close to all the theaters (if you can stand the crowds of people). The cast and music were awesome, but Zach and I loved the true story the most. I actually liked the musical even more than the movie.
When we got back to our hotel, we were on a mission. Zach and I always ask for a king bed in our hotel room but NEVER get one. Maybe it’s because we are small…or they imply we are too young to be married and we need double full beds or something? I can’t quite figure it out. So we decided to go get our king bed, dang it! After a long conversation and a bit of razzle dazzle from my charming husband, we got to ride the elevator up to the 42nd floor to our KING size bed and incredible new view.
The third day we spent in Chelsea. We went to lunch at the Standard Grill and then went to Chelsea Market. They had bookstores, organic food stands, a fresh fish market…we sipped on milkshakes and nibbled on macarons while we explored each shop and bakery.
My favorite treat was People’s Pops. I don’t know what my obsession is with popsicles lately. I heard about this little place on the Food Network and wanted to try one! So as I ask the girl at the cash register which flavor to get, she tells me, “well Rachael Ray was just here and she LOVED the Blueberry. She even tweeted about it.” We just missed her.
I decided to go the safe route and Mark and I got strawberry. It was divine. Apparently Zach and I didn’t get the memo about wearing plaid shorts and pastel colored t-shirts, because we felt really left out at the market.
Nearby was the Highline and we decided to walk it. I have wanted to do this for some time, and some friends that live in the city highly recommended it. It really was amazing. They took this old train rail way and made it into a New York State Park.
They have water for children to splash in, trees and plants everywhere. It is really interactive with displays, talking drinking fountains, and even has a glass window you can sit in and watch the cars below you drive by. Here is a photo of the Highline before the restored it for the park. It is incredible what they have done.
Do you like how I couldn’t even keep my eyes open for the photo because the light off the metal rails was blinding me? It was 98 degrees, but with humidity it felt like 110. Who thought New York summers would be hotter than the SLC?
Nearby was our spot for dinner, Morimoto. We had eaten there before with our friends Morgan and Britton who live there, and liked it so much we decided to take our crew there. The food is always fantastic, but the toilets intrigued me the most as usual. My dad always says a restaurant is designed only as good as their bathrooms. Mr. Toto toilet (how fitting that Morimoto has a Japanese toilet) had a “front rinse”, “rear rinse”, and an “air dry” setting. They also have these infinity mirrors behind the toilets in the stalls with flowers suspended in them – maybe because they toilets are so…heavenly?
Speaking of HEAVENLY….after our delish dinner at Morimoto we rushed off to Sister Act at the Broadway Theater. It was fantastic, by far my favorite musical I’ve seen in New York on Broadway.
It was the same concept as the movie I grew up watching, but different music. The actress/vocalist who played Delores was BRILLIANT. I even caught Zach sneaking a few laughs in. I would recommend it to anyone! (Definitely a little more family oriented than Catch Me if you Can). We ended the night the traditional Henderson way – Ice Cream from McDonald’s in Times Square.
The next morning we went to breakfast and then moved on over to Central Park. Chad and Zach rented roller blades, Rachael and I stuck to bikes. The park was gorgeous and super busy, especially considering how hot and humid it was outside. But on the bikes and blades, we caught a nice breeze. Nothing like a DC in CP.
After we rode around the entire park, we met up with Mark and Jeanene and grabbed a bite at the Shake Shack. I do NOT like cheeseburgers. I do tolerate the occasional In N’ Out Burger or Smash Burger…but the Shake Shack has THE best cheeseburger I’ve ever had. Hands down. No contest. I can’t believe I’ve been to NY this many times and never tried it before this trip. I am never going to eat another cheeseburger again…until I return to the Shake Shack.
Friday night, Mark and Jeanene flew back home and the rest of us went to the Yankees game. We took the air conditioned ride out to the Bronx on the subway.
This was also a first for me. I’ve wanted to go to a Yankees game since they built the new stadium, but had never been to the city during baseball season. The stadium lived up to all my expectations. I expected no less from the Yankees.
We scalped our tickets and had seats clear up in Neverland. Luckily, the view was good from anywhere in the stadium.
Not too long after we arrived, it started to rain. Hundreds of people left, thinking they would call it, but we decided to move under the pavilion and wait it out. At one point it was POURING.
We didn’t have to wait too long before the rain stopped and we could move down to lower seats. So many people had cleared out of the stadium at the first drop of rain that we found a great spot!
After the game (and to celebrate the victory) we took Chad and Rachael to the Creperie on Ludlow. It’s kind of in a sketchy location, and it didn’t help that we went after the game around midnight. So we are getting off the subway and Zach says to Chad and Rachael, “SO…this is area is kind of hood“ not even a whole five minutes later we are exiting the subway and we witness a gigantic cat fight. Four girls (two on two) were battling it out. One girl even had her whole top ripped off including her bra and was running around topless, away from the other girl. Some crazy guy tried to break it up, but with to no avail. We were so in shock, we didn’t start filming until mid-fight. It all happened on the opposite side of the tracks, going Uptown. We were exiting Downtown and had to watch from the other side (which was probably a good thing anyway.) After our delicious crepe, we returned back to the subway stop to get back to our hotel. There was hair all over the floor and blood on the wall – even a pair of deserted shoes. We didn’t get the whole episode (the part where the chick’s shirt gets ripped off) but we did get this awesome tidbit…
Our last full day in the city we spent alone together. Chad and Rachael left Saturday and we decided to go finish our shopping up in Soho again. Zach read in Entrepreneur Magazine about this clothing company these guys had started out of a truck. You can check their location on their website, and they were located a street away. Their whole operation is so genius. To rent a retail space in New York is a fortune, but to buy a truck and sell your product out of it? Such a great concept.
Not only do people do this with retail, but there were tons of food trucks with the same game plan. They had Taco Trucks, Dumpling Trucks, Frozen Yogurt Trucks, but my favorite was the truck with the mini cupcakes.
Our friend Morgan suggested this place for dinner, Cafeteria. They are famous from the movie Sex and the City, but also famous for their Mac N’ Cheese. It was to die for, and we both agreed it was one of the best meals we had on the trip. It was so packed, and it is open 24 hours a day, and stays packed all night long. Zach was the only straight male in the whole restaurant. The adorable man couple sitting in close quarters with us told us that there is “no sexier crowd in New York” than at Cafeteria…especially at 2:00 am. I believed him, but I think he was referring to sexy men…because the place was full of them.
The rain came again and hit us pretty hard on the way back to the hotel. Zach spotted something that caught his eye and BEGGED me to go with him. Where was this glorious place, you ask? Dave & Busters. Yes, I’m serious. We spent the remainder of the night gaming our little hearts out. Neither of us had ever been before, and I must say…it is like Classic on steroids. Plus alcohol. You have to show your ID to get in, and people were getting crunked while playing Guitar Hero. We didn’t stay too long (I assume the games are exiting for a longer period of time when you are drinking) but it was definitely worth while because Zach found a Pac Man machine.
Our last day we spent with my long lost friend since the second grade, Alison! I hadn’t seen her since she moved to New York over 6 months ago. We met up with her and her boyfriend Scott for lunch, and Zach picked our activities for the after party. He wanted to go to Chelsea Piers so badly and go to the multi level driving range. Unfortunately, the wait was out of this world. SO, instead we walked down the pier and found a field house with giant foam pits and gymnastics equipment. Zach convinced us to try out the batting cages. It was a blast!
After we got our swing on, we took the train to Brooklyn for some thrift store shopping. I felt like I didn’t get to spend enough time with her, I miss her terribly. I am so proud of her though, doing what she loves and living the dream. We said our goodbyes (until July when she comes home) and then had to head back to our hotel to get our luggage. The cab ride to JFK is always so depressing. Not only does it mean I am leaving one of my favorite cities, but it means we have to brave a horrendous crowd and a mess on the Tarmac. But crossing the bridge to Queens, I remembered my “To Do Before I Die” list. I made it way before I met Zach, but some random number on that list was “See the Manhattan Skyline.” I almost teared up. My first time ever in this city was with Zach. I was so excited to go, but even more excited to be with him. Then I turned around in the cab, saw the skyline, and remembered how lucky I was to be there with him again. I don’t care what anyone says, I’ll take the island of Manhattan over any tropical island in the world.
Until next time, stay classy New York!