Saturday, December 21, 2013

TRAVEL | winter retreat, new york city

Here are the rest of the photos from last week's short vacation to New York City. I've visited New York twice in the past and both times I never really properly explored the city. Thanks to one of my close friends, who used to live in the Lower East Side, I really got a feel for the hip and trendy side of Manhattan. Since it was my sister's first time in the city, I tried my best to be a decent tour guide, but at the same time we also explored areas (namely West Village + Chelsea) even I wasn't familiar with. So the trip became a sort of mixture of the old and the new.

It snowed on our fifth day in New York. The city was gorgeous blanketed in white-I could hardly recognize it. 

Seeking shelter from the snow at Blue Bottle Coffee. We watched as cabs shuffled their way along the frozen streets and old men de-icing the sidewalks with salt.

Familiar? Anyone who's a fan of F.R.I.E.N.D.S would be able to identify this building as the home of Monica and Rachel. I really enjoyed the West Village-it seems like a wonderful place to live; close to all the cafes and winebars, within walking distance to Soho, Nolita, Chinatown and the East Village, but still relatively quiet, away from all the noise of midtown.

Braved the snow for the best cupcakes in town, { Butter Lane }. The dough is infused with real french vanilla bean so you can imagine how amazing these were. As someone who doesn't eat cake - ever - I really couldn't resist a bite or two from Kelly's batch. Another great thing about Butter Lane the interesting build-your-own cupcake menu; custom cupcake (chocolate, banana, & vanilla) with your choice of icing.

Walked by the most adorable pair of Scottish Terriers in Central Park. This one's friend had a fondness of stuffing his face in the snow.

One thing I can say with the utmost certainty about New York is that that city has THE BEST FOOD. I don't care if you're looking for late night pizza runs or exotic Moroccan fare--New York has it all. In the last week, I have dined as I have never dined before (house-made soba, halal, mussels, dumplings, wurst, lobster rolls--you get the idea). I probably should have been a little bit thriftier with my cash with it being so close to the holidays, but it was impossible to turn away from all the amazing food the city had to offer. I have to admit, this trip has been more culinary focused than any of my other travels, and I really wouldn't have had it any other way. I was after all, taught by the best.

So, for now it seems that it has become somewhat of a tradition for me to visit NYC every two years (first in 2009 and again in 2011). Looking into the future, I'm still not sure where my plans would take me, but maybe I'll make it back to New York to play again someday soon.

And I'd like to say a quiet 'Thanks' to my friend, Jo Chow for showing me a small glimpse into the life of a true New Yorker all those years ago. I miss you a lot, my friend.

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