Now that I’m back on the blogging train, I might as well post some pictures from last weekend’s trip to New York City. Trevor and I decided to go down to New York to celebrate his 23rd birthday, to say goodbye to some old friends before leaving the East Coast and, as it turns out, eat more than is humanly possible.
On Friday, we had the extreme displeasure of taking the notorious Fung Wah train to New York. Six hours later, a well rested Helena and a very un-rested Trevor showed up in Chinatown. I have the wonderful ability to sleep pretty much anywhere, anytime, and Trevor has the not-so-desirable qualities of not sleeping on buses and easily getting car sick. Luckily, the second never came to fruition thanks to his William Gibson Neuromancer audiotape.
Trevor’s priority-numero-uno was to go to Saint Alp’s Teahouse near Union Square. Little did I know or realize how strong Trevor’s love for bubble tea was, until we repeated our trip to Saint Alp’s multiple times throughout the weekend. For those of you non-trend-oriented likely-Colorado-folk, Bubble Tea is an Asian favorite that consists of tea, milk, sugar and Boba (“Bubbles”), aka little black pearls of tapioca that are pretty disgusting and not at all what you expect when you first try them but that eventually grow on you and you start to appreciate their clam / muscle-like texture and flavorlessness. Here is a picture of some bubble tea at Saint Alp’s, which yes, Trevor was right, is the best bubble tea I’ve ever had in my life.
Over the course of the weekend, I had butterscotch bubble tea once (so-so) and coconut bubble tea twice (delish). Trevor stuck with old-fashioned black bubble tea.
At Saint Alp’s, we met up with two of Trevor’s friends, Joe and Italo, who then accompanied us to The Strand, aka the best bookstore in the world, whose only possible rival is the Tattered Cover in Denver on 16th Street. If you’re ever in New York, go to The Strand, and if you’re ever in Denver, go to the Tattered Cover. Especially now with National Bookchain numero dos collapsing, it’s more important than ever that we support local bookstores (cough cough parents).
Then, our weekend of extreme eating really began. Italo mentioned that he knew of a delicious all-you-can-eat Sushi restaurant nearby (called Funayama) and we decided that was the perfect option for Trevor’s birthday dinner. We were even more excited when our boat (yes, really) of sushi arrived and the feast began. Mmm sushi.
The night ended with cards and sangria in Italo’s Times Square apartment.
Day 2: The Best Laid Plans…
And so, day two of NYC food fest began with pastries at a Greek Bakery on 9th… and then cheeseburgers and fries at Five Guys in Brooklyn Heights… and then more sangria at our friend Andrea’s house in Brooklyn. Andrea has a great apartment in Crown Heights with an amazing roof top view. All of us got excited by the sight of the Crown Heights Armory, one of many old WWII-era armory’s across NYC, and we decided to go there and check it out. Luckily, someone had the foresight to investigate on their phone (me) and found out that the armory is now, unfortunately, a homeless shelter that houses many dangerous sexual predators. Plan ruined.
Instead we opted for cheesecake at Maxie’s in Times Square. Maxie’s has always been my g0-to cheesecake place in New York after its fortuitous discovery on my 11th grade Carnegie Hall trip. Maxie’s has the best cheesecake EVER. And, like 20 different flavors, all for $7.95. Much to my despair, we showed up at “Maxie’s” and surprise, it had a different name and although the unique architecture of the building was instantly recognizable, the interior decor was different. As it turns out, Maxie’s has recently been replaced by a new restaurant. We paid $10 a slice for shitty cheesecake… with only 3 flavor options. Boo, new restaurant.
Day 3: A Celebration of American Obesity
Italo and Trevor spent Sunday morning investigating the best plans for the day, and of course all of them revolved around food. Upon the suggestion of our friend Dmitriy, we hunted down the famous Wafels and Dinges food truck at Columbus Circle and started our day with hot Belgian waffles with spekuloos spread. I wasn’t sure I could eat anything ever again, but Trevor and Italo’s 2nd part of the plan was a Food Truck rally at Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Luckily, I had a few hours to walk off the waffles before getting delicious Greek food and frozen yogurt. Here are several pictures of Trevor and Italo resting off the Greek food at Prospect Park.
Italo and Trevor in Prospect Park, post-feast
Italo (love the bokeh in this picture!)
We met up with filmmaking co-conspirator Kathy and decided to walk around Greenpoint. Little did we know that it would take us nearly 2.5 hours to get to Greenpoint (thank you, MTA, for all your subway closures) and that we would end up taking a cab out of frustration and exhaustion.
Trevor and Kathy in a G train subway, desperate to find out way out of Brooklyn
We discovered that near Greenpoint there is a Saint Alp’s Teahouse in Williamsburg. Lucky Trevor! So we went there, again, for bubble tea and met up with Dmitriy.
Just when I thought I could never eat every again in my entire life, our friends Maya and Lynn got out of work and decided we should go to a hipstery restaurant near their house. Trevor and I split some macaroni and cheese, and although it was very good, my poor stomach had a hard time appreciating it. We spent the rest of the evening in a nearby park:
Kathy and Jed in Williamsburg
Williamsburg at night
Believe it or not, we got pizza after going to the park. Sorry, Michelle Obama.
Day 4: Walking Off Day 3
After Day 3′s craziness, Trevor and I took it easy on Day 4 and dedicated most of the day to sightseeing. We started off with The High Line, NYC’s renovated train tracks park. It was way more enjoyable to walk 20 blocks above the city streets in a beautiful park than on the hot, urine-stained sidewalks below, stopping every block for traffic lights. Here are some pictures of the High Line:
The High Line
Birdhouse art on The High Line
Flowers on the High Line
Then we proceeded to Ground Zero to see the in-progress Freedom Tower at One World Trade Center. The Freedom Tower is one of many construction projects going on at Ground Zero to commemorate September 11th.
Cool pic of the Subway
We grabbed some pizza and went to (you guessed it) Saint Alp’s Teahouse one last time before boarding our much more comfortable Bolt Bus back to Boston. Trev and I slept for an hour before having an EPIC Fruit Ninja battle for the remaining 3.5 hours. Trevor always beats me, but that’s because the iPhone scoring system is more lenient than the Android scoring system (and also because he’s better at it).
Fruit Ninja screencapture
Well, that is all for our epic NYC weekend. If you actually made it all the way through this super-long post, congratulations and thanks for reading.