Laura Rennie

weekend in NYC

Laura R.Comment
When my girl Sam moved to Brooklyn last year I immediately began counting down the days ’til spring, which I knew would be the ideal time to visit. I’ve been to NYC three times before—twice in December, and once in January. Brrr! Most of those visits were spent between Central Park and Herald Square, so I was looking forward to spreading my wings a bit.

I had the pleasure of seeing not one but TWO Samanthas while I was in the city. Samantha H., my friend since freshman year of college, is now a teacher in Queens and offered to pick me up from my bus stop in her car. She took me to Strand bookstore—a must stop for book-lovers! We popped into Ribalta on a whim for dinner and ordered a white pizza with mozzarella, provolone, gorgonzola, parmigiano reggiano and honey. We swapped the gorgonzola for ricotta, which was a BALLER move. We were nervous about the honey, but once we tasted it drizzled over the pizza our lives were changed forever. Truly. I wasn’t planning on having a pizza experience over the weekend but I’m SO glad I did.

The drive from dinner to Sam C.’s apartment in Brooklyn was the perfect ending to my time with Samantha. She turned on the soundtrack from “Inside Llewyn Davis” and I listened to her sing along while taking in the views. It was so, so good to see her.

Once I got to Sam’s place in Brooklyn my only thoughts were, “make plans, then bed.” Of course, I had a nightmare hours later that we got into a big fight because Sam stayed in her pjs all day Saturday and I felt like I had come to the city for nothing. (I have the most bizarre dreams.) Thankfully, my dream didn’t come true and we headed for Central Park first thing in the morning. We started by the Guggenheim and made our way past the Met and Turtle Pond, up and around The Lake and then exited by Strawberry Fields. From there we took the subway to our first lunch destination: Hampton Chutney Co. on Prince Street. I had read about it on a blog and was excited to try a dosa for the first time. We each ordered an iced soy chai latte and split the #6, which was stuffed with masala potatoes, spinach, roasted tomatoes and jack cheese. We picked curry chutney for dipping. It was superb!

From there we bussed to The High Line, a historic elevated freight train line that has been turned into a park. We started from Gansevoort St. in the Meatpacking District (which was a neat little area to walk through) and got off at W. 18th.


Remember Sam from when she guest blogged about being from Maryland?
We heart our Tevas
Guess what we did after The High Line? We went right back to Prince St. for our second lunch at Café Habana. Sam told me about the Mexican-style corn at this place when she visited NYC before moving there, and it’s been on my “must eat” list ever since. We split an order of corn and the fish tacos. I can’t wait to try this at home!

What do you do after second lunch? Have dessert in Little Italy, of course! We walked along Mulberry Street, which hosts Italian eateries left and right. We split the lobster tail and cannoli (my two favorites) at Ferrara Bakery. YUM.

We somehow managed to stop eating and made our way down to the Financial District. Sam works at Fast Company at 7 World Trade, which is right next to Freedom Tower. The views from her office were incredible. I felt like quite the VIP! The view of Ground Zero took my breath away. You can’t see it in this pic (it would be just to the right), but Freedom Tower is VERY visible from this window. It seems like you could reach out and touch the scaffolding if you stretched enough!

Empire State and Chrysler Building!
I was hoping to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge as the sun set, but it started to get cold and rainy and we were tuckered out. Sam kindly obliged my wishes to snap a couple of pictures of Manhattan once we got over to Brooklyn, but they didn’t turn out very well because of the weather. The best shot was this one—baby’s first photobomb!

We took blissfully hot showers immediately after getting home and noshed on popcorn and chocolate for dinner. (I also had several pieces of baguette slathered with butter, because bread is life.) We watched Mad Men while we ate, which was lovely because we started the series together two years ago and have bonded over our love/hate relationships with pretty much every character. 

I have no pictures of Sunday to share. Sunday was our rest-in-Brooklyn day. We got bagels at The Bagel Hole and walked around Park Slope, where I saw a TON of pregnant ladies and families dragging strollers and dogs all over the place. We got mani/pedis for TWENTY THREE DOLLARS and then met up with a few of Sam’s friends for brunch at Sheep Station. Bagels, cheap mani/pedis and brunch. Does it get any better? Plus, our main topics of conversation at brunch were food and books, so I was in heaven.

Sadly, brunch was the end of my NYC adventures (unless you count the subway ride to my bus stop and then my bus ride back to DC). On the way to the bus I picked up the perfect “I didn’t forget you” gift for Andy—Chicago mix popcorn from Garretts.

I’m exhausted just blogging about all we did! Sam, you’re a keeper.

P.S. Here’s a pic from my first visit to NYC. My fabulous grandma completely spoiled me with tea and dinner at The Plaza Hotel, a carriage ride around the park, tickets to Radio City Christmas Spectacular and Saturday Night Fever, breakfast at Tavern on the Green and more, but I look MISERABLE in all of our pictures from the trip! I have no explanation for this. Look at us in our black outfits and jaunty hats…aw.

And then there’s baby Laura and Andy, from our trip to the city in ’07 with college pals.
Andy insisted on wearing my mom’s ancient ski hat, which he had found in our basement.