Sunday, June 26, 2011

New York, New York ... as Frank Would Sing

What a weekend in the Big Apple!

As you know, we went in Friday to meet up with some old friends from Ohio who are spending a month in the city.  As original New Yorkers, they always are in the know of good restaurants, off Broadway plays, and other 'goings-on' about town.  The day couldn't have been more delightful with them.

Our friend, a big foodie/chef-follower-type-of-guy, was able to get us lunch reservations at Eleven Madison Park.   Apparently, it is in the Top 50 (ranked #24) of restaurants in the world.  IN THE WORLD!!  Holy Camoly!   This is the front entrance.  No, I'm not kidding.   The setting is in the old Metropolitan Building over looking Madison Square Park.

Isn't the interior just gorgeous!  We even got to meet Daniel Humm, the executive chef, who stopped by our table.  I'm swooning.  No, not really.  It is a treat to be treated to such extravagance ... but alas, it is lost on this girl who thinks Happy Joe's taco pizza rocks!

We had a four course meal that included so many many fine plates.  And in between the courses, they brought us out little stuff like these macaroons.  See, I don't even know the names.

Towards the end of our meal, the server (and there were MANY servers) made us a drink called Egg Cream.  It contains neither egg nor cream.  It's basic ingredients are milk, seltzer and chocolate syrup and supposedly originated in Brooklyn around the 1880's.  I had never heard of it but it was quite yummy.  My waistline agreed.  ~slurp~

After our 3 1/2 hour lunch, we headed out towards our destination and wandered through Madison Square Park.   We came upon the above piece of artwork, Echo, by Jaume Plensa.  It is part of the Madison Square Park Art's free contemporary art program.  It was beautiful and it seemed to rise out of the ground almost like a hologram.  Very cool!

Nearing our destination, we explored the Chelsea Market, home of the Nabisco Factory, the birthplace of the Oreo cookie.  Over a million square feet of culinary delight and chic shops. 

Finally, we reached what we wanted to explore.  The High Line.  Built in the 1930s, the 1.5 mile elevated railroad line in the lower west side of Manhattan closed down in 1980.  Still with its tracks in place, the line has been converted into a walking park with over 200 plant specimens.

If you get a chance, don't miss this walk and these beautiful views of the city.

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We caught a late dinner.  Afterwards, we walked a few blocks and ended up grabbing an outside table to have a couple of drinks and to people watch before returning to our hotel.  The street was busy and there was a feel of electricity in the air.

A couple of men sat at a table beside us and we struck up a conversation with them.  One of them took a phone call and all of a sudden cheered.  The NY legislature had just passed the gay marriage bill.  All the tables broke into applause.  The street was resonating with excitement.  It was magical and we had been there to experience first hand this historical event!

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Saturday, we rented some bikes and headed to Central Park.  The Park is beautiful no matter what time of the year, but Saturday it was packed and crowded which made for some challenging steering on my part with a backpack full of lens and a camera on my shoulder!  I still could balance enough to get a picture of The Professor's back side.  ~smile~

After a while, we got off the beaten path and went in search of some green space.

Mid-afternoon, we were ready to head home and grabbed the train out of town.

We were glad to return home and enjoy some of our own green space.

... and that is exactly what The Professor did on Sunday!

Hope you had a green space filled weekend.  I'd love to hear about it!

I'm linking up with James for this weeks' Weekend Reflections!
and Scenic Sunday

And I'm looking forward to catching up with everyone!