Empire State of Mind

Wow – looks like my plan is working – create a blog, feel compelled to write! Tonight’s RAnnDom topic: My Vacation.

Three weeks ago I went on vacation; I spent most of my first week off in NYC, where the temps were 100+ every day. Every. Day. I would awaken in my nice cool hotel room, only to step outside into what felt like a ginormous sauna. A sauna housing 8,363,710 of its finest citizens. But when you’re in a city as fabulous as New York, do you really stop to complain about the heat?

I’ve been to NY before, but it had been years since I’d been back to really take in the sights. My last trip to the city was in 2001, post 9/11. I went to see U2 at Madison Square Garden in October (this will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me). My ‘trip’ consisted of lining up at MSG at 5 a.m. and watching the day slowly creep by before being let into the venue, and seeing the show. Luckily, it’s not as hot in October as it is in July. I left the day after the show, having had no time to do any touristy stuff. But this time…. different story.

I suppose I did what your average tourist does when visiting the Big Apple – Empire State Building, Times Square, Rockefeller, Liberty/Ellis Island….but I also did what no normal tourist would do – hit up all four Lululemon stores to check out their stock. Yes, I am slightly obsessed. In fact, I think I will link their web site to this blog. In my defense, I was really just hoping to find some great deals. No, seriously =-)  Anyway, back to my trip.

One of my favorite things to do when visiting a city, is walking it. I find it to be the best way to check out what you might miss if you were taking a bus or driving. I finally made it to Brooklyn (did you know the subway from Manhattan to Brooklyn runs under the Hudson River?) – and had the best pizza EVER, at Grimaldi’s. We then walked back across the bridge. According to the guide who took us on our initial bus tour of Brooklyn, the bridge is 6,000 feet long. Anyway, back to the pizza – I can certainly see why there are line-ups to eat at this place. The pizza is freshly made for you, using the finest of ingredients, such as fresh mozza and basil – really, if I could have them Fed Ex me a pie, I totally would! Anyway, moving on…. Being a Sex & the City fan, I I couldn’t got to NY and not do the bus tour, which was led by comedian & actress Amy Miller. I would recommend the tour to fans of the show, but perhaps not to their boyfriends. Amy was hilarious, but also super knowledgeable about the show. It was fun to see where episodes and scenes were shot, in particular, The Pleasure Chest where Charlotte buys her infamous Rabbit. I was expecting this place to be bigger – it being a ‘chest’ and all. One of my favorite stops on the tour, was Magnolia Bakery, where I had the most delectable chocolate cupcake ever. Yes, that’s right – and I don’t even like cupcakes all that much. That said, having one is quite enough – they’re pretty rich in all of their tasty, chocolatey goodness. I recommend a cupcake pit stop if you’re in the area.

Maintaining the chocolate trend, we also hit up Serendipity (which was much smaller than I imagined), where I had a chocolate sundae. OK…. so let’s be clear – this was a very big sundae containing not one, but three scoops of ice cream along with all the bells and whistles — it was more like an ice cream volcano erupting with more chocolatey goodness. This is not a one-person task – if you’re popping into Serendipity, I recommend you share your dessert with a friend! Oh, i also went to M&M World where I accidentally bought 2 pounds of peanut M&Ms. Oh well.

A few other notable mentions:

– John Lennon’s apartment (The Dakota) at Central Park West, and Strawberry Fields.
– Greenwich/West Village (home of Carrie Bradshaw!)
– Fresh, located on Bleeker (I think) – they have amazing products
– Soho
– King Tut exhibit

My mind is drawing a blank because I did so much, but I did have a random thought, about how I came across Tim Horton’s near Times Square. How very ironic that they’ve got a Canadian coffee company! See? RAnndom.

I spent my 2nd week on vacation, up north, in peace and quiet. This really balanced things out for me, after having spent an action-packed week in NY. Too bad I couldn’t stay on vacation <sigh>.

Well, that’s enough rambling for one night – time for bed!

Peace out, yo –


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