I've never lived in New York, which is sometimes hard for me believe. I feel at home walking its streets, even if they do remind my calf muscles they need more of a workout. (Happens every time.) Maybe it's because my whole family is there (some sort of genetic inheritance?) or because I've spent a lot of time there.
My weekend visit didn't disappoint. First, traveling on the Amtrack Acela was amazing -- three hours of uninterrupted (well, accept for the loud dude near me who went on and on about solar power) time to sit back in a comfortable leather seat with tons of leg room and Wi-Fi. (So much better than flying.)
And leaving from Union Station didn't hurt either. (I used to walk here several times a week when I was an intern, eating in its food court and staring up at the ceiling.)
Ryan was waiting for me at the airport, and dragged my ginormous suitcase throughout the Subway to his apartment. I'd packed a ton of spring dresses, none of which were used because it was rainy and 50 most of the time I was there. But I was there!
We joined his friend Nick for lunch at Cookshop, where I tried the amazing green called "ramp," a type of leek that has apparently become a hot commodity for New York chefs -- so much so that there's talk of overharvesting. (Not by this restaurant, of course).
(This is actually a fascinating story about the vegetable that Nick referred to as "The Chilean Sea Bass of leafy green vegetables.") Anyhow, the ramp quiche was delicious, and I could rest easy knowing it was made thanks to sustainable farming.
We walked the High Line, which has become one of my favorite stops in NYC. (On a side Birmingham note, love that one of the Prize to the Future finalists just announced draws inspiration from this amazing park.)
Then to Chelsea Market, where Ryan and Nick cleaned up at a Gilt Group sale and I admired these whimsical cupcakes. This one looks like spaghetti & meatballs - ha! -------->
In the evening we met our cousin Brendan and his fiance Marybeth at Aria, which is like sitting in an Italian kitchen. She was lovely and so was the mac and cheese with truffle oil. Are you getting a picture of what we did during the weekend? It involved food!
But first there was a show: "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert," which had me standing (practically) in my seat singing, "Go West." It was a good time.
Saturday morning we dragged ourselves out of bed to make it to a 8 a.m. BodySoulSati class. (After all, it's about balance.) I've been dying to go to one of Patricia Moreno's classes forever, and it did not disappoint. Her teachings are called "Intensati," a blend of intense physical workout (think: yoga, dance, martial arts, cardio) and positive affirmations.
I know, I know, anytime that someone says "affirmations" there's eyerolling, but it was an amazing workout. (Anytime that I can shout out "I am powerful!" while kicking my leg like a Rockette is a good time.)
Even Ryan thought it was a difficult workout, which was awesome because he's a former dancer. I just wish it was taught in Birmingham. But that's another post.
We had brunch at Extra Virgin (eggs benedict with salmon and rasberry bellinis, oh my) with friends Jason and Curry and hobbled (because at this point my legs were KILLING me) throughout the West Village where we stumbled up:
A dancing pig in the window of Marc Jacobs.
Yes, you read that correctly. Apparently each season Marc Jacobs has some sort of stuffed character or person bopping around in the window. We had our photo taken with said pig, which was amazing.
What tops a dancing pig, but a trip to the red carpet at the Tribeca Film Festival?
Here we attended the premiere of the fanastic new documentary about Carol Channing, "Larger Than Life" (Variety Review.) It was so well done -- there was not a dry eye in the audience as we heard her remarkable story of a nine-decade life. Not only was she friends with presidents, she had a remarkable work ethic, missing only half of a performance in many years of performing on Broadway and on tour (food poisoning).
Even when she was being treated for ovarian cancer she performed the next day, caring for her fellow castmembers and giving audience that big Carol Channing smile.
It was magnificant.
There was more eating that night (at a French place with a name I can't remember and amazing crepes; a few blood orange margaritas) and laughing with friends.
And the next morning, before I left for the airport, Ryan and I took a walk in his neighborhood. After two days of rain and grey skies, the sun came out for Easter morning:
I hated to head to the airport, but had to get home, and Ryan had to start his new job the next day. Many thanks to my great host and his friends, and for the city of New York, Easter pig and all.