Thursday, June 29, 2017

My NYC Top Ten

On the eve of my departure from NYC, I thought I would share my top ten things to eat, see, and do in the city.

The Met + Roof Garden Bar 
While I'm certainly not an art aficionado, I did fall in love with The Met during my time in NYC. On a typical weekend, I loved leisurely leaving my apartment and walking across Central Park to The Met and contribute my $2 donation for admission. During the winter, I'd typically spend more time exploring unchartered territories such as The American Wing or Art of the Arab Lands, though I always made time for my favorites including Monet's works in European Paintings and the time period rooms in Decorative Arts. During the summer, I'd swiftly walk through Greek and Roman Art and Arts of Africa before taking the elevator to the fifth floor Roof Garden Bar. I found comfort in being surrounded by the lush greenery of Central Park contrasted against the expansiveness of the downtown buildings.

Book Culture 
I've never been a reader. Growing up, I always struggled with reading comprehension and by struggle, I mean I was an A-/B+ student instead of the typical A+ student I was in my math and sciences. Instead of immersing myself in books to overcompensate, I shied away from reading and never really considered myself a book worm. After moving to New York, I decided to intentionally start reading again and Book Culture enabled my love for reading. I could spend hours sifting through the staff recommendations and perusing their collection of cards and gifts. Book Culture quickly became a weekend favorite and I've certainly dragged almost every visitor to their 81st and Columbus location.

Central Park
I could easily write a novel declaring my love for Central Park. I've always visited Central Park but though living so close, I was truly able to appreciate all of her intricate details. From the view of the paddle boats on the Bow Bridge to the waterfalls in the North Woods to the winding paths of the Ramble, I never tired of her beauty no matter the season. Some of my fondest memories of NYC have been in Central Park from the morning walks with Henry collecting sticks to the hours on picnic blankets sipping champs with my friends. I think Central Park might be the most difficult to leave behind as I move to Nashville.

The Ribbon 
The Ribbon is easily my favorite restaurant in NYC. I feel like it's a less hyped though slightly tastier version of The Smith. From the old Trivial Pursuit cards on the tables at the bar to the checks being delivered in an old book and the collection of maps on the walls, The Ribbon certainly has me charmed and their cavatelli pasta is to die for.

Seriously, the best chicken parmesan possibly ever. So incredibly yummy. Between the fresh ricotta and the garlic bread, I could eat here everyday.

Shake Shack
For quick and affordable, I always loved Shake Shack though, this past year I tried their Chick'n Shack and my life was changed. Absolutely the most amazing chicken sandwich ever (at Chick Fil A, I'm a nuggets girl.) I'm not sure if it's the semi sweet bun or the buttermilk mayo but either way, I strongly recommend this $7 gem on your next visit to NYC.

Levain Bakery 
Truth be told, I was apprehensive about Levain. I'd seen their ginormous cookies on every NYC food Instagram account and had heard rumors of the block long line at their 74th street location, but I don't like walnuts which come in their chocolate chip cookies and din't think I would be a fan. Fortunately, I walk by their larger, lesser known 116th street location twice daily on my way to and from school and caved to societal pressure to be trendy and try a cookie. Totally worth it even with the walnuts. These have been my "I've had a bad day and I need a cookie" staple the past two years. I definitely recommend treating yourself on your next visit to NYC and though they are moving to a larger location on the UWS, I'm sure the line will still be long and I highly recommend the trek to 116th for the cookies anyways.

Milk Bar
This was a favorite even before I moved to NYC and while I still love the b'day cake truffles, the b'day cake shake makes you believe that heaven is a place one earth (the song that was playing on my list visit to Milk Bar.)

Emack and Bolio's Ice Cream
Though I know New York has plenty of fancy ice cream ships and even shops with cookie dough pretending to be ice cream, I love plain, yummy ice cream. Emack and Bolios is perfect because they have some funky flavors, but also all of your tried and true flavors and you can live wildly by getting a crazy cone. My personal favorite, Cookie Monster ice cream in a fruity pebble cone!

Blessed Sacrament 
In my first year, I tried countless churches and thought I was turning into Goldie Locks because none of them felt quite right. I started attending the 5:30 mass on Sunday during my first spring and absolutely loved it here. There are so many entries in my Joy Journal about how much I loved Father Duffell's homilies on Sundays. I started attending the Spirit Sunday Socials and made a few friends so it was always comforting to see familiar faces as I prepared to start a new week. Additionally, the church is absolutely beautiful so I may have daydreamed about getting married there a time or two.

Though NYC doesn't come without it's struggles, I'm incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to call Manhattan (HA!) home for the past two years. Now, to Nashville!



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