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In the Neighborhoods: NYC Day 2

May 19, 2010

We started our second full day in NYC with breakfast at Prince Street Cafe and Catering. I had a yummy frittata with goat cheese, herbs, peppers and potatoes and Josh got a breakfast platter of bacon, eggs, pancakes, and potatoes. Josh’s potatoes were seriously good, browned with onions and peppers and sprinkled with chives. The coffee left much to be desired, so we headed off in search of La Colombe, which Jessica had told me was the place to get coffee.

La Colombe had an unassuming storefront that I’d probably have passed by. Although, upon entering I was intrigued by it’s rather stark black, white, and stainless appearance which managed to feel at once modern yet vaguely European. No menus were in sight, sending the message that if you don’t know your coffee, don’t bother to come in.

I asked for a vanilla latte.

A sharply dressed African-American man glanced at me and replied, “We don’t do syrups here. But we do make a mean latte.”

Ahhhh. It wasn’t said snobbishly, just matter of factly. Like, why on earth would you want syrup??

“Well, I’m here to try it,” I replied.

Josh got a regular coffee and we were handed our drinks at the bar. You could choose between refined sugar, unrefined sugar, and agave nectar. I took a sip to decide what to add to it.

Um. Wow. It was the second most creamy, rich latte I’ve ever had. No kidding. The only other cup that rivaled it was when I went to San Francisco last year and stood in a very long line to get a latte from Bluebottle Coffee Company. No latte I’ve ever had can compare with both Bluebottle and La Colombe. I seriously wish there was such a coffee company in the Baltimore area. I may have to open up my own shop or something. Seriously. So if you’re ever in New York and you love coffee, just skip all the other shops and head straight to La Colombe. Or go there if you’re in Philly because apparently they have a shop there too.

I could have drunk the latte with no sugar or syrup, which is saying something for how creamy it was. But I did end up putting in one packet of sugar. Perfect.

Okay, now that I’ve waxed eloquent on coffee for paragraphs, we can move on.

Next we headed to Little Italy. The streets were shut down, allowing the crowds to take up the streets and the tables and chairs to flow out of the restaurants and onto the sidewalks.

We mainly just walked around, taking in the sights.

This sign in a storefront cracked me up:

Next we continued exploring Soho. Josh got to check out Rudy’s Music, a famous guitar store, and I got to visit Purl. Drool, all you fellow knitters . . .

From there we explored Greenwich Village, the Meatpacking District, and Chelsea, as well as Chelsea Market. The market was a bit of a let down. It pretty much felt like a mall with a cool interior. Very touristy. Oh well.

We were so exhausted that we headed back to the apartment for naps in the afternoon. Considering I’d been up for two nights past midnight and all the fresh air and walking, we knew that to have an enjoyable evening we had better get some shut eye.

After naps and changing into fresh clothes, we headed to Union Square Cafe for dinner, where we had reservations, thanks to the ever-thoughtful and generous Jessica. “Cafe” really gives the wrong impression; it is fine dining.

We ordered our drinks and calamari for an appetizer. It was deliciously tender, not rubbery, like it can be. Josh ordered Pan-Seared Rainbow Trout, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Asparagus, Market Greens & Bacon Vinaigrette. I ordered Grilled Lamb Chops Scotta Dita, Potato-Gruyère Gratin and Wilted Insalata Tricolore. I’m hungry again just thinking about it. The lamb just melted in my mouth, and the potatoes gratin were perfectly creamy! And for dessert we split an order of Warm Dark Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Bread Pudding with Grand Marnier Ice Cream. Yum!

Afterward, we headed to the Empire State Building. Neither of us had ever been to the top. The wait wasn’t too long. About an hour and a half  or a little less from the line to the top. The sight was certainly beautiful! I loved seeing it at night with all the lights below and the river weaving among the tall buildings.

Exhausted once again, we took the subway back to the apartment. Only one more day to go!

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. May 19, 2010 3:36 pm

    Wow. You guys really packed it in. I guess that’s what you’ve got to do when going to NYC.
    An entire paragraph for coffee is definitely not excessive. 🙂
    I love the shot of all the Italian flags flying out the windows. very fun.

  2. May 19, 2010 4:10 pm

    what a fabulous trip! that’s the kind of thing I love to do in NYC–just walk around and take in the sights–unfortunately I have typically been with people (*cough* my husband *cough*) who do not appreciate the city and have no desire to do the same 🙂

  3. May 19, 2010 4:31 pm

    Fun!

  4. Janice permalink
    May 20, 2010 4:20 am

    CUTE shoes!! What are they and where did you get them?!?

    • May 20, 2010 7:42 am

      Funny you should ask. I searched high and low for comfortable walking shoes for summer wear. My summer shoes (besides sneakers) are basically flip-flops and sandals, comfortable but not for 8+ hour city walking. I’d wanted to get some Keens but couldn’t find any to try on and didn’t want to order some without actually trying them, so I ended up with these Mary Jane Trekkers from Land’s End. They are comfortable, light weight, and cool.

      Here’s the link: Mary Jane Trekkers

  5. May 20, 2010 7:04 am

    i have heard the “we don’t do syrups” line! not to me, but to a woman next to me. i appreciated their zeal for purist cafe. 🙂 so funny. this all looks so fun. amazing!

  6. Beth permalink
    May 20, 2010 8:41 am

    I have to comment again… where were you staying? “Packing it in” is the only way that I know how to do NY. The first time I went I was in college and that’s just what college students do. Every time after that I was taking someone who had never been and wanted them to see EVERYTHING! And about the coffee… I had the best coffee I’ve ever had in The Village too a place called “Joe”.

  7. Bethany permalink
    May 21, 2010 7:37 pm

    Oh man you did do a lot. Did you like Purls new location? I gotta go back to NYC next time I’m on the east coast.

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