Guess where I spent two glorious days?  Yes…that’s the Empire State Building and, I say it loudly and proudly, “I LOVE NEW YORK”!!  My friend, Lisa, and I decided to lose ourselves in the frenzy of the city and we hit the pavement running.  This photo was taken as we stepped outside our hotel, the Affinia Hotel at 371 7th Avenue.

We wandered toward Broadway and soon realized we were in an area that was bursting with shops that sold costume jewelry.  Some were (excuse me) “wholesale only”, but there were plenty who were open for retail and gladly accepted our patronage!   Uh, oh:

We met up with little a and the whirlwind began.  First stop, Eataly for lunch!

Roasted red peppers, grilled shrimp with speck and roasted fig, and grilled scallops with marinated cucumbers and vidalia onions.  We ordered three items…we shared…I regretted it. (It was SO good that I wanted to eat it all myself.  That’s happened to you….right??)

And, we strolled by the dessert section:

As tempting as these beautiful pastry were, we chose to try the gelato…mine was banana…I wanted to lick the cup.

Next stop, New York Cake &  Baking Supplies.  Mecca.

I had to exercise restraint (not easy) because I knew I’d have to lug my purchase all around the city.  A small stainless bowl and some decorating supplies.  I’m convinced that the reason my attempt at macarons failed was because I had the wrong-size piping tip.  Let’s see if success comes with the 809.

Dinner?  We went to Spice Market.

The food here was simply INCREDIBLE.  I wasn’t sure if Southeast Asian cuisine was my “cup of tea”, but now I’m convinced that I can eat it morning, noon and night.  Each and every day.

I can’t remember the names of all the foods we experienced, but the crab samosas, halibut, chicken, short ribs, radish salad and sticky coconut rice were all ah-mazing.  And just when we thought we couldn’t eat another bite:

along came the CHOCOLATE DIPPED WATERMELON!  The coating is made with Valrhona chocolate, toffee crunch and a sprinkling of sea salt.  Incredibly delicious.  (didn’t want to share this either) And…there’s a cookbook, Asian Flavors of Jean-Georges.  Looks too complicated for me, but seems worth $26.40 just for that sticky coconut rice recipe!!

Next stop, the Marquis Theater to see Follies:

We had front row orchestra seats for this engaging and entertaining show.  Seeing Bernadette Peters perform live was a total thrill for me, and an experience I’ll never forget.

After the show, we went to “The View Restaurant” at the top of the Marriott Hotel.  The restaurant revolves 360 degrees, v-e-r-y  s-l-o-w-l-y and, from the heart of Times Square, you can see:

That’s the top of the Chrysler Building.  Honestly, I would have preferred if the floor stayed still, and it was me doing the walking around.  Enough fun for one day!

The next day, little a wanted Lisa (an award-winning cook extraordinaire) to experience Kalustyan’s spice store:

Sauces and spices and rices, oh my! Shelf after shelf, and room after room, of so many things I had never even heard of!  Lisa bought a few things, but I left wishing that I knew how the heck to use anything other than salt and pepper.

We had a huge lunch at Hill Country, a barbecue restaurant where, quite honestly, the brisket was better than the ribs, and there were lots of tasty sides to choose from.  Back to Eataly, more walking and shopping, exhaustion set in and we were ready to head home!

With little a as our tour guide and my dear friend, Lisa, at my side, the two best days of summer were guaranteed.  My heartfelt thanks and sincere gratitude to them both for that “Mary Tyler Moore hat-toss” feeling ;-), one that I won’t soon forget.


And to you, Ashley, if you happen to read this blog…your kindness and generosity were overwhelming.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

0 thoughts on “Summer’s Best (two days)

  1. Lisa Keys says:

    Definitely the best days of the summer and I loved reliving it here. Thank you for giving me a break from my reality.

    • Ann says:

      Thank you, Deanna. It truly was a great trip.

      Looking SO forward to seeing you all in October. Can’t wait 😉

  2. Carol Brunick says:

    It looks like you had a fabulous time! Where do you buy Valrhona chocolate in the city? I’ve given up trying to find it in CT…….

    • Ann says:

      I did buy some Valrhona cocoa powder while I was shopping there (New York Cake and Baking Supplies). It was $11 for 1/2 lb. The address is 56 W. 22nd Street, and their phone is 212-675-2253. You would NOT believe how extensive their inventory is…incredible. Wanna go? 🙂