Before the torrential downpour on Sunday, I went to brunch on the upper west side and brought bagels from my new favorite bagel shop in NYC, Absolute Bagels, which were a big hit with my relative – no easy feat. Walked across Central Park in the drizzle, browsed through Peru guidebooks at Shakespeare and Co. books on Lexington and 69th before visiting my aunt. we went to dinner nearby at the Beach Cafe (69th and Second Avenue)- good spagbol and chicken pot pie, comfortable neighborhood spot. Tried to take a bus back to the upper west side but the nor’easter had begun and I was soaked and buffeted by the wind within 10 minutes so managed to find a cab. best $14 I’ve spent lately.
Monday, met my college friend C. for breakfast at French Roast on 85th and Broadway. Nice easy going place. good coffee and oatmeal. Then onto MOMA which was packed with people on a rainy Monday. Was glad I had gotten a tix in advance – there was a huge long line. I also see that there’s a slight discount if you buy the ticket online (maybe $22 vs. $25 per ticket). The Cindy Sherman show was fascinating – and enjoyed the Diego Rivera Murals exhibit. also really like the free audio tour.
Met my brother for a very good lunch at Don Antonio, a gourmet pizza place with reasonable prices and nice ambiance, on w. 50th near 8th Avenue. Then walked up Fifth – didn’t get the madhouse scene in front of Abercrombie and Fitch. I’m told people are standing in line to see the shirtless buff guys who wander around the store. I’ll pass.
Yesterday on a bright sunny day (again!) was baby shower day (the ostensible reason I came to NYC) so I took a very long but scenic bus ride on the M4 bus from 110th and Broadway east across the northern edge of Central Park, then south on Fifth Avenue, hugging the eastern edge of the park, then onto dense midtown where I got off at 34th and walked several blocks further east to 33rd and 1st for the shower. Afterwards, my sisters and I walked along 34th street, stopping at UNI QLO, the Japanese H&M I’m told, which had lots of casual cheap cotton and linen cloths and tons of trendy young shoppers. I bought two t-shirts for $19 each and therefore earned a free ticket to MOMA (which I was planning to go to anyway.) How’s that for a good deal – and an unusual promotion? The ticket is worth $25 so no small giveaway.
For dinner we went with my uncle to CRAFT, a restaurant I’ve long been curious about and enjoyed the scene and the food. We ate family style but instead of big bowls overflowing with pasta, we had very simply presented well seasoned but lightly prepared meats, fish, and vegetables. Highlights were the mushrooms, the steak, short ribs, green asparagus (I didn’t like the fruity sauce on the white asparagus) bok choy, artichoke hearts and for dessert – the little donuts that arrive warm and with two sauces to dunk in; cheese board, rhubarb strudel. (No sign of Chef Tom from Top Chef.) Probably is no wonder I woke up in the middle of the night with acid reflux.
The cavernous lobby of the Museum of Modern Art was almost as full of people as the streets lining Fifth Avenue in midtown NYC yesterday, the day after Thanksgiving, and my husband seemed to disappear into the coat check room, amidst a long line but once we finally got squared away and into the galleries the crowd thinned a little and we were able to enjoy the Kitchen Design Exhibit and the Women Photographers/New Photographers show. My brother came through again soon after I texted “Need good, quick, reasonably priced restaurant near MOMA for lunch?” He suggested La Bonne Soupe a block north on 55th street between 5th and 6th and we weren’t the only people who knew about this little place. It was packed at 2:45 p.m. Guess everyone got a late start yesterday. Good food – not just soup but salads, omelettes, sandwiches. I shared a very good Salad Nicoise. The guys had great Croque Monseurs and Madames (a Monseur with a fried egg atop.) Good fries and bread. Chocolate mousse looked amazing but withstood the temptation.
We rented a car at Enterprise – so far so good – and drove in light traffic (amen) to Watermill on the eastern tip of Long Island in about 1.5 hours. Must remember next time to take the Long Island Expressway from the Northern – we missed that and had a brief detour. Staying at a huge mansion – no joke, a friend of my relatives who have their own mansion – in East Hampton. Only one problem – the heat in our room is faltering. It was 65 when we arrived. In the middle of the night I felt really cold – the thermostat read 45. We realized after turning on the light that the wind had blown the door to the outdoor balcony overlooking the bay open. Lots of cold air. Oh well. Keeps us humble.