A Good Friday it was! I arrived at New York’s Penn Station around 10am, my best friend and Upper East Side resident, welcomed me with a big smile and handmade sign. Nothing quite hits you like the buzz of the city and the people hurrying like they are all late to an imaginary appointment. The morning greeted us with thick humidity and the definite threat of rain, however the air was warmly inviting.
Our first stop, breakfast. My friend Katie suggested her favorite local spot Maison Kayser, an authentic artisanal French Boulangerie. The smell of fresh pastries and café noir filled the air as we entered. The small restaurant was very quaint and had a spacious, yet simple Parisian flare. Due to a morning of travel, I was quite hungry and selected an iced cappucino and the Pain Perdu Pomme-Cannelle and Sirop d’Érable: apple and maple syrup French toast with fresh fruits and crème fraîche. Both the coffee and food were indescribably delicious, no words could even convey! I am a Maison Kayser convert now, not even going to lie.
After some sustenance we hit the town to do some shopping, because honestly you have to when in NYC. We stopped at some of our favorites: Lululemon Athletic, BCBGMaxAzria, Anthroplogie, Kate Spade, Tory Burch, and Bloomingdales. After trying to resist the urge to buy a new blush-colored velvet motorcycle jacket from Free People, I finally caved. “When in Rome,” I like to say! The city drips with such lovely things, I could not help but to admire all the flagships stores and their beautifully crafted displays – Anthropologie in particular. The store hung faux flowers from the ceiling creating a violet-colored botanical wonderland. Stunning!
We hid under a shop’s awning to avoid a hasty mid-day downpour. The city air became thick and close to 70 degrees. Katie led us to New York Public Library and Bryan Park – hitting a few of the pertinent/must-see landmarks. The architecture of the buildings is unparalleled and the whisper of spring brings beautiful flowers and the beginnings of grass to the city. The culmination of cultures, sights and bustling atmosphere makes New York a favorite place to visit.
With a quick latte pick-me-up at Le Pain Quotidien, we headed to Washington Square Park. The sprawling park was lovely and with the weather, full with people enjoying the evening. By this point in the day, we had walked over 9 miles. With that pedometer reading, I didn’t mind enjoying a lavish but casual mexican dinner at Toloache Taqueria in Greenwich Village.
Toloache was very cozy, with open windows on the second floor letting in the warm night’s air. The waitstaff was splendidly attentive and friendly. Katie and I enjoyed some fresh guacamole (yum) and for dinner, I ordered the Camaron Tacos: garlic-chipotle shrimp, chihuahua cheese, hearts of palm slaw and tamarind salsa. To end the night, we shared some Flan: vanilla custard with raspberry sauce, caramel popcorn, and pansy flowers.
After dinner, we headed back to the Upper West Side to retire early. With over 10 miles walked, our feet were crying for reprieve. Oh, to be a New Yorker!