I found myself at the very beginning of summer without a job and questioning what I wanted to do with my days, summer and well, life. The decision to go on a whim was perfect and as I closed my eyes on my first night in New York I knew I was exactly where I needed to be. I had a day and a half in the city to do whatever I wanted before heading to my first class on Friday night. I had a few objectives: see friends, eat good food, visit old favourites, make new favourites and see a show. Somehow on a random May Thursday in New York, I managed to do all of that.
I started with lunch at Quintessence. Quintessence has been on my NYC eats spreadsheet for awhile, but for whatever reason, I hadn't gone there in the two previous trips. One of my tips for eating a little more inexpensively in New York is to check out restaurants at lunch, as it's usually less expensive and many restaurants have lunch specials. Quintessence is no exception. I had an Indian influenced lunch combo with squash noodles, a curry sauce and mango chutney. It was a pretty delicious combination of flavors, although surprisingly I wasn't super impressed with the mango chutney. It was almost too sweet and the texture was confusing. I was glad I went at lunch as the restaurant was small and I managed to score a sweet seat by the window for some high quality people watching.
My next stop was all my favourite places in and around Soho. Babycakes was a must and I treated myself to a kick ass donut and sandwich cookie.
Both were out of this world divine. While I love the gluten free and vegan bakeries that we have in Toronto, nothing compares to Babycakes.
I also made a stop at Harney & Sons where I caught up with Emeric Harney and scored some awesome tea. The fact that Emeric remembers me each time I go makes me really happy and he's gotten to know my tea preferences (or he's just a wizard) and I always leave with some amazing new things to steep. This time it was Blood Orange, Love Life and a Chamomile Lavender blend.
I also got to have a quicky catch up with my awesome friend Sheryl in Bryant Park.
Our time together is always hilarious and I was so glad we were both able to squeeze in a visit!
I had to see a show while I was in town and I really wanted that show to be Once. It is one of my very favourite movies and the music makes my heart really happy. I had gone down to TKTS in the afternoon only to be told that there was obstructed view. I froze and didn't really know what to do. I only had time to see one show, but didn't want to be disappointed if I couldn't see half the show, but I also knew that it had been nominated for a whole whack of Tonys and it was likely that it would be even harder to get tickets down the road. I decided to take a chance on it and was so happy that I did.
The show was unbelievable. It was everything I had hoped for and more. The story and the music were brought to life in the theatrical setting. The story was distilled to make it more palatable to be onstage. All of the actors played instruments which added an incredible element to the show. The performances of the ensemble and especially Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti were nothing short of magical and brought the story to life in ways I couldn't have even imagined. And I got to tell them that after the show at the stage door.
The cast signed my program and I got to tell them how much I loved it. I told Cristin about my favourite moment in the show (a really beautiful acting moment at the very end) and chatted with Steve a bit too. They're both incredible performers and seem like really lovely people. Nothing like meeting people who inspire you creatively at the beginning of a really epic weekend of performing! It was the perfect end to seeing the show and made the experience that much more awesome. I was over the moon thrilled when they won 8 Tonys the following week, and Steve's acceptance speech had me bawling my eyes out.
As I write this, I can't believe how much I managed to squeeze into just a day in the city. I think if this had been my only day in NYC I would have gone home a happy gal, but there was so much more than this in the weekend that followed. More to come!!
And if you haven't already, go see Once. And if you can't get to New York, at least see the movie...