Ashley Takes Manhattan–Part One

Monday, June 27, 2011

I studied all the pictures in magazines and books
I memorized the subway map too
It's one block north to Macy's and two to Brothers Brooks
Manhattan, I prepared for you

~Thoroughly Modern Millie

You know those moments in life when you wait a long time for something and in that time you build it up in your head to be breathtaking, brilliant and wonderful? With every passing day, the experience or place gets better and more special and you can’t help but have butterflies when you think about it or can’t sleep the night before it happens? After years of waiting and a month of anticipation, that is exactly how I felt about finally getting to New York City.

I was just a little bit excited when I arrived.

photo (4)

Yes, that would be me skipping out of the airport.

My travelling companion was determined to make my first trip to NYC extra special which included booking us at the James Hotel in Soho. The staff at the James were incredible. Not only were they genuinely excited that it was my first time in the city, they made sure we had the best room available to us, provided me with directions, made reservations for us, let us use their driver whenever possible and even found me a blackberry charger when I realized I had forgotten mine; they really went above and beyond our expectations and made our stay absolutely wonderful. SANY5199SANY5196The hotel itself was stunning and our room was beautiful. I was in awe when we got into our room and then was blown away by the gorgeous flowers that arrived. SANY5195There was contemporary art throughout the hotelphoto (6)which made exploring super fun. The James is also home to David Burke Kitchen, where we ate following our arrival. I enjoyed some refreshing iced tea SANY5183SANY5188and a really fun salad which had me fuelled up and ready to explore the city.

Times Square took my breath away. SANY5190SANY5189SANY5192I probably stood there with my mouth agape and I think I was actually speechless (!) for the first couple minutes. It was just so alive and absolutely more spectacular than I ever could have imagined.

Being a musical theatre gal meant that seeing a Broadway show was a top priority on my trip. After hearing such amazing things, I was dying to see Book of Mormon. SANY5203Tickets were not available for us to purchase prior to the trip so we tried our luck at the lottery.  Well, us and probably 200 other people. photo (2)We didn’t win. #sadface

With tonnes of other fantastic shows playing, we opted for Catch Me if You Can and scored wicked orchestra seats. I love Norbert Leo Butz and was just stupidly happy to be seeing a Broadway show #ridiculoushappyface

After the lottery fiasco, we needed to grab dinner fairly quickly before the show started. I was open to suggestion as I knew I had some amazing things planned for the following day, so we headed to Mr. Robata for sushi.

I’m still new at the whole sushi thing, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I certainly wasn’t anticipating being blown away by the cocktail menu even before beginning our meal. I chose the nashi spice (vodka, fresh ginger, green tea, pear puree, garnished with fresh pear) which was unbelievable. There weren’t a ton of gluten free and vegan options on the dinner menu, but I was so happy with the cocktail, that it didn’t bother me that I was eating a pretty basic salad for dinner.

Especially after my dessert arrived.

photo (8)Our delightful server (who was so helpful, sweet and extra careful about my gluten sensitivity) was adamant that I try the Eggplant Compote when I told her that it was something I was considering and it seriously did not disappoint. It was pure #foodgasmic bliss! Cardamom scented eggplant over lychee sorbet with sesame coulee and pink peppercorns made for a party in my mouth with every single bite. And not only was the vegan happy, but Jer said it was some of (if not the) best sushi he had ever had. Amazing.

Catch Me If You Can was fantastic. Amazing performances from Norbert as well Aaron Tveit. The premise was similar to the movie, the music was stellar and overall I was thoroughly entertained. It felt surreal to be finally watching a Broadway show and headed back to the hotel feeling absolutely giddy and intoxicated by the city.



Part two to include some amazing foodie and shopping adventures and a dream date with one of my favourite bloggers!


Lauren said...

How fun! Glad you had such a great time! I always forget how lucky I am to live so close to the city, when I read posts like this, it makes me realize how special NYC really is! I want to see Book of Mormon too! We love broadway shows, I think that's next on my list!

Duddes02 said...

sounds great! If u want some non-touristy stuff and just plain old awesome 'hood-head uptown!

There is a great restaurant called OZU on Amsterdam and 88th. I'ts totally your style! Vegeterian, dairy free, gluten free options. Tofu pumpkin desserts. yummo

Amanda Farquharson said...

The picture of you with the water bottle is still my hands-down favourite.

Reading about your trip brings back so many memories of my first NY trip. I remember being so sure that the throng of people on the other side of the street in times square could not possibly merge peacefully through the throng on my corner of the street at intersections. I kept waiting for fist-fights to happen. Ha. Glad it was so magical!

Mrs Whiffo said...

I felt exactly the same when I got to Manhattan for the first time! It is the most amazing place!!

Glad I have stumbled across you blog xx

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