We had such a great time in the city, mostly due to our wonderful hosts, my cousin Janelle and her husband Ryan. We got there around noon on Saturday, found a miracle free parking spot right outside their apartment, and pretty soon we were walking down Amsterdam Ave in search of lunch. First stop: Levain for some warm-falling-apart-perfect cookies that we shared right outside the store because we couldn’t let their just-from-the-oven-ness wear off. Trust me, if you had smelled the inside of the shop you would understand. There were lots of tempting options as we continued down the avenue but my heart was sort of set on The Smith. Saturday lunch at the Smith means potato waffles topped with creamed spinach and poached eggs, vanilla bean french toast with maple butter and caramelized bananas, a pitcher of sparkling water (the way to my heart), and family pictures from the old fashioned photo booth in the basement. Needless to say, we did not regret a thing.
From there we kept walking over to Central Park. It was beautiful there and clearly we weren’t the only ones who thought so. The leaves were just starting to change there, as opposed to further upstate where most everything was already changed. We even saw some people there getting married, in a very public ceremony in the tunnel by the Bethesda fountain. We left the park around the Museum of Natural History and Ryan and Janelle headed home to get some work done while we hopped on the subway down to Brooklyn. I hoped to get a ride on Jane’s Carousel in the park under the Brooklyn Bridge so we walked down to the waterfront. The carousel was closed, but still fun to see, and we also saw the coolest tiny house made of stained glass on the boardwalk. From there we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and headed back to the apartment (because guess who’s phone was dead yet again…that would be the only one of us who had Janelle’s phone number and address womp womp.)
When we got back, Julian was pretty ready for bed and was being so adorable and giggly, like he sometimes gets when he’s extra tired. Such a mystery how sometimes tiredness=extreme crankiness and sometimes it makes him the most delightful snuggly agreeable bug. We all played with him for a while, then Janelle and Ryan totally won hosts of the universe by offering to stay home with a sleeping Julian while Ted and I headed out to get some dinner. I had been craving a big bowl of spaghetti for days, and really wanted to go to an Italian place nearby we had seen earlier on our walk until we looked at the menu and realized it was way too expensive for us. So we compromised and split a pizza at Patsy’s Pizza and enjoyed being on a little date, just the two of us.
Sunday was really nice and low key. We got a little taste of what it would be like to be a local which is one of my favorite things. Janelle was in the middle of doing a Whole 30 diet, and she still made us delicious blueberry bread for breakfast even though she couldn’t eat it herself (again-hosts of the century) and later that day we cooked a Whole 30 approved curry over spaghetti squash with steak on the side that definitely didn’t make any of us feel deprived. We bundled up to walk around in Riverside park, and when we got outside it was beautiful, so we piled all the coats on the stroller. We tossed around a football and pushed Julian on the swings, then they let us tag along that night to a get-together with some friends who lived in the coolest apartment in Harlem. We headed out the next morning and I left wanting to someday live there more than ever. It’ll probably never happen, but a girl can dream, right?