I'm back from my whirlwind girls' weekend in New York. Every time I go there I get sad because I have to leave it again. It was wonderful to see my friends and reminisce about college days over good food (but no drinks, as two of us were sickish.)
It was a jam-packed visit, and I went a little nuts with my camera for the blog, so I'm now going to attempt to narrate through the photographs I took.
Because of logistics, we ended up staying in two hotels. Friday night we were at this absolute gem of a find, the Desmond Tutu Center, an inspired new hotel in Chelsea. The architecture was wonderfully gothic, straight out of Harry Potter.
This is the interior staircase leading to the refectory.
The refectory, where they served breakfast.
Beautiful stained-glass windows - doesn't this look like the dining hall in Harry Potter?
The gorgeous, very detailed ceiling.
In contrast to all the gothic glory of the common spaces, the actual rooms were straight out of a Pottery Barn catalog - modern, with clean lines and neutral colors.
I loved this bathroom!
On Friday evening we went to Shakespeare in the Park. They performed "Hamlet" and I was very excited to see famous actors in the cast - most notably, my hero Sam Waterson of "Law & Order" fame, playing a very sycophantic Polonius.
Belvedere Castle and the turtle pond inside Central Park, right next to the theater. It's hard to believe we are in the middle of Manhattan!
That evening we had a late dinner at Pastis in the Meatpacking District, where I had been wanting to go to for a very long time. It has the same owner as Balthazar. Unfortunately it was too dark for good pictures of the interior, but it looked just like a Parisian brasserie, and the tile on the walls looked like the ones lining the Paris metro tunnels. The Meatpacking District was also good for Friday night people watching fun.
On Saturday we spent a touristy day aboard a Circle Line boat for a three-hour cruise around the entire island. Here's our boat!
Manhattan and the Hudson River from the boat.
We went around Ellis Island.
The Brooklyn Bridge, where Steve and Miranda reconciled in the SATC movie!
The boat took us around the Bronx and I snapped a picture of Yankee Stadium for Mr Hazel, who is the Yankees' #1 fan.
And finally, my most favorite place that weekend - brunch at 202 in the Meatpacking District, which also happens to be a combined boutique for Nicole Farhi. Yes, the Nicole Farhi. When I found out it was Nicole Farhi's store I went a little nuts. Her stuff was understandably expensive, but it was so cool to finally see them for myself. The cafe itself was a great space - it looked and felt like a warehouse, with exposed brick walls and ducts, unfinished wood floors, and a generally bohemian feel.
This is a view from our table, looking out onto the clothes boutique part of the cafe.
And I couldn't resist taking a picture of my meal. It was so good: a lemon-cumin chicken paillard with bulgur salad and an eggplant relish. So, so good.
After brunch we walked around Chelsea Market for a little bit.
The Food Network headquarters inside Chelsea Market.
Finally, we took a stroll around the Meatpacking District on our way to our bus stop, and passed by the Stella McCartney store.