I know, I know! I’m backed up with travel posts.
C’est la vie.
But my last trip to New York in September was just too damn good to not share!
I had six days, no major responsibilities, just time with my friends.
I stayed with Noelle, a born and raised Manhattan girl and my first NYC friend.
We worked together in the Village years back and she taught me the ropes of New York City.
Danger doesn’t seem to phase us, we love popcorn and our ankles aren’t our biggest fans.
There’s a lot of history with Noelle and you could say that together we’re an unstoppable force.
Having been a year and a half since we saw each other last our rhythm quickly escalated once reunited and we hit the streets of Hells Kitchen in search of food, Riesling, sunshine and a secret garden. Like everything with Noelle, she wants the best. The biggest bang for her buck.
We grabbed a cauliflower slice from Sullivan St. Bakery, sopes, tostadas and watermelon juice from the back of a Mexican grocery and a bottle of Riesling, all to enjoy in her member’s only secret garden.
For real, a secret garden in the middle of New York City that you need a key to get into!
After we locked up the garden we took Robert for a stroll, Noey went to work and I threw on my headphones and jumped on the train and made my way downtown.
It’s so funny how so much time can go by and yet when I’m back in New York I feel like I never left. It’s been over three years!
The pace of the city, the navigation, I felt so in sync that emotion crept up and I stood on the train with the biggest damn smile feeling like I was going to burst with happiness.
It was awesome.
Not sure if you guys are familiar with Pok Pok, but it’s the hot spot in Brooklyn right now. A rainy night seemed liked the perfect time to go.
Luckily the wait wasn’t too bad and we quickly got say and ordered everything on the menu. Literally!
The flavors were loud and we acted like animals who hadn’t eaten in days.
The fish dish and cold noodles were the winners.
And the fried dough pastry with Vietnamese coffee ice cream!
Without a doubt we jumped on the train, parted ways and Noey and I headed back to Hells Kitchen.
It was such a fun dinner. Great food and magical people.
3 girls walking down the street and all of a sudden a walking Butthole Surrfers sign.
I almost died.
Apparently they’re a band.
My friends know my burger love and insisted that we go. We grabbed a table by the window quickly made friends with our neighboring table and glanced over the menu.
Devin the non-meat eater ordered the ahi tuna and Noey and I shared one of the specials- a ground duck burger with peach chutney and crispy duck skin. Truffle fries for the table.
The duck was unbelievable. Like a fancy fall dinner wrapped up in a juicy burger. The crispy duck skin!! Ahh such a winner. I’ll have some of that on my everything, por favor.
We sat at the bar, ordered some Riesling and plate after plate of simple elegant food arrived until we couldn’t fit another bite.
The flour-less gnocci and octopus bean salad were life changing good. I’m so jealous, Jose, you’re learning so much!!
Many big name chefs worked on the line here back in the 80’s and 90’s.
The best steak I’ve ever had in New York was from here. With Noelle actually!
We had sat at the bar, ordered some red wine and shared the ‘bar steak’ only available if you sit at the bar.
It was covered in fresh cracked pepper and came with pommes frites and jus. After a quick run to the Apple store and reminiscing like crazy while Zeppelin played in my headphones I found myself on Bleecker Street, my old hood before Buenos Aires.
I sat on the corner and thought about what life in New York would of been like if Argentina never happened.
D arrived in a taxi, scooped me up and my inner 12 year old girl quickly took over.
D is one of my oldest friends. A Jewish Italian lesbian from upstate New York who I met in New Orleans while waitressing tables during my freshman year of college. We wound up working together on St. Charles, listening to lots of hip hop and playing racquetball together.
Her and her family are some of my favorite people in the world!
When her mom found out I was coming to town, they quickly made reservations in the city for an early dinner at Khe-Yo.
We indulged in a Laotian feast and Michael supplied the wine, as he does.
We acted like misfits at our corner table that was so brilliantly located away from all other patrons. I’m so thankful to have these creatures in my life.
They mean the world to me and even though we don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like I’m so grateful for our time together.
Happy girl I am.
Til Part 2, New York.