I will be breaking up my time (just a 1/2 day, I packed a lot of walking in though!) into a few posts so I can share more pictures. There is more to come..
I hopped off the Jersey train from Newark (STRONGLY recommend this as a way of getting from Newark/Jersey > NYC) at Penn Station (aka Madison Square Garden) and grabbed a taxi that would take me up to the west side of Central Park, and to my first stop.
Now, my plane had been a bit late, I ended up with a gate-checked bag (BOO), and had to wait in a line to get into a bathroom to freshen up and change clothes after my red eye flight… so instead of starting my morning walking tour of Manhattan at 7am, it was more like 830. BOO! Which meant a lot of stops got cancelled, but I also found quite a few treasures. I will tell you RIGHT NOW that I made a huge judgement error in not realizing I was cruising right through the Garment district and passing up all kinds of vintage focused shops (Tim Holtz told me about a great one… 3 days later! GAH!) and trims and (sigh) buttons. Oh well! NEXT TIME! With only the morning, I didn’t want to spend it at a museum and feel rushed or something so I went for a 4-5mile or so walk.
Let’s start at my first destination where the cab dropped me:
You have to know where Levain is, or you’d never notice it. When I walked up and saw that it was so tiny, like 4 people at a time could be inside, and that you have to go down a steep few stairs to get to it… I couldn’t help but smile. I knew if this tiny spot had generated mad love from fabulous NYC resident Kelly Purkey and others – it must be great.
I know they’re famous for… well really everything they’ve got. With about a dozen options available I very nearly asked for one of each. But I refrained from a bread coma and instead got 2 different cookies, and the Valrhona chocolate roll. In other words, I went for the things I most desired!
side note: I brought along a few freezer bags with me on this trip. The two cookies went into one, then into my hotel freezer that afternoon so that when I brought them home to share with Mr. Flaum, they were still day 1 fresh. It worked PERFECTLY!!
Armed with my precious, I walked around the corner to Jacques Torres and grabbed a chocolate chip cookie, then on to Central Park West where I walked a bit before heading into the park…
Oh Central Park in spring – it was SO green, and the morning was cloudy (which I liked) and cool, utterly perfect to stroll. I could have stayed there all day!!
It was the perfect spot to have my Valrhona roll. Let me explain that now actually. See, it’s like a crusty french bread roll… split… and with rich, not really sweet, dark, beautiful, chocolate. Warm and melty… oh. just… OH.
Tearing into it while being in Central Park? Oh… just… wow. The roll itself is perhaps the most favorite thing I’ve ever eaten. You see, I’m a HUGE fan of melting some semi-sweet chocolate onto a piece of warm fresh french bread. It’s a personal concoction that I’ve never seen for sale. SO a roll? Made with even better bread and chocolate and perfect for a light breakfast?
I’m sorry. I could talk about the perfection of that roll + Central Park for the next hour or two. Don’t get me started.
After walking for an hour or so in the park I exited on the 5th ave (East side) to continue my quest of gathering sweet treats only found in Manhattan, and just soaking in the magic and energy that is NYC.
Being that I only had a few short hours, and that this was a layover type visit vs purpose of my vacation, my goals were few and I was VERY happy with what I ended up doing. The only real problem is that I now NEED to return as soon as possible… so much more still to do and see…