Thick (Chocolate) and Thin (Layers)

I’m back! And ready to blog about Day 3. It’s already been a week since my departure to New York, and I’m still caught up with writing about a short four-day trip. I guess when you don’t have a lot of time to spend during your travels, you try and pack a lot of things into every single day. Which is why I’m behind now.

First things first. Remember when I said I wish I bused down to Buffalo for the game? We lost 6-3. We always lose to the worst teams that we think we should definitely win… 😦

Anyway, last Saturday started out with me following my friend’s family out for dim sum in Brooklyn… except we made a bad decision. It’s the first weekend after Chinese New Year, which meant that all the restaurants were packed with people! We got a ticket and we were told that there were a 10 tables waiting in front of us. And then we left.

So where to for lunch? A place that we have in Canada, but I haven’t been to in many years. IHOP! I actually love this place – maybe it’s the breakfast food? I think I just like breakfast food in general. Eggs Benedict is definitely my favourite food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

We still had to wait at IHOP, but it was a 10 minute wait compared to at least an hour for dim sum. We all enjoyed it.

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After lunch, we set out to Manhattan, this time taking the Staten Island ferry. Unfortunately, it decided to start snowing at around 2 PM, which effectively gave us no visibility.

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See the Statue of Liberty? Right about there.

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No matter how far I stepped back, I still couldn’t get the entire “Staten Island Ferry” in my picture. Oh wells, this will have to do.

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We took the subway from there to NYU. It’s a tiny school, but worth a visit. Then again, to me, anywhere is worth the visit! There isn’t much to see… it’s not like one of those huge schools with their own chapel or anything. In fact, they occupy a pretty small area – maybe 7 or 8 blocks (and keep in mind, the blocks of New York are tiny) – and they just buy more buildings when they need to. We spent our time mostly in Washington Square Park, which does not belong to NYU but the university holds a lot of events there. My friend told me that the city has to constantly remind NYU that the park is a public space.

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I look so happy! But the truth is, I couldn’t wait to hide indoors… it was cold!

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Apparently, they spent quite a lot of money getting this arch to line up with the monument. Or something like that. It was under construction for quite some time.

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We had nothing really planned out for the day actually, so we decided to find a cafe and just sit and write. My friend recommended the City Bakery, which is quite a few blocks north, but we were up for the trek. We walked up University Place, hit Union Square, and the City Bakery was just a bit past that.

I really enjoyed the walk. OK, I would have enjoyed it if it were a bit warmer, but the area was pretty nice. It gives off yet another vibe, again different from the rest of New York that I’ve been seeing. The buildings aren’t quite as tall as uptown, but still a few stories high with a bit of Victorian spin to them. It’s not what I would call modern, or vintage, or hipster, or anything… but it was cozy.

Just another note on the weather. When you watch movies and they have those really cute romantic scenes of lovers walking through the fresh white snow… it always looks so nice. And then you walk through the same scene and try to picture yourself in the movie. Yeah, I wasn’t with a romantic partner, but I can tell you, even if I was, that walk would have been anything but romantic. I enjoyed seeing the neighbourhood, but I definitely did not like the snow. If only that weekend could have been warmer for my visit!

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Snow-cloaked Gandhi at Union Square.

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Welcome to City Bakery! It’s a nice local spot, and seems pretty busy all the time. February is their hot chocolate month, and they release a different unique hot chocolate flavour every day. I remember that day, we went to get their salted caramel hot chocolate, but they already sold out! So we got just the regular hot chocolate instead.

Their hot chocolate is famous, but their handmade marshmallows that go on top of the hot chocolate are also quite well-known. These marshmallows slowly melt and turn the drink into probably the thickest chocolate you’ve ever tried before. Think about this – I also got a slice of chocolate cheesecake to go with it… you know how thick cheesecake is… and the drink was by far a lot heavier. If thick hot chocolate is for you, it’s definitely a good try. (For me, I ended up adding water to it, and I think I could have made maybe 3 more cups of hot chocolate with that drink).

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We sat here and each wrote our cards until they closed at 7 PM. Then we went over to grab some dinner. Out one cafe and into another restaurant? Doesn’t sound foreign to me.

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Dinner was at 5 Napkin Burger, on the other side of Union Square. We got a burger and salad to share… I decided to cut down on the calories after that heavy snack at the cafe. I enjoyed it though!

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If the weekend weren’t so cold, I would have headed over to Central Park and taken some nice pictures. If you noticed, I actually brought my tripod out, but neither of us were very excited at the thought of staying outside just for photographs. Unfortunately, that’s one of the things that I really wanted to do, but ultimately I never found a good opportunity for. I guess that’s what gives you the excuse for a next time!

With this day in the books, I actually got through a good chunk of Lower Manhattan, all the way up to the south edge of Central Park. The Flatiron District, Soho, and Little Italy are a few neighbourhoods that I wish I had more time to explore. Same with the Upper East Side and Columbia University… I was once a Gossip Girl fan, so it would have been exciting for me to get a glimpse of that area.

This day wasn’t as long as the previous days, and I actually like that. I was already pretty burnt out with the bus ride, freezing weather, long walks, and short hours of sleep. Travelling is nice, but you also gotta make sure you’re comfortable!

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