Penn Station was a natural place to grab breakfast on my way into Manhattan, so I stopped and had an iced coffee and a scone and watched the throngs of humanity go through. That station is the busiest train station in the United States, and it shows. People watching was unparallelled.
I skipped the tours and tourist attractions and just walked around. I nursed a chai from Starbucks and wandered gradually up towards Central Park. It was cold and I didn't have a sweater on hand, so I bought a cheap (and awesome) one from one of the vendors on Fashion Ave while I watched camera-friendly stick figure people walking up and down the road flanked by students with tubes full of design drawings slung over their shoulders.
There's a friend of mine, someone I've known for more than half my life who's been a friend and confidante for ages. Saying we've been through some inter-personal ups and downs understates things mildly, and despite her incredibly busy New York lifestyle she managed to find time to have lunch with me one day and set aside almost an entire day for me the next.
|New York, and Central Park|
We went to Momofuku. If you don't know about Momofuku, you really should probably find out about Momofuku (link) and then do something like make a trip to Manhattan just so that you can eat there. Ramen traditionally is the domain of broke college students and instant noodles, but when you turn a world-class chef like David Chang loose on them it turns into the sort of noodle bar that can hold its own against the incredible diversity of food in Manhattan.
Then we went to a place that has one of the most beautiful views I've ever had the good fortune to experience.
This is me, looking out the window of the Mandarin Hotel. You can just barely see the edges of the little plates and pots of jam that accompanied high tea at the mandarin.
I skipped the food photography. Aside from the waiter getting me the wrong tea, it was as close to perfect as any afternoon tea I've ever tried. The Earl Gray was phenomenal and complex, and whoever curated the menu absolutely had their head on straight.
It's such an incredible privilege being able to do things like this. I was 36 floors up in the air drinking some of the best tea in the world, eating some of the best pastries in the world, spending time with an incredibly dear friend.
We walked around Manhattan, I had dinner with her and her husband, I even got a chance to meet her daughter and a few of their playmates before I left town. Manhattan was beautiful, and is absolutely a place that offers experiences that are available only in Manhattan. I was lucky to be able to work a few of them in.