Bagels, Brooklyn, Broadway | NYC 2016

Last time on NYC 2016, we wrapped up Friday with a lot of food adventuring with my brother before finishing out the evening dancing in Koreatown with Ben’s college friends. Saturday, I finally ventured off the island of Manhattan…


Saturday morning, Ben and I woke up bright-eyed and ready for something we had been waiting months to taste again: bagels. Bagels are one of those foods I really took for granted when I left the New York metropolitan area. I like them in general, but I have a special feeling when I eat the ones from my home metro region. (And while I’ll eat basically any bagel I see, I know a bad bagel.) Pizza and bagels in my home city can bring tears to my eyes. So we headed to the nearest bagel shop to us. Luckily, it was a block away and a traditional Jewish bagel joint! We were in luck!

JUST KIDDING it was Ess-a-Bagel, one of the most popular bagel shops in the city, especially among tourists. We wound up waiting in line for literally 2 hours. I loathe waiting in line, especially for food, but there weren’t many bagels shops nearby and I figured if I was going to wait for something while in New York, a really great bagel was worth it.

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Look at this stuff, isn’t it neat?

I also decided to finally try a bialy! Yet another food item that I didn’t know I was taking for granted until I left the area and saw nary a mention of the traditional Polish pastry.

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A bialy, whitefish salad on everything, and lox with the works on whole wheat everything

After filling up on bagels… it was time for us to meet my friend Ying to leave the island (!!!) and head to Brooklyn for Smorgasburg. Smorgasburg is the “Brooklyn food flea market” and has become really well-known as a spot where many innovative food vendors can set up shop on the weekends for foodies to try their wares. It is home to many Instagram-famous foods, like the Ramenburger. Now I was pretty apprehensive about Smorgasburg for a bunch of reasons, like my hesitance to leave Manhattan for food when there is food aplenty all over the island, my general side-eyed skepticism of Brooklyn and Williamsburg’s hipster scene, my extreme side-eyed skepticism about the hype of the food at Smorgasburg, to name a few. But I was still excited to finally experience this foodie haven that so many people have been urging me to try out, despite already knowing that nothing would taste as good as the Instagram hype was big.Read More »

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Rockin’ Round Rockefeller| NYC 2016

Sparing you my cheesy “Big Apple Recap-ple” titles this year. You’re welcome, and not safe in the coming years.

Just a note that I didn’t take very many photos this past trip, as I was really just trying to… take it all in. In fact, Ben and I didn’t even think to take my photos of ourselves or of each other. We’ve come to the point where we’ve visited so many times that we aren’t taking as many photographs. We’re trying to enjoy each other’s company, the company of our friends and family, and this amazing city that I have loved for so many years.

Apologies for the massive blocks of text!

Thursday

Ben and I went up to New York the weekend after Independence Day (aka a few days after returning from the wedding in Roanoke) in what has become an annual trip back to my home city, to The City. We headed up Thursday evening after work, grabbed some McNuggets at Union Station to stave off hunger, and eagerly awaited getting some of that Halal Guys combo with rice at 53rd and 6th. (We were told that the Halal Guys would open franchise locations by the summer of 2015. As you may have noticed, it is now the summer of 2016 and the locations have yet to open…) (STILLMADABOUTIT)

This was the first time that Ben and I really took advantage of good ol’ New York City yellow cabs for getting around, starting with getting from our bus stop to our hotel, which was about 2 miles away. I’ve always preferred traveling by cab over ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber, and the advertising in the cabs confirmed a lot of the reasons I had. Drivers are vetted, you know exactly where your fare charge comes from, there isn’t surge charging, and you are able to hail a cab without dealing with an app that maybe doesn’t work or picks up the wrong person or something. The reason I think those apps succeeded is because they were great apps that allowed you to summon cars when you weren’t able to wait on the road and hail a cab in a lower-traffic area. But now that New York has apps that allows you to do that with cabs, I honestly don’t see a need for Uber or Lyft. Some people are under the impression that taxis have a harder time accepting credit cards, but that’s just not true. Legally, all taxis must accept credit cards, and you can also use the app to pay for your ride as well, just like you can with other ride-sharing services. Long story short, I take yellow cabs when I’m in the city because it is really convenient and I don’t think that Uber or Lyft have changed that. (Note: Big Taxi did not pay me to say any of this. 😛)

We arrived at our hotel, totally pooped, but I managed to peel myself off the bed so we could get what we came to New York for – that chicken and rice from Halal Guys. I was maybe too exhausted to really make that trip, but dang it if it wasn’t maddeningly delicious. (Maddening because… we can’t have it at home yet. We have to make this pilgrimage to eat this simple meal.)

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Dat combo doe!

After a small mishap with the super dangerous red sauce (it is spicier than you think, I am pleading you not to underestimate it) and me wandering around the floor to find the ice machine to mollify that situation, it was time to sleep and get ready for our first full day.Read More »