Considering our hotel was the size of a train’s sleeper car, we didn’t spend too much time in it! This trip was reminiscent of my and Caitlin’s months studying abroad – taking a 5 hour bus ride on the cheap, traipsing around with all of my belongings in a backpack and even having a shared bathroom!! Loved every second of it. Plus, the several hundred dollars we saved in hotel costs could more appropriately distributed to red wine and cannoli!
Sunday morning began with a quick freshen up in the hall bathroom (shared with all the men, I might add), before we headed out to breakfast. Our luck with absolutely delicious, fresh meals continued. We walked down the Hudson to Barrow Street in the village to check out Hudson Clearwater. Here, we sipped espresso (Caitlin) and fresh pressed tea (me) while we devoured bites of an herb and mushroom omelet, brioche french toast and rosemary pomme frites. Yes, fries are a perfectly legitimate breakfast dish when sprinkled with rosemary, served with homemade ketchup and aioli, and written in French!
We earned that breakfast by walking a seven mile loop around TriBeCa, the Lower East Side, through Chinatown, Little Italy and Greenwich before finally getting back to the West Village some 6 hours later! On our foot tour, we walked past many shuttered storefronts, still closed from hurricane sandy. The water line was well above our knees and keep out signs littered the walls.
Our first official stop was at the Freedom Tower and the 9/11 Memorial. Caitlin was organized enough to reserve entrance passes to the memorial for us…don’t forget to do so if you wish to visit – while it is free, it does require a pre-made reservation. The memorial was really overwhelming – where each of the towers once stood there is now a deep pool in the ground with waterfalls continuously washing down the walls and streaming into a hole in the center. This is such an emotional portrayal of how 9/11 devastated our nation – that we will continue to seek understanding and soothing of the indescribable emotion attached to that day. The waterfalls are so peaceful, yet wholly powerful in the same moment.
From the financial district, we meandered our way to pier 17, a holiday market under the highway and stopped for a few photos at the Brooklyn Bridge. The weather really wasn’t cooperating, so no jaunt to Brooklyn this time.
Instead we found our way to Chinatown to peruse the shops, even ducking into a small back room to check out the designer bags. Illegal? Actually designer?? No clue… I’m not much of a shopper anyway!
More importantly to me, we popped into Alleva’s for a fried rice ball and a few ricotta balls. Can’t walk through Little Italy without a rice ball in hand!
After a few more shops, this happened.
Shopping really works up an appetite if you ask me! A great part of NY in December are all of the holiday markets and pop up stores to explore. I tried on a few outfits, Caitlin explored the jewels and overall we just had a great day!
While this post is getting dangerously long, I’d be remiss to not mention our dinner later that evening at Malatesta Trattoria. Our menu included caprese, crostini and spinach gnocchi. Go for the gnocchi, stay for the ambiance and adorable Italian wait staff. Bring cash.
Monday’s last day in the city included a walk along The High Line and a stop in the Public Library. For the first time ever, I left NYC feeling like I could live there. Give me a quiet street in the West Village, a commute walking along the high line and ample time to wander the green spaces and I’d be in love.
Happy holidays, NYC-style.