Everyone has their own list of must-dos in New York, but my trip was a little different because I was actually there for work, filming a special episode for Search Hawaii TV. I know a lot of people didn’t quite get that I wasn’t there for vacation despite my repeating it constantly, so I had a lot of people yelling at me to make time for a certain show or bar or restaurant. I appreciate the suggestions, though! Maybe next time.
Here’s a look at some of the things I did get to squeeze in, between film segments, and before moving on to my real vacation in Maine.
I found out that the Freedom Tower and the 9/11 Memorial was in walking distance of our hotel, so one evening when I had a break from work, I headed over. I had no idea what to expect; since it was an unplanned, spontaneous activity, I hadn’t read anything to prepare myself.
I think my experience was similar to what many people feel, whether they have a metaphysical vibration or not. As I approached the area (not even the memorial itself), I could feel a wave of energy washing over me. The feeling got stronger as I got closer to the memorial, and it was almost overwhelming.
Now that I’ve seen it, I highly recommend going. It’s not so much a place to be a tourist — have some respect, folks — but to remember the tragedy and the innocent lives taken, while reflecting on lessons that shape the world today.
At that point, the energy from the area was too much and I was starting to get light-headed, so I headed up the street for a quick dinner.
It’s hard to pick just one dish when you’re a food blogger eating alone. But I settled on the lasagnette alla bolognese ($19), which is made with béchamel sauce instead of the usual layers of tomato sauce. The dish is rich and very silky thanks to the béchamel and … oh, the wagyu helps that, too.
21 Ann St.
New York, NY
These are just a couple of the things they offer at brunch, but the menu is always changing, so I won’t go into much detail except to tell you that The Spotted Pig is solid, and they have a great bar, too. They don’t take reservations, so go early, put your name in, and wander the neighborhood. The restaurant has printed a map of their favorite things to see in the area, so you could walk around to build an appetite, or walk to work off the meal. Or both.
The Spotted Pig
314 W. 11th St.
New York, NY
305 Bleecker St.
New York, NY
Everyone talks about the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop, and since I was already in the Village, I thought I’d check it out. I didn’t know this, but there are actually two shops — a huge one with a long line, and a smaller one with less of a line but no seating. I guess it depends on what experience you want; I went to the small one and enjoyed it, but later when I passed the large one and saw that line, I don’t think I would ever have gone in.
Everyone will tell you to get the Salty Pimp. Yes, it looks delicious. But no, I made my own custom topping blend. And it was a winna! It was a sweltering summer day, so this really hit the spot — cult hit or otherwise!
Big Gay Ice Cream
125 East 7th St.
61 Grove St.
If you’re already into vintage and consignment stores, you know that there are tons of them in Manhattan. I’m not, but Kathy Muneno is, so one day on a break, we went to explore a few. We have pretty tame ones in Hawaii, but you should at least take a spin through the ones in New York to see the crazy stuff people have! (I was going to take a photo of myself in these platform shoes, but I saw someone else fall over earlier.)
Mahalo to Search Hawaii sponsors Hawaiian Airlines, Grand Wailea, Ulupono Initiative, Bank of Hawaii, and KHON! To see all photos from the work section of this trip, click here. To see the rest of the vacation, click here.
Up next: Visiting Maine and New Hampshire!