New York, The Wet Feet Edition

The Manhattan Bridge
Let me start this post by saying that this trip was fabulous. It was fabulous and deserves multiple posts, even though I will only be giving it one. I want to blog about every single thing that I got to do, every little adventure that came my way, but alas, time is against me. I’ll try to hit the highlights.

To start with, we took the Chinatown bus, which is always an adventure in and of itself. As I stood on a stoop next to the alley (yes, alley) where the bus would pick us up, I watched a guy get arrested. He cussed out the cops arresting him, then wished them all a Merry Christmas as he was handcuffed and put into a waiting police van. I couldn’t help but laugh. Which, as it turns out, was basically the theme of my weekend.

The bus ride up was pretty uneventful, if a little long. We made it to our very cute hotel on the upper West side, which was right across the street from the hostel we stayed at last year. I really loved our new hotel, The Marrakech, which was Moroccan themed and adorable. The staff was awesome, I can’t say enough nice things about them. Stay there! It’s right next to the 1-2-3 subway line! Yay.

The tree. I was more impressed this year šŸ™‚

The funny thing about this trip was that my friend Katie and I went without a plan. I love trips like this, where you can sleep in without feeling guilty about messing up a pre-planned schedule. I like waking up and saying “So, what shall we do today?” I was impressed that, without a plan, we managed to make it to both MOMA and the Met. We also made it to a few restaurants with gluten-free menus! I’ll review them for you:

S’MAC: The.mac.was.amazing.

I loved this place. It’s on a random side street around Union Square, in a cute neighborhood. Suffice it to say, if i lived anywhere NEAR this restaurant, I would weigh 5,000 pounds in no time. The macaroni and cheese was delicious! Not gummy, nice and creamy, and they have gluten-free bread crumbs for cripe’s sake. Amazing. I will say that having to pay $3 extra for the gluten-free version stung a little, but overall I have to say this is probably my favorite gluten-free dining experience yet.

Holy moly…so good!

Sarabeth’s Kitchen: Service a little lacking

I got all excited about this restaurant because I’d read some great reviews of it. I was positively assured that they had a gluten free menu. They do not.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Sarabeth’s is in a premium location, right on Central Park South down the street from the Plaza. If you sit in the front of the restaurant, you can look out a big window at Central Park, complete with horse-drawn carriages and snow on trees. I definitely looked like a tourist, sitting there gaping at the view. Real smooth, Rosemary.

Once we got past the 40 minute wait time, we ordered cappuccinos at our table and looked over the menu. I asked the waiter what someone with a gluten intolerance could eat, and he brusquely said “Eggs.” Oh good, besides macaroni and cheese, that’s all I’ve been able to eat. Eggs and salad. Snore. I ended up with a ham, leek, and Gruyere omelet with a side salad. It was a good omelet, but it would have been nice to know that this was basically the only gluten-free option before I walked in the door. I also felt that the waiter was rude and pretty unaccommodating, even to my friends who were not requesting special dietary needs food.

I did pretty well sticking to my gluten-free diet while there. It was challenging at times, like the night that I cried because I couldn’t have pizza while Katie and Lisa were eating it in the hotel. I didn’t realize how sensitive I was about people eating that sort of thing in front of me nowadays. Also I was drunk. That could have had something to do with the general weeping I experienced.

Gotta love street shopping!

The rest of our trip was spent shopping, going to a CBS party in Murray Hill, trying to avoid puddles (unsuccessfully) and oh yes…navigating the subway. I love the New York subway system SO much more than the DC Metro. It’s way more efficient and I’m willing to trade efficiency for cleanliness any day. Give me a train that doesn’t sit in a tunnel for an hour inexplicably!

I love New York. Period.

The Plaza. I’m staying here next time.

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