New York New York! This much loved city has been on my destination wish list for years. It fulfilled all of my pre-conceived expectations and then some. Originally we were meant to stay for 15 days but we ended up heading to San Francisco for a few so we cut our time a little shorter. I have plenty of photos to share with you and have split these posts into parts 1, 2 & 3 and then a separate post just to cover our NY instagram photos.
We booked our accommodation through AirBNB and were originally looking at places in Manhattan, like Soho, Nolita, Tribeca, Chelsea. Trying to find a place that looked half decent, was affordable and not booked for the dates we were there proved to be slightly difficult. We ended up finding a place in Brooklyn in a modern apartment with our own bedroom, bathroom and balcony overlooking the Manhattan skyline. Our host was a kooky pot smoking guy, in the same field of work as me (digital producer) as well as doing some of his own music production/management on the side. We were constantly meeting new people around the apartment and although wacky and odd at times, the whole accommodation experience was something to remember.
I loved staying in Brooklyn and would recommend it to anyone. Since you will be travelling to Manhattan a lot it’s good to stay in Williamsburg near Bedford Ave Subway, this ensures that you can jump on one direct subway into the Lower East Side (LES) in about 10 minutes. Around Bedford Ave are some really cool restaurants and bars, with the area having a similar vibe to Newtown/Surry Hills in Sydney or Brunswick in Melbourne. The whole of Brooklyn is currently going through a gentrification phase so think converted warehouses, art, hipsters, creative concepts in food & drink, cultural mixes, grunge, farmers markets and leafy parks (which is hard to find in Manhattan, unless you’re living next to Central Park).
Five Leaves – Greenpoint Brooklyn
Our first breakfast in NY was spent at Five Leaves in Brooklyn. Opening this cafe was the dream of Heath Ledger and a friend before he sadly passed away. His family ended up releasing money from his estate so that the cafe could be opened and dream fulfilled. The place is super busy on weekends but since we were visiting mid-week we had no problem getting a table. We sat on the sun drenched pavement and enjoyed some really bad coffee with some seriously good fruity breakfasts.
I think the good weather followed us around for most of our trip. The end of October is generally mild in New York with us experiencing cool weather and sunshine.
House Made Granola with Fresh Berries, Banana and Yoghurt.
Steel Cut Oats with Blueberries.
18 Bedford Ave, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York
Ph:+1 718 383 5345
We took a visit to Central Station one afternoon to observe its architectural beauty.
The Oyster Bar has been in the station since the beginning when it first opened in 1913.
The main concourse.
Grand Central Station
87 E 42nd St, New York
PS1 is the sister of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) situated in Long Island City and dedicated solely to contemporary art. We visited both and enjoyed being art critics for the day.
Ana getting excited at MoMa.
Momofuku Noodle Bar – East Village
Oh Momofuku, you have no idea how excited I was to dine with you. Having read numerous blogs about David Chang (owner) and his culinary empire in New York, I knew that one of his places would need to be visited whilst in the city.
We decided on lunch at the Momofuku Noodle Bar.
Before even seeing the menu we both knew that we would be ordering a serve of the world famous Momofuku Pork Bun filled with Pork, Hoisin, Scallion and Cucumber. My oh my, every bite was dreamy, the pillowy bun contrasts to the smack of flavour from the fatty layers of pork and that sweetness from the hoisin.
Ana orders a dish from the specials menu, Smoked Chicken Wings with Glazed Teriyaki Sauce and Scallions.
Alongside she ordered my favourite green vegetable obsession at the moment, Brussel Sprouts with Benton’s Bacon, Kimchi and Thai Basil.
I on the other hand order the Momofuku Ramen with Pork Belly, Pork Shoulder and a Soft Poached Egg. Heaven in a bowl, I was in perfect spirits after this meal and fuelled for a walk around the city streets.
Being too full I didn’t get to try any of the desserts, but next time I’m saving enough room for the cereal milk ice cream. Along with noodle bar, be sure to check out any of the other Momofuku places which are scattered around NY; Ssam Bar, Booker and Dax, Ko, Ma Peche or the Milk Bars.
Momofuku Noodle Bar
171 1st Ave, East Village, New York
Ph: +1 212 777 7773
Another thing on my to do list for NY was to watch a basketball game. Complete! Since the season hadn’t begun yet we bought pre-season tickets to the Brooklyn Nets vs. Philadelphia 76ers game. It was at the brand spanking new Barclays Centre and since we were staying in Brooklyn, it was decided that they will be our team. Earlier that day we had ventured to Times Square and bought Nets hats to wear to the game.
Bud light and watching the game, we tried fitting the American basketball watching stereotype. All we needed was a big foam hand saying Go Nets! and a hot dog.
Fette Sau – Williamsburg
The food scene in NY is the most exciting for a foodie like me, the opportunities are endless and there are concepts which I have never seen the like of in Sydney. Don’t get me wrong, I love Sydney dearly but when you have a large population in a forward thinking city you do get a lot more culinary options which in turn creates a sort of benchmark that other cities aspire too. How many times have you heard, this concept started off in NY or this place was inspired by so and so in NYC…trend setters. The city has a handful of excellent BBQ joints and Time Out informed us that one of the notable players that everyone raves about is Fette Sau, which means fat pig in German.
This place is definitely a winner for any carnivore out there. Vegetarians beware.
Waiting in line…it’s a order at the kitchen, take your food and find a seat type of procedure.
Packed out communal seating, make some friends whilst you’re at it. I stupidly left my wallet on the bench next to me and didn’t realise till we got to the subway after. Running back to the restaurant I see the girl I was sitting next to outside and she tells me she had handed it in to the bar. Phew! Thank you to the good people in this world.
The BBQ meat in all it’s glory. Each day they have a few different cuts of pork and beef and then a variety of sides which you can choose from. Everything is cut off and weighed, you then pay accordingly.
Our choices consist of Berkshire Pulled Pork, Berkshire Sausage, Beef Ribs with Bones and a Side of the Burnt End Baked Beans.
The beans are covered in this thick flavoursome sauce that goes perfectly with any of the meat accompaniments. There are sauces on the table which you can add to your meal, but they suggest that the meat is best eaten as is since it has been smoked and then cooked in a dry rub on the BBQ. Flavour overload.
Needing something a little fresh, we also grab a side of the Broccoli Salad dressed in spicy Chilli.
We slowly worked our way through it all and left Fette Sau feeling exactly as the name suggests.
354 Metropolitan Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York
Ph: +1 718 963 3404
To finish off this post, a few photos of breakfast at a diner in Brooklyn. This was another experience I had on my to do list for the city and proved to be quite fun. I can’t say that the quality of food is as great as some of the other places we had eaten at, but the whole decor, coffee in a percolator, chilled crowd, old school waiters made for an interesting dining experience.
Getting in to my Egg White Omelette and Potato Hash. One thing I didn’t really enjoy in the US was the bread…why is all the bread sweet? I would order multigrain or wholemeal and it tasted like it had been laced in sugar. Sydneysiders are definitely leading when it comes to good bread and coffee.
The city that never sleeps surely lived up to it’s name, with the hustle and bustle chaos, excitement, vibe and aura in the city being so enticing. Hope you have enjoyed the first set of my photos, posts 2, 3 and 4 will be coming up soon :).
Have a lovely food filled weekend xxx