Friday // December 15 // Day 3.
This may be the city that never sleeps, so Christy and I have become people who practically never sleep.
We went to bed late Thursday night, and we tried waking up early in the morning to walk through Chelsea Market. That didn’t work, but we woke up around 9am.
It wouldn’t be a trip with Rachael without brunch. So of course, we planned on meeting a friend of mine from college for brunch at Jack’s Wife Freda – a Mediterranean styled restaurant in Greenwich Village.
After hopping on an L train and then another lettered train line, Christy and I were deep in conversation about outlandish clothing choices in NYC or something when someone called my name on the train.
A complete coincidence, my friend Jack who we were meeting for brunch had ended up on the same train and the same car as us! Having found each other kind of randomly, we headed to the restaurant for some well-deserved brunch. And y’all. Jack had given us such a good recommendation.
Between the three of us, we had cantaloupe mimosas and split Rosewater Waffles, a Madame Freda, Green Shakshuka, and Matzo Ball Soup. It was all so delicious that I can’t even describe how much I loved it. I knew the food would be good in NYC, but I don’t think I expected it to exceed my expectations this much. My favorite parts of brunch were the cantaloupe mimosas which had an unexpected flavor with the champagne and the rosewater-honey served with the waffles.
Afterwards, Jack ended up becoming my personal tour guide #2. Christy and Jack tag-teaming most of the day and telling me fun facts about the city while also speaking a different language that I could not understand when it came to working out the subway system. Jack interned at a travel agency in NYC while in college, so he knew random facts about the city and how to navigate certain areas well. We also saw these awesome knitted stockings on some trees!
We wandered over to Chelsea Market where we enjoyed the Doughnuttery and some matcha at a Matcha Bar. #twothingsIlove
At the Doughnuttery, we split 4 flavors of doughnuts meaning we tasted their Paris Time, Flower Power, Urban Monkey, and Green Tea Buzz flavors. My favorite was the Paris Time which has lavender, pistachio, and vanilla flavors. But, the Flower Power receives an honorable mention as the second best flavor because of it’s strong hibiscus taste. We all agreed that the Monkey one had the most interesting flavor because of its unique combination of coffee and a subtle banana tones. I also got a matcha latte at the Matcha Bar close by, and I am so thankful that I did get some caffeine.
I love matcha, and for those that don’t know, matcha is a type of tea that is high in caffeine. Unlike most teas where you steep the leaves and then remove them, matcha is ground into a fine powder and left in your drink. I prefer my matcha sweetened, but it can be taken without sugar as well.
Christy needed to buy some gloves, so she left to go shop while Jack and I walked the High Line and caught up on life since college. The High Line was absolutely beautiful because it allowed us to get an unobstructed view down many streets in the city! It’s an old train line that was converted into a walking park/trail and affords its pedestrians greenery and a unique place to walk.
Once we finished the High Line, we walked to the giant Macy’s in Herald Square to meet up with Christy. Apparently, it’s one of the largest, if not the largest, department stores in the country. Nine stories high and full of Christmas decorations, wooden escalators, and Santa’s Workshop, this Macy’s is one that you never forget. Not only did we ride the escalators all the way from the basement to the top of the building, but we also played the touch pad piano in the basement.
Following our 34th Street adventure (Happy 70th Anniversary of “The Miracle on 34th Street” by the way), we stepped out onto the street and received our own miracle. SNOW! For the third time this week, snow fell in New York City, and it came down fast. It was cold though, and so we jumped on the subway to head to Columbus Circle to do some shopping.
When we exited the subway, more snow was falling, and it was magic. We could enjoy the snow in the warmth of the shopping mall while we bough books and bubble tea, and we eventually found our way in the station underneath Columbus Circle where mochi bars, bubble tea, donuts, and random self kiosks made their homes. In NYC there are so many random yet hidden places to explore!
Following our shopping excursion, we walked to Central Park to take pictures and appreciate the snow that had been coming down all afternoon. The park was covered in white blankets of snow, and the pond had frozen over! We took some heavenly photos of the bridges, the city, and the park. I totally envisioned myself falling into the world of Gossip Girl, to be honest.
At this point, we parted ways with Jack (Thank you, Jack!!) and Christy and I headed to Gershwin Theatre to try and win Wicked rush tickets. We put our names in and walked to Starbucks and back an hour later. All day, Christy had been saying how unlucky she was when it came to lottery tickets for Broadway shows. She claimed I had to be her lucky charm.
As we walked up, I turned to Christy and said,
“What if we’re the first names called tonight?” She laughed it off totally thinking it was never going to happen.
Sure enough, at 6pm the man calling the tickets came out and called our name first!! We practically screamed and picked up our BEAUTIFUL Wicked tickets for the evening performance of one of the greatest musicals of all time. As we waited for our tickets, I turned to Christy and said,
“What if they also call your name for tickets?” Now we wouldn’t get extra tickets or anything, but it would have been so funny for us to win twice after we were so concerned that we wouldn’t find any!
Sure enough, again, Christy’s name was called. She was the last person called out of everyone, but she was still called. We literally could not stop laughing for about ten minutes. We gave the second set of tickets to someone else, but it was funny to know that we won twice last night.
Off to Pret, a NYC favorite, where we went to grab a quick snack before the show. We planned on getting Japanese BBQ afterwards so we didn’t want to eat too much, but we knew we had to eat because our dinner plans were scheduled for 11pm!
The show started at 8pm, and Christy and I absolutely loved Wicked! I had never seen it, but after my sister visited NYC in middle school, she brought back the CD and played it everyday for about three months. So, I knew every word by heart. I probably cried three times, and I am perfectly okay with it. The person playing Elphaba tonight was the understudy, and oh my gosh, her voice was beautiful!! We were so thankful to have seen her perform!
Post-musical, Christy and I went to grab some food at Gyu-Kaku, a Japanese Barbecue Restaurant. I’ve never had Japaneese BBQ (we sure are doing some new things this trip), but it’s meat and vegetables and rice so what’s not to like, right? It turns out it’s very similar to Korean BBQ where you choose side dishes and meat and then you cook your own meat over a charcoal grill. We also ordered sake so that I could try it for the first time. I loved it by the way! Definitely one of my new favorite types of drinks.
We wandered the streets for a little while afterwards, but ended up in bed almost as soon as we got home. It was a long day, but we had so much fun.