Over the last few days, Giordano and Marilyn have visited us at our humble abode. We toured them around the city, taking them to our favourite hot spots and discovering more along the way. Plenty of pictures in this one.
I'll give a chromatic breakdown of their visit in this very post!
Wednesday, March 18th 2009: Dano and Marilyn touched down a little later than originally scheduled, due to being run around by Air Canada. We received a phone call as we were about to leave for LaGuardia for a pickup, in which Marilyn told us that the flight from Toronto to New York had been delayed due to weather conditions. This myth, however, was quickly dissipated by us with a simple glance out the window at crystal blue skies, and negligible winds. Regardless, Marilyn and Giordano arrived and we sped them back our pad where we fed them tasty quesadillas and doughnuts from the Doughnut Plant (a "terrible" place filled with things which should not exist for the very reason that they are too tasty to possibly be eaten without serious spiritual ramifications -- this is especially in regards to the peanut butter and jelly doughnut), and then walked them back to their hotel, a mere five subway stops away. Dano particularly enjoyed the Subway system's intricacies, but did not enjoy the rat pee which dripped on his head.
Thursday, March 19th, 2009: Rain. Ugh. Daunting clouds loomed overhead as we made our trip down to the Village, and sadly they opened up their mouths as we ducked into our favourite coffee shop. After some tasty lattes, we found the famous Washington Square arch, and began to look for a place to eat. We found a tasty Risotteria in the Village just as it really began to pour. Luckily for us, we had a backup plan: we headed to the Metropolitan museum of Art, one of the many apexes of culture in New York City. While the Met gave Giordana, Giordano, and Marilyn reprieve from the rain, as well as cultural distinction, I hopped on a subway and stood in line for a play at the TKTS booth in Times Square. A fun little hint for those of you who decide to visit NYC and want to catch a play (not a musical), the TKTS booth uses a "'plays only' line" system which is always much shorter and allows for the cheap(er) purchase of any non-musical plays, which in my opinion are the good ones. Giordana might not appreciate that remark, as she loves musicals more than life. Anyway, I bought us some wicked seats at wicked discounts to "August: Osage County," the winner for Best Play at the 2008 Tony's, and the 2008 Pulitzer prize for best new play. We watched the play following a tasty New Orleans style dinner at The Delta Grill, which was filled with yam fries, pulled pork, and mayonnaise. Anyway, the play lived up to its merits, as it was absolutely fantastic. Enjoyed by all!
Friday, March 20th, 2009: Would you believe me if I said it snowed this very morning? You wouldn't, but it did. We trekked up to Central Park to explore, and stopped for a vendor hot dog lunch. We continued south to the Central Park Zoo where we saw Gus, the famous polar bear, swimming -- separated from us by a mere half inch of glass. We ate that evening at Les Halles. For the foodies out there, that was the restaurant of which Bourdain used to be the executive chef. Needless to say: best steak I have ever had. Period. End of discussion. Seriously, you have not had a better steak. Stop trying to convince me otherwise. The Hispanic force behind every kitchen in New York is a justified one: they can cook freaking good food.
Saturday, March 21st, 2009: The day began with a hike across the Brooklyn bridge, and a walking tour (led by us, of course) of Brooklyn Heights. The Heights is sort of the Village of Brooklyn, with about twice as many hipsters. Not cool. Regardless, we love it there, so we grabbed lunch at the New York food chain of choice, Chipotle, where a giant burrito filled with organic spicy shredded pork, roasted peppers, onions beans and guacamole only dings you eight bucks. Hell yes. From here, Giordana, Giordano, and I all continued on to the Museum of Natural History where we saw... DINOSAUR BONES! RAAAAAGGHH! The four year old in all of us erupted forth as we were staring into the jaws of the only completed Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton on display in North America. John Hammond was surely nearby (congratulations to those of you who picked up on my witty movie reference). We also saw the giant lifesize blue whale replica. I will never go swimming again, just so everyone knows. We then met up with Marilyn, after her nap, and found a quaint little Italian eatery in the village. Food was good, but it was difficult to eat anchovies after seeing what they evolved from. It seemed almost too ironic. After dinner, we caught the Staten Island Ferry for a scenic late-night voyage.
Sunday, March 22nd, 2009: Today we tripped to ground zero (World Trade Center site) and the financial district. We grabbed the best Turkish food ever while down there, then continued on to our favourite cupcake place in order to combat the somber post 9/11 mentality which we picked up while paying our respects to the men and women who died needlessly. After cupcakes we grabbed a subway to the east village where we ate at the only traditional pizzeria in NYC. It was, like the doughnuts, too good to be allowed.
Monday, March 22nd, 2009: After a day of school, Gio and I met Giordano and Marilyn for lunch at our favourite burger joint, then decided to explore Central Park once more before they jetted off. On the way, we dropped by the Lincoln Center Plaza, the center for all great arts in North America. In the park we met some fellow Italians, some crazy pigeons, and found a beautiful view. After one final round of the park, we had dinner in Hell's Kitchen at another Italian eatery. A sad final farewell was made and the folks flew off in the morning, which thus concluded our whirlwind tour of the great apple!