New York City is magical. I've been there before - the first time with friends, the second time with my man, and this time, going solo. Each a completely different, unforgettable experience. And doing a vacation by myself, a self-proclaimed extrovert, was really special. I had time to do things that have fallen to the wayside since medical school and residency. Podcasts! Reading an actual physical book! Walking up and down the streets, with no real plan, soaking it in, eating an ice cream cone and pretending it's summer (although Mother Nature seems to disagree). Sitting in a coffee shop, and just... sitting. I loved every minute of this slow, relaxed vacation.
A full list of where and what I ate below! And up here, a little list of things I'm loving lately, because we haven't done that in a while 🤗
- Old news, but hey, I'm behind on my podcast game and slowly catching up. You have to listen to this. Oh, and this. Because it's important. Because we have to keep hearing these voices.
- I've been trying to read more physical books. Although I'll admit, our giant TV has become quite the distraction. And oh, there's work too. But currently I'm reading The Handmaid's Tale and eating. it. up. It's good. Probably better than the TV show. Actually, definitely better.
- And if you want something less depressing and eerie, I recommend Voracious, another book I read earlier this year - a memoir that makes you want to keep reading and eating. I'm not kidding.
- I had a bout of gastroenteritis a couple weeks ago (ew), and in my incapacitated state I started watching the Hot Ones episodes on the First We Feast Youtube channel. Ridiculously brilliant and safe to say I fell into the rabbit hole and watched an insane number of these. My favorite is the one with Nick Kroll. My second favorite is the one with Russell Brand. Watch at your own risk - they're addicting.
- If we're talking about music, I've been revisiting some of my old favorites - Abbey Road by The Beatles, Phox by Phox. And something I'm really digging are those transitions in between songs almost as much as the songs themselves - the progression of albums is something I'm trying to appreciate more and more and these two ones particularly knock it out of the park.
- Ugly Delicious! I'm not sure which one of us tiny Asians loves David Chang more, but we are obsessed. We binged the show in three days. We are still talking about it. His favorite episode is the third one, mine is the sixth. Both important, all of them really striking a chord into our foodie-loving hearts, but also our first-generation ones, our Asian American ones, and our want-to-change-the-world ones.
- And speaking of binge watching TV shows, Arpita introduced me to Queer Eye while in New York and by the time I had left the city, I had a favorite cast member (hellooo, Tan), I was following all their Instagram accounts, and telling all my friends they have to watch it too so that we can crush on all five of them because they are just that gorgeous, inside and out.
- Finally, it's no big secret that I'm a not-so-closet K-pop fan, and lately BTS is really making me feel all the feels with their successes across the seas. And they came out with these cartoon characters and have merchandise and can I just have a stuffed animal of each of them, please?
And that's what's been going on in this little head of mine. Scroll to the bottom for the list of NYC eats!
Everything I ate in New York City
- The classic board of bagel and lox from Russ & Daughters, the perfect beginning to New York City
- One giant salty pimp that was enjoyed as I strolled down Avenue A, wind blowing my hair like crazy, I'm pretty sure it got in my hair
- The off-menu Bee Sting pizza from Roberta's, topped with spicy honey
- And while we came for the pizza, we raved over the wood fired cabbage, moral of the story is get yo self some bomb veggies to go with your bomb pizza and you will have no regrets
- A slice of sour cherry & pear pie, a slice of apple pie, enjoyed in pajamas and an episode of The Voice
- A rose raspberry hamantaschen from Breads Bakery, a small bite of something sweet for a chilly morning
- Spicy cumin lamb noodles from Xi'an Famous Foods, which is no joke spicy and no joke amazing. Hand pulled noodles... that's all
- A snack bag of marzipan, date, and chocolate pistachio halva from Seed + Mill. I almost went for the soft serve, but couldn't resist these bites of perfection. I brought Andrew a quarter pound back (but really, it's for me 😏)
- The classic hummus from Dizengoff NYC, because Zahav changed my life and I couldn't say no to Solomonov's genius cooking
- Brooklyn's best tacos with Arpi followed by the cutest snow cream shop next door
- Perfect mezze brunch at Glasserie, with perfect friends
- A scoop of honeycomb ice cream from Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream, for lunch
- Take out pad see ewe and som tum, watching Queer Eye and resting our little feet
- The hummus tahina salad from sweetgreen because I felt like my body needed a vegetable by day four. But uh oh I drank the juice and now I'm obsessed with this restaurant and already took Andrew to sweetgreen when I got back to Chicago...
- A snuck-in black and white cookie from Glaser's Bake Shop, the fluffiest, cakiest cookie. NYC, I like your classics
- Half of The Emmy from Emmy Squared. Ok, pizza is pizza is pizza and it's all good and delicious but can I just say, this was one of the best I've had in my life? And that I like it better than Pequod's? Chicago friends, please don't hate me
- Two trips to Milk Bar, once for the chocolate covered pretzel and cereal milk soft serve, then for the cookies. Allllll the cookies
- Half of a corned beef sandwich with pickles from the world-famous Katz's Delicatessen. Probably the first time that I felt sorry for Andrew, because he would have died here fat and happy
- Guinness chip ice cream on top of a sugar cone from OddFellows, because the last full day I decided fuck it, I'm gonna eat all the ice cream in this city. It was a v excellent decision
- I said all the ice cream, right? Because then I got the creamiest, dreamiest, most incredible scoop of salt and pepper pine nut (say what?!?!) from Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream. This one took the cake. Or cone. Hehehe 🙊
- Korean BBQ in a way I have never experienced before. So much salty meat and perfect banchan, an egg moat and the freshest kimchis. I want to take my parents here
- Last decision matcha and rainbow churros, a sweet ending to what you can clearly see was a lot of deliciousness in five days
I already miss you, NYC. But I'm also amazed that I still have places I want to visit, foods I want to taste. So don't worry, I'll be back for more.