When its 89 degreed Fahrenheit at the end of October and I haven’t seen a single leaf change colors I started getting a little stir crazy. Fall and spring are my favorite seasons mainly because you can wear boots still and the foliage is beyond splendid. This year however, Los Angeles went straight from summer to winter in the blink of an eye. I had enough of the blistering heat so I called some friends and packed my bags for New York. Central Park is gorgeous in the fall so I knew I would find what I was in search for, beautiful color-changing leaves and cooler temperatures.
I got off the plane to find it raining which made me extremely happy because I love the rain. So I took an Uber from the airport and got to the lovely Nomad Hotel just in time to settle into my room and order some hot chamomile tea and cookies and sit in the beautiful clawfoot tub in my room and watch the rain drops slide down my window panes.
My room was exactly what you would expect a posh, New York hotel to be. Small, beautifully decorated with an old-school charm. If you’ve never stayed at the Nomad, I highly suggest you do. It’s restaurant is very popular among the New York crowd, with locals brimming between the restaurant and the two bars even spilling over into the lobby. I tried to have one of my meeting in the bar and I had to move to the lobby because everyone was so packed in there you couldn’t even move. Its a cool speakeasy type vibe in one of the rooms and a more casual library setting in the other. I highly suggest you make a reservation even for the bar so you can get the proper experience. None the less, the drinks were fabulous and the staff was wonderful. If I could suggest one in-room dining item to order it would be the granola and yogurt parfait. It was so good I had it every morning!
The next few days were just beautiful as the weather just got better and better. You would of thought I brought the sunshine from LA. I ended up acting like a tourist most of the time and even ended up experiencing Halloween there for the first time.
I spent an entire day in central park wondering around starring at trees and people watching. It couldn’t have been any more perfect! The places was crowded with tourists and locals alike. Couples doing wedding photos, children playing the leaf piles, people rowing their boats in the lake, couples kissing by the water fountain most famously known as the water fountain featured on the show Friends. There were musicians on ever corner, just far apart as to not mix melodies with one another and even some street performers that had their routine down cold to maximize donations. I think if they could of pulled the money from peoples wallets they would have but just the same it was an entertaining show.
I also walked the Highline with my friend Samantha and got to see some of New York from up high. For those of you not familiar with it is a 1.45-mile-long (2.33 km) New York City linear park built in Manhattan on an elevated section of a disused New York Central Railroad spur called the West Side Line. Inspired by the 3-mile (4.8-kilometer) Promenade plantée (tree-lined walkway), a similar project in Paris completed in 1993, the High Line has been redesigned and planted as an aerial greenway and rails-to-trailspark. Its pretty cool and definitely worth a walk if you have time.
I tried a few different restaurants but these are the few that really stood out to me:
- Joseph Leonardo looks like you just sat down in someone’s home kitchen. It is decorated to make you feel at home and a menu to make you unbutton your pants. I had the Egg Sandwich (croissant, manchego and brussels sprouts with siracha) and I added avocado and a large french press coffee. I especially loved the jar of pickles they provided at every table when we sat down. They are open daily and there is usually an hour wait.
- Cafe Cluny is another great place to eat that will make you forget you’re at a public restaurant. I had the grilled tuna burger there and it was divine. The wasabi aioli was so good that I was taking off the bun to dip my friend in it.
- Takashi was a little Japanese BBQ place in the West Village where I ate things I’ve never tried before. Some of the items I tried were: Bone Marrow and Crawfish Dumplings, Grandmom’s Steamed Beef Shank Buns, U.S. Kobe Marbled Chuck-flat Steak (6oz), Yooke (thinly-sliced chuck eye tartare in special sauce), beef belly, and some ice cream for dessert. I was also told that place has amazing ramen but I did not get a chance to try it.
- Employees Only: is a great bar on Hudson if you’re looking for a speak-easy type vibe where the bartenders have to apprentice for year before they get aa shot to mix drinks. Now this place was beyond packed and the bar seats were such hot commodity, I think I wold make a pretty penny auctioning them off nightly. If you even touched your wallet or looked like you were about to leave, people would start swarming around you like vultures circling their prey before they dive in for the kill. The drinks were pretty inventive and the small places were absolutely divine. After a couple drinks I thought it would a good idea to have a bite to eat so I wondered the cheese plate and the Hand-Cut Steak Tartar with Crostini & Mixed Greens Salad, both delicious.
- Mas Farmhourse: Had some amazing clam chowder and dessert here. I stumbled upon this little place with my friends in search for a different dessert place that was sadly closed. But luckily we found this little gem where we had Brûléed Figs over Ricotta Mousse Huckleberries, Pistachio Cake & Balsamic Meringue and Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Streusel Maple Crème Fraîche & Toasted Pepita. Pair that with some dessert wine and we were there for a couple hours.
- Spice: is a great place if you love spice food. Go figure! (haha, forced laugh) Although, my friend made a reservation here not knowing my aversion to spice food I was still able to enjoy some delicious food. I would highly recommend the Puffy Duck, Siam Bun, Siamese fried rice and shrimp shumai.
- Ippudo is where my ramen obsession recently began! They mad their noodles in house and the other dishes they serve are almost as amazing as the ramen they are world renowned for. I recommend the Akamaru Modern when it comes to ramen, the Japanese cucumber seasoned with Ippudo’s sesame garlic oil and the steamed buns filled with your choice of either meat or vegetables, served with lettuce, mayo, and Ippudo’s spicy sauce. Also their drinks are so great I had a couple of the Lychee and Grapefruit Hai. Definitely a must try especially on a chilly day.
- Mamafuku is the place to stop if your craving sweets! They crunchy cereal shake, pies and cookies are just a few must haves!