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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Shopping in Soho and Dancing in Midtown

November 27, 2009

We woke up late and wandered up the street to AQ Kafe at 1800 Broadway between 58th and 59th for breakfast.

My mom ordered the three eggs with tomato, goat cheese and dill, baked in a casserole dish. I'm not a huge fan of eggs so I didn't like hers as much but she thought it was delicious. I ordered a toasted bagel with lox, cream cheese, tomato, red onion, and mustard sauce. I've never had a lox bagel (I know, crazy right?) and it was the best thing I've ever tasted.

After breakfast, we took the subway to Soho to spend the day shopping and looking around.

We started to head towards the East Village because we saw some street tents but the area didn't look so great so we turned around. Not before we watched two vendors go at it about the "property line" between their tents.

We walked down Broadway and stopped in a ton of my favorite stores. I bought SO much stuff from Mango, GUESS, and more. We continued shopping all the way to Blue Ribbon Sushi at 119 Sullivan Street which had been recommended to me as one of the best sushi restaurants in New York. I'll pause here to point out that New York is not the city for sushi so this is one of the few sushi restaurants with GOOD sushi in NYC.

The restaurant was small and tucked away. The wait staff was extremely friendly and were happy to offer some insight into new things to try. I ordered my customary spicy yellowtail hand roll which helps me determine where a sushi restaurant falls in terms of quality. My mom ordered the tuna and avocado Hakozushi which is fish and rice layered rather than wrapped in seaweed.

The quality of the fish was perfection but unfortunately the price tag was too high so we didn't eat very much. I was still hungry when we left but we were headed back for our 7:15pm reservation at Tavern on the Green where I would get plenty to eat.

Tavern on the Green is a famous restaurant located within Central Park that has been around for over 130 years and started out as a building to house sheep. Now, it is an ornate, old-fashioned restaurant that has been featured in many famous movies including Edward Scissorhands and Ghostbusters. Unfortunately, it hasn't been able to keep up with modern times and has gone bankrupt. The restaurant will be closing its doors forever on Dec 31st, 2009, which is why we had to eat there.

Our reservation was for a table in the Crystal Room which is the most famous of the different dining areas but we first had a drink in the bar while waiting for our table.

For dinner, my mom ordered the slow-baked organic salmon with roast vegetables, cauliflower puree and caper white balsamic vinaigrette. The salmon was perfectly cooked though the vegetables were over-cooked. I like over-cooked vegetables so I thought they were great but my mom prefers al dente.

Speaking of "al dente," I ordered the special which was a truffle-scented risotto with asparagus, parmesan and pine nuts. It was raw and cost $26. I never send food back but this time I had to out of principle. The waiter caused a huge fuss saying it was "al dente" and that he had worked in all the best Italian restaurants in New York and that that is how risotto is cooked. I replied saying that it wasn't how I wanted it end of story. Another waiter brought me a new one because our waiter couldn't face me again apparently. This time it was delicious and actually "al dente." It also filled me up so much that I had to pass on the cheesecake I had so been looking forward to.

I have to say it's no wonder that they are going out of business with jerks like that working there. We didn't give him a tip. From the restaurant, we took a taxi to the Hudson Hotel at 356 W 58th Street to go to their bar for drinks. The Hudson Bar is a giant one-level floor with a dance floor in the middle, a bar along the left, and tables along the right. Each of the tables have different chairs though so it looks really odd when people sit together. For example, one of the tables had a tall plastic chair paired with an old cushioned armchair so the two people were at completely different heights. The overall look of the bar is very modern with lighted floors and basement walls.

The clientele was sort of yuppy/sleazy but that just made the people-watching excellent. Our waitress was really sweet and gave us the table without making us buy a bottle which was nice. I watched a group of girls flirt with greasy druggies, a fight over a spilled drink, and my mom dancing to hiphop music. What. A. Night.

After leaving the bar my mom yanked me into the nearest Ray's Pizzeria for a 2am slice of margarita before heading back to the hotel and falling asleep.

Check back tomorrow for Day Three: Lion King and USC

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