New England's smushed-togetherness lends itself well to quick weekend trips. So last Saturday we roused ourselves at 6 in the morning and drove to New York City. An old friend and co-worker and her husband were gracious enough to host us in their Manhattan-sized apartment.
I almost forgot how tiny those one-bedrooms are! It's now been 10 years since I lived in New York and now the 'home' feeling has really faded. I'm over it. I'll always enjoy visiting, but I'm grateful for the pace of a smaller city like Boston.
With little preparation we headed out. First stop: Heartland Brewery for lunch. We talked them into letting us do a full flight of 9 beers (note the extra glasses in the middle). One outstanding brew was the Quad - 10 grains, 10 hops, 10%.
Next up: The MoMA. Excellent stuff. We probably spent a little too long there, since by the 3rd hour or so, my brain wasn't registering things as much. I might take a little virtual tour at Google Art Project to remind myself everything I saw.
One thing about New York that baffles me is the rate at which restaurants open up and close down. So it was with blind faith that we took a bus 70 blocks down to 2nd St. and 2nd Ave. to go to a French-Russian restaurant I remembered from eons ago. All I remembered about the place was the strange combo of ethnicities and the beautiful ceiling - painted black, layered with white Christmas lights, and then fake palm fronds over that gave the impression of being under a jungle canopy at night.
In any case, Anyway Cafe, was there, open and delicious. (And they served Lithuanian beer!)
The rest of evening was a little awkward as we decided one thing after another was too expensive $15 art house films, $25 jazz clubs, $5 bad beers. We eventually settled in at the Blind Tiger which had an astounding 30 excellent beers on tap.
Sunday we all made the necessary stop over at Veselka, an old Ukranian Diner I worked to graveyard shift at in college. I forewent brunch and got the vegetarian deluxe platter of pirogies, kasha, borscht, stuffed cabbage and a latka. As good as I remembered.
We wandered across Manhattan the rest of the day - Chelsea Brewing Company, Chelsea Market, High Line park, the Natural History Museum. It was almost too much for some weekend, but still, I didn't feel rushed.
We ended our weekend with a trip to another old stomping ground from college the Daryl Roth Theater. We were lucky enough to get 1/2 tickets to the new De La Guarda show: Fuerza Bruta. 6 years after working there, I only remembered one of the staff. But the big black box theater, the lights, the water, it all was the same. Letting loose in that show 4 times a week during college, was certainly better than any therapy I could have had.
That's what New York is for: a little let loose, eat exotic, walk about, culture-filled weekend therapy session. And I feel great.