Wednesday, October 15, 2014

New York Day 1: Xi'an Famous Foods, Momofuku Ma Peche, and Midtown Madness

After saying goodbye to Italy, we hopped onto a plane and arrived at JFK in the early afternoon. We weren't in a rush and our bags were relatively light, so we took the Airtrain and subway to Bryan's Upper East Side apartment. We fought the temptation to nap and headed out for lunch at Xi'an Famous Foods in midtown. We got two bowls of spicy, tingly beef hand torn noodles and a mild cucumber salad. I love super spicy Asian foods and chewy noodles so this was heaven for me! Just a warning though - if you're unaccustomed to very spicy Asian cuisine, your stomach might not enjoy the food here as much as I do.

Afterwards, we took a walk through midtown, snapping some pictures as we passed by Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's cathedral, and Grand Central Station. We had a lot of fun relaying silly messages to each other at the Whispering Ach in Grand Central. We also stopped by Tiffany's for a ring cleaning. Tiffany's now charges $50/item for polishing now...yikes! We got the complimentary cleaning for our rings and opted out of the polishing, convincing ourselves that it was better that our rings remain scuffed but retain more platinum. :)

(photo credit: Tiffany & Co.)

I grew up in New York City so every time I come back, I take it all in with a wistful nostalgia. I definitely took all these iconic New York attractions for granted when I was young! Unfortunately those happy nostalgic feelings quickly faded when we had an unfortunate incident in front of the Plaza hotel. Some crazy woman accosted me, started screaming at me for "getting into her space", and jabbed me hard in my collarbone with her elbow. To be fair, this is my first time getting violently attacked in New York so this isn't a common occurrence. As a New Yorker, you never want to aggravate the situation by fighting back, so we quickly sprinted "out of her space" and into safety at the next block.

We had dinner with Bryan at Momofuku Ma Peche. I was excited that Ma Peche takes reservations so that we could try some of the Momofuku favorites without waiting in line. Ma Peche is supposed to be dimsum style but the carts don't come around very often and the service is extremely slow (but friendly). I  didn't love their famous pork buns or jalapeno fried chicken but I was a big fan of the lobster fried rice and broccoli salad. We also tried some crack pie, a compost cookie, and a blueberry cookie from Milk Bar. Interesting but nothing super unique or out of this world. I love sweets but I don't think my palette for cookies and pies is that discerning, so I'm probably the wrong person to judge!

 After a day of aimless wandering and delicious eats, we treated ourselves to long, hot showers and some long-awaited sleep. Thank goodness the Upper East Side is pretty quiet. It's funny to think that you can have some relative peace and quiet in Manhattan. Crazy lady incident aside, I do love the culture, diversity, and uniqueness in every corner of New York. It's definitely a change of pace from the suburbs of Silicon Valley!

No comments:

Post a Comment