I’m baaaack! Besides my flight home being delayed by 2 hours even though the sky was clear on both ends (I’m baffled), I had a wonderful time. Some highlights/conclusions:
- Hair Kuwayama: I got the straight fringe! It’s a bit strange, but I’m starting to get used to it. So far the feedback has been mostly positive. Nari my hairstylist was also very cute, Japanese and careful. At first she chopped my hair off completely horizontally *which freaked me out no end*, but once she was done she did the side thing and layered it right *phew*
- Battery Park: I stopped by to visit a friend. It is SUCH a nice neighborhood. There is a harbor front that faces the Statue of Liberty. It totally doesn’t feel like New York, and yet it is super close to Wall Street!
- Peter Lugers: Out of the 365 days in a year it is opened, I picked the one evening when it catches on FIRE. I trudged ALL the way to Brooklyn in my heels (the subway station exit was kind of sketchy!) and arrived to two fire trucks parked outside and all the staff and customers sitting on the steps opposite the restaurant. It took us half an hour to figure out what was happening (it was definitely not going back to business that evening) and then another 15 minutes to figure out how to get a cab in the middle of nowhere- with a LOT of luck. Clearly Peter and I are just not meant to be. We ended up at BLT steaks. If you ever need a quick reservation on a Friday night at 8pm, this is a good place to go….
- Maru: This place has gone downhill since the last time I visited (maybe a year or so ago?), but it still has the best lychee soju in town!
- Pastis: We got a table outdoors and I loved the atmosphere. The cobblestones, the open space, it felt like I was back in Paris again! It is also close to the DVF headquarters, so it’s super convenient 😛
- Top Shop: The line has abated. But it was not that great. Like Anthropologie, the website is better than the actual store. My experience there was exactly as I remembered it when I first went to the TopShop at Oxford Circus. I tried on a lot of things that I liked, some fit well, but then the price didn’t seem to correlate with the quality.
- Baked by Melissa: A little cupcake store just off Broadway near TopShop. They are seriously tiny for $1, but they are a tiny bite of heaven.
- Bloomingdales: The sales was not that great… I feel like it can be better. I did spotted a pair of Tory Burch thongs I now have my eye on!
- Marc by MJ: Seems like it has become more of a tourist destination if anything. The store was tiny, hot and crowded… I couldn’t wait to get out. The stuff were not worth it.
- Sweet Revenge: A delightful little dessert/wine bar in a quiet quaint area. The perfect spot to catch up with your girlfriends for a bit of afternoon gossip with some sweets and booze.
- Mara Hoffman Sample Sale: I didn’t think I’d find anything, because prints is not usually my thing. But I was pleasantly surprised. More on this later 🙂
- Dessert Truck: It’s a cute concept, but maybe fine dining just isn’t my thing. I tried the chocolate molten cake and while the texture was awesome, I found the salt on the cake really strange. I half wondered if they accidentally sprinkled on salt instead of sugar… but then the menu does mention sea salt.
- Ippudo: The wait was a hour, but you can always stop by the Dessert Truck while you wait (it’s right around the corner). The fried chicken thing was quite good and the ramen was very interesting too. The ramen didn’t look like regular ramen, but it tasted quite good!
- Chikalicious: I didn’t end up trying the tasting menu (long line and that place is TINY), but I did try a few cupcakes at the dessert bar across the street. Don’t like the s’mores one, but the triple chocolate is quite good.
- Joe’s Shanghai: I miss Shanhainese food because we don’t have any in Chicago, so I came here (I think this is the website). I’m not sure it compares to Hong Kong, but it’s definitely quite decent and satisfied my craving. They don’t have the traditional Shanghainese noodles though… what they do have is like udon.
- The Frick Collection: A beautiful collection. For a Sunday, it was not too crowded (at least not as crowded as the Met!). The atmosphere was peaceful, soothing and intimate. It really achieved it’s goal of putting art in the surroundings it was meant to be enjoyed in. There was also an interesting documentary about Mr. Frick, another admirable man.
- Crumbs: The verdict is out. I think I’m a convert to Crumbs. The cupcakes are HUGE (it’s really a small cake) and even after a day, the cake is moist. The icing is decent (not as sweet as Magnolia) and I liked the variety it offered. Also love how there’s stuff in the middle. So far the chocolate and the cookie dough is pretty good.
- Lady M: I’m officially OVER cupcakes and the likes and have converted to everything Lady M. Located in a quiet street on the upper east side, this small cake shop is elegant and chic. The staff were super professional and the decor was clean and elegant, with gorgeous displays of white calla lilies. But most of all, the cakes were simply divine. I tried the original Mille Crepes (SO GOOD) and the checker cake. Made of at least 20 layers of crepes in between cream, it was absolutely mouthwatering. You’d think the checker cake would be waay too sweet and dry, but it was perfect. It was not too sweet and it had just the right texture- light and fluffy. I’ve had a LOT of sweets and cakes in my 20 odd years, and seriously, these were one of the best. Even though they’re a bit pricier at $8 a piece, it is totally worth it. An absolute MUST go. Who needs Magnolia when there is Lady M?
Yes, it was a very sweet trip indeed.