Monday, August 13, 2018

A Sister Weekend in NYC | Day 2

Prior to this trip I'd been to NYC twice, both times with set agendas. The first time my grandparents and I hit all the classics: Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Empire State Building, Ground Zero, a Broadway show, Central Park, the Rockettes' Christmas show, St. Patrick's Cathedral, a tour of NBC Studios, the United Nations, etc; and the second time I was co-leading a group of international high school students around the city, and we hit a few of the same places as I had on my first trip as well as stopping at a few more (Staten Island Ferry, Columbia University, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Wall Street, etc). So, when planning this trip with my sister, there were a few of the classics I wanted to see again -- and knew we should see, given that it was her first time to NYC -- but there were many places I hadn't yet seen that I wanted to, including anywhere outside of Manhattan, and given that I was solely in charge of planning I made them happen.

Our second day (first full day) we spent the morning in Brooklyn: breakfast of corner shop bagels, a subway ride to Dumbo, coffee at Brooklyn Roasting Co., and a walk through Brooklyn Bridge Park and across the river to Manhattan. Once in Manhattan, we set out for the west side to eat lunch at Chelsea Market and walk across the High Line.

We had tickets for Top of the Rock at 1pm, so we rode the subway to Rockefeller Plaza, quickly taking in the scene before riding the elevator up 67 floors.

We stumbled across Black Tap, the burgers and shakes place famous for its Facebook videos about its insane shakes. We hopped in line but were about to leave when we heard the wait was over an hour long, when suddenly the hostess yelled down the line asking if there was a party of two. Miraculously, we were the first set of two in line and were seated at a table within five minutes of getting in line. We opted to share a cookies & cream shake, which features a rim of icing covered in oreo crumbles, a mountain of whipped cream and chocolate sauce, and an entire ice cream sandwich on top.

As an amateur art lover, I wanted to see Van Gogh's Starry Night, and as admission to MoMA is free on Friday evenings, we prepared to fight crowds in exchange for a free chance to see it. Starry Night is, naturally, the top point of interest in the museum, and even though we made a beeline for the painting there was already a sea of visitors with their phones out being forcibly held back by security. We elbowed our way through the crowd, looked at the painting as best we could, then backed away. As we were already inside, we  decided to walk through the rest of the museum too. As it is the Museum of Modern Art, I knew there would be some ~interesting~ pieces, but to my surprise much of it was rather ordinary, and I realized I may be spoiled by the weird magic that is the Hirshhorn in D.C.

An intense storm came and passed while we were in the museum, and the streets on the way back to Brooklyn were marginally less crowded than they'd been the day before. We dropped off our purchases of the day at the apartment before heading around the corner to Midwood Flats, a bar two blocks from our Airbnb that seemed like a good place for dinner.

The bar is a bit more hip than the rest of the neighborhood but we settled into the vibe quickly enough... perhaps a little more than we intended. Though it's not stated anywhere on the bar's website, it seems to be an unofficial gay bar; aside from the straight couple next to us, every other couple was same sex, and as my sister and I are related but don't look it, we appeared to fit right into the crowd, which we had a good laugh about afterward. 

After a long day of criss-crossing town we were happy to go right back to our Airbnb -- in our pajamas, reading a book, settled in for the night by 9pm on a Friday in Brooklyn. We were truly living our best lives.

Bergen Bagels
Brooklyn Roasting Company
Berlin Currywurst
Birch Coffee (Upper East Side)
Black Tap
Midwood Flats

Brooklyn Bridge Park
Brooklyn Bridge
Chelsea Market
The High Line
Rockefeller Plaza
Top of the Rock
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