Day 31 - Brooklyn, NY
Run - Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY
From the eyes of Bailee
I have found the promised land and it might be New York. I knew this city was foodie heaven before I got here (hello, birthplace of the cronut?). But seeing the countless Instagram posts and articles linking the best restaurants, dishes, and snacks to NYC is nothing like actually being here. I don’t think reading a hundred articles on the culinary wonders New York contains could have prepared me for the bombardment of smells and tastes that I got to partake in today. Our journey through the city was really just the means to eat something else.
This morning I had a bit of a late start. I got up around 7, no run for me today! Nico got back from his run right around the time that our host (Allison), his mother (Karen), and I were ready to head out to pick up coffee and baked goods to eat. First stop of the day was a bagel shop (Bagel Delight). We got two sesame bagels and cream cheese. After, we headed down the street to Du Jour. The inside of the store was reminiscent of a traditional upscale coffee shop, but the displays of pastries on the counter were stunning. They had doughnuts and croissants and pastries and cakes. There were scones and banana bread and coffee and quiche. They even had an assortment of gluten free treats perfect for Sadie! We loaded up on treats before heading back to the house. Once back home, we dug in. I had a blackberry ginger scone that was perfectly tender. The berries were juicy and slightly sour. The scone was interspersed with small pieces of candied ginger for spice. The bagel was so much better than the grocery store bagels back home. It was much larger than the grocery store variety and had sesame seeds on both sides (not just one -which is great because the traditional one sided sesame variety means that you are forced to choose between sesame seeds or the crustier bottom, with this one you get both). The bagel was the perfect mix of crusty chewiness intermingled with a soft, bready inside. After breakfast, we hung around for a little while so that Nico could move the car around and play the shenanigans of the New Yorkers with street cleaning.
Then, Nico, Karen, and I headed into the city. We took the subway in and got out right around Chelsea Market. Inside, it seemed like I needed to grow a million more eyes to help me take in everything that was happening. There were restaurants and smaller stores each specializing in a very specific type of food or product. One stall sold spices and tea. We walked around, but on our way out, got distracted by Doughnuttery. It was a little corner store with the catchy slogan “little nuts, big flavor”. Karen, Nico and I shared six doughnut holes. We chose the house of cardamom (cardamom and orange zest) and flower power (hibiscus, honey, and rose petals). The doughnuts were still warm when we bit into them, the crusty outside breaking for the soft, fluffy interior. The cardamom one was mildly flavored and sweet. The flower power blew me away. It was warm and sweet like the house of cardamom, but it had sour notes that lingered on your tongue for awhile after you had swallowed your last bite. Doughnuttery definitely proved that size doesn’t matter.
After we left Chelsea Market (with the promise to return for lunch) we wandered up to the High Line, a re-purposed elevated rail line turned city park bordered by a stunning variety of plants and interspersed with art. We couldn’t help but split our second treat of the day when we passed Melt, an ice cream sandwich cart, for the second time on the walk. We got the special for the day, a white chocolate macadamia nut and raspberry ice cream sandwich. The tanginess of the raspberry perfectly complimented the sweetness of the cookie even as the cold complimented the warmth of the doughnuts from earlier.
For lunch, we headed back to Chelsea Market where Nico and Karen got meat pies and I got 牛肉面 (described in the menu as Taiwanese hand pulled beef noodles) from Very Fresh Noodles. I’ve been craving Chinese food FOREVER and I watched as they pulled the dough for the noodles and plopped it into the pot to cook. My noodles were thick and slightly chewy, the beef in the soup was tender and slightly fatty. The spice level (mild) was just enough to make my nose run slightly, but not so much that I felt like I was going to die because my mouth was on fire.
Post-lunch, Karen and I split from Nico. He went to go meet a friend for coffee, while we went to stroll through Eataly, an Italian themed food area. It was everything I had been promised and more (with a name like Eataly, it has to be good...that could be the wrong jingle but it still rings true *smuckers*). There were stacks of cheese and rows of pasta. Even the bathroom sign figures were made out of little pasta people.
We headed back home, our feet exhausted. It was hard to leave, when I know there was so much that we hadn’t seen. It was a catch 22 situation where you’re too full to eat anything else and too tired to continue, yet you want to continue eating and walking your way through New York.
We had a few hours once we got back to Brooklyn before we had to go back to the city for George's (Nico’s Dad) former mentee’s 10 year company anniversary. We ran down the street to get nice shoes for me. I settled on a low pair of heels. There we enjoyed cheese, grapes, bread and other hors d’evours. There was a beatboxer who performed who was fantastic. George, Karen, and I left the party early to go home. Nico, Sadie, and Charlie stayed longer with plans to go out on the city after (the wild and crazy 21 plus life). As we were leaving the party, we were given little boxes of chocolate. This probably raised the party to a solid eight out of ten in my book (the food was also excellent).
Once we got home, Karen and I enjoyed some ice cream and we are now all heading to bed. It’s been an exhausting and full day. I know now I have to return to New York so that I can experience more of the food life and see more of the sights. Even though we did so much today, I feel like we barely scraped the top of the Big Apple. Well, better go sleep, I’m exhausted. But I will dream about all of the food I enjoyed and all the food I missed out on today.
Facts/stats of the day:
Miles driven: 0
Miles run: 16.5
Elevation gained (feet): 645
Amount of food Bailee wished she could eat: Infinite
Individuals in New York State with Alzheimer's: 390,000
Donate to research here: http://curealz.org/heroes/running-road-trip