This past weekend, my husband and I drove** up to New York for a weekend with friends. We lived in the city for two years after we graduated from college (I was attending NYU for grad school), and moved back to Charlottesville a little over a year ago. I made a few wedding and business related trips to NYC in the fall and winter, but this was my husband’s first trip back!
**I do NOT recommend this form of transportation! Traffic was TERRIBLE!
A few of my NYC friends included me in an email chain back in April or May making plans to buy tickets for Paris Opera Ballet’s performance of Pina Bausch’s Orpheus & Eurydice. I immediately decided that I would be there, one way or another! We had been trying to find a weekend to go up and see friends, and this was just the push I needed.
The show was FABULOUS! Amazing music, both vocal and instrumental, and absolutely gorgeous dancing. It was interesting to see ballet dancers doing Pina Bausch’s movement, which has a few distinctive characteristics that clearly mark a dance as “hers” (second position plie, and certain arm movements, for example). While the piece was loosely based on the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, it was completely abstract, focusing on the emotional themes of the story in each of the four sections: Mourning, Violence, Peace, and Death. Each section had its own set and costumes, unified by a similar stark minimalism and common materials, such as large panes of glass. “Peace” was my favorite section, with a large group of female dancers in dusty pink long skirts on a dark stage with small red flowers “planted” around the edges of the stage. The dancers moved in breath-taking unison that had me responding viscerally in my seat. If you ever have the opportunity to see this piece performed, GO! You will not be disappointed.
The weekend was all about spending time with good friends. When we finally arrived in the city around midnight on Friday, we headed to Brooklyn where we spent the night with Amy. She was hard at work making a cake for her boyfriend to take to work the next day–his last day as a tour guide on the Intrepid Museum. Amy is quite the baker! She created this amazing replica of the aircraft carrier, complete with toy airplanes. Apparently it was a hit — the cake was gone by lunchtime!
On Saturday morning, we met up with friends in Brooklyn to celebrate their recent marriage over brunch at Tom’s Restaurant, an awesome diner in Brooklyn. The waiters even serve coffee, water, and food samples to guests who stand in line for a prized table at this 70-year old diner.
I ordered the “Danish” pancakes–blueberries, ricotta, and parmesan cheese–plus a side of scrambled eggs. The pancakes came with a variety of flavored butters, including cinnamon and lemon, which really added to the already YUMMY pancakes!
Suffice to say a lot of food went uneaten… At the end of our meal the waiter brought out Chocolate Egg Creams in honor of the newlyweds! I had never had an egg cream before…it was interesting, kind of like a float…but I was so full I only had one sip.
After breakfast, we headed into Manhattan where we grabbed a beer (and some french fries) with a friend at one of our favorite restaurants, B. Cafe, near our old apartment on the Upper East Side. After a nice walk through Central Park, I headed down to the West Village to meet another friend for coffee and a walk on the High Line.
The High Line opened shortly after I arrived in New York in 2009, and it was always one of my favorite places to meet up with friends. It is an elevated park on an historic freight rail line on the West Side that runs from Gansevoort Street (just below 12th St.) to 34th Street. The new section (from 20th to 34th) opened after I moved away, so this was my first time on the completed park.
I was shocked to see how big these trees had grown!
Saturday was a relatively “cool” day compared to recent weeks, so the park was packed. There were tons of little food carts, from ice cream sandwiches and popsicles, to gourmet hotdogs and miniature versions of some of the city’s best-known restaurants. I was too full to get anything, but it was fun to see how well the park is doing. Next time, I will be sure to save room for an ice cream sandwich!
After walking up and back, it was time to hop on the train to Lincoln Center. But first, a quick detour into Whole Foods for a salad bar dinner to go!
After the show, Amy and I went downtown to meet back up with my husband and a bunch of college friends at a bar on Stone Street. It was so great to see everyone!
Sunday brought another delicious brunch with another great friend!
I was planning to get coffee, but then waiter set down a menu for freshly made juices, and I opted for green juice instead! My kale, apple, and ginger juice was great–frothy and flavorful, just what I needed to start the day!
The three of us shared a delicious plate of homemade breads with apple butter (which was more like a chutney, with big chunks of apple!), and then I had an omelette with fresh spinach, tomatoes, and feta cheese. The omelette was deliciously fluffy, served in a cast iron skillet with home fries. I took the sauteed onions from the potatoes and added them to my omelette–yum! Another wonderful meal with another great friend!
After brunch, we headed home. The traffic was better, but it was still a long ride. Dinner on the road was another Whole Foods salad bar mash-up. Not bad for road-trip food!
The sunset was gorgeous, welcoming us home to Virginia.
The weekend in New York was both invigorating and exhausting. I’m so glad we finally made the trip and that we were able to see so many of our friends. We were able to see and do so many of our favorite New York things–brunch, a walk through Central Park, visits to my favorite neighborhoods, and a dance performance! What a great weekend 🙂
**Photography note: All photos were taken on my iPhone. Many use Instagram’s “Rise” filter, while others were edited on my phone with the Snapseed app.