“But When It Comes to a Scandal, I’ll take Manhattan Every Time.” – Gossip Girl
Do you ever have one of those really good days where everything seems to be perfect? You don’t necessarily have a plan of how the day’s going to work out, just a few things you might do. Even when you’re not sure how it’s going to work out or what exactly you’re going to do, it all falls into place. That’s kind of how my Fourth of July Eve turned out.
I was in a spontaneous mood last week and wanted to do something exciting for my Fourth of July break. I was thinking Atlantic City at first, but finding a room and making plans for that was getting too complicated. So then a thought crossed my mind, “Why not just go to the city?” One thing I love about living in New Jersey is that I have New York City at my beck and call. I’ve been taking day trips there ever since I was a kid. Now that I’m older, I don’t go as often as I used to. There were a few places I wanted to explore now that I’m 21 and going to the city would take way less planning than going to AC. So, we decided to ditch the Atlantic City idea and go to New York City.
We didn’t really have set plans of what we wanted to do or when we had to do it. The only thing that we planned for the day is that we were going to explore Hudson Hotel and go to dinner at Candle 79. We didn’t need plans to have a perfect day.
I wanted to share with you, my Dolls, what we did in the city and some of the places we visited. If you make a trip to the city in the near future, it can serve as a little guide.
Adam (maybe you’ll learn more about him in future posts) and I arrived in the city at about 12:30 pm. After that point, we kind of lost track of time for the rest of the day. We walked from Port Authority to Columbus Circle, stopping for an obvious cup of Starbucks and at a few little shops. We found this one outdoor shopping center on one of the 40-something streets. It was cute and reminded me a lot of a craft fair. After deciding not to buy anything there, we continued walking another few blocks in the heat. The temperatures were definitely in the upper 80s.
Blossom du Jour
By the time we got to Columbus Circle we needed a break. Since I’m vegetarian and Adam’s vegan, he decided to look up a few veg-friendly restaurants in the area. Blossom du Jour was located in Columbus Circle and sounded right up our alley. Adam put it into his phone’s GPS and tried to find it. We walked in circles for about 30 minutes. The GPS said we were literally right on top of the restaurant, but we didn’t see it anywhere. I finally called the restaurant and they told us it was located under Columbus Circle near the subway in a place called “Turnstyle at Columbus Circle.” We really were on top of it the entire time.
As we walked down the stairs towards the subway, we were instantly transported into an artsy shopping center with stores like Dylans Candy Bar and Lush. There were tiled tables in the middle of the concourse for people to sit and eat, and there was a musician playing to add to the ambiance. I was in complete awe, like we had stepped into another world.
We found Blossom du Jour, finally. Adam got “The Midtown Melt,” which was made with spicy seitan, vegan cheese, and guacamole, and I picked myself up a vegan red velvet cupcake for later.
The icing on the cupcake was a little bit sugary but in a good kind of way. It tasted like there was a hint of carrot in the cake part, which made the cupcake very interesting. I was overall impressed with it. Adam seemed to have enjoyed his melt, as well. He liked the way they cooked the seitan.
After that, I needed to show Adam my favorite hotel in the entire world: Hudson Hotel. It’s not only my favorite hotel because an episode of Gossip Girl was filmed there (season 2, episode 2: “Never Been Marcused”), but also because it kind of reminds me of Alice in Wonderland. The last few times I had been to Hudson Hotel was during colder weather, so the Sky Terrace wasn’t open. This time, I was finally able to explore the outdoor terrace.
It was absolutely gorgeous. It was filled with large potted plants, cute patio items and a string of lights for nighttime. The hotel, once again, reminded me of something out of Alice in Wonderland.
The Library Bar is another cool part of the hotel. I had been there when I had stayed at the Hudson Hotel for my birthday, and I just had to visit again. The Library Bar is really cool because it actually looks like a two-story library. Adam and I shared the French Fleur cocktail (vodka, elderflower, hibiscus syrup, and lemon) and enjoyed the ambiance for a few moments. Everything about this hotel is absolutely breathtaking.
Adam and I shared the French Fleur cocktail (vodka, elderflower, hibiscus syrup, and lemon) and enjoyed the calming ambiance for a few moments.
Gossip Girl actually filmed one of the scenes from “Never Been Marcused” at this bar. In that scene, Nate and the Duchess happen to be sitting on the very same couch Adam and I are sitting on in the picture below. (I rewatched the episode again after going to NYC just to check.)
We did a tiny bit of bar hopping while in the city. After doing quite a bit of research, Adam and I found a bar, Limon Jungle, that had $5 margaritas during happy hour. That’s pretty much the cheapest price for alcohol you’ll find in the city. We walked to the bar’s Hell’s Kitchen location and both enjoyed our margaritas (mine on the rocks, his blended, both with salt).
After this bar, we realized how hungry we were, so we started walking towards our dinner destination on 79th Street. It was a pretty far walk from the last bar, so we decided to take a break at Eats. It was a few minutes past happy hour, but the bar kindly let us still have the happy hour drink specials. I got a glass of the bar’s house red wine for $6.50, and Adam got a bottle of Heineken Light for $5. Again, these prices were pretty darn good for city prices.
While we were at Eats, I decided it was a good idea to try to get reservations at Candle 79, a vegan restaurant, for dinner. It was already 7:30 pm, and we were starving. When I tried to make reservations online, the earliest seating available was 9 pm. I called the hostess. She told me the that the earliest reservation was 9 pm but that we could try to get a seat at the bar and order off the dinner menu. I looked up a few other restaurants in the area for a backup plan, but Adam said he had a good feeling about Candle 79 and that we should just walk there.
Adam and I finished our drinks and walked a few more streets down to Candle 79. When we walked in, the hostess seated us immediately. I noticed there were even a few more open tables. It took a little while for our waiter to get to our table, but once we ordered the food came out really quickly.
I got the Chef’s Daily Hand Cut Pasta. The entree included long, hollow noodles, zucchini, asparagus, and spinach in a tomato sauce. I really enjoyed my entree. The sauce had a hint of a creamy taste to it, which made it so much more memorable. While I enjoyed my meal, I do wish I had chosen to try the Spaghetti & Wheat Balls instead, so I could have tried something different for once.
Adam ordered the Lobster-Mushroom Ravioli. There was no lobster or meat-free lobster substitute in the ravioli at all. The mushroom itself is actually known as a “lobster” mushroom. I tried some of his dish, obviously. Even though the meal was vegan, the “cheese” inside the ravioli tasted very similar to real ravioli cheese. I thought it was incredibly delicious.
Overall, we were content with our experience at Candle 79. Personally, I want to go back there again to try the Spaghetti & Wheat Balls. (I’m still regretting not getting it over a week later.)
Those few places were the highlight of our trip to New York City. Usually, I’m the type of person who likes having a set plan for trips like these. I think it was better off that Adam and I went with the flow that day. I think that’s what made our trip to NYC perfect.
Definitely, give some of these places a try next time you’re in the city!
Have a lovely week, my Dolls!
Not every date is going to work out perfectly, especially not the first one. Read my last post, “Surviving First Dates,” for some tips on how to make a first date go as smoothly as possible!