NYC and Roosevelt Birthplace NHS



In May, we were able to make a very quick trip to New York City.  We usually spend a day there in winter, when we are visiting my parents in Connecticut for the holidays, but this year I was pretty sick over winter break, so I didn’t think I would do too well wandering around NYC for a day.  We flew out of Charlotte with our friend Jordan on a Friday afternoon, arriving around dinnertime.  Once checking in to our hotel and meeting up with another friend, Dave, we began our eating tour of NYC.  There are so many amazing vegan restaurants in New York that it is impossible to eat at them all, but we always try to take advantage of as many as possible while visiting.  So our first restaurant was Wild Ginger.  An Asian restaurant, it was very hard to choose what to eat since everything looked so good!  I had Tofu Skin Wraps and Tofu Teriyaki.  The food was fantastic, as was the company.  Besides Dave and Jordan, we were also able to meet up with another old friend, Alie, so we chatted for a long time into the evening.  We then took a walk to try to go to Lula’s Sweet Apothecary, but it was closed for repairs.  I was almost in tears because I could not get my hot fudge sundae.  Lula’s is my favorite dessert place, ever!  Dave was pretty excited to go to Big Gay Ice Cream though.  Sadly, they have no vegan flavors, but are still pretty awesome.

Cinnamon Snail

Cinnamon Snail

The next morning, Jordan, Anthony, and I went first to find Cinnamon Snail, a vegan food truck.  They have vegan donuts and baked goods, so we gorged ourselves on sweets first thing in the morning.  It almost made up for the disappointment at Lula’s the night before.  I had a cinnamon roll and a turnover.  Nothing like a sugar high first thing in the morning!  Then we had a nice surprise.  My parents came into the city for the day to see us!  We thought they’d have trouble coming in because the Metro North train they were planning to take was running irregularly due to a huge accident the day before.  But miraculously, they made it into the city exactly when we planned!  It was great to see them, and we spent a really nice day with them.  We went to lunch at Eisenbergs Sandwich Shop, which holds the motto “Raising New York’s Cholesterol Since 1929”.  Perfect.  Still stuffed from lunch, I just had some onion rings and fries, but my parents were very pleased with their sandwiches.  We then went to our only NPS site visit of the trip, Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site.  We had a great tour, learning a lot about the early life of Teddy Roosevelt.  I did not know, for instance, that he was a sickly child.  We think of him as this iconic man, on a horse, the Rough Rider and explorer, but he started out life pretty sick and weak.  Through exercise and diet, he became the man we know today.  He also read at least two books – a day!!  I loved that fact.  Seeing the preserved house, mostly recreated, was pretty cool.  They were a wealthy family, and the furnishings were rich, but also understated.

Sadly, it began to rain after our visit.  We stumbled upon a dance parade and then made our way down to Rockefeller Center.  We met up with Anthony’s family.  His mom and stepdad had come to the city to celebrate a big birthday, and various other family members came in as well to join in the festivities.  The first thing we all did together was go to the Top of the Rock.  The observation deck is really neat, and even though it was raining and foggy, we could still see pretty far across Manhattan, and especially into Central Park.  The views were stunning and though we were chilly, we still enjoyed the experience.

We herded the family, minus my parents who had to get back to Connecticut on the train, through the subway to eat dinner at La Mela.  A staple in Little Italy, La Mela has some great gnocchi that we happily munched on, as we enjoyed the people watching from our table on the sidewalk.  The family had a great, relaxing dinner, enjoying each other’s company.  Shortly though, Anthony and I had to head out to get to a show at Webster Hall.  A reunion show for Judge, a band that both Anthony and I have loved from a young age.  The show was packed and we both saw lots of people we knew from all over.  Lots of people traveled for the show, and when Judge finally came on, people went crazy.  It was an awesome show, and they sounded fantastic.  Afterwards, lured by a promise of tasty Brussels sprouts (seriously) we ate a late meal with some friends at The Smith.

Brooklyn Mac

Brooklyn Mac

Sunday it was rainy and cold, all day unfortunately.  We took the train over the Brooklyn to go to Brooklyn Flea.  The outdoor vendors were shutting down because of the rain, but we spent time in the indoor area.  Then we went to Brooklyn Mac a mac and cheese restaurant that has vegan options.  It was seriously amazing.  You can custom order your mac and cheese, I had broccoli, vegan bacon and steak, and Cornflake topping.  Then they bake it.  I enjoyed every single bite.  I was full, but tried to stuff in a donut at Dun-Well Doughnuts, while chatting with our friend Kim, who was also in town for the Judge reunion.  We spent the rest of our day in the East Village, wandering in toy shops and such, especially in Toy Tokyo.  We then had a late lunch/early dinner at Mamoun’s.  A staple in New Haven, CT, they have other locations and we happened to be near the one in NYC.  Still stuffed from lunch, it was hard to eat another meal, but we all managed somehow.  Then it was on to the airport, and eventually, after multiple delays, home.  A quick, but very fun, packed trip!



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