New York. One of the greatest cities in the world. At least for me it is.
So far 2018 has felt like it's been providing me with a bit of a shit-kicking. There is no other way to describe it, it's been nasty. Between work challenges and a winter that feels like the next ice age is upon us, it's been rough. Really, shittily, rough.
So thank goodness for small favours, like a few energizing, life-affirming, fabulous days in New York City. I had the pleasure of going two times in less than 12 months after not being there since the 80's. It was a wholly different place then: grittier, dirtier, meaner and generally a heck of a lot more dangerous. Now, it seems cleaner than most Canadian cities, the people are genuine and crazy friendly, and simply, it's just beautiful. The beauty of the architecture, the decor, the food. It seems as though everyone puts in a massive effort to make their city world-class. It's so incredibly inspiring, it makes my heart hurt just a little.
During my first trip I had the opportunity to work on a dinner promoting British Columbia wines and seafood at the historic James Beard Foundation. The JBF is a national non-profit culinary arts organization which celebrates, nurtures and honours America's diverse culinary heritage through a variety of programs that help educate people about American cuisine, but also to support and promote chefs and other industry professionals. This was a personal highlight for me, as I have a history with the foundation; I was awarded a JBF scholarship to attend the Cordon Bleu in Paris. It meant so much to me to finally visit this celebrated place and say thank you in person.
But this last trip was all about fun. It was a special birthday for one of my dearest friends and we wanted to do something particularly delightful. She had to be in New York for work, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity. We walked over 40km (and I ran another 10km along the Hudson) in a mere two and a half days. We revelled in stunning design and art. We walked to Brooklyn. We earned every delicious meal and cocktail we had. We soaked up the culture and soul of the city like a thirsty sponge.
There is nothing I can say that hasn't been said before about this iconic place. I just know I need to continue to go: it changes my perspective, awakens my creativity and makes me want to do and be better. I feel like it's a place I fit in, I understand and makes sense to me. Thank you New York, for helping me hobble through the worst bout of winter blues in ages.
Here is a list of some of my favourite spots—enjoy!
Buvette: The food, the decor, it's simply perfection. I do LOVE Buvette!
Chelsea Market: A particularly cool building with endless spots to eat, shop and just enjoy.
L'Artusi: The dreamiest pasta I've had in ages.
Ivan Ramen Clinton Street: The triple garlic mazemen topped with a roasted tomato is worth the trip to the Lower East Side. The flavour and comfort factor is out of this world.
Dirt Candy: Chef Amanda Cohen is a Canadian cooking up brilliant veggies on the Lower East Side. Creative, thoughtful and spectacularly delicious.
Mission Chinese: Even if you just go for the Blue Crab Fragrant Rice, you won't be disappointed
Bien Cuit Brooklyn: This bakery in Brooklyn is a perfect destination after the walking over the bridge. They have another location in Manhattan, and their breads are gorgeous.
Roman & Williams Guild: This shop/café sums up beautiful, thoughtful, effort-full design (meaning: it takes real effort to make beautiful things, and it shows). Stunning. You have to see it in person.