16
Nov 15

NYC Adventures: Cider, museums, an albino peacock

One of my friends came into town this weekend, and of course it was chock-full of activities.

Cider Week

It was Cider Week so there were a bunch of free tastings throughout the city. We focused on the Upper West Side, where we passed Lincoln Center, always so pretty at night.

We imbibed much free wine and cider, but we did each buy a bottle of delicious cinnamon hard cider from one place. Then we capped off an evening of drinking in the perfect way: yummy ramen at Jin Ramen.

The Cloisters

The next day we went to the Cloisters, which, even after all my years in New York, I’ve never been to before. It took a while to get there. At first we thought we had made a mistake paying over six dollars for a fancy bus instead of a local city one. But the six dollar bus took less than 20 minutes while the regular one would have taken an hour.

Before we went to the museum, we got sandwiches at this old school deli nearby. “Old school” meaning you pick all the ingredients for your sandwich. My friend was at a complete loss. I guess she’s only been to places where they have a limited selection of sandwiches with clever names.

Although it was chilly out, we ate on a bench outside. I got mortadella, which is basically high-quality bologna. My friend got some kind of roast pork. She asked to try mine and I said sure, and then tried to take a quarter.

“That’s not a bite!” I said.

“But I’ll give you some of mine.”

No thanks. I’ll stick with my chichi bologna.

After we finished eating, we headed up to the museum. Around it is a lovely park with a beautiful view of the Hudson River.

The museum was lovely too. I splurged on the audio tour, which was well worth it, although I did get pooped out after about an hour.

Cooper Hewitt

It was a two-museum day! Later that night we went to the Cooper Hewitt, which is pay what you wish after six on Saturdays. The main exhibit was on Pixar, which was just okay to be honest. I think it was designed primarily for kids. We really enjoyed their permanent exhibit however.

An Upper West Side Sunday

My friend had wanted to take a day trip somewhere, but she had a bit of an upset stomach and wasn’t wearing the most comfortable shoes. However, she did manage to walk across Central Park to Absolute Bagels.

There was a line all the way down the sidewalk, but it moved pretty quickly, and I felt in the mood for the whole experience.

And it was totally worth it. The bagels were fresh and hot. I got my favorite: sesame with lox spread.

As per New York design, it had a shit ton of cream cheese. I gave my friend almost half (she had gotten no cream cheese). I managed to eat my entire bagel and a bit of her cinnamon raisin. Yum.

Our next stop was Saint John the Divine. Since half the cathedral was roped off for a service, the outside grounds were more interesting. There was this huge crazy statue —

— and, randomly, an albino peacock.

After that we stopped in the Hungarian Pastry Shop, a place I frequented often during my college days. Even after so much bagel, I wanted something sweet, and got this chocolate hazelnut ganache thing. It was delicious.

Speaking of my college days, next we visited Columbia and Barnard. At Low Library, I showed my friend the secret owl hidden in the robes of the Alma Mater statue. At that time, a woman was looking for it and couldn’t find it. She was happy to know where it was.

It’s been a long time since I visited Barnard, and I was surprised to find the student center was completely fancy and redone. We used the free wifi and filled our water bottles from the bottle filling station. It all made me wish I was back in college.

It was kind of an exhausting weekend, but a very nice way to spend a few beautiful, late fall days.


18
Oct 15

NJ Adventures: Drinking, art, leaf peeping

A good thing about moving back to the east coast is being able to visit my parents more easily and often. But a parental visit doesn’t mean I can’t necessarily get out and have some fun.

Terhune Orchards

After walking around downtown Princeton, my friend Aki and I headed out to Terhune Orchards. They also have a winery and tasting room, the main reason for our visit.

I’ve never really been into alcohol, between having Asian flush syndrome and not knowing what to drink. But ever since Aki took me to my first wine tasting last November, I’ve been hooked.

The tiny amounts are just enough to get me tipsy. Plus I like the variety and not having to drink a big glass of something I don’t like. My favorite at Terhune was a white that tasted like honeysuckle.

After the tasting, we went into their general store. That was craziness. I guess on that beautiful fall day, everyone thought going to an apple orchard was a good idea. Speaking of which, Terhune is famous for their apple cider donuts. They smelled SO GOOD, but the line was crazy long, and like a brat I didn’t want to wait out in the cold.

Princeton University Art Museum

Later we headed out to the art museum at Princeton University. Admission is always free, but that night they also had a lecture. What was the lecture about? Who knows: we were there for the freeze booze and hors d’oeuvres.

We weren’t the only ones. People would descend like vultures upon whatever poor waitperson appeared with a tray. Not that I didn’t have plenty of spring rolls and chicken satay myself, but I tried not to be too pushy about it.

I did manage to get in some art though:

Red Horses of the Sidhe, by Leonara Carrington

As well as a couple of beautiful autumns trees:

Hopewell Valley Vineyards

After the museum we went to this beautiful winery. We got a few mini pizzas to share and a bottle of “white merlot,” which was basically a sweet rose. Aki picked it because I like sweet wine. Hopefully other people did too.