As an English major at college, one was penalized for the use of “trite, cliche, or overused phrases or words.” I have a pretty good feeling that if I had written anywhere in a paper “fall in New York,” I would’ve been marked down. Because it is cliche to say that fall is the best time in New York, isn’t it?
But cliches are like stereotypes, they’re not random, and in my opinion, fall really is the best time in New York City. Maybe it’s because after the sweltering hot summer, stinky subway trips, swarms of tourists, and lack of (an) AC unit, it feels nice to get back into a schedule, see familiar faces, and embrace the change in season.
If you were in the city on Saturday you know this to be true. There was no better way to bring in the start of fall than Saturday, September 11th. Warm, crisp, and beautiful. It was the kinda of day that made me wish I was a great writer or photographer so that I could, in some way, capture or explain the awing serenity the day brought. It’s the kind of day that reminds everyone in New York why this city is so great, and what it stands for.
For me, no day is completely magical without good food and people. Luckily I had multiple shares of both.
After lounging around a few hours (appropriately after a Friday night out) my partner in crime and I set out to find the city’s best falafel at Taim. The shop, hidden between a church and village brownstones, revealed itself as being a hot spot not only we wanted to try. Eating that falafel on a nearby sunny stoop; no words. You know food is good when there’s no conversation. Case in point.
Our sandwiches were literally so good I could have eaten another right after I finished the first. One of the most memorable NYC sandwiches.
After wandering around and forcing my slightly hungover friend to get ice cream (I had to!) we joined a group of people at The Standard Biergarten in the meatpacking district. Besides the frattiness of this place, if you’ve got a good group of people it’s worth the trip. After about two big beers and a rather large pretzel (which I’ve seen friends house in about 30 seconds) the exposed brick and awned beirgarten begins to fill up and you realize (if you find it wise to make eye contact) that you know about half the occupancy hold of the bar.
Departing at just the right time, around sunset, a stroll down the Hudson River back home was just what I needed. Granted this river is polluted beyond polluted, as the sun was setting and I watched the skyline I reaffirmed my belief that I was truly blessed to live in New York.
Power-napping, showering, and rebooting our energy I was bound to show my virgin Locanda Verde diner a good meal. After spotting Tommy Hilfiger at the door, after all it is NYC fashion week, trays of wonderful food awaited us. Locanda Verde, in my opinion, is one of the best (and not over-rated) restaurants in the city. But it’s not without flaws. The wait staff is pretentious, plain and simple. If that doesn’t deter you, stay, because the food is worth it.
To fuel my low blood sugar, fresh ricotta with cracked black pepper served with charred bread was needed before I could even look at the menu. Fortunately, I already knew what I was ordering … lamb meatball sliders, so orgasmic it makes me wish I could eat these masterpieces all day, every day, orecchiette with duck sausage and crisp broccoli, and cod with roasted artichokes and fennel. That and a very deep, cherry infused bottle of red wine and I thought I could lay down and die at peace. We split all our dishes, way too expensive for my budget otherwise.
Alas, I woke up and realized I had forgotten the most important thing! Dessert! What was I thinking? Another fault about this fabulous food mecca is that the dessert menu doesn’t read well. After designing a menu in school, and reading many, many dessert menus in my life, a menu has to scream, “Eat me! Now!”
Having a view of the kitchen line, the desserts coming out looked phenomenal. Every time one passed, I’d think, “Oh! What is that?!” but when the menu arrived I couldn’t even tell what popped out. I was uninterested.
Luckily, Bubby’s is across the street. So drunkly we stumbled into Bubby’s around 12:30 AM (it’s open 24 hr. a day) and ate two large pieces of pie, coffee/tea, and reveled in this lovely New York day.
Maybe it was my incredibly short dress, our good tip, or the fact that the only people coming in through tomorrow’s brunch would be drunk, stoned, or insomniacs … freshly baked scones (for the following morning’s service) we’re our parting gift. I’d love to tell you we waited to eat them, having been so full we couldn’t even imagine eating more, but we did.
Stumbling into a cab, into bed, and staying there all day through the following rainy and cold Sunday completed, in my opinion, the perfect way to say, “I heart NY.”