A Tourist In My City


Hope you’ve all had great holiday weekends and are having an easy time getting back to the grind. It’s always tough to transition back into “normal” life… it’s been a week and a half since I’ve been to class, so today is all about studying and resetting my brain in “school-mode.” Which means copious amounts of coffee and going to sleep at a decent hour and waking up before 10. Oh vacation, I miss you already!

Speaking of coffee, my friend Ryan and I went to a really cool shop yesterday called Roasting Plant.

roasting plant.JPG

Roasting Plant’s founder is an industrial engineer; vacuum technology sucks the beans (a huge variety of coffees from around the world) out of these large tubes and transports them around the store. Each cup is brewed fresh just for you!

roasting plant.jpg

There’s also a milk tap where you can choose your creamer. (Sadly there was no soy, but I’ve actually been drinking my coffee black lately anyway.)
milk taps.jpg

We took our coffee and strolled along the High Line, which, as a New Yorker, I’m embarrassed to admit having only visited once. If you’ve never heard of the High Line, it’s an elevated park that runs about two miles along Manhattan’s West Side. There are benches, gardens, birdhouses, beverage and treat spots, and is just a really pleasant place to take a walk.


Another part of New York I rarely see is the view looking down on Midtown Manhattan. I was babysitting in the area over the weekend, and the view from the hotel the family was staying in is simply breathtaking! It’s not a neighborhood I’d want to live in (it’s pretty crowded and is mostly populated by large businesses and skyscrapers) but it was pretty magical.

Another night found me in Bryant Park, where a craft market and ice skating ring had been set up for the holiday season. I sat with a friend sipping cocoa and watching the skaters play, and once again I felt something magical buzzing through the city air. (I held on to this feeling by going home and watching Harry Potter ;-) .)


It’s fun to have an excuse to sightsee in your own city. Several of my fellow New Yorkers and I talked this weekend about how we never do typical “touristy” things, like ride the ferry, climb the stairs inside the Statue of Liberty, see the top of the Empire State Building, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, and so on. We take for granted that these things will always be around for a rainy day, or that we’ll take an out-of-town friend when they visit. But why wait? I felt as though I saw my city with fresh eyes and I fell in love with it all over again. It wasn’t only the familiar place where I grew up and knew where to go to eat or find the perfect pair of boots, but a place that sparkles and shines and dazzles all over again.

Still, living in a city, you learn some of its secrets, like where all the independent bookstores and best cups of coffee and good stoops are.
westsider books.jpg

You can (almost) always have it both ways.


Goal for 2011 update: Cook One New Recipe A Week

Week 1: Lemony Spaghetti with Bitter Greens & Chickpeas

Week 2: Lentil Chili

Week 3: Chickpeas in Star Anise & Date Masala

Week 4: Thai-Style Black Beans w/ Mango & Cilantro

Week 5: Ten Minute Tasty Asparagus & Brown Rice, Brussels Sprouts Salad with Cheddar and Toasted Almonds, Warm Red Lentil Salad, Garlicky Sesame-Cured Broccoli Salad.

Week 6: Beets, Spiced Quinoa & Yogurt, Sesame-Cooked Eggs Over Rice

Week 7: Curried Parsnip Fries

Week 8: Curried Lentils & Sweet Potatoes

Week 9: Rutabagas with Buckwheat, Black Beans & Kale, Garlicky Mushroom Greens

Week 10: Tamarind Lentils, The Double-Shift Scramble

Week 11: Spicy Chickpea Salad, Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheeze, Spicy Red Lentil, Peanut & Pumpkin Soup

Week 12: Sunday Night Supper Salad, Peanut Butter Banana-Berry French Toast Sandwich

Week 13: Grilled Cheddar-Mushroom Sandwich

Week 14: Black Bean Soup, Sweet Pumpkin Pudding

Week 15: Green Rice

Week 16: Matzoh Buttercrunch Candy,  Quinoa with Moroccan Winter Squash and Carrot Stew

Week 17: Truffled Turnip Soup, Nutty Lemon Brussels Sprouts, Cookie Dough Smoothie

Week 18: Raw Chocolate Fudge Cake, Spring Pasta

Week 19: Chopped Kale w/ Hot Pepper Vinegar

Week 20: Ultimate Veggie Burgers, Mmm Sauce

Week 21: Ribbed Asparagus Salad with Lemon, Spinach & Chickpeas, Chocolate-Chip Blondies, Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough Pancakes, Leek Zucchini Pasta Salad

Week 22: Sesame Ginger Kale Salad, Hoisin Ginger Tofu with Smoky Tahini Slaw  

Week 23: Pan-Seared Asparagus Salad with Frisée and Fried Egg, Baked Ziti, Brown Butter Banana Strawberry Bread, Green Bowl   

Week 24: Quinoa Cookies, Chocolate Mousse

Week 26: Sweet Potato Stuffed with Caramelized Tempeh and Sautéed Kale, Shaved Fennel Salad, Summer Pesto

Week 27: Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

Week 28: Choco-holic Pancakes

Week 29: Green Israeli Couscous Salad

Week 30: Swiss Chard with Currants and Pine Nuts

Week 31: Babaganoush Soup, Freekeh Risotto, Brown Butter (Plum) Cake or Cobbler

Week 32: (Modified) Tomato Salad on a Roll

Week 33: None :-(

Week 34: None :-(

Week 35: Pappardelle with Spiced Butter

Week 36: Cucumber Peanut Salad, Grilled Peach and Avocado Salad

Week 37: Nut-Butter Crusted Fries

Week 38: Harvest Bread, Red Lentil Soup, Halibut with North African Spices, Warm Shrimp Salad with Red Chili, Kamut and Tarragon

Week 39: Roasted Garbanzo Beans and Garlic with Swiss Chard, White Bean and Parmesan Baked Orzo, Rustic Plum Crostata with Lemon Thyme

Week 40: Chocolate Cherry Pumpkin Bread

Week 41: Pumpkin Boatmeal for One

Week 42: Hot Apple Pie Pancakes, Lentil Stew with Pumpkin, Tamari Roasted Chickpeas

Week 43: Pear-Apple Compote, Four Easy Pizzas

Week 44: Pumpkin Softies, Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie for One

Week 45: Rice + Beans for One, Rosemary Kale Chips

Week 46: One-Minute Chocolate Cake

Week 47: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Pecans and Avocado

Week 48: German Chocolate Chip Cupcakes, Brussels Sprouts and Chestnuts in Brown Butter Sauce, Spaghetti with Walnuts and Anchovies

Do you tour your own city? What sights and rare gems do you like to visit?

7 comments to A Tourist In My City

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

− 1 = eight