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  • 26 Hours in NYC: *part two

    (originally published on April 29, 2013)

    If you missed part one of our 26 Hours in NYC trip, you'll want to read that first here.

    On the second day of our 26 hour whirlwind trip to NYC, we rose fairly early despite staying for "one more drink" at the Top of the Strand.

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    We checked out of the hotel before 10:00 am and left our bags with the bellhop to guard while we ran around the city.

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    We both like the quietish Sunday mornings in NYC and decided to walk towards the Village, where we had brunch plans later. On our way, we passed the Empire State Building.

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    And this moving tribute, outside the Marble Collegiate Churchto those who had lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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    We ended up in Madison Square Park, a favorite spot of ours.

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    On the other side of the park, this wonderful statue, Bird, is temporarily installed across from the Flatiron building. 

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    This is a detail of the nest.

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    It was 10:30 am and the Mr. decided it was time for us to get a hot dog. At Gray's Papaya. We also had the papaya drink. The whole combo was indescribably awesome! Here's a little atmospheric capture on Vine.

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    Brunch wasn't until noon so we wandered around the West Village for a while. 

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    How lovely is this?

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    Next time, Bobo, next time!

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    So New York.

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    Eventually it was time to eat again, and a crowd had gathered outside, waiting for Empellon Taqueria to open its doors.

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    Remember we just ate a hot dog an hour and a half ago, so we decided to stick with the chicharrones with refried beans and cotija cheese and the chips with a sampling of these seven salsas:

    1. Sikil Pak (pumpkin seeds, tomato, onion, garlic, cinnamon, epazote, sour orange juice, serrano) 
    2. Smoked Cashew (smoked cashews, chipotle) 
    3. Salsa Borracha (pasilla Oaxaqueña, orange juice, mezcal)
    4. Salsa Verde (tomatillo, cilantro, serrano)
    5. Tomatillo - Chipotle (chipotle, roasted tomatillos, roasted garlic, honey)
    6. Salsa De Arbol (arbol, cider vinegar, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, spices) 
    7. Salsa Habañera (habañero, orange juice, grapefruit, Mexican oregano)

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    The Smoked Cashew salsa was our favorite! It may sound strange but it is delicious. A must-try if you ever go. All of the salsas were fantastic, although I must warn you about the habañera -- it almost sizzled off my taste buds. Very hot!

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    This drink is the whole reason I wanted to go there. Smoked. Banana. Mezcal. Margarita. 

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    Since we clearly had not eaten enough that day, we left Empellon and rounded the corner towards Magnolia Bakery, which was a complete cluster inside. Cupcakes here, there, everywhere, and no order I could discern. 

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    I went with the Cupcake of the Month, lemon, and the Mr. grabbed a German Chocolate Cake version. 

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    Which we ate here on the High Line.

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    I love the whole idea of the High Line but, in practice, it was narrow in many places, super crowded, and made me want to flee. Especially after I almost broke both legs tripping over one of these benches. 

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    But there were some cool things to see there. I loved this installation by El Anatusui, Broken Bridge II, the best! 

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    Here's where our plans got a little off track. We walked down 23rd street through Chelsea back over to Eataly across from Madison Square Park, hoping to grab a brewski at their rooftop bar, Birreria. I was in full-on introvert shut down mode at this point, so the Mr. decided to stop and get his haircut while I sat outside on the bench. Perfect plan, except I was soon joined by a woman who chatted with me the entire time. And when we finally arrived at Eataly, it was so packed and so loud, I wanted to lay down on the floor, curl up in a little ball, and rock until all the people went away. (Introverts, you know what I am talking about!)

    We exited quickly and wandered up the street to The John Dory Oyster Bar.

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    Where it was quiet. And there were fish tanks to watch. And I could get myself back to neutral. I even captured the fish on Vine. Soothing, right?

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    We still had a little bit of time left before we had to pick up our bags and head to the LimoLiner for our trip home. I was still exhausted so the Mr. thought we could just grab a beer at one of the Irish pubs near our hotel. Truth be told, it smelled like a frat house and the bar was sticky. But look, it's Happy Hour all day!

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    We then grabbed our bags at the Strand and headed towards the LimoLiner pickup point. Realizing that despite all the food establishments we had been in that day, we were still hungry for a little snack before the bus left at 6:15 pm. Bellies full, we climbed aboard, and I snoozed the whole way home!

    To see all the locations we visited on our 26 Hour Trip to NYC, click over to Tripline and watch the animated map I created for you! (Press play in the upper right-hand corner.)