A Picnic in Central Park
Monday July 29, 2013
On our final full day in NYC, I had grand plans. I originally wanted to do this on Friday but this worked out just as well. One of the big things that Chantelle wanted to do while in NYC was Central Park since she had never really done it in full before.
Off I went to do a little scheming and hatched a plan to combine some amazing food with Central Park.
With our usual late start, we head out of Jia’s apartment and decided to walk it over to the corner of 5th Ave and 59th Street. Instead of heading straight into the park, I detoured off to The Plaza Hotel and down into the Food Hall downstairs. It’s not something I initially would’ve thought of but Jia told me there was a Lady M and Luke’s Lobster down there so it was just the perfect combination for our little Central Park date. The food hall only opened May 23, 2012 so it’s still all relatively new. But hush..let’s keep this a secret between you and I.
Down in the Food Hall, we were giddy like school children, drooling over the cakes, desserts, sushi, chocolate, macaroons, lobster rolls and other things. Ultimately we stuck with my original plan and ordered a crab and lobster roll from Luke’s Lobster + 2 Lady M cakes which you’ll see later on. Oh and Chantelle added 2 macaroons from FP Patisserie.
From there we walked over to the South East corner of Central Park and found a nice patch of grass to have a little picnic. Oh and it was a glorious day to have a picnic as the sun was out in full force and the weather was just right under the shade. We were both shining in culinary delight as we took our photos and chowed down. Everything was just amazing. If you haven’t had Luke’s Lobster or Lady M, the lobster/crab rolls are the best you’ll ever have outside the Maritimes and the Lady M crepe cakes are truly one of a kind. We scarfed down everything including the two slices of cake…NO PROBLEM!
For the rest of the afternoon we roamed around Central Park and made our way up to the ice rink turned amusement park for kids, The Mall, the Bethesda Fountain and eventually to the Loeb Boat House to rent a row boat – something I had been wanting to do for a long time now.
Info: Boats are $12 per hour (cash only), $2.50 for each additional 15 minutes with a $20 cash deposit.
Pro Tip: Watch your time. That’s how they get you as you’re enjoying your time out on the lake. Even though we were watching our time, we made it back to the dock practically on the hour.
At first we had a catastrophe of a time steering the boat out of the dock mainly because I was so used to canoeing but eventually we both got the hang of it. We both took turns rowing the boat as we enjoyed the scenery around us. The lake itself is actually quite big and the hour allotted to us was just enough to get us all the way around the lake. Along the way we made friends with some crazy Jewish ladies that were having a ball of a time fooling around with their row boat. It was also such a nice day out that I had to go topless for a bit for some tanning. On the way back, we were a bit crunched for time so I had to take over and power it back to the dock. It was certainly a great choice to rent the row boat and I’d definitely do it again. I had a great time rowing for Chantelle and just kicking back when it was her turn
After our row boating, we just kept heading up north towards the Jacqueline Onassis Reservoir, with pitstops at the Belvedere Castle (closed already since it was past 5PM), The Great Lawn and some delicious Belgian waffle cart (nom nom waffle ice cream sandwich).
Our evening itinerary was the one and only Sleep No More but we didn’t have any clue what we were going to do for dinner. We head down by subway anyways back to the Chelsea area and roamed around near the theatre (McKittrick Hotel) until we accidentally stumbled upon a pizza place that I made out from far away that said “by Luzzo’s” (it was actually called OVEST pizzoteca we found out later). Once I saw that I knew it was an instant seal of approval and plus Chantelle had an itching for pizza. We ordered meatballs, arugula prosciutto pizza, and wine and beer to call it a meal and it was delicious. What made it even sweeter was that the restaurant was almost directly across from the theatre so we were in no rush to get into line for our 7:45PM ticket.
Now Sleep No More. I’ll bet most of you that are reading this probably don’t even know about this but for those that do, you must have some good friends in the city. I was introduced to Sleep No More by Jia a year ago and I was intrigued from the start. Without giving anything away, one can describe Sleep No More as an immersive live action theatre production staged in a film noir style on multiple floors of the McKittrick Hotel (not really a hotel), has actors roaming around the levels and is based on a adaptation of MacBeth. As they describe it, every Sleep No More experience is different for each person. You can do whatever you like at the McKittrick. Let your inhibitions go free.
The actors don’t’ really say anything. It requires a lot of running around. You have to wear a mask. There’s some killing involved. You might get pulled into the action. It’s feels almost dream like…that or you’re in some hyper psychotic state. It’s going to be non-linear. You’ll probably be nowhere close to figuring out the story. You’ll be confused as hell. But you’ll love it because it’s so epicly different from any kind of play or show you’ve watched. Yup that sums up how Sleep No More was.
Pro Tip: Make sure you wear comfortable running shoes because I guarantee you’ll be running around. Expect to be there a good 3+ hours. As a first-timer tip it’ll probably be better if you can just follow a few characters you stumble upon as closely as you can. Oh and don’t forget the top floor. We didn’t really explore it until the last 30-40 minutes.
After Sleep No More, I was determined to take Chantelle to Chicken Over Rice (Halal Guys) at least once on this trip so we subwayed over, educated her on the fact that all the Chicken Over Rice stalls were actually legit and that the only reason nobody goes to them is because everyone thinks the only real one is at the corner of 53rd and 6th. I would’ve gone to the other ones but the tourist way was to go to the original.
Back at Jia’s we scarfed down on some chicken over rice which is good just about at any time and as good as it was the last time I had it.
Pro Tip: That hot sauce is CRAZY hot. I’m pretty weak sauce when it comes to spicy and I was done with only two drops of the hot sauce. When you eat it you also want to drop in at least 3/4 of that cream sauce. It makes the chicken over rice infinitely better.
To finish off the night, we of course played Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 zombies. Last night to make it to the top! We sort of did but again we fell short of our goal of 35 rounds and died an unsatisfying death. Next time right? Jia says I should have some blog posts dedicated to only zombies. What do you think?
- The Plaza Hotel Food Hall (Luke’s Lobster, Lady M, FP Patisserie)
- Central Park
- OVEST pizzoteca
- Sleep No More @ the McKittrick Hotel
- Halal Guys @ 53rd and 6th