To The West Side We Go
After we left the urban oasis that is the NYC High Line, we dropped right onto Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District. I love this area because it reminds of an older New York when things were being shipped right off the docks on the Hudson to ports unknown and immigrants were bobbing past the Statue of Liberty en route to Ellis Island. There are still some cobblestone streets and huge brick warehouses. These warehouses have since been converted into some of the trendiest boutiques (think Gucci, DVF, La Perla) and some really unique restaurants. If you know anything about me, you know that the Meatpacking District is my kind of place. Instead of choosing a restaurant right away, Nick let me drag him up and down a few streets to just take the city in. I popped into a few shops but I seriously felt like a total suburbanite. I got really excited by the Paige Denim store and the Levi's location where you can "make" your own jeans. Oh well, it's fun not to be jaded.
Usually on a trip like this I over-plan everything with the thought that who knows when we'll get there next. But this time I didn't and it actually worked out okay. As we were leaving the High Line Nick spotted a restaurant right across the way. In the window it said "pit-smoked barbecue" and we were sold. Turns out the restaurant was Bubby's High Line, an off-shoot of the famous Bubby's in Tribeca. Bubby's is by no means a bbq restaurant but a good spot for some American Eats. Besides having the most delicious pulled pork sandwich with spicy sauteed broccoli (that I'm working on replicating at home), they have all local NY brews. Keeping it local is definitely the way to my heart. That and the adorable attached ice cream parlor and outside sno-ball stand didn't hurt either.
After we refueled we did two very awesome things: visited the Chelsea Market and got drinks at a beer garden. Let's start with Chelsea Market: I have wanted to go here since I've been in high school and started watching the Food Network. In case you didn't know the Food Network films many of their shows in studio above the Chelsea Market and I have watched countless segments they filmed there. Besides that Chelsea Market is just a food lover's dream. From seafood to a crepe bar, I could have spent all day there. Even though I was full from lunch I forced myself to make a little room for hot sugar donuts from the Doughnuttery. No one can resist hot donuts!
I would have loved to spend forever in the Chelsea Market but it was such a gorgeous day in NYC that we couldn't spend all day inside. While we wandered up and down the streets, even stumbling through what I believe was a movie set, we happened on the Standard Hotel. This super trendy hotel sits kind of inside the High Line. They have a restaurant that is directly under the walkway and the hotel pushes up through part of the High Line. I'm saving my pennies to stay there one day.
Besides having a gorgeous restaurant that sits below the High Line (think French bistro/Sex and the City brunch hot spot) they also have a beer garden. I know, I know. I spend enough time at beer gardens in Philly. But I just couldn't resist. We were directly below the High Line and it was an enchanting set up. They tried to make it look as much like a German beer hall as possible. The bars are a beautiful cream color with mirrors and sconces and striped awnings. I love attention to detail like that. All the beer was authentically German and they even had the big Bavarian pretzels hanging on a pretzel rack. I only wish it hadn't been so dark so I could take better pictures!
After a few beers and a trip to the bathroom which resulted in an expensive but totally worth it photo strip, we decided to make our way back to midtown and Penn Station. Rather than grab a cab we decided it was just so nice out that we could walk the twenty or so blocks back. That was a great experience in and of itself; Nick and I got to chat and window shop and feel a part of the city. I can't say enough about getting to feel like a local in a big city. Of course that all ended when we got swept up in the chaos of midtown Manhattan but it was one wonderful and magical day in the city.