Okay so that might be the title of a movie that came out this past fall with a story-line similar to Love Actually. But I’m not here to talk about the movie. I’m talking about the city in general. Seriously, it rules (mostly). Having been born at the NYU Hospital and then lived in Brooklyn for a few years with family still there today, NYC holds a special place in my heart.
The weekend was full of running, sweating, and of course, eating. On Friday my fiancé and I headed to Central Park for the 5th annual Jamaica Underwear Run. Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like; a run through Central Park in your skivvies. Since it was just the two of us, we decided to keep our personal belongings with us, instead of haphazardly checking them. Let me tell you, running with a drawstring backback or camera bag is tough! Not being able to use your arms properly and having something slam against you makes running difficult. Not to mention it was a million degrees out. I never would have thought those 1.7 miles would have felt like that. At any rate, it was a leisurely run through Central Park, and my fiancé and I finished hand-in-hand at around 16 minutes.
Before the Undie Run Started!
From there, we headed to my friend’s apartment in Brooklyn, where we went on the prowl for some food. By the time we got there, showered, and we ready to go it was about 10p. Well, apparently not many restaurants in Park Slope are open past 11, and if you try to walk in at 10:15p, you’re turned away. We were going to grab Indian from Baluchi’s, but we just didn’t make it happen. The only places that seemed to be open later were Mexican joints, which I was more than happy with so we settled on Piramide.
The restaurant wasn’t empty, but being that it was 10:30p, it wasn’t crowded either. We started off with some made to order guacamole (extra spicy) which was super fresh. Definitely a step-up from my poor man’s guacamole, but hey – desperate times have called for desperate measures. I ordered the Piramide Pobalano Combo which was two poblano peppers; one with chicken and the other with cheese, fried to make it a delicious chile relleno and topped with a tomato chipotle sauce, served with rice and beans. It was very good, but at nearly double the price of Jose Tejas’ chile relleno which is a bit bigger and much fuller, I was merely okay with my decision.
My friend went with chicken fajitas that were seriously sizzling, and she enjoyed them. My fiancé ordered the Burrito Loco with steak, which was stuffed with peppers, onions, rice, beans, pico de gallo, sour cream and cheese topped with a salsa verde. This was also pretty good, but nothing out of this world. Because my fiancé and I have a similar palate and are often times indecisive, we decided to switch our plates half way through, so we could each sample two dishes. I think the guacamole was probably the highlight of the meal, which is okay since I love it.
After that our night ended, since we had to be up bright and early for the Central Park Conservancy Run, a 4-miler through the wonderful CP. Since we ran the night before and the registration fee was a little to steep for our wallet (nearly $40 by the time we knew about the race), my fiancé and I decided to be spectators instead of runners. This is actually the first time either of us attended a race, and didn’t actually run in it. It’s a weird feeling, similar to attending a swim meet and not swimming; you are relieved to not have the pre-race jitters and actual race pain, but at the same time, you feel a bit like a slacker. That’s exactly how we felt Saturday morning, but because it was so brutally hot, I was more than okay with being a spectator. We got ourselves a sweet spot at the finish, and were able to spot my friend (wearing the same polka dot shirt she does for every race) cruise across the finish line in 25:22. Yes, you read that correct. A fellow former swimmer running 4 miles in just over 25 minutes – and she looked comfortable the whole last leg. Envy I tell you, pure envy. It made me realize my running and excuse department is a bit lack-luster, and I should probably get myself out there more. But yes, enough whining about my running ability and back to the food. But seriously, awesome job Kir!
From there we headed to Washington Square Park, so I could get my hands on some Cake & Shake. A newer food truck on the scene, they offer daily cupcake and shake flavors and they also have pupcakes for the dogs! Since there were two of us, my fiancé and I decided to share a cupcake and a shake, and we picked the whatchamacallit cupcake and salted caramel shake. They were both equally awesome. The whatchamacallit is a milk chocolate cake with caramel mousse and a nougat frosting. The salted caramel needs no explanation, and was the perfect combination of sweet, creamy, and refreshing. If you are ever in the area, you need to get yourself a cupcake and/or (probably and) shake. I have every intention of heading back to get some more!
Salted Caramel Shake & Whatchamacallit Cupcake from Cake & Shake
Continuing our galavanting after hanging out in the park for a bit, we ventured over to Petite Abeille for some brunch. What a cute place! As soon as you walk in you’re welcomed with the smell of delicious Belgian waffles, and are then quickly ushered back to a table. They offer specials throughout the week (such as all you can eat mussels and a Stella on Wednesdays) and have an extensive beer list. Since it was brunch, I decided to order the Madame Croquet, which comprised of grilled ham and gruyere cheese and a sunny-side egg on top with a side of fries. My fiancé ordered the Gaufre Dame Blanche, which simply put were some Belgian waffles with ice cream and whipped cream, topped with a chocolate sauce. Both of our meals were good, but definitely not filling. We each ordered a coffee, mine iced and my fiancé’s hot, and his had a ton of coffee grinds floating in, and at the bottom of his cup. Our water also had a crayon-like taste, which was disappointing considering how incredibly hot it was outside. Overall, the food was okay, but the restaurant itself is adorable and the staff is friendly. If you’re looking for something small to eat, I’d recommend it, however, don’t expect a big hangover curing brunch because you won’t find it here.
Croque Madam from Petit Abeille
Gaufre Dame Blanche from Petit Abeille
To end the day, we headed to Coney Island for The Village Voice’s Siren Fest – a free music festival right in the heart of Coney Island. I was excited at the opportunity to see both Ted Leo and the Pharmacists and Matt & Kim, but unfortunately they didn’t go on until 7p, and it was just too brutally hot outside. We walked up and down the boardwalk a few times to use the breeze to our advantage, but we were still basically dripping sweat. We were too full from our stops earlier to enjoy some Nathan’s, so we called it quits pretty early, and headed back home.
Overall, there was a lot of eating and sweating this weekend in good ole NYC. Often times I’m envious of the lifestyle New Yorkers have, and this weekend was definitely a weekend I felt that way. There were a million options of things to do, and they could be done by simply hopping on a train. Not to mention the food is always amazing, and I really enjoy walking around everywhere. No wonder so many of you New Yorkers are so thin ;-). But then I remember it’s also nice to have my own backyard, and a slightly lower cost of living. But have no fear, I’ll be back again soon, because New York, you’re just too awesome to stay away from!