Thursday, November 7, 2013

NYC: A Four Course Meal

     What better recipe for a birthday gift than a wonderful trip to one of your favorite cities in the country: NYC! I love New York.  I have been many many times.  Each time I go I find another reason why I truly should be living there.  I've been for business and for pleasure.  I have gone with friends as well as solo.  Every time I'm in the city I attempt to try something different each time.  Whether it is a cuisine, a new drink, or even a site that I happened to stumble upon. 

     This one special trip was to celebrate my 35 birthday.  Yes I know what you are thinking he can't be 35.  Well unfortunately I am. I gathered a couple friends and we headed to the city to celebrate not only my birthday but also one of the greatest holidays of the year: Halloween.  My birthday is so close to this holiday that I have always been a fan of it.  I go all out every year in order to celebrate this festive day.  So besides the holiday festivities and debauchery what else can make a trip to this city a fantastic adventure?  Well here goes, one of the many "menu" options for a fantastic vacation in the city that never sleeps.

Antipasti: Amazing New York Attractions

     Of course when you come to the city why not check out some of the amazing sites and attractions.  New York was for many immigrants the first look into the new world for them. There are so many different things to see from the multiple bright lights of Times Square and Broadway to Central Park.  From The West Village to the 9/11 memorial.  From Little Italy threw China Town to the Lower East Side.  I have seen them all.  Each time something spectacular happens.  The buildings seem bigger, the lights brighter, and the park greener.  No matter what you come here to see each one is special in its own right.  See them all or just see a few special ones to your own desire. Sit and relax in the park, ride the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and just saunter around her.  Walk threw Times Square, stop and buy a quick souvenir, and a bite to eat.  Grab a cannoli in Little Italy and stop and buy some Chinese herbs in China Town. Do these as along as you take them in.  Take in all you can with just a deep breath, eyes closed, and a memory that will last you forever.

The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

Our view from Gaonnuri Restaurant
Best in the city

Primo: Cocktails, Bars, and Halloween Festivities

     I have been to the big apple on so many occasions, for the Christmas holiday and even right smack on Times Square for the New Year ball drop, not once but twice.  This time we decided to experience it for the Halloween season.  I discovered that New York has the largest Halloween parade in the country.  A parade that anyone can be in as long as you show up at the beginning of the parade in full costume you can march right along with bands, floats, large puppets, etc.  I have always been a huge fan of this holiday.  Maybe it is because my birthday falls two days before. Maybe it's genetic as most of my family has a sense of macabre in their hearts. Whatever it is, it is the greatest day of the year in my opinion.  Celebrating this in New York was an amazing trip.  The crowds of people and revelers in costume, the crisp Village air, and the bars packed with ghouls, witches, and goblins.  The spooky drinks, music, and cheers from everyone around who are all there for one reason and one reason only; the Halloween spirit. 

Me as the Band Leader from Hocus Pocus
The Parade

What does the Fox say?

Jay Gatbsy, Daisy, and Skeleton Band

Secondo: Wonderful Opportunity of Meeting The Staff at The Daily Meal
      A special addition or second course to this amazing menu of a trip was the ability to be able to drop by The Daily Meal to meet and greet with the staff.  The Daily Meal is an online media site that celebrates, showcases, advises, and shares the world of food and drink.  When I started blogging the director of The Daily Meal to join their Culinary Content Network team approached me via email.  The CCN is a team of online bloggers whose blogs and posts caught the eyes of The Daily Meal team.  I was honored to be chosen as a member.  Since joining the team my blog visits have doubled, my posts have improved, and my culinary skills have been showcased and presented to such a wider audience that I could ever conceive.  From the website I have been given many ideas for other blog posts, restaurant reviews, travel ideas, etc. When I planned this trip I decided what better opportunity than to stop by and visit the magazines headquarter offices.  I sent a quick email to the director, Sharon Gitelle, and we planned my first visit.
     As soon as I got off the elevator to their fourth floor office space the staff greeted me warmly.  Sharon came from her office with a big hug and smile.  She walked me around, introduced me to a bunch of the editors and staff as one of the magazines bloggers, and showed me the ins and outs of the office.  The staff had created a taste-testing event for the magazine showcasing stuffings for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.  I was asked to participate and was extremely glad to do it.  I was shown the test kitchen where the test was happening.  Ten different stuffings were laid out on the center table.  I was given a score sheet and pen and asked to taste test them all and rate each one. I felt special being able to participate in the office skill that the employees were doing.  After the rating was complete we headed back to Sharon's office, sat, discussed blogging ideas, article suggestions, restaurant reviews, etc.  Along with editor Arthur Bovino we were give ideas for the best place to sit and have a cocktail as well as Thai food options in the Lower East Side.  After a while we decided to say our goodbyes and head out for a cocktail.  With a great big hug and smile we were back at the elevator doors.  What a great experience visiting and meeting with The Daily Meal staff.  I truly appreciate their guidance and support.  What a wonderful business atmosphere and people to have gotten to meet.  Check out their website:

Dolce, The Sweet Spot: The Endless Options For Great Food
     Who doesn't love to eat? Seriously, one of the only reasons I live each day of my life.  One of the only reasons to get up in the morning.  Ok, enough of my obsession with food. What better city to find food in than in NYC?  I mean think about it, every culture has their own neighborhood practically.  Or at least you will be able to find any kind of cuisine known to man here.  From Polish, Jewish, Korean, Thai, Italian, Russian, etc. , you name it there is a place here to tickle your fancy. As usual I typically always have to have a slice, (or granted a whole), stone based wood fired oven pizza.  There is nothing like it.  True to its Italian style with taste and texture, a wood fired pizza is the best.  Forget the Hutt, Inn, Papa, etc., there is nothing like this pizza with exception of in Italy.  Trust me on this I know.  I have been to Italy and tasted the pizza there.  If I can't have it like this I prefer homemade over anything.  As the week ended for our wonderful birthday adventure we had so many different types of food throughout our days.  From a Korean appetizer, cannolis, to another favorite of mine, Thai food, whatever your fancy you will not be disappointed in finding it here.

Kee Mao
     So there you go, one example of a great "menu" option for a trip to New York City.  Create your own menu items for your trip.  The city doesn't have to be New York but trust me on this, this city will not disappoint.  Go, relax, and just have fun. Buon Appetito!

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