Friday, December 30, 2016

If You Can Make It Here, You Can Make It Anywhere - Part III

The next morning we had an open slot for breakfast, so we walked around and came to Times Square Diner and Grill. Now, there wasn't anything fancy about it, but the food and the service was phenomenal. Everyone helping every table to provide the best service possible.

It was cold and the snow was coming down some, so we hopped between some of the shops near by.

Then we went back over to Rockefeller Center and did a little shopping at the stores in that area.

Across the street is the iconic St. Patrick's Cathedral.

On nearly every single "Best Hot Chocolate in NYC" list I looked at Jacques Torres Chocolate wasn't just on the list, it was near the top. They have about 9 locations throughout the city, so I knew getting some wouldn't be a problem.

I didn't realize it'd take nearly the whole trip before we'd make it to one. Well, I hate to say it, but the wait wasn't worth it. I don't know what it was, but it was very thick and just had an odd flavor. The girl when I ordered said "The Classic Hot Chocolate?", so I'm guessing I received the right thing. I just have no clue how that was on all the lists.

Lunch at Cannibal was actually recommended to us from a former Brooklyn friend of ours. They had some fancy names, but I knew if it was meat that I'd find something.

It was actually pretty funny. While we were eating was the same time as their delivery came. They were a little embarrassed I guess you'd say, but clearly I didn't mind. They brought in at least 8 pigs and 4 lamb. How did I know exactly what was being delivered? Because they had each one thrown over a shoulder wrapped rooter to the tooter in clear wrap. Little did they know, I was more jealous I wasn't getting to play with them more than anything.

I actually ended up with the bacon grilled cheese. Very simple, but just hit the spot on a cold day.

She had the Chicken Parm Sausage Roll, and said it was "AMAZING."

Back on the road and over to the New York Palace.

From there we went up to the future 45th President of the United States of America's home at Trump Tower.

Security was a bit, um, heavy.

The infamous "gold elevators".

Oh crap, I got busted leaving the gold elevators. Don't ask, I'm not discussing what we spoke about, but it's going to be YUGE!

Of course, then we had to go look at the shiny stuff at Tiffany & Co., and may or may not have walked out with a little blue box ... a LITTLE blue box.

A look back at the decorations of Trump Tower.

"The world renowned Plaza hotel"

"Excuse me, where's the lobby?"

We found Ninja Restaurant from a Food Network show about weird and/or crazy restaurants. It looked fun, so we figured we'd give it a go. Well, from the ninja stars in the cocktails, to the presentations on certain plates, and the overall atmosphere, the show was dead right.

**Notice someone in the background playing drums with her chopsticks.

The fancy glowy smokey glass that came with her sushi.

We both got the teriyaki chicken, so no need for 2 pictures of that.

Thought we deserved a little something sweet after dinner, so we took the subway over to Doughnut Plant

After doughnuts we attempted to go get drinks at The Back Room Bar, an old speakeasy, but apparently they didn't feel the need to post on their website or Facebook page that they were closed for a private party. It's fine though, we enjoyed the 4 block walk there and back on a "feels like" 6 degree night.

Before we found breakfast on our last full day, we headed over to Fox News to see if we could get lucky enough to meet any of the host of Fox and Friends.

While waiting to see if they would be doing an outside segment, Geraldo and a member of ZZ Top came walking out of the studio. I'll let you guess which one I cared more about.

Meteorologist Janice Dean came out to do the weather.

After the weather portion, the 3 hosts then came out to do a quick segment in the 24 degree weather. Ainsley Earhardt walked up to the group beside us, so I had to holler out, "Ainsley we came up from South Carolina" and flashed my Gamecock shirt. If you didn't know, Ainsley is a Gamecock grad, so she all but ran over and was more than happy to take a picture.

The slogan for the show is "Your mornings are better with friends." Well, Brian Kilmeade always throws in a tag line for a chuckle, but one of his favorites is somewhere along the lines of, "Ok get dressed, because your mornings are better with friends." As he's heading back to the side door, and at a bit of distance I say to him, "Hey Brian, we had to get dressed today. Can we get a pic?"

He came over for the picture, and is doing some kind of creeper touch on my arm ...

I won't say where we went to breakfast because I won't have a single nice thing to say about it. When your wife hasn't gotten her coffee 10 minutes after ordering, and a waitress comes by so you say, "excuse me." You don't plan on the response from the waitress to be, "Not your waitress!" as she continues full speed ahead. That was just the worst of the worst. The rest of the experience was along that same line, so we'll just keep it all in.

Just outside of the diner we pasted this big film set up. While we were waiting for our food I looked on my phone to see what was filming to have such large production trucks, and came to find out that it was Ocean's 8 with Sandra Bullock. Apparently it's going to be a chick version of the Oceans 11 franchise. I guess nobody learned their lesson with Ghostbusters.

We then went on the wild side and headed over to Brooklyn to visit Goorin Brothers shop #3 of the trip.

It wasn't all for Goorin Bros. I also wanted to go down the street to see Turkey's Nest Tavern. If you've watched the Netflix series Daredevil, this is the bar they go all of the time.

We were back in Manhattan for lunch and stopped in at Johnny's Luncheonette from American Diner Revival.

After lunch we headed up to the Upper East Side (for the real New Yorkers, this may not completely be up in the UES, but it's very close) to indulge in some sweets. The first stop was Serendipity 3, but with an hour and a half wait at 2:30 that got crossed off the list in a hurry.

We walked back down to the corner to Dylan's Candy Bar. Which is a 3 story tooth ache waiting to happen.

I have a special place in my heart for Dylan's Candy Bar. While we were having dessert, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was playing on repeat (it ended and restarted while we were there).

The Nutella Cookie S'mores.

Next we went to Sprinkles Cupcakes which you will see more of later in the post.

We don't buy the touristy shirts and all that mess, but I do get a pilsner glass from Hard Rock and a shot glass from Harley-Davidson everywhere we go. We missed the first Harley-Davidson shop earlier in the week (thanks to the subway debacle), but luckily there was one not too far from where all the sweets were. As we were getting closer to the shop we noticed traffic was an absolutely cluster. The closer we got to the shop, I could see flashing lights at the next intersection. We walked on up just to be nosy, but there was nothing happening. They were blocking traffic. I looked down to the next intersection, blocked. I looked up at that one, blocked. I caught one mans eyes and he said "Trump must be coming through." We decided to wait, because we'd never seen a President's (future President's) motorcade before and that would be neat. Well, all of a sudden, the cops pulled up and let traffic go. With that, we turned back and went in Harley-Davidson to be told they had zero shot glasses (about how some of this trip was working out).

We came back out, and the cops were back blocking traffic. We decided to hang out, and then here it came. Now, I don't care who you voted for or what your political beliefs are, but this is cool. The show of force and power we display to protect the most powerful man in the world is insane.

We then went for a short walk through Central Park.

The lake is starting to freeze.

Carnegie Hall

Our final dinner was at Root & Bone and they advertise "Honest Southern Food". The main reason we went was we had seen that they have Chicken and Waffle sliders. I tried to order them for an appetizer and was told "those are only for brunch." Well, you have fried chicken, and you have waffle and cheddar appetizer, is it too much to ask to put that chicken on the waffles?

The absolute star of the show. Some of the best macaroni and cheese anywhere.

All in all, the food was good. I think they should change their motto to "Fancy New York versions of Southern food." The grits were sticky with cheese. The puree with my pork chop was weirdly cold and just odd to eat with a warm pork chop. Again, it was good food, but it's not "Honest Southern Food."

We had multiple nightmares trying to get to some of the bars I had on my list throughout the trip. We ended up in Brooklyn because we got on the wrong subway, just went back to the hotel instead. We walked in the 6 degree weather for half a mile to be told that one was having a private party. Then we tried to go to another on our last night, to only find out that it too was closed for a private party. After all of that, we decided to go back to a bar that was recommended, and we stopped in earlier in the week. If you're into oldies music and great drinks, you must stop in at Blue Bar. 

For our last night in NY, I surprised the wifey with a birthday (it was the next day) carriage ride through Central Park.

Unintentionally, we stopped at the fountain from Friends. So we got to see the apartment and the fountain from one of her all-time favorite shows.

And here's us and Lucky. He was a great chauffeur.

Saturday morning was a bit of a cluster. It was Dawn's birthday and we woke up at 4:30 to get the last items packed up, grab breakfast, and get to the airport with enough cushion for our flight. As all of the bags are packed and we're about to walk out of the door I hear, "You've got to be kidding me!" The airline decided to completely cancel our flight ... the night before around 8 p.m. ... and didn't bother notifying anybody.

We were able to find another flight for noon going to Asheville, which was far from ideal, but it was a lot closer to home than NYC.

We went back to sleep for another hour or so, and decided to try this day off again.

I have no clue why these turned out so bad, but I guess it was fitting that they'd be bad since this is the snow that cancelled and delayed our flight(s) home.

After a cancellation, a delay, 2 change of gates, a push up in flight time, and then another delay. We finally made it on a plane 5 hours after our initial flight was set for.

Oh wait, now they have to thaw out the plane. Yes, an inconvenience, but they're the pros at this, and if that's what they need to do to make it safe, go right again. Actually, it was pretty neat to watch.

Since we landed in Asheville instead of Greenville, we had to pick up a ride to get down the mountain.

This little guy was more than excited to have his mommy and daddy home.

Once we finally made it to our chair, he wasn't moving off of our laps.

We learned in Las Vegas that Sprinkles Cupcakes also have Pupcakes. He absolutely devoured the one from LV, so we picked him up 2 in NY.

Your offering your majesty.

We had a great time in the Big Apple, but after 7 full days, a photo session, a FedEx shipment to send things back, approximately 90 sites, and nearly 70 miles walked ... we were happy to be home.

Times Square Diner


Ninja Restaurant

Doughnut Plant

Diner In Which We Will Not Speak Of

Johnny's Luncheonette

Dylan's Candy Bar

Sprinkles Cupcakes

Root & Bone

Blue Bar