exploring, meeting + eating pt. 1 | new york city

A plus side to this trip, is that my mom, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law (referred to 'The moms' and Tess in the rest of this post) flew up to have a photo + food-eating adventure with me. And yes, we all stayed in the same hotel room because thankfully, we all get along, which is such a blessing in many ways. We explored a lot of Soho, Noho, Nolita, the Village, Brooklyn (Williamsburg and just getting lost for hours), Times Square, and Ground Zero. Thankfully, these ladies put up with my bad directions for walking (no thanks to you, Google Maps), my need to constantly wander to people watch, juggling their days with my networking meetings, and listen to me ramble about all the awesome things. I also got to meet up with two of the loveliest ladies, Lauren + Rachel, to of course, eat, photograph, + catch up on life! New York, you rock. People of New York, you're amazing. Here's to flying up again real soon!

Of course, my nose directed us to the Leica Gallery on the first day we were in NYC. It was blazing hot in there (check out Mom's scarf solution below) but the exhibits (jazz musicians and music, I mean, what more could you want?) were so authentic. I snagged a solid couple of signed photo books for my collection and some exhibit posters and headed back out to the streets.

The moms and I made our way to a itty bitty eatery, Local, to grab a sandwich since we hadn't eaten since before the sun rose in N.C. It's a tiny, quaint + beautiful cafe with fair, local, and organic foods. We got sandwiches and salads while we watched locals come in for their 'regular' and interact with the extremely friendly staff. It's on Sullivan Street between Prince and W. Houston if you fancy, a coffee, tea, gluten-free treat, or just a quiet place to enjoy life. 

We walked around Soho, Noho, Nolita, looking into shops, people watching, and gawking at some cool-looking restaurants as I made my way to Maman to see the ever-so-lovely LAUREN MCCAY! Maman is another little eatery fancying themselves on their southern French foods based on family recipes (their chef has a Michelin star from his restaurant in France...trust me when I say it's delicious).

We ordered some sweets (Maman oreo, chocolate chip cookie, and a salted caramel financier), tea, lavender hot coco, and of course proceeded to photograph everything before we touched anything. It's tradition when the two of us are together! There is so much to say about this awesome lady, but I'm going to leave it at this...she is sweet, adventurous, worldly, intelligent and I've missed her presence in Chapel Hill a lot--I couldn't get enough hugs from her!

The moms, Tess, and I later ended up at Cafeteria, a very lively and "electric" restaurant featuring your American favorites, like mac-n-cheese, with a modern twist. This was where we started photographing bathrooms because Cafeteria's was the coolest. I mean, neon signs and highly-reflective black subway tile...who can resist?

If I lived in NYC, I'd totally googlie-eye every poster in the subway. Although I'm pretty sure this was my face the whole time in the city.

Sunday started with a brisk walk to brunch at Buvette, a busy french cafe with light pouring in + the atmosphere of old world France. It was a chilly wait outside after the hostess took our name down on the door jam with chalk, but the warmth that followed was decadent. We ordered the steamed eggs on toast topped with prosciutto, a belgian waffle + warm croissants. To drink, cafe americano, cappucino, mimosas and ginger soda. I mean...there are no words for how simple but amazing this brunch was. I highly recommend it, but be prepared to wait unless you show up at 9 a.m. because it is just. so. good.

We continued our Sunday with a trip down to the 9/11 Memorial and the Freedom Tower. It was Palm Sunday, so family members brought palm leaf crosses to the site and parents were telling their young children about all the great things their grandparents did. I was almost in tears listening to one mom tell her daughter about that day. 

After we walked around the WTC, we headed to the Brooklyn Bridge for a very windy walk. It was such a beautiful day and getting to see this stunning piece of American architecture was unbelievable. Our plan was to walk around Dumbo for a bit, but we were thirsty and tried to make our way to Williamsburg to a coffee shop I wanted to go to. Unfortunately, we never got to the park or Jane's Carousel, where we hoped to make a cool photo. Instead, we ended up getting lost because of some train we got on, which was closed, then put on a bus, which dropped us off somewhere in Brooklyn. Needless to say, we enjoyed our very thirsty walk through the Hasidic South Williamsburg neighborhood, which was like being in a different country. So cool. We ended up at the Brooklyn Roasting Company for coffee, water and homemade pop tarts...finally. I should've just dropped the moms off at the Graham Home for Old Ladies on Washington St. 

After finally getting making our way back to Manhattan, we headed to Prune for dinner. This warmly-lit restaurant welcomed us with warm arms. Penny De Los Santos suggested this restaurant and told me what to order. "Trust me," she said. The food was "life changing," she said.  Indeed, it was. Prune is truly an eclectic mesh of flavors and textures plated for people who love food + unique cocktails. So rich yet so light and flavorful beyond belief. Unbelievable food. And, topped with a bowl of chipped dark chocolate because...why not?

Such a lush meal of veggies, cheese, bread, duck wings and butter. Oh, the butter. And the sugar. Be sure to get a solid dessert before you leave and add a Pimm's Cup and an Italian Greyhound to boot!

Public Service Announcement: no chocolate went uneaten.

After Prune, we Ubered up to Time's Square because it's New York. It's magical at night, slightly less crowded, and the folks are quite interesting. Oh, and it would totally be a sin for Mom to miss out on the magic her first time to NYC!

While I was busy photographing a chair, laying on the ground of Times Square, the moms and Tess were gawking at the lights when they were literally attacked by the Olafs and Elmo. This photo is after they finally caught their breath and could force a smile. Although, Mom still looks slightly shocked. And poor Tess, scooped up by a creepy, hairy, red thing. These fuzzy mascots did give us a great laugh though!

It was definitely a Sunday Funday. And somehow, the moms and Tess survived the adventure! What are some things I should add to my next adventure in NYC?


Stay tuned for tomorrow's post with a little more exploring, a lot more meeting, and of course eating.