So nice to see you again…

Saturday was my day off, and Ashley and I were eager to spend some more time together as it had been a busy week for both of us. On Monday, I was on call at the hospital. Tuesday, I was at a business dinner at Primehouse steakhouse. Primehouse advertises a “Himalayan Salt Room,” where steaks are extra-aged for additional flavor; so I couldn’t pass up the 35-day-aged Kansas City bone-in sirloin. In addition to the steak, I ordered crab cakes and we shared a raw seafood tower for the table. Everything was excellent, but the raw tower was a truly a standout. On Wednesday, the chiefs of all the urology residency programs in New York debated various controversial topics. And when our chief won his debate, our chairman took us all out for drinks and food afterward. On Thursday night, our friends Phil and Erica came to visit us. The four of us went to Pearl Street Oyster bar—a favorite spot in the West Village, but a rare treat—and caught up on each others’ lives. It was awesome to see them again. It was back to work on Friday, into Saturday morning; I was on call.

In the meantime, Ashley had been spending the evenings out with some of her friends, and honing her editorial skills at NYU. It’s hard to believe that after 5 years of graduate school and two Masters degrees, Ashley is back at school, taking a course at NYU. Of course, I really shouldn’t be surprised; I think Ashley’s real goal is to be a student for life (shouldn’t we all have that goal?).

So, finally, on Saturday, we had a chance to catch up. After a brief nap, we made plans to walk over to the Chelsea/Meatpacking neighborhood to get breakfast at a place called 202. We

walked outside wearing our coats and cold weather gear when it hit us: it was warm outside! So warm, in fact, that we turned around, went back upstairs, and dropped off our coats and took off our sweaters. Back outside, enjoying the balmy weather, I checked my phone; it was 60 degrees. But 60 degrees has never felt so warm in my life! We passed
through the Greenmarket on our way—it was packed with people. All the usual vendors were there, but the market was packed with people enjoying the turn in the weather. And though spring had come for the day, the market was still filled with the root vegetables that characterize the winter season.

202 first caught our attention when New York Magazine claimed it served the best French toast in the city. The dining area is set amongst a store selling high fashion housewares, French

antiques, and clothing. It sounds like an odd combination, but its mix of dark hardwoods and marble surfaces make it quite lovely. It’s hard to order anything there except the French toast (though lots on the menu sounds good); it’s a problem which Ashley and I get around by splitting something savory and something sweet. We also ordered a Bloody Mary for me and a minty passionfruit cocktail for her. Everything was delicious! To be honest, it’s not the best French toast in town, but is definitely a close second (and I can’t even think of a third worth mentioning). But those details are really for another post.

Before breakfast we spotted the Chelsea market. The Chelsea market is one of those places that I am shocked that we haven’t been to yet, so after breakfast we ducked in the entrance to the

market and began to explore. The Market is the old industrial bakery for the National Biscuit Company, where saltines and Oreos (in addition to many other things) were
once produced. The factory was eventually abandoned, but has since been given new life. And now the space houses a range of bakeries and other fine food stores and restaurants. Several excellent looking cupcakes, cookies, and seafood restaurants were particularly appealing and, had we not just eaten our fill, we could have sampled all sorts of goods. The industrial remnants and the gourmet goods gave the space a similar feel to the Ferry Building in San Francisco. We’ll definitely be going back there again!

We passed through to the other end of the building and walked onto the Hudson River parkway (which was filled with others enjoying what felt like the first day of spring). By this time we had built up some heat from walking, so when the cold air from the river washed over us, it actually felt good. We walked for hours, past the helicopter pads, and through to our favorite part of the walkway where the path turns to a wooden boardwalk surrounded by reeds. We kept walking up the river, past the boathouse, up to the upper reaches of the upper west side and Riverside Park before finally heading back into the island. It was a lovely day.

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