After a great, long weekend vacation in California, we had another (not quite so) long weekend staycation in New York. As I was on call Thursday night, I essentially had a three day weekend.

Thursday night, however, turned out to be a difficult call night that kept me from sleeping at all. Though I would have preferred to stay awake, I crawled into bed (where Ashley was still asleep) and napped a few hours. I hate wasting a day away from the hospital, so Ashley kindly woke me at 10 and prepared us bagels from nearby Ess-a-Bagel—which happen to make the best bagels in the world, in my humble opinion. Feeling sorry for myself after my rough night, I had bought myself some lox from them on my way home. Perhaps it was the knowledge that I had the rest of the weekend off, but that lox was seriously so much better than any other lox I’ve had! It’s almost too bad… It’s really too expensive to have on any regular basis, but I’ll be teased by it everyday when I walk to work.

The weather on Friday was truly crap: it was grey, rainy, and windy—a far cry from last what we experienced last weekend in California. Ashley worked from home while I, well, alternated between working from home on some writing and napping. We did make time to try a new Ramen restaurant that opened next door: Kambi Ramen (the charshu, or pork, was amazing).

A few summers ago in Los Angeles, a friend let us borrow his complete set of Freaks and Geeks, an old Judd Apatow

show. There were only 12 episodes, but we burned through them, with virtually no breaks, as we loved it so much. This rainy Friday seemed perfect for that type ofindulgence. We went out and rented How I Met Your Mother and began the madness.
I’ve been inspired by some of our recent meals as well as by our friend’s blog to try and cook more frequently; we made a great tri-tip and ate it with a bleu cheese salad and a bottle of wine.

Though Saturday’s weather was better than Friday’s, we kept things pretty relaxed. After sleeping in late (there was a no alarm rule), we walked to Frankies for brunch. This is the place with the best French Toast in the city. As I mentioned, 202’s comes close, but Frankies’ is just amazing! We each had a glass of prosecco, then shared the egg and bacon sandwich, followed by the French Toast.

From there we walked through SoHo and on to Tribeca, where we did some research on our upcoming trip to Ireland (!) at the bookstore. When we got back to our place, our feet and legs were already feeling beat from the relatively short walk. In the spirit of the staycation, we

decided to go get pedicures. Yes, this is still Aron writing…

Ashley had gone to a local spa a while back and raved about the massage portion of the experience, and about the massage chair that you get to relax in while they work. I like massages, so why not give this a shot. I struggled at some points… my foot kept cramping up when she tried to trim my nails, and the filing brought on the oddly combined sensation of tickling and hurting such that it was very difficult not to accidentally kick her several times. But I loved the massage part of the treatment. Having now had my first pedicure, I can say that Ashley wasn’t exaggerating. Thought the nail trim and buff is mostly wasted on me, I think very few people (women or men) would not enjoy the various scrubbing, massaging, and rubbing that occur from the knee down during this pedicure. Add in the massage recliner and you’ve got your self a great discount on an hour massage! We topped the night off with some more of our How I Met… marathon over roast chicken, salad, and another bottle of wine.

Sunday was the most beautiful day of the weekend. We slept in again, then went to another favorite breakfast spot, a Morrocan-French cafe in NoLita—Cafe Gitaine. The cocktail is a huge part of brunch in NYCand when I’ve been on call I usually skip them—they make me feel too sleepy—but today I could order my usual, Cynar, which is a bitter-sweet apéritif liqueur of artichoke hearts. I also grabbed a cappuchino to go—I can never resist theirs—and we walked through SoHo, stopping to do a bit of shopping.

We walked up through the village into the Meatpacking. I suggested we stick to the west side where one can balance the pretentious, yuppie meatpacking (filled with high-end designers and expensive restaurants) with the pre-gentrified, actual meat packing houses that give the neighborhood its name. But truth be told, I wanted to walk by Ernest Sewn to look again at a jacket that caught my eye the week before. Ernest Sewn, wh
ich incidentally is opening its fourth location just around the corner from our old apartment in L.A., has an awesome aesthetic of found object, mountain man-meets-urban motif. The prices are quite steep (try $500-$600 for a pair of custom-made jeans), but the week before I noticed a heavy winter jacket with a ridiculous end of winter mark down. It was part of a collaboration with Canada Goose, whose expedition parkas I’d been looking at to replace my now 12-year-old Ski jacket. I loved the technology of the Canada Goose jac ket, but the prices I’d seen elsewhere were too high, and the coat can verge on the edge of so sporty it looks silly. But Ernest Sewn’s version was more chic, yet still had all the warmth and features that made me like Canada Goose in the first place—at a huge discount. So after trying it on about a million times (or so says Ashley), I convinced myself to take the plunge and buy it. If only it were colder, I thought to myself for the first time in forever.

But as soon as I started walking and felt the sun warming my back, I didn’t miss the cold at all. We walked up along the Westside parkway and along Riverside Park, which was packed with people, like us, desperate to take advantage of the warmer weather. It was fun watching all the people (in fact, Kate Winslet passed by on her bike, with her son in a trailer), and fun thinking about the dogs that we might someday own…

We got off the path in the 90s and walked down Amsterdam until we reached the Hampton

Chutney Company. We’ve walked past their restaurant a thousand times, but this was the first time we had actually eaten there. The all-fusion menu looked great and we decided to split a dosa filled with Grilled Portobello Mushrooms, Spinach, Roasted Onions, and Goat Cheese—with chutney, of course (a cilantro one and a mango one). It was big enough for two given that we didn’t have huge appetites, and we’ll definitely be going back there to try out more of their menu.

We kept walking southeast and crossed into Central Park. More flowering trees had begun to bloom and I’ve truly never seen the park so crowded. We crossed through the park, stopping proverbially and literally to smell the flowers, and came out on the Upper East Side at Via Quadronno on 73rd street. This cafe has come up over and over again as being the spot for cappuccinos; it was on

Martha Stewart, in NY mag etc. The word has definitely gotten out as it was packed with tan, polo shirt wearing people with sweaters draped over their shoulders along with the regular array of New Yorkers. We waited our turn at the bar and got some cute cookies to go—a macaroon, and two sugar cookies. The cappuccino was seriously good, and an improvement over Starbucks, but I found it to be a clear second to Cafe Gitane’s.

We sipped our drinks
and strolled down Madison Ave, stopping here and to look in stores and before we knew it we were back in Gramercy. The only mark that we had walked over 13 miles was that my hands were practically raw from carrying the heavy bag with my coat in it the whole way!

Though we’d been psyched about continuing to cook at home, the weather was just too ideal to squander a chance to eat outside. So we stopped on Irving Street at a local Sushi spot (Choshi) and watched the sky grow dim from one of their sidewalk tables. Our first sidewalk table-meal in months! It definitely got chilly sitting, rather than walking, outside—but I loved every minute.

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