The TriBeKah Adventurers took on NYC Sept 25-27 for Beth and Rebekah’s 30th Birthdays. Highlights from the trip, powering through from 6 a.m. Friday morning to 5 p.m. Sunday evening:

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The High Line

HI-LINE PARK ­– Meatpacking District, west side: The city’s parks department took a retired elevated freight train line that ran throughout the industrial area and turned it into a green space. While the city has many small parks with grass and trees, this was different. The park includes a walkway that follows the old railroad tracks and is lined with what seems to be meadow grasses and plants that would have been found on abandoned tracks in the middle of nowhere (my opinion, anyway). Original rails  have been integrated into the gardens and walkway. Several building entrances where the trains used to stop and load/unload were kept intact. The concept is interesting and done well. It starts at 14th Street and will eventually end at 34th street after they finish construction.

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The Judy Jetson Skirt Top Shop

SHOPPING: Lower Manhattan & Brooklyn – No Park/Madison/5th Avenue for us. We checked out Qilquo ??? (was told was awesome, but looked like nothing but a cheap Gap), TopShop (holy outrageous and fun wear!) in Manhattan. Shopping in Brooklyn consisted of purchasing handmade bracelets from local artists, t-shirt shopping at Brooklyn Industries and my favorite thrift/recycled duds shop, Beacon’s Closet.

FOOD:

Balthazar, 80 Spring St., in Manhattan:

This was the birthday dinner for Beth and Rebekah, as well as our friend Mikele from Seattle who was in NYC the same time for the same reason. We were joined by our friend Rene, Mikele’s friend Lindsey and their friend, Graham.

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Two-Tiers of Awesomeness

Appetizer: A two-tiered rack of fresh shellfish on ice – raw oysters and clams, shrimp, razor clams, mussels and ceviche. The dipping sauces included an amazing red wine vinigarette, which was fantastic with the oysters. Must recreate at home.

Meal: Medium rare lamb t-bones with flageolet beans, mirepoix (celery, carrots and onions sautéed in butter) and lamb jus. Was alright, lamp could have been a little more tender.

Dessert: Two Creme Brulees (my favorite!), an Apple Tart Tatin with crème anglaise and vanilla ice cream, and Chocolate Pot de Crème with toasted coconut cookies (think chocolate mousse).

Wine: Two bottles of red, two of the white.

I chose the red, the first one a mistake, and the second absolutely divine:

Was a bit overwhelmed for the first bottle of red and wanted a Rhone but went with the waiter’s recommendation – a bottle they drink at night after working. I was relieved to get the recommendation but after I agreed to go with it, my gut told me I’d regret it. And I did, so very much. Was way lighter than what I wanted.

VDP du val de cesse:  “Les Trois P’tits” Le Loup Blanc ’06 – apparently it translates into “Three Little Pigs.” When he told me that as he presented the bottle, my gut really kicked me. Wino FAIL.

Second bottle turned out to be much more seductive and mouth watering – LUSSAC ST-ÉMILION Château Bonnin Pichon ’05 – and received praises from the table. Wino WIN. Apparently I like Bordeaux without knowing it.

Habana Outpost in Brooklyn – amazing corn on the cob, covered with Mexican cheese and spices. Sandwiches and burritos are great too.

Five Leaves in Brooklyn: two scrambled eggs, avocado slices, sautéed mushrooms, hashbrown cakes, whole wheat toast topped with honeyberry butter, big bowl of fruit. Starting to learn not to like omlettes so much as having all the omlette pieces separated out so you can taste everything. Overheard at our table: “Huh. Brunch on a Sunday and it’s raining outside. Feels like Seattle.”

NIGHTLIFE:

Diamonds – Hookah bar in lower East Side. Never done this before and wasn’t sure about it since I’m not a big smoker. Apparently, natural tobacco with flavoring but without all the chemical crap they have in tobacco cigarettes. Pretty flavorful. Enjoyed immensely.

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Rene, Reba and Beth at APT

APT: a small one-room dance “club” that is decorated like an apartment. DJ was pretty good but nothing outstanding. Being the early party Seattleites that we are, we were there at midnight and no one was dancing, but it was crowded. By the time we left at 2 a.m., dancing had commenced, but of course, we were tired. At that point, our bodies had been up for 24 hours straight and our posh ACE Hotel was sounding pretty fine.

Phoenix/Passion Pits Concert in Central Park: one of the main reasons for going to NYC. Located in Rumney’s Playfield, an outdoor music venue. Passion Pits was great – electronic pop – followed by Phoenix’s poppy happy beats. We realized how old we felt when the early-20 somethings surrounding us were higher than kites, smoking and popping who knows what, plus being really loud and obnoxious. If the three of us had been taller than 5’5’, it may have been a little more tolerable. The kicker was when the two guys, who we swore were probably the two tallest guys in the entire venue, stood in front of us. They eventually acknowledged the three short girls behind them and stepped back to let us in front, even offering taking to take pictures with my camera.

Actor Sighting FAIL: Michael Urie from “Ugly Betty” – (Marc St. James, Vanessa William’s assistant). A friend of Graham’s, he and some friends came to Diamonds to hangout. He introduced himself and I said, “I know you from somewhere, are you from seattle? No but I did hang there for two months. No, that’s not where I know you from. Wait, you look like that guy from Ugly Betty. I am that guy. No, he’s taller. Well, it is television. No, I still don’t believe you.” He just sort of grinned, shrugged his shoulders and took a seat on the couch.

Confirmation by others and IMDB.com showed that it really was that guy. I really didn’t want to say anything to him when I first met him (I didn’t want to be THAT girl), but I had to because otherwise, I’d be staring at him all night. Besides being really gullible and am used to be taken for a ride, I also forget that in NYC, you’re not too far from any Hollywood connection.

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THE Walk Across THE Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge/DUMBO: headed to Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass and found its annual arts festival taking place. Checked out some interesting interactive and modern art works (lady tying herself to railroad tracks with a toy training running her over, video installation of a guy trading paintings for food to demonstrate today’s global economy, live human statues dressed from head to toe in a single colorful crochet suit, a lady walking around wearing nothing but scotchtape, a forest made from nothing but red kraft paper).

Following the festival was the iconic trek over the Brooklyn Bridge, which didn’t take as long as we thought. You always seen that scene in the movies, but it never occurred to me to actually do it until Reba suggested it. Felt like we should have had cameras following us.

ACCOMODATIONS:

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Swanky Digs

ACE Hotel: Ridiculously posh hipster hotel in lower Manhattan. Thanks to Donte, we had a free room and enjoyed it immensely. Empire State Building was our view.

Central Park Hostel: Clean-basic-no-thrills-place a street or two over from Central Park, on the west side, just south of Columbia University. Perfect for laying the head to rest, then up and at’em again the next day. Private Room was $160, so between three of us, $53 a piece for a nice place in NYC.

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