Monday, 6 October 2014

A sleepy Sunday in NYC:

Like most big city breaks, this holiday has been great fun but also a little hectic and tiring.  A combination of jet lag, late nights, early starts and miles of walking really takes it out of you!  Craig and I decided to take yesterday (Sunday) at a slower pace to give ourselves a bit of a rest.  Unfortunately we managed to get horrendously lost once or twice, but aside from that it was an enjoyable, stress free day!

Our first and most anticipated stop was brunch (we intended to go for breakfast, but by the time we made it there it was after 12pm...) at a restaurant called Pies 'n' Thighs in Brooklyn.  Unsurprisingly, this place specialises in sweet pies and fried chicken, but they're also famous for their biscuits (kind of like a flaky, savoury scone) and their donuts.

When Craig and I arrived at Pies 'n' Thighs there were around twenty people standing outside, with a waitress occasionally popping her head out to call out names from a list.  I knew from online research that the place was very popular, so I had been expecting a long wait, or maybe even to be turned away.  We were told it would be about half an hour's wait for a table, so we shuffled off in search of takeaway coffee as getting lost for so long had left us dead on our feet!  True to their word, when we arrived back at Pies 'n' Thighs about thirty minutes later, we were quickly called and escorted to a little table in the middle of the restaurant.

I chose fried chicken (two pieces) and buckwheat waffles, which came with cinnamon butter and baked apples on the top.  This might sound like an odd combination, but it was actually really tasty!  The chicken had an especially lovely flavour.  Craig had fried chicken, a biscuit and home fries, and we both sipped on mimosas (bucks fizz) because I hear that's the done thing to do at brunch.

After eating we were both stuffed, but I wanted to try a donut, which are rumoured to be the best in New York City.  We ordered a couple to go (caramel apple for Craig and pecan butter crunch for me) and headed off in search of the Williamsburg Bridge.  Halfway across, I tucked in to what was undoubtedly the best (and biggest) donut I've ever eaten while enjoying the Manhattan skyline in the sunshine.

The Williamsburg Bridge runs between Brooklyn and Manhattan, and you can drive, cycle or walk over it, depending on how the mood takes you.  It only took us around half an hour to walk across - including time spent admiring the view - and it made a nice change from the subway.

Our next stop indulged Craig's nerdy science side.  Roasting Plant Coffee in Greenwich Village uses a system called the 'Javabot' (designed by their founder) to select and grind coffee beans fresh for you, depending on how you would like your coffee to taste.  All along one wall there are loads of different canisters full of different types of bean, and the Javabot will suck out different kinds to make a completely personalised coffee for you.  As a novice, I opted for the house blend, but I would love to create my own perfect coffee.  Maybe if we were staying longer!

Most relaxing Sundays involve a stroll in the park, and not far from Roasting Plant Coffee there is one of the most unusual parks I think I've ever seen.  The High Line is a disused railway bridge (nearly one and a half miles long) that has been converted into a linear park.  The last section of the High Line was only opened to the public in September, so it was very busy and crowded, but I still really enjoyed visiting a rare slice of greenery within New York city centre.  There are plenty of places to sit (and even eat and drink) along the path, and I can imagine it would be a really lovely way to spend a few hours with a  book on a slightly quieter day.

We rounded off our sleepy Sunday with a movie at the Regal Cinema in Union Square.  We saw the stop motion animation Boxtrolls, which was super cute, before catching the subway back to our hotel.

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