How I Spent Three Days in the Big Apple

Wendy contacted me on a Monday to see if I would be interested in joining her that weekend on an impromptu trip to one of my favorite cities–New York City.  We did some quick research that afternoon and realized that this could be done. The next day, Tuesday, we booked our trip.

We left on Thursday afternoon and flew on Hawaiian Air from Honolulu direct to NYC.

We didn’t actually fly the plane but we were happy to get this photo op!

Turns out that two of the pilots were from Hilo and I had gone to high school with one of them. img_9108DAY 1:  We arrived in NYC on Friday morning and headed straight from the airport to the Pearl Hotel in midtown. This hotel’s location is awesome and they have continental breakfast and wine afternoons included with the price of your room. We did make it to breakfast in the mornings but never did have time to partake of wine hour. We were lucky enough to get an early check on the first morning so we could take a quick two-hour nap before exploring the Big Apple. When we got up, we headed straight to the subway, got our metro cards and headed to one of the restaurants we had reservations at.  It was NYC Restaurant Week!

We had lunch at Le Coq Rico where we felt like we were in Paris.  The servers and the chefs all spoke in French to each other and the food was amazing.  After lunch, we walked around the neighborhood and explored and shopped.

We made plans to meet up with our Hawaiian Airline friends that afternoon at Hellcat Annie’s Tap Room for some delicious craft beer.  So cool to see Hilo friends while in NYC. After our happy hour meet up, we went back to the hotel, freshened up and headed to see the new Miss Saigon. LOVE!  The stage, the singing, the costumes–totally Broadway!  At 11 p.m. after Miss Saigon, we made another NYC Restaurant Week stop at Natsumi. We chose this place for its proximity to the theater and our hotel since it was so late at night. The entrees were not so impressive, but we loved this appetizer.  The super-white tuna jalapeno tataki with truffle ponzu vinaigrette was the star of the evening.

DAY 2:  On this cool and rather gusty Saturday we headed to the Central Park South area to meet up for the Sex and the City Hotspots bus tour.

What a fun tour. We saw many of the spots that SATC was filmed at and even got to stop at a few places to take some photos.  Of course, we had to celebrate with some cosmos at Scout’s–in reality named Onieal’s.  After the tour, we walked back to the hotel through a street fair and got ready for the Classic East concert, the reason why we wanted to be in New York. We caught the 7 train to Citi Field (where the Met’s play ball) in Queens in time to see the Doobie Brothers open up the two-day concert.

We also saw Steely Dan and sang and danced to our favorite, the Eagles. Our friend from Oahu was also at the concert with their NYC friends and they graciously gave us a ride back to the city so we wouldn’t have to fight the crowds on the subway.

We got dropped us off at Sake Bar Hagi, an izakaya I have visited on previous trips to the city. Reasonably priced Japanese food (including chazuke) with a nice selection of drinks made it a perfect place to end the evening.

DAY 3:  On Sunday morning, we woke up and took the subway to Chelsea for another NYC Restaurant Week stop.

We ate at Socarrat, a paella bar in Chelsea.  At this meal, we met up with a relative of mine and we enjoyed an amazing paella.  I’m no paella expert, but I think you’ll love it too.  After lunch, we headed to Soho and did some power shopping. After the quick shopping time, we headed back to the hotel, got changed for the concert and headed back to Citi Field for the second day of music.  On this day, we enjoyed Earth, Wind, and Fire; Journey; and Fleetwood Mac.  We also found the Momofuku Milk Bar booth at the stadium where I bought Christina Toci’s famous cookies that I could bring home for the kids.

Again, after the concert, we caught a ride back to the city with our friends and visited another izakaya.  This time, we went to Riki a local izakaya that served delicious goya champuru, natto, ikura, and one of my favorite nihonshu, Hakkaisan.

This three-day trip did not include much in the way of exercise unless you count walking and dancing as exercise, but it did include an abundance of awesome food, fun, and amazing memories.  Living Hilo Style in New York City.

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