Empire State of Mind

I’ve been absent, but I can explain. I’ve been having an affair… With New York. I never would have guessed those words would come out of my mouth. Growing up an hour outside the city, trips into the Big Apple were required each time our relatives came to visit. I loved the time with my Southern kin, but I loathed those obligatory holiday treks into the heart of Manhattan. It meant clumsy train rides, more laps around the island on the Circle Line “cruise ship” than I care to remember, crowded elevators to the tops of the tallest buildings, shuffling around a freezing Rockefeller Center and, one time, losing my baby sister for about five minutes at the Empire State Building. She ended up being fine, but I was not. I was terrified of the city. To this day the smell of midtown, a mix of roasted street nuts and sewer pipes, makes me cringe.

But my time in the Big City this fall has opened up an entirely different New York, one that I only knew existed a few years ago when friends started migrating to neighborhoods in the Village and Brooklyn. There are many, many things to talk about when it comes to exploring the city from the vantage point of lower Manhattan; the food alone is enough to keep us all occupied for months. Which, incidentally, is exactly what has happened to me.

I have been fully consumed with consuming as much of the New York food experience as I can, and I’ve been doing it all on a shoe-string budget. Luckily, it turns out that a shoe-string is all you need for a little taste of everything. I’ve tried spicy falafel sandwiches and pumpkin gelato in the West Village, chocolate chip cookies and baguettes from favorite Brooklyn bakeries, ripe pears from the Greenmarket and cheese from Murrays', and the most memorable pizza I’ve ever eaten at Di Fara (that alone, is the subject for another post). This weekend, Justin is coming up and I could not be more excited to explore the city with him while tasting more of what the city has to offer.

{ Di Fara; where the magic happens. Photo courtesy of the New York Times }

The good news is that Fresh will back with new posts next week, hopefully followed soon after by my old dress size. Enjoy the weekend everyone, and if you have a favorite NYC food spot to share we would love to hear about it here.

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