nyc weekend recap

i figured it’d be nice to give a little recap on my trip to new york this past weekend.  we stayed at the james.  it’s a newer boutique hotel in the soho area (grand street and 6th).  we loved it.  the staff was incredibly kind and the room was exactly what you’d expect from a newer hotel i.e. flatscreen tv, comfortable bed, huge shower, heated bathroom tile, no bed bugs, etc.  they also served wine and cheese at 5 which we hit up both friday and saturday.  if you’re in nyc and not staying at the james, it’s worth it to pop by and have a drink at the rooftop bar with a fireplace and ridiculous view of the city.  i would stay there again.

*please note i did not take any of these pictures, but did go to these locations

once we dropped our stuff off at the hotel, we walked down the street to balthazar.  i think 9 out of 10 people we spoke to about restaurant recommendations mentioned balthazar.  we made reservations at 12:30 but got in at 12 because we were starving.  i got the chicken club and my wife got the hamburger – both with fries.  i finished mine.  it was not the best meal i’ve ever had, but still very good.  next time i’m going for brunch.

we spent half of the afternoon in soho shopping and the other half around madison avenue and fifth avenue.  while my wife shopped in her spots, i went to down to j. press to peruse the sale items.  erk told me to ask for jay.  sure enough, jay walter was the first person i ran into.  i told him my friend said he was a legend.  he laughed and said, “tell your friend thanks.”  after he helped me find some sweaters (including the one below), he introduced me to his suit line for j. press.  loved everything about it – the fabric, the fit, the price.  i was surprised to see my suit jacket go up a size, but that’s what happens when you get married and stop exercising.  i told jay i’d be back to see him in the spring sans a few pounds.

i then went up the street to the alden store to buy a pair of indy boots or wingtips.  i was determined to make the purchase this time around.  i failed.  the staff wouldn’t help me and really didn’t offer any input on what i wanted to buy, so i left.  screw ’em.  i’ll buy them at j. crew or order them online.

dinner on friday night was my favorite meal of the trip.  we went to freeman’s – a nice little hideaway down the street from our hotel (i sound like zagats) decorated with christmas tree lights.  for an appetizer we got cheesy bread and for my main meal i got the hanger steak special served with sauteed spinach and some sort of grilled onions.  finished it and definitely going back the next time i’m in nyc.

saturday we started the day off right by eating at egg in brooklyn with our good friends vadis and clay.  i had eaten there last spring and hadn’t shut up about it since.   get the country ham biscuit and grits.  you’ll be talking about it for months too.  after breakfast, clay gave us a tour of brooklyn before taking us to another one of my favorite spots, fette sau.  we ended up sitting next to jenna lyons aka j. crew’s creative director.  i spent $30 on bbq.  only in new york, right?

post lunch we headed back to soho to do a little more shopping which included a trip to the j. crew liquor store on west broad.  i tried on the alden longwings and determined i had no room in my suitcase to pack them and would order them when i returned to nashville.  i ended up buying a red chambray shirt which had been on my shopping list since the summer.  i almost bought the new free and easy, but my wife gave me shit for wanting to spend $30 on a magazine.  i kind of agree with her.

for dinner saturday we met more of our friends – including vadis and clay – at essex in lower east side.  it’s an old warehouse turned into a restaurant.  great appetizers and great drinks.  i ordered wrong (except for the sweet potato fries), but everyone else loved their meal.  the only downside was the redneck with the top-of-head ponytail that almost got in a fight in front of our table.  later we found out it was about a girl.  it always is.  after dinner, we went to a basement speakeasy that served drinks in coffee cups and beers in brown paper bags and then called it a night.

it was an excellent way to spend my 30th birthday.  the cold weather didn’t stop us from having fun.  i love that city.  i’m thinking about making it a yearly tradition.  no reason not to.

  1. May 22nd, 2012

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