Just a few days ago, Alessio and I boarded a plane and moved to the United States! We chose NYC as our destination, and in honor of returning to the city I used to call home, here are 5 things I’ve missed and can’t wait to do again.
Potentially my favorite festival on earth, Smorgasburg is a gathering of food vendors from almost every cuisine you can imagine. During summer weekends, you’ll find it in various locations throughout Brooklyn, and honestly, you could eat every meal of a day for a whole summer and still not run out of options! A food experience I’ll never forget from the festival was when my brother was visiting and we decided to be very adventurous and try a sausage sandwich with a ghost pepper salsa. First of all, it was delicious. Secondly, the ghost pepper’s spiciness made me cry. Thirdly, I’d eat it again in a heartbeat! Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name of the stand (I was too busy riding an adrenaline high from the ghost pepper), but if I see it again during my next Smorgasburg adventure I will let the world know!
Central Park and Prospect Park are two beautiful places that are towards the top of my list. They’re sprawling green oases right in the middle of Manhattan and Brooklyn, and who doesn’t love a stroll through nature with a side of people watching? While these spots are undeniably great, my favorite is the less known but equally amazing Highline Park. The Highline is the coolest concept park I’ve seen to date, made on an old elevated railway track that has been converted into a green space. Weaving its way through the Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea, it starts at the Whitney Museum (which I haven’t been to but will as soon as I can!), and ends by the Hudson Yards subway station. For great views, a relaxing walk, and a one-of-a-kind experience in NYC, the Highline Park is perfect. Plus, there are tons of exits and entrances from the railway where you can ‘hop-off’ for a quick bite or art gallery browse!
Tacos at La Chula Harlem
Mexican food has always been close to my heart, and there are lots of great options in NYC, but one of my favorites (because omg their tacos) is La Chula Harlem right of the 6 train at 116th st. From the al pastor to the shrimp tacos you just can’t make a bad choice for a meal here. Add on elote and a frozen margarita at happy hour? Life is good.
The Brooklyn Museum
This museum sits right on the edge of Prospect Park, next to the neighborhood of Crown Heights. I love it for its dedication to both art and history exhibits, a combination that you rarely find evenly represented in a museum. The building itself is beautiful, and the feel of community and open-mindedness just seems to float in the air. Being a neighbor to Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, and lively Crown Heights is the perfect dollop of ice cream on your root beer float! Because my love for food is already apparent in this post, I highly recommend Tom’s in Prospect Heights for pancakes and the Berg’n Beer Hall (which usually hosts vendors that also participate in the Smorgasburg food festival!) You may have to wait in line for a seat at Tom’s, but the food (not to mention the coffee and snacks you get in line) is worth the wait!
When I moved away from New York, one of the comforts I missed (weekly) was Dough doughnuts in the morning. The airy yet dense, flavorful yeasty perfection of these brioche-like donuts is just heaven that melts on your tongue. As a good friend once described a wonderful flavor “it’s like little angels have come down from heaven and kissed my tongue.” Trust me, it applies. My favorite is their tangy lemon poppy seed doughnut, with the hibiscus flavor as a close second. Visit one of their locations early in the morning to make sure your flavor choice isn’t already sold out!
Craving donuts and heading to NYC
Bye from a car!