Empire State of Mind

Hey guys! Happy Thursday! Thanks for all your sweet comments and concern regarding Daxter’s emergency trip to the vet hospital. I am happy to report that he seems to have recovered 100%!



With the crisis averted with my little one, now I can finally get excited for my New York trip that is happening… tomorrow! Yayyy! This trip has been planned for a while and I’m really excited to take in all that the Big Apple has to offer, hehe. The last time I was in New York was last summer when I went on a very quick, very awesome whirlwind trip (we were there for less than 24 hours) with some of my old coworkers.


CS Team NYC Trip! 

It was a great trip, but this time I’m looking forward to being able to spend a little more time exploring the city with Steve and meeting up with some old friends:


Taiwan 3zbs! 

How’s that for a blast from the past? That picture is from junior year of high school – in Taiwan! Oh, the good old days. I’m also looking forward to hopefully getting to see the following cutie patootie in action:


How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying 

But… I’m trying to appropriately temper my hopes. We’re hoping to get some same-day tix from the TKTS booth in Times Square, but I know it’s still a relatively new show so there’s no guarantee. Getting advance tickets would have been $$$ though, and certainly out of this girl’s broke budget! So hopefully fate is on our side with this one.

I know I’ve written about what I’m dying to do in NYC before, but just to recap for you, the following definitely WILL be happening:


Harry Potter Discovery Exhibit 

The Harry Potter Exhibit at the Discovery Museum! Eeeeeee! I do love me some Harry. I mean… hello?


Harry Potter Nerds Unite! 


And we’ll also be taking in an art show for an artist that Steve is really into but I forget exactly who (Brian Vaughn?) and meeting up with a couple of his old friends who live in the city as well. It’ll be a pretty busy weekend, I know! But if any of you big city dwellers are going to be around, let me know and maybe we can try to meet up!

Since this is only my 3rd visit to NYC I’ll need your expert recommendations, since I’m sure most of you are far more cultured than me, haha. What are your New York must-sees? Restaurant recommendations? Lay ’em on me! As an avid Food Network watcher and Top Chef fan, naturally all the restaurants I want to try are in the upper echelon of expensiveness and exclusivity, haha (Craft, anyone?) So I think it’s probably a pretty safe bet that ain’t happening.

Posting will likely be sporadic at best while I’m gone, but fret not! I’ll be back with an awesome recap in no time.



  1. We had a Craft here in Atlanta and it closed! I guess it’s more of a New York thing. I’ve only been to NYC a handful of times so I don’t have any suggestions for you, but have fun!

    • Well maybe if they’re in other cities then I’ll get the chance to try it out one day anyway… without the 11% NYC food tax! Hahahaha

  2. Jen Robinsonsays:

    I heart NYC but I, too, have mostly only frequented the pricey joints (Craft, Tao) although Dan and I found this great Italian place near Bryant Park (ish) that was delish and not too expensive. Have fun!!

  3. I’ve never been to New York but have always wanted to go. The city is SO big though, I wouldn’t even know where to start. I suspect my cousin will be moving there in a couple of years so I might wait it out until she does, then I’ll have a couch to crash on.

    I’m a HUGE Harry Potter fan. I went to the exhibition when it was in Toronto and I have to say that it was a bit over-rated and over-priced. (Or maybe I just hyped it all up and thought it was going to be super amazing, but it was just OK). I don’t think I really knew what to expect. It’s mostly props from the movie which are actually really cool to see and if you go into the exhibit knowing that it’s just props from the movie then I think you’ll like it.

    I hope you end up scoring some cheap broadway tickets!

    • Having a relative to crash with is the best! I hear that the exhibit isn’t too spectacular for what it boasts, but I know I’ll still love getting to see the props and whatnot. Pretty much anything that has to do with HP, I am okay with. 😛

  4. Fun times—have a safe trip! I went in July and December last yr and loved S’mac (a restaurant devoted to just mac n cheese!!) and Pomme Frittes for their fries and dipping sauces. We went to Serendipity and it was entirely overrated–stay away! Oh–and Crumbs if you like cupcakes 🙂

    • OMG. An entire place that just does mac & cheese? And a fries place!? They just made it onto my list. Om nom nommmm. And yeah, there are like 18792473 different bakeries, cupcakeries, and dessert places I want to try. Augh! 1 weekend is not enough! 🙂

  5. Good luck with the tickets!

    I’ve only been to New York with my parents when I was younger and I really don’t remember any great places we went to eat at, except for Carnegie’s Deli where I got a pastrami sandwich the size of my head.

  6. Aniasays:

    Hey Gretchen!

    Happy to hear Daxtar is back to 100% : )

    I hope you do get to see How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying because it was really good!!! A friend and I saw the final dress rehearsal/one of the first public paying performances, and although I’ve never gotten into the whole Harry Potter thing, I didn’t know Daniel Radcliffe was such a Broadway star! The entire cast is great though, and it was a lot of fun.

    When I lived in NYC, two of my favorite places – Central Park and the Union Square Greenmarket! I think the market is open both Friday and Saturday until late afternoon – check it out if you can!

    As for restaurants, I love Angelica Kitchen – it is organic, plant based cuisine – unique and delicious. Cafe Lalo is super charming and yummy (featured in the movie You’ve Got Mail). I recently went to Good Enough To Eat for brunch, and although we waited about an hour, it was totally, totally worth it! Alice’s Tea Cup is super cute too (I’ve visited the Chapter 2 location), and finally if you are obsessed with PB and Co peanut butters (like me!), you could always swing around their shop too : ) Actually, if I’m not mistaken, the owner of PB & Co. owns SMAC as well, which I saw was recommended in a previous comment. I’ve been there too, and if you do love mac and cheese, it’s pretty darn delicious : )

    And if you find yourself in Queens by any chance, shoot me a message! I can definitely recommend some yummy places there too.

    Have tons of fun!

    • Oh my gosh, I wish I was going there for a MONTH so I could go to ALL of the places you mention! Also, glad to hear that the show is good, and that the cast is great in it. Hopefully I can get tickets – it’s already one of my favorite musicals, so the fact that Daniel Radcliffe is starring in it is really just graaaavy. 🙂

  7. Jomariesays:

    Not sure if you’re a huge pizza person but if you’re looking for legit, new york style pizza DONE RIGHT. Go to “Koronet’s” pizza on 111th and Broadway, you will thank me. Also, directly next to it is a market called “Westside Market”, literally one of the coolest markets I’ve ever been to in NY.

    • Who doesn’t like pizza? Seriously! Both of those places sound awesome — I will definitely try to check ’em out (esp. the market. I love markets!!)

  8. Yay have fun in NYC! I haven’t been since i was in 4th grade, so i have nothing to offer!

    • Hahaha, that’s about right for me on my very first trip, too. Which is why I’m so excited about this time!

  9. Have a great time! I went to new york twice last year–both for weddings.

    Anyways, one of my favorite and cheap places to go in Manhattan is Spice! If you can make it for lunch, it’s an even better deal because you get an appetizer for free with any entree. I usually get the Siamese fried rice with chicken along with the shrimp fritters for my appetizer. Here’s the link to their site. They have a bunch of locations too. http://www.spicethainyc.com/spice/home/index.html#

  10. Considering we had dinner together last night, I’m noticing a lack of daily eats posts!

    • I know, I know… I’ve been bad and lazy and lackadaisical (I don’t think that word actually is appropriate here, but I’m still rolling with it.) I promise the return of Daily Eats posts when I return from the Big Apple!

      Sidenote: all daily eats posts are being posted directly to the “Daily Eats” page of this blog, and not to the homepage anymore. They’ll still appear in your reader, however.

  11. One of my best friends works at TKTS!! His name is Mark, he is blonde and VERY loud. If you see him / hear him, tell him that I said to set you up with something good 🙂

  12. MUST WARN U! went to the hp exhibit a couple weeks ago. THEY DO NOT ALLOW PHOTOGRAPHY OR VIDEOGRAPHY OF ANY TYPE. and there is ZERO cell reception down there. also, be prepared to maneuver around little kids. i felt like i was in a wading pool…

    • Hmmm… thanks for the warning! I’ll bear that in mind. I’m sure I’ll still totally be geeking out over it all though. Can’t wait to seeee you!

  13. momofuku milk bar! home of the compost cookie, cake truffles, and cereal milk. The East Village location also has momofuku’s pork buns, but it is a PITA to get to. There is a midtown milk bar location that’s upstairs from ma peche, momofuku’s “bistro” restaurant (it’s actually pretty reasonably priced). ma peche is where one of the top chef all star teams ate at and they had to create a dish a la david chang.


  14. So close to me yet so far away. I didn’t know about the Harry Potter Exhibit but now I’m squealing to see it.

    Have a blast and enjoy the City that Never Sleeps.

  15. stevesays:

    The artist is Brian Ewing

  16. You should check out Chelsea Market! It’s in the old Nabisco factory and current home of the Food Network (they film Iron Chef in the studios above). There’s tons of yummy local food and interesting things to see/eat there. The Highline Park is right there, as well, and always worth a walk. Have fun!!!

    p.s. Love your blog! Your attitude and successful weight loss is quite inspirational!!

  17. I LOVE NEW YORK! have a blast!

  18. I’m so glad your puppy is okay! That’s so scary.

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