NYC: Day Three Part 1

Saturday, 17 May 2014

First and foremost, I apologize for the delay of this post! It's been a crazy hectic week at work and everytime I come home I either want to sleep right away or let off my steam from the day's events :( So without further ado, here is my last day of NYC...

Much like any vacation or getaway, the last day felt kind of bittersweet. I wasn’t quite ready to face work the next day, especially since I’ve been considerably more carefree the past couple of days and the weather at New York was just wonderful (that rainy day was a bit of a damper but better rainy and warm than rainy and cold right?). At the same time though, what can you do…? I’ll admit, if there’s one thing I don’t miss, it’s the griminess that gets on your skin after a whole day; it’s worse when you have oily skin. 

Anyway, we started our day a little behind schedule, opting to sleep in a bit because our previous night was even later than the first (that’s what happens when you get caught up talking to old classmates!). We went to Empanada Mama, a restaurant that serves Columbian cuisine, for breakfast. I’ve never had Columbian food before, so I was pretty excited. Plus, my Portuguese coworker was talking about empanadas a couple days before my trip. 

My boyfriend ordered an Arroz Con Pollo to share between the two of us. The dish was similar to another one in empanada form but without the hard shell on the outside. It consisted of seasoned yellow rice mixed with sofrito sauce, peas, onions, red peppers and chunks of Colombian styled boneless chicken with fried plantains on the side. I loved taking bites of the rice and accompanying them with some of the plantain, adding a twist of sweetness to the otherwise savoury dish. The food I usually have would never really have fried plantains as part of their dish, so it was refreshing to have something completely different. I think if they served a 5th plantain slice, it would’ve been even better. The ratio of rice to plantains was far in favour of rice, and while I was okay with having about 2-3 spoonfuls of just rice, an extra slice of plantain goes a long way. 

After that, my boyfriend was still hungry (surprise, surprise), so he ordered two empanadas. I wasn’t that hungry but I still wanted to try a bit, so I got a bite out of both of them. The first one he ordered was called the Brasil and it had ground beef, olives, potatoes and sautéed onions. The second one was the Cheeseburger, with ground beef and cheddar cheese inside. We both agreed that we liked the 2nd one better. I would like to think that my preference is attributed to the harmonious mix between the cheese and the meat, giving the empanada a more interesting flavour as opposed to the more bland mix of beef and potatoes. 

We made our way to Central Park next. 

It wasn't too hot, it wasn't too cold, the sun was shining and the scenery was beautiful. There were plenty of runners and cyclists that took advantage of this splendid weather, which made my boyfriend wish we made a bike rental as well. 

We then walked back near our hotel to pack up and eat at the Shake Shack nearby.

What's New York without having a hot dog? Even if it was a regular one, it suited our itinerary as we were scheduled to visit two museums afterwards, so a quick meal was good. And of course, I'd squeeze a plentiful amount of ketchup on my hot dog cause that's how I do...

Originally we planned to visit the Guggenheim first, but my boyfriend greatly underestimated the size and amount of specimens the Museum of Natural History housed. We watched the Dark Universe feature showing because both of us have/had a childhood interest in space. 

 This museum was pretty much the Royal Ontario Museum x3. We breezed through some of the exhibits because we've seen similar things before (i.e. the ecology section) but we couldn't deny our mutual fascination of geology. I used to be one of those kids who would borrow books from the library that explained the properties and history of rocks. Seriously. I loved looking at the different types of crystals and rock formations. If we weren't on such a time limit I would've spent even more time oogling and looking at the vast assortment of minerals, haha.

Stay tuned for part 2! I didn't realize until much later just how many photos I took in the Museum of Natural History (and I think I left my memory card back at work... goddamnit)...

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