We arrived into JFK at 5:00pm on October 28th and made our way to the INNSIDE New York NoMad in Chelsea where we bumped into Uncle Steve outside. He and Auntie Susan had been in New York since the wedding and we would be spending the next 2 days with them. That night, we went for dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant called La Pecora Bianca that they had been to earlier in the week and really enjoyed. Uncle Steve seemed to be on a first name basis with everyone. We started with some delicious focaccia, burrata, and hen of the woods mushrooms. Auntie Susan had spaghetti in pomodoro, Bec had the tagliatelle in Bolognese, I had the gramigna with house made sausage, and Uncle Steve couldn’t resist another run at the pork chop. We were all feeling a little full after dinner so we took the long way back to the hotel. The ladies were giving the guys a hard time about going home so early on a Saturday night in New York, but we still said goodnight and went to our rooms. Bec soon informed me that she was calling Auntie Susan to ask if she wanted to go out on the town and, sure enough, she did. So the 4 of us were back out into the streets of Manhattan. Earlier, I had scoped out a nearby cocktail bar named the Flatiron Lounge so we dropped in. We finally called it a night after a couple of nightcaps in the dimly lit bar.
The next morning, our good luck with the weather had run out…big time. The rain was lashing down in sheets with strong gusts of wind. Not ideal weather for strolling around the Big Apple. Bec and I popped over to the nearby Markt, a Belgian brasserie, to meet our friend Debbi from London for Sunday Brunch. Bec and I stayed with Debbi when we left Canada and she moved to New York just 6 months ago. After our catch up, we met Steve and Susan at the 28th Street subway station and headed for Lower Manhattan. We surfaced at Prince St and braved the rain over to REI, an outdoor shop I had always wanted to visit. I had been researching new hiking boots and REI carried the pair I wanted. The others waited patiently as I tried on some different sizes, but I think everyone was happy to be out of the rain. Boots in hand, we continued to the International Center of Photography Museum. We spent a couple hours walking through the exhibit by Lauren Greenfield titled Generation Wealth. From there, we headed back to the hotel for happy hour in Steve and Susan’s room and opened a bottle of wine from our cellar we had brought with us. That night, we would be celebrating Uncle Steve’s birthday. Auntie Susan had found Cosme, a restaurant serving contemporary Mexican-inspired food. Each of the share plates were so different and delicious, but the duck carnitas were the clear winner in my mind. Later, we walked over to Raines Law Room, a hidden cocktail bar. We rang the buzzer, were greeted, walked down into the basement, and shown to our table. The prohibition themed bar was a great way to end the night.
The next morning Bec and I grabbed a coffee and NY bagel and headed down to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. We took our time going through a number of the exhibits, but, in hindsight, we wish we had set more time aside for the Historical Exhibition which tells the story of 9/11 using artifacts, images, first-person testimony and archival audio and video recordings. It is nice to see the area completed as it was still under construction the last time I was there. Uncle Steve and Auntie Susan met us at the Memorial Pools around lunchtime and we decided to go for a burger at Shake Shack. Afterwards, we got on the subway and rode it up to 14th Street. We spent some time wandering through Chelsea Market before walking north on the High Line, a 1.45 mile elevated park on an old rail line. Back at the hotel, we had time for one last happy hour before saying our goodbyes. There was an A380 at JFK waiting to take us home to Abu Dhabi.