Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Explore New York : Times Square & Marseille

Today I'm launching a new series, Explore New York, in which I'll share my escapades in and around the Big Apple. I've journeyed across the Hudson from our Jersey abode to NYC several times already, and I can't wait for many more big city adventures in the months to come. Let's go exploring!


The hubs and I took our first trip to NYC two days after arriving in New Jersey, the day before G ended up having to go to Rhode Island (where his boat was in dry dock) for several weeks. It was a hot and sunny Sunday afternoon in June, but we braved the heat and walked from our Union City apartment to the Port Imperial ferry station to cross the Hudson River into Midtown. Since it was my first time on a ferry, I just had to sit on the upper deck and take in the panoramic views of Manhattanwindblown hair be damned.

A short 8-minute boat ride later, we arrived to the promised land. New York City! At 30 years old, I was finally in the city I had always dreamed of visiting. I felt electric. I could hardly contain my excitement as we started walking through Hell's Kitchen to Times Square, the penultimate tourist spot. I'm not sure what I expected, Times Square always looks like a thrilling place to be on TV, but in the end it reminded me of Hollywood and Highland in L.A., just with bigger buildings and more neon signs. Like you'll find along Hollywood Boulevard, there were lots of people, mainstream shops strange street characters and costumed personalities. Though, I don't remember L.A. having nearly naked painted ladies, but that's the Big Apple for you.

After snapping a few photos of the city sights and flashing billboard lights, eating a giant soft pretzel (that wasn't all that good but I felt it was a required NYC experience) and picking up a few goodies at Sephora (including a rice extract-infused face mask sheet and, appropriately, Tarte's Park Ave Princess Contour Palette), we left the hustle and bustle of Times Square and started back toward the ferryand on the hunt for dinner.

With no game plan or prior research, G and I figured we'd just stumble upon something during our stroll back to the waterfront, and of course we didthere are so many places to eat in NYC! Almost too many choices. As a newbie it can be overwhelming to choose, and as people who don't make decisions easily, it can be downright impossible. After glancing around and taking in our options, I told the hubs we should go wherever looked busy because then it must be good, right? We quickly settled on a French-Mediterranean brasserie, Marseille, located near the Theater District on the corner of Ninth Avenue and West 44th Street. The eatery's outdoor seating was almost full. And we weren't disappointed.

Everything was incredibly delicious. We began our al fresco dinner with wine. The refreshing “Cuvee Juliette” rose for me and, because G doesn't follow those weather-dictates-wine rules, a glass of Pinot Noir for him. To eat, I actually ordered two appetizers: fresh, pillowy sweet pea gnocchi with spring vegetables in a parmesan cream sauce and lemony baby artichokes oreganata. The hubs went for the succulent beef short rib “bourguignon,” served atop a velvety pomme puree and drizzled with a delectable cabernet wine sauce.

And because we couldn’t decide on just one dessert (they all sounded divine), we shared the strawberry mousse sponge cake with basil ice cream and a slice of mocha tart with candied hazelnuts and chocolate cream. Considering we had no idea where to eat, Marseille was quite the find! Though, I told G we can’t dine so good every time we go into the city, or else we’ll be brokefast.

With full bellies and happy hearts, we continued on home. The neighborhood we walked throughHell's Kitchenlooked so lovely in the golden evening sunlight and I couldn't help but daydream about living in one of the gorgeous, ivy-covered brownstones. A yarn bomb adorning a tree along the sidewalk summed up my feelings perfectly: I heart NY.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned—more NYC adventures coming up.

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