I can’t believe its taken me two months to put up my pics from my trip to NYC, but here they are. Life kind of swept me away when I got back, but I’ve managed to catch my breath, take a break and finally get to a few projects on the back burner.
I was invited to the ultra fabulous Uncork’d event in Vegas at the end of April, so it just made sense to bolt on a week in the amazing New York City before. I hadn’t been for many years so it was like rediscovering it for a first time. I skipped a lot of the very touristy things as I had done these before, and spent a lot of time walking, eating, walking and walking and then eating some more. Traveling on ones own is a unique experience. You feel more like an explorer than a tourist. It can get lonely, but luckily I met so many cool people along the way to make it all quite awesome. My desire to be in new places far outweighs any apprehension I might have about doing it alone.
The other reason why it took me so long is that I wanted to make a little film with the footage I shot on my GoPro. Editing this presented a major challenge for me, so it got shelved until now. I’m struggling through the steep learning curve of new technology and wanting to create more motion content for my travel stories. But here it is, my little film from New York.
Spring had just started in New York and I was there for the first real sunny day. Between seasons is by far the best time to do any kind of traveling. The temperatures were mild and apart from one day with rain, it was plain sailing through the concrete jungle.
Blossoms were out too.
I didn’t do any fine dining while I was there, I left that all for Vegas, but I did eat a lot of legendary burgers including April Bloomfields famous burger from her Michelin starred The Spotted Pig gastro pub. The burger was tasty, but definitely not the best I’ve ever eaten (a little too dry for my taste), but the shoestring fries with rosemary and garlic were little fried potato shards of pure heaven.
I loved exploring the different neighborhoods and quickly realized that I will need plenty more trips to see and eat everything I want to there. I literally divided my time by eating opportunities, only really two per day, so there are limitations to how much I could eat. I visited Smorgasburg on the Saturday in Willamsburgh Brooklyn. This is New Yorks largest outdoor food market and I was so pleased to catch it. Over 100 local and regional vendors gather to sell their delicious wares. I wish I could have eaten it all. There was such an eclectic mix of food styles and flavours. It was a gastronomic delight. I decided to make a little film of it on a lovely Spring day:
I rented a room in an apartment in hip Williamsburg which I found on airbnb. My host was super cool and was away for half the time so I landed staying on my own and looking after her cute cat which made me feel very much like I lived there. Even if it was only for a few days. I even dropped off a load of laundry like a local and shopped in a supermarket. I could definitely stay in NYC for a longer period of time.
I took far too many pictures of food shops and food displays in food shops, but I was so blown away by the amazing produce it was difficult not to just stare and shoot in amazement. I also realized while writing this that I had way too many pictures of Eataly, so decided to give that incredible Italian food emporium its own blog post. You can see hat that was all about here.
There were many other food shops including Dean & Deluca:
I also visited Grand Central Market in Grand Central station, Chelsea Market, Wholefoods on Columbia Circle and Trader Joe’s. I love seeing what foods are on shelf and whats on trend from a FMCG perspective. The beverage category is huge and filled with amazing flavour combinations. I don’t think we are tracking too far behind in South Africa, it’s just the section you find in these stores is mind-boggling. I even saw fresh sugar cane in Wholefoods.
One of the places I definitely had to visit was Magnolia Bakery. It’s the mothership of the cupcake craze and was my main inspiration when I set up the first online cupcake business in Cape Town back in 2008. The shop seemed even more quaint, beautiful and filled with nostalgia than I had imagined. I felt quite emotional stepping inside. I bought one vanilla cupcake and wish I could have eaten so much more. I do however have both of the cookbooks so I can keep making the treats at home.
I swung past Dominique Ansel’s Bakery in SoHo, but wasn’t going to get up at the crack to queue for a cronut. I have heard its worth the effort, so maybe next time.
All in all I loved my trip to this vibrant city like no other and can’t wait to go back to explore some more. Just when I figured out all the transport systems and the lay of the land I had to leave.