Let us now ignore all the previous updates I have promised. I vow to keep that promise - just not now.
Day 1 (or 2, I guess, since I got in yesterday) was absolutely amazing.
It got off to a bit of a rocky start with my cousin's academic trials and tribulations (that's med school!) but we finally made our way out around 3pm and all was forgotten.
First, we headed to Chinatown and the famous Canal street. We were starving and had looked up places to eat on an absolute NYC resource in the matter: menuplaces.com
We chose to eat at Vegetarian Dim Sum, and it was awesome. There were so many options to choose from, and all of them vegetarian! They had mock meats, but there was no need to even dive into that. The portions were huge!! I mean, absolutely humongous! We ordered Spinach dumplings, spring rolls, and some Napa roll thing. And a fried noodles with spicy tofu dish. And a broccoli, bamboo shoots and black mushrooms platter. And brown rice. And some red bean cake for dessert. Also, based a the menuplaces review, we split a large glass of kiwi juice, and it was absolutely stunningly delicious. You could taste and feel the kiwis.
Needless to say it was way too much food and so we ended up bringing half of it home for a supper we're only now devowering.
Then we walked back to Canal street. I had a very important mission: find a new purse. It took many stores and a bit of haggling, but I got a gorgeous two toned blue purse for $25. Along the way, Aleha (the cousin in question) found a blue and black stunner - and we got that for $30 or so. And of course, who could resist the rows upon rows of sunglasses... especially at 2 for $10! Aleha and I tried on many pairs and made many funny faces. And now, I have red sunglasses. Awesome.
Eventually, we abandonned our original plan to go to SOHO - don't worry, it'll get done before I leave!
Instead, we went to the Lower Upper West Side (confused? Tell me about it!), searching for a bakery and a chocolate shop. We eventually found the Jacques Torres chocolate shop - what an amazing smell that place had - and got an ice cream cookie cake. It's heavenly. Especially on a hot muggy day like today.
We then decided to do groceries. At 9pm. Which I find totally awesome. In fact, the whole Upper West Side neighborhood was gorgeous. After groceries, we went to a 24h bagels place and bought some goodies for breakfast/brunch tomorrow. Then walked about 20 blocks to take the crosstown bus. Again, great walk. Easy too, despite the weight of all our bags.
So far, this has been an amazing trip. Aleha and I are having a blast together, and we actually get along super well - which is great given that we're sharing a really small space, and we've known each other for just under a year.
Tomorrow, I'm heading to Yankee Stadium to catch the Blue Jays in action, then meeting Isabelle and her crew for dinner in Times Square, before heading off to the Neatherlander Theatre to see RENT one last time. A night of goodbyes, it seems.