A Weekend of Gastronomy & Girlfriends in New York City

The Bethesda Fountain in Central Park.
The Bethesda Fountain in Central Park.

At what point does an obsession become an addiction?  I’ve long been obsessed with New York City, returning to the city year after year, time after time, sometimes going there in a spur of the moment after being unable to deny the desire–no, the urge–to walk along her crowded, noisy streets.

In February I returned to New York City for my 11th time, marking the 10-year anniversary of my first trip to the city.  And after returning home from Spain and France, bummed by the familiarity of Salt Lake City’s streets, I was compelled yet again to go to New York City.  So I enlisted two of my friends and not a month after being home from Europe, the three of us ventured to my favorite city for my 12th time.

Fire Engine 23 in New York City.
It’s the subtle buildings of New York City that I found strikingly beautiful.

By definition, an obsession is the domination of one’s thoughts and feelings by a persistent idea or desire.  An addiction, on the other hand, is the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice to the point of being physically habit-forming.  It seems at this point New York City has surpassed the obsession stage and was well on its way to being a habit-forming addiction.

What can I say?  I just can’t resist New York City.

Little Italy in New York City.
Walking through Little Italy.

My two friends and I explored our way through the city together back in 2008 (I believe that was NYC Trip #6 for me), so this trip was less about sightseeing and more about spending time together.  We focused our time eating and drinking like we did last year while in Sonoma together.

In fact, while we made sure to hit one of New York City’s most famous bagelries (and rumored best), Ess-a-Bagel, had wine and small plates at Stanton Social, and returned to Juni for an explosive tasting menu, we didn’t do much else besides eat.  Unless you count drinking.

The view of Manhattan from the Roof at Park South.
The view of Manhattan from the Roof at Park South.

We stayed at the Goldilocks of hotels, The Park South, with large luxurious rooms and an amazing rooftop bar overlooking Midtown, with perfect proximity to the best discovery I made during my last trip: The Flatiron Room, with 750 whiskeys.  My girlfriends are fellow whiskey drinkers and echoed my feelings of euphoria being there.

The Bethesda Fountain in Central Park.
The Bethesda Fountain in Central Park.

The one and only touristy activity we did, one that’s been on my New York City to do list for years, was ride bikes through Central Park.  It was a perfect summer Saturday and the park was full of people soaking up the sun.  What a contrast to the snow and cold I experienced in the city in February.

We followed our bike ride with a ramen lunch, in what has become somewhat of a tradition during my travels, before ending the trip with an extravagant dinner full of molecular gastronomy (and way too much wine) at Juni.

Kelli Nakagama in New York City.
Drinking on the rooftop on the last night in the city.

And then, in a blink of an eye, as it always happens with New York City, the trip was over and we were on our way back to Salt Lake City.  Now, to contemplate where to go next.  Which makes me wonder: perhaps I’m not so much addicted to New York City as I am addicted to traveling.

Or maybe… I’m addicted to both.

Which is perfectly fine by me.

Stay tuned for more posts from New York City, including a ramen lunch, snapshots from around the city and more.

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