New York for our 40th (actually 41st) anniversary Print

Originally, we planned to visit New York in 2011, for what would have been our 40th anniversary.  I made elaborate arrangements at a few restaurants for special dinners, and booked a room at a unique Renaissance hotel in midtown Manhattan that would have made for a special experience.  And, I booked confirmed business class seats on United for the trip.

Then, we had to postpone the trip not once, but twice, and that moved the trip into 2012.  Oh, well.  The third time was a charm, and we went to New York in May 2012 and it was wonderful to be back.  Having spent innumerable times there, staying with Jennifer and Duane in Bronxville, staying in the Yale Club in Manhattan, etc., this was a new experience for us--familiar haunts, but staying in a new hotel.


I made a reservation at BLT Steak for dinner on our first night, because (1) it's a great restaurant, (2) we both love steak and (3) it's about 100' from the hotel where we would be staying.  In lieu of bread the restaurant serves serves popovers, which are huge and delicious.


Difficult to appreciate in this photo, but trust me--they were great.

The next day we slept in, ate a leisurely breakfast in the hotel, and took a cab up to the Shake Shack location in the upper east side for lunch.  I had eaten at the original location in Madison Park and wanted Sue to experience the place, given that (1) Danny Meyer owns the chain and we love all his other restaurants, and (2) we would be eating at two other Danny Meyer restaurants while we were in New York.

After lunch at Shake Shack, we walked over to 5th Avenue, and while Sue waited and people watched from a bench, I walked up to the Guggenheim to take a few photos.  From there, we went to the Met and spent most of the rest of the day there.  It's an amazing place;  we had been there many times before and for those of you who have been there, you understand. 

We went through the Egyptian exhibits, where we saw one of MacGyver's relatives:


We walked through the medieval arms and arts exhibits, and I saw a flintlock pistol that I knew would be of interest to Christopher, so I took an iPhone photo and sent it to him (via Jennifer and Duane):


We went through the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit of prairie house architecture and, as I always am, I was struck by a Tiffany lamp there:



We also saw--again--the marvelous Tiffany windows and fountains on display.  It was a really nice afternoon.

Friday night we had dinner at Maialino, Danny Meyer's restaurant that deals with pork Italian style and does so incredibly well.  Not only pork, but some fish, and some pasta, and salumi in many forms, all of which are exquisite.  One of the specials that night was braised lamp neck, which I had never had but had to try, and it was excellent.

On Saturday, we spent a lovely afternoon with our dear friend Flo Isaacs and her family.  It had been some time since we'd seen any of them, and the afternoon and evening were wonderful.

On Sunday, we took the subway up to The Cloisters, which was an adventure.  The subway is the best way to get there, given that you must go to the 190th Street station, and we were staying at 57th Street.  But, it meant going to Times Square and changing to the A Train 8th Avenue Express, which, when you're an out-of-towner, is interesting.  Suffice it to say that the place is fascinating and beautiful and is well worth an entire day.  Perhaps two days.

That night, we had dinner at Union Square Café, our favorite restaurant in New York, where the floor manager had graciously made arrangements for our anniversary dinner--three times--and where we enjoyed a wonderful dinner in the upper mezzanine.  The soft-shelled crab course worked for me:


After a great dinner, and some nice conversation with the staff, and after having dessert on our own, they gave us an order of Union Square Cafe cookies.  You have to have had them to understand, but if you haven't had them, trust me--it's a religious experience.


On Monday, we had an early lunch at the Carnegie Deli, home of some of the best (if not THE best) pastrami in the world.  In my youth I could eat one of their sandwiches by myself.  I can't do that now, so we split a Woody Allen--equal parts corned beef and pastrami--and that was perfect.

Woody Allen


This was, of course, accompanied by their famous pickles, which really hit the spot.


That afternoon we went to the Church of the Incarnation in Murray Hill so I could see and photograph the church and its stained glass windows.  The church was the spiritual home for many wealthy individuals living in the area in the 20s and 30s and its stained glass windows were designed by such luminaries as Louis Comfort Tiffany, John LaFarge and William Morris. 

That evening, because our first dinner had been so nice, we went back to BLT Steak for dinner and enjoyed another great dinner and evening.

It was a terrific return trip to New York, albeit too short (aren't they all).  More photos are available for your viewing pleasure below.