Lucky me — back to the Big Apple again after last October’s visit (see previous post). This time the hubby is in tow as the principal reason is a bat mitzvah celebration on his family’s side. Of course I took the opportunity to schedule in a few fabulous meals and two Broadway shows plus an exhibit at the Met, all crammed in to four nights/three full days of non-stop action.
Never were the words “man plans and God laughs” more fitting than experiencing NYC’s second largest recorded snowfall, beginning the night before the event. For much of the eastern seaboard, it became a series of plans changed, plans canceled, plans uncertain until the last minute, and everyone going with the flow.
Our original plan stayed in place for the first 24 hours: we checked into our hotel — The London on W. 54th. A benefit of traveling to snowy cities are the reduced rates, plus this hotel’s location is superb for access to pretty much everything.
We landed in time to have dinner at the exquisite Le Bernardin, the flagship restaurant of Eric Ripert, garnering three Michelin stars, the 18th spot on the World’s Best List, and pretty much every other accolade out there. The dining room is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. Service was impeccable but never snobby, even when I altered the chef’s recommended preparation of a dish. The four-course tasting menu is practically a bargain compared with others in this caliber .. Per Se (east coast sister to The French Laundry) used to be there but has apparently slipped (see review) and is more than twice the cost. The nearly all-female sommelier staff (6 in all) were very knowledgeable with a neatly-edited list focused on certain varieties — heavy on white and red burgundies. I asked what percentage of patrons bring in their own wine and the answer was: “None. It is not allowed.” It was a spectacular meal in all aspects. No wonder it is the toughest reservation around.
The Met visit included taking in the Costume Institute’s exhibit featuring international style/fashion icon Jacqueline de Ribes. The hubby was about as interested in this as having a tooth extraction, but he makes an effort to be a willing participant for which I am grateful. What’s unique and special about this woman is her attention to detail — a dying art. Few women have the time, means and interest to concern themselves with always appearing “just so.” We live in an era of people getting on airplanes in flip-flops and tank tops. It’s not so much about the designer clothing, but rather the caring about one’s appearance which seems to be sadly diminished. Enough said …
Friday afternoon was when the plans for Saturday and Sunday began to change so rapidly it was hard to keep up. The bat mitzvah scheduled for Saturday late afternoon with evening party got moved to Sunday. We made a beeline for the box office at Lincoln Center to change our Sunday matinée tickets (The King and I) to Saturday evening, plus change our nearby dinner reservation as well. So far, so good. We informed the hotel we would be staying through Sunday instead of spending one night in Westchester and coming back to the city for a night. No problem there.
We LOVED the hilarious Something Rotten (second time for me) and departed the theater to a light dusting of snow as predicted late Friday evening.
Saturday morning was something entirely different as the snow was really coming down. Nonetheless, the hubby hightailed it down to the box office to get matinée tickets (phenomenal seats!) for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (again a repeat for me) — as even in a snowstorm Hamilton is impossible. Not 90 minutes later as we showed up at the theater we were informed our show — and all of Broadway — was cancelled due to the weather. In fact, the entire city was shutting down save for the hotels and the restaurants within the hotels. Hello Jonas, the blizzard of 2016. Frankly I don’t see why so many folks had to be hugely disappointed. In some cases the tickets are next to impossible to get; people traveled long distances for special occasions that they may never have again. The actors were already in place; you could hear people cheering as they exited the stage doors to go home. Couldn’t the productions just have a big slumber party if folks connected with the shows couldn’t access their normal means for getting home???
Fortunately our dinner that evening at Nougatine was spared (cannot say the same for the hotel’s umbrella which the wind literally dismantled). This is the more casual companion eatery to Jean-Georges at Columbus Circle. Even that was all upside down as the casual side was overwhelmed in order to accommodate hotel guests (the restaurant is in Trump International Hotel, but you-know-who had nothing to do with this!) so we were seated in the formal dining room with our choice of menus. Anything goes in the face of a blizzard..
One of my favorite
shots … perhaps the
driver needed to make a hasty retreat.
Below as we’re walking
down Central Park South back to the hotel. I would have killed for those cross-country skis.
we had a great time with the hubby’s family, most of whom live in the northeast or Florida so these visits are regrettably less frequent. Congrats to Lauren, the bat mitvah girl, and her family. It’s not easy undoing and redoing an event for which the planning begins more than a year in advance.
As for the experience of being in the “center of the storm,” we actually thought it was quite an adventure … Shout out to JetBlue for getting us home on time Monday even with all the clean up!