NYC for my Birthday Weekend

For my 30th birthday Austin suggested that we take a weekend trip to New York, which may be one of the best idea he’s ever had.

Bless his lil heart, but the man is not a planner. That said he knew I had spent the past couple months far more stressed than I typically am so he really stepped up to the plate to knock my birthday out. He found us a hotel in the perfect location for walking to shows, but not having to hear all the Times Square hustle and bustle. We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn on 54th, which is by no means a 5 star accommodation but its a perfect little room for the purpose of sleeping and getting ready. I would gladly stay there again. The cherry on top was that Austin’s dad actually gifted us the hotel stay – super generous.

For our first dinner we went to Beyond Sushi which is a vegan asian food chain. To me it felt like a mix between a fast casual and a casual sit down restaurant. We ordered three sushi rolls, the Spicy Mang, Sunny Side, and Pickle Me. The Spicy Mang was our favorite roll of the three, but the real treat were the dumplings. They were amazing! We ordered the Fun Guy and Kale Yeah dumplings and they were so good that I instantly regretted not ordering the third dumpling option. Realistically, we were too full to order another dish but these dumplings are a must if you stop in Beyond Sushi on your next trip to New York. Other things we ordered were the Watermelon Mint Lemonade and the Cinnamon Roll, both of which were just ok.

After dinner we had some time to kill before our first show of the weekend, The Book of Mormon, so we strolled around time square taking in the sign, the people, the action, and trying to strongly avoid the smells and the dudes selling their mixtapes. I noticed there was a CoverGirl store so we popped in for me to check out the new vegan line. Then we walked back to our hotel room to drop off our leftovers and quickly refresh ourselves before the show.

The Book of Mormon is by no means a new show so I’m sure some of you have already seen it, but for those who haven’t OMG you need to go see it. It was hilarious! There’s barely a moment to catch your breath before they are onto the next gag. It was way better than anything I could have expected.

The next day we slept in a bit and took our time getting ready, after all this was a weekend away so it must include a least a little bit of relaxing. Then we walked to by CHLOE to fuel up for what would be a very long day. I had a kale caesar salad and a side of the mac n’ cheese both of which were delicious. I love kale caesar salads!

we walked to The Met which, wasn’t a terrible walk, but wasn’t the greatest in the boots I packed. It was however a really beautiful walk along Central Park and past all the beautiful buildings that line it. The museum was packed, but its also huge so it didn’t actually feel crowded. We didn’t quite make it through the whole museum since my feet were dying. Of what we did get through I found myself most drawn to the Modern & Contemporary Art.

There were a couple pieces that really stand out in my memory. The first is The CafĂ© Terrace by Diego Rivera. Something about all the dots really captivated me; I couldn’t stop staring.

The other piece that stood out to me was Being With by Roberto Matta. I know you can’t exactly tell from the picture above but this painting was huge at just over 7 by 15 feet, taking up an entire wall. There are so many figures scattered across this confusing landscape, engaging in bizarre torture/sex acts that I found myself staring at this one for quite some time as well. There’s so much to see in this painting and it all feels really fucked up, which I’m rather drawn to.

We were in The Met for hours so we didn’t have any time to head back to the hotel before we were due at Lady Bird for our dinner reservation. Lady Bird is a vegan tapas restaurant in a small, but beautifully decorated space. You definitely want to make a reservation if you plan to eat here because seating is very limited. We ordered a buffalo maitake bun, loaded potatoes, baby corn, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower (check out their menu for the descriptions). Everything was delicious but if I had to pick a favorite the baby corn and brussels sprouts might be tied. I didn’t love the buffalo maitake bun, but I just don’t personally like the texture of boa buns – the buffalo mushrooms were very good on their own, though. Lady Bird also offers vegan fondue so next time we’re in NYC I’m definitely getting us another reservation to try that out.

After dinner, we went back to the hotel to rest for an hour before needing to head to our second show of the weekend. We weren’t planning to see two shows, but made the decision the morning of since we knew there wasn’t really anything night-life related we wanted to get into. We somehow managed to find amazing seats for Hadestown just a few rows back from the stage. This is a show that’s definitely going to stick with us for a while. It was absolutely amazing from start to finish and the cast was so incredible. We’ve been listening to the soundtrack non-stop.

That night we slept so well after being on our feet nearly all day. I have to say I loved the beds in this hotel. I usually hate hotels mattresses and can’t sleep well in hotels, but I slept well both nights we were here. Sunday we slept in for bit before we walked to grab a quick bite before we needed to check out. We were to Gregory’s Coffee, a chain cafe. I had the Hall & Oats cold brew and their JustEgg vegan scramble breakfast sandwich. The sandwich was satiating and I was super excited to find such a great vegan option in a chain cafe. The Hall & Oats cold brew was coffee (obviously), oat milk, cinnamon, and vanilla in the absolute perfect combination of those ingredients. I really wish we had a few Gregory’s locations in the Baltimore area.

And, that was our trip. We checked out of the hotel, got the car from valet, and hit the road back to Westminster, home to our little Frannie kitten who was rather smitten to see us.