Birthday in NYC

I rang in another year last Friday and to celebrate Nick and I headed to New York City for the weekend. We left D.C. late Friday afternoon and arrived at our hotel with just enough time to quickly change before dashing off to make our dinner reservation.

My absolute favorite dish to eat is moules frites, or mussels with fries, and so we headed towards Times Square to dine at BXL East, a local Belgian brewpub that serves a variety of mussel dishes and has an impressive selection of Belgian wheat beers on tap (also my favorite…I choose this place for a reason!).

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I ordered the mussels A la Witte, served with a creamy sauce made from Belgian wheat beer, and Nick had the Thailandaise, with coconut milk, lemon grass and curry. Both of our dishes were amazing, and we had a great time celebrating over dinner!

On Saturday morning Nick was texting with a college friend from Chicago and learned that he and his wife were also in N.Y.C. for the weekend! We had similar plans to head to Brooklyn for the day and so we decided to meet up later that afternoon. Our first adventure was to head to Smorgasburg, a gigantic Saturday food market in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and so we hopped aboard a ferry to take us across the East River. The ferry only took 10-15 minutes, cost $4 and gave us some great views of the New York skyline – it definitely beat riding the subway!

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The food market was amazing, there were dozens and dozens of small food vendors to choose from and it was really hard to decide what to eat. Nick ended up choosing a spicy Korean barbecue slider and I selected an Asian-style hot dog with spicy ketchup and jalapeno mustard and crushed salt and pepper potato chips. The weather was sunny and warm, and since we got there early enough we were able find a picnic table, so we sat for awhile and enjoyed our food and the sights, and just relaxed in the sun.

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lunch

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After our friends joined us and everyone had eaten we headed to Brooklyn Brewery, a local craft brewery (and one of Nick’s favorites) for a beer tasting. The Williamsburg area was filled with old warehouses that have been converted into modern stores and restaurants and it was really fun to walk around and explore the area. This was our first time in Brooklyn and we really enjoyed ourselves, I definitely look forward to visiting Brooklyn again in the future!

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After a few hours of walking around and stopping at a few places we headed to Jeremy’s Ale House, a dive bar along the South Street Seaport, famous for its ginormous Styrofoam beer cups. I wish I had gotten pictures of this little area of stores and restaurants, which was  devastated last year by Hurricane Sandy, since the vast majority of businesses in the area were still shuttered or undergoing renovations – it was eerily quiet.

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Later that evening we headed over to our friends’ hotel, which was conveniently located near the High Line, a public park built on an old freight rail line above the street, which was also on our wish list of weekend stops. We walked along the park for a few minutes before heading to dinner with our friends at a nearby Italian restaurant and then out for ice cream.

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We headed back to D.C. early Sunday morning so that was basically the end of our weekend trip. I had such a great time in New York City, and Nick and I were both so happy that we were able to spend some unexpected time with our friends!

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