A Few Things I Did This Weekend

My first few weeks in the city have been pretty busy, so I had intended for this weekend to be nice and relaxing to compensate for all of that. On my agenda, I had no sites to see, no restaurants to try, and no places to go. Of course, nothing ever works out as planned, so instead of doing nothing, I ended up doing a bunch of stuff. And like any good blogger, I had my iPhone in hand and am now here to report on it.

The weekend started out inauspiciously, with monsoon-level rains hitting the city on Friday evening (this is only a slight exaggeration; I got absolutely drenched on my way home from work, and my umbrella barely survived the super high winds unscathed). On Saturday, thankfully, the sunshine was out again. And, much like Madison Square Eats a few weekends ago, there was a festival in my neighborhood – the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party.

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I’ve mentioned before that I don’t really love barbecue, but since it was happening so close by, I figured I had to give it a try. The event draws barbecue restaurants from around the country, who come to NYC and set up stands all over Madison Square Park and the adjacent streets. It’s $9 per plate, and most stands seemed to serve pulled pork, ribs, or sausage. The event was jam-packed, so I ended up choosing the stand with the least outrageous (though still long) line and wound up with this tasty pulled pork sandwich:

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I considered sampling from other booths, but the crowds were so insane (and the streets were so smoky from all the barbecuing) that I just gave up…only to head over to Eataly, which is equally filled with insane crowds. My mission at Eataly? Gelato, of course.

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After waiting in line for about a half hour, I made my way to the front and got a cone with two scoops – one tiramisu, and one salted caramel. The tiramisu gelato was only average (I thought the flavors were a bit too subdued), but the salted caramel gelato was crazy good. Next time I brave the Eataly madness, I’d go with straight up salted caramel.

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Later that night, I met up with my best friend for dinner at Hummus Kitchen. I forgot to snap a picture of my meal (hummus, falafel, and chopped side salad), but I did manage to get the most important part: my sangria. Priorities.

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On Sunday, I headed to Central Park and met up with a bunch of friends for a picnic. It was perfect picnicking weather, and we set up camp on the grass in the southwest (Columbus Circle) corner of the park. Everyone brought something to share, and we ended up with a random but oddly satisfying spread: bread and various cheese, cherries, Chinese dumplings, mini cupcakes, and Dunkin Donuts Munchkins. Like I said, random but delicious!

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After our picnic ended, I wandered around the park a bit and then headed back home, inadvertently getting caught up in the chaos of the Puerto Rican Day Parade. After a weekend filled with crazy crowds, finding myself awash in a sea of Puerto Rican revelers somehow seemed like a fitting conclusion.

And thus ended my “relaxing” weekend in NYC. What did you do this weekend?

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