The Dog Doesn’t Die

Book reviews & random thoughts

Holiday Weekend in New York

Way back when, Dave went to Cornell Law School, and this past weekend, some of the guys from his class organized a dinner at The Cornell Club in New York City. So off we went, for another weekend trip. We took Amtrak, which is easier than driving. I have the strongly held opinion that no one should drive in New York unless they are prepared to drive like a Yellow Cab. Otherwise, they just create chaos. The Yellow Cabs may look like they’re playing bumper cars, but they know what they’re doing. The rest of us should stay out of their way.

We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn on West 35th. It wasn’t cheap, but it was nice and the location was fantastic. It’s walking distance from Penn Station, and just around the corner from Macy’s and the Empire State Building. Yeah, Macy’s is everywhere, but this is the “historical” Macy’s, the one in Herald Square that was part of the story Miracle on 34th Street. We walked over and viewed the elaborately decorated Christmas displays in the windows.

Our first night in New York, we had dinner at the Fifth Avenue location of Fig & Olive, which was a find — excellent food at reasonable-for-New-York prices, especially if you order from the fixed price menu. I had the mushroom and truffle soup, the thyme chicken paillard, and the chocolate pot de creme. Dave had the same thing only with the bell pepper and tomato soup. The serving sizes were just right, too. We’ll definitely go back.

Afterwards, we walked over to Rockefeller Center and saw the big Christmas tree. One thing I love about New York is how the entire city decorates for the holidays. It seemed like everyone had a Menorah displayed in honor of Hannukah, and the Christmas decorations were over the top in many cases. Other things I like about New York: it’s a walking city, and I like to walk; and there are many independent small businesses, moreso than in a lot of other large cities, where the chains seem to predominate. The people are friendly, too. I know that goes against the city’s image, but that’s been my experience.

On Saturday, we visited the American Museum of Natural History, on Central Park West. Being from the Washington DC area with all of its many museums, you might wonder why we’d visit a museum in another city. Well, we like museums. That’s one of the great things about living near Washington, and we especially like to visit the AMNH when we’re in New York. We saw three special exhibits, on butterflies, the Silk Road, and mammals. I can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon, quite frankly.

Finally, we had dinner with Dave’s law school buddies at The Cornell Club. We had one of the banquet rooms, which was sort of bland compared to the downstairs dining rooms. But the food was very good and the company was lots of fun, as usual.

The next day, it was back onto Amtrak and back home. The weekend was short and sweet, and I can’t wait to go back.

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December 14, 2009 - Posted by | food, hotels, museums, restaurants, travel | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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