My shopping plans were curtailed by various Easter Sunday closures yesterday, so instead we wandered up Museum Mile to the very east of the Upper East Side. First, though, we stopped to peek at the bonnets, bunny ears and other festivities in the Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue.
We wanted to visit the Frick Collection, my favourite New York museum, but it is pay-what-you-wish there on Sundays from 11-1, so there was a big queue. Instead, we headed for the Guggenheim, which I haven't visited in over a decade. There was a fun postcard exhibition, and I also enjoyed a collection of geometric prints and mirrored designs, but the building itself is one of the main reasons to visit the Guggenheim.
My mum wanted to stop by Carl Schurz Park by the East River around 85th Street, and we all enjoyed a bit of dog-watching at the puppy park.
It was, however, a bit of a long yomp to get back to the closest decent cup of coffee — the Upper East Side branch of Joe on Lexington near 75th Street. Recharged by a chocolate chip cookie and a Colombian pourover, I mustered the energy to hike back across Central Park to the more familiar territory of the Upper West Side. Many of the shops were closed, but happily, Shake Shack was open, and I finally had my first burger of the trip — the ever-excellent Shack Burger — and a peanut butter shake.
The sun seemed to disappear along with the Easter bunnies, but you don't need sunshine to have fun in Manhattan. We took a cab down to the West Village for a wander and a browse in the — open! — Three Lives & Co, an excellent independent book store, and then went for a pre-dinner cocktail at the gin den known as Madam Geneva (a sister bar to Saxon & Parole, which is next door), near the Bowery. We only had time for one drink, so I went for the Bleecker Fix, which involved Aviation gin, St Germain, lime, chilli and cucumber and which was refreshing and delicious.
For dinner, we only needed to dash across the Bowery to the Bowery Meat Company on East 1st Street. They serve steaks but they aren't a steakhouse. We had a lovely time! The food and service were both great. I started with a cauliflower steak — mainly because it sounded so interesting — and it was really good: char-grilled with almonds and raisins. After a cheeky oyster and a borrowed king prawn, it was time for the main courses: I had the burger, which came with raclette and fried onions, and a huge bowl of salt and pepper fries. I also tried a bite of the côte de bœuf, and everything was delicious. I didn't have room for pudding, but managed to share the PB & J: peanut butter mousse with peanut brittle and strawberry jam. Oh yes, we will be back!
The Empire State Building was all lit up in pretty pastel shades for Easter, so when we got back to the hotel, I took a little stroll down Fifth Avenue to take some photos. Despite the lack of shopping, it was a pretty good Easter Sunday.