I don’t know how people can update their blogs every single day! Talk about disciplined…
Yesterday was the day. The day I got on a subway and took it into the city. All by myself. Granted, I got on the “R Train,” which is a local subway so it stops at EVERY stop. And when I told my family, they just laughed at me. But I did it and, an hour later, reached my destination. I was meeting Alyssa near Madison Square Garden and I found my way. This may not seem like a big deal to the average person, but I’ve never taken public transportation by myself. No, I’m not spoiled. But public transportation in California sucks and the few times I’ve been to NY, we’ve had family around all the time. So, yes. This was a monumental day in my life! =)
Anyway, Alyssa and I enjoyed an amazing NY-filled day together. We met up at a Starbucks on 28th and Park – which, by the way, was the BIGGEST Starbucks I have EVER seen. I don’t know why California doesn’t get these fancy, schmancy, lavishly huge Starbucks. We were deciding on where to go for lunch. I’ve been trying to be a bit more conscious of my eating decisions here because it can get pretty out of control with so many food places around. I secretly wanted salad, but she wanted to go to a dosa place. When I first heard dosa, I was not too thrilled. I’m not a huge fan of South Indian food, but she assured me it was an “Americanized” dosa place. I’ve never heard of something like that, but was up for the adventure.
Typical dosa is made with this crepe-like bread that they stuff with spicy potatoes and dunk in a soup-like “sambar.” They can also add different kinds of chutney. The place that we went to, called Hampton Chutney, had the option of getting the “original dosa,” but I wanted something with greens and wanted to branch out. The menu looked a little something like this – the image is blurry, but you can get the idea:
My dosa was filled with chicken, spinach, roasted tomatoes, and goat cheese. With a side of curry chutney. After ordering (and giving them my name), I sipped on some “almost-like India” chai.
The reason I say “almost-like,” is because it definitely wasn’t as sweet. Which I appreciated. Indians just throw in the sugar, which does make it taste wonderful, but then my teeth hurt and I feel guilty.
Finally, SARAH was called and I walked up to get my food – surprisingly I still get shocked at how wide they make these things:
I quickly tore into it and was pleasantly surprised at the taste – it was really REALLY good! I’m not a huge fan of the outside “dosa-bread,” but I liked what was on the inside:
It filled us up, but not with that disgustingly-full feeling. I felt satisfied and didn’t feel like I had overeaten. She then took me to her favorite coffee place, Birch Coffee, so we could get some work done.
Pros about this place:
The LATTES. I got an iced soy latte – unsweetened, and it was AMAZING. I don’t know what soy milk they use, but it was definitely better than the lattes I get at Starbucks.
They have a hidden library upstairs. So you can order your drink, walk into what I assumed was a different building and then walk up a set of stairs to get to a private library filled with study tables and books!
They have bathroom humor:
And it was just an overall really good place to work. Not too loud, not too quiet. The room temperature was comfortable. They had a huge comfy couch that looked like I could pass out in forever.
The only con to this place was that they give you an “Internet card” when you purchase a drink, but they log you out after an hour. Then you have to purchase something else to use the Internet again! Maybe native New Yorkers know ways to get around this rule, but I could see that as a huge reason why people choose Starbucks over this place.
Anyway, after our Internet hour was up, we went back to Alyssa’s apartment. Typical NY studio (you know, the kind where the shower is in the kitchen. And the kitchen sink is the bathroom sink). I can’t believe how expensive this city is! Rested a bit (
and by rested, I mean charged our iPhones. Damn battery life). Then started heading toward West Village where we would be eating dinner. It was absolutely adorable there. The kind of place where there are cobblestone roads, cute little restaurants, beautiful apartment buildings, and trees lining the small streets. I loved it – I can imagine it being a gorgeous place at night. And during the winter.
We went to Westville for dinner. It’s this TINY restaurant on one of those CUTE streets. Apparently, it gets pretty crowded and packed (I can imagine – there’s only 4 tables inside.
They had two menus – one was your typical typed-up menu. But the other one with the Specials was handwritten and photocopied. It was interesting. I don’t know if that’s to add to the “culture” of the restaurant, but I’ve never seen a menu like it, haha.
We split the ” 4 for $14 side deal,” and got this amazing plate of vegetables and other tasty treats:
I ordered a Greek Salad – it intrigued me because it was made with goat cheese and not feta. Which I wasn’t too sure about, because feta is my FAVORITE. But it was deliciousssss. I didn’t have to use the dressing because the chicken was seasoned well and the goat cheese, onions, and olives added enough flavor to the whole mix:
It was a really cute restaurant – very good ambiance. We then started heading back to the apartment – but had to stop at Pinkberry for a quick dessert! =)
Had to say goodbye to Alyssa, but will probably end up seeing her later today! Took the R all the way back home (less nervous this time).
Plan for today: going to jump on the subway once again and head toward Stephen’s school. This time I’m going to have to transfer (an even bigger challenge). Then, my family is meeting up somewhere called 5 Burro Cafe for some margaritas. Stay tuned….