As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow

Anticipating New York City

Yesterday (Monday) was when the giddiness started—only one more day until my debut trip to NYC! I say my debut trip as I have only been to NYC once and I was staying in Jersey with an ex-boyfriend and we spent a day in the city—so I don’t really feel like I’ve “done” NYC. This time I’ll be staying at the iconic in mid-town Manhattan and in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.

The real reason for my trip to NYC is the Cookbook Conference. I heard about the conference in the fall and the subject really peaked my interest. Back in October when I was making my plane reservations, I decided to pad my trip a few days on either side of the conference just in case a blizzard or the Stay Puff Marshmellow Man came through (it would be February after all). The best part of that padding? The weather is predicted to be quite mild and I’ve got a week in NYC!

As I sit on the plane my giddiness continues—Where to go? Where to eat? What to eat? What not to miss? What hidden gems can I find?

So far, topping the list are the following:

Queens. Yes, I know. An outer borough that’s not hip Brooklyn? Really? I’ve never been to Queens but I have this fascination with it that stems from its dizzying array of ethnic neighborhoods; neighborhoods that I hope to hear English only when I’m talking. I’ve read about the elevated #7 Train that runs straight through the heart of Queens, or the world, I should say. I’m hoping to get a taste of Romanian, Turkish, Irish, Indian, Korean, Chinese, Ecuadorian, Indian and Italian life—and food—on this urban adventure.

A park, that’s not Central Park. I know I’ll be hitting up Central Park at some point during my time in NYC, but I have this rather strange desire to find a more hidden nature in the City. So far the parks that have peaked my interest are the High Line (a once train track, now elevated park in Chelsea); Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, which is home to hundreds of migratory birds in the spring and autumn in Queens; and Inwood Hill Park in Harlem, which has miles of trails overlooking the Hudson River.

Ger-nis Culinary Center in Brooklyn. I don’t recall how I found Ger-nis on the internet, but I am glad I did. Among other things, it houses a teaching kitchen that offers cooking classes. Being that The Happy Kitchen will soon have its own teaching kitchen, I’m excited to take notes!

I Hate Perfume. I heard an interview with the owner of I Hate Perfume, which is located in Brooklyn. Supposedly the owner really did hate perfume and therefore started making his own, which are some of the most interesting smells I’ve heard about (Old Library Books, anyone)?

The NYC Greenmarkets. Even though it’s winter up here, there are a ton of farmers’ markets held year-round. The most famous is probably Union Square. I’m not sure if I’ll go here or end up at a different one—or both—we’ll see..

Ok, and here is the run-down of the restaurants/specialty food stores I hope to patronize:

The restaurant, Prune (I read owner/chef Gabrielle Hamilton’s memoir, Blood, Bones and Butter)

The Spotted Pig Gastropub (Everyone’s talking about this place)

Russ and Daughters: Saw this place on No Reservations. They have been in biz since 1914. Their specialty are smoked fish and bagels.

Murrays Cheese Shop: Mission—find some really good stinky cheese.

A bar that I don’t yet know of that has non-NYC priced beers and spirits.

Fill in the blank New York Style pizza

Fill in the blank New York Style bagels

Will I get to do everything on my list? Probably not…but the best part is I’ll have fun wherever I end up!


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