A Brief Escape from Reality

This weekend I treated myself to an escape in New York City.  I had plans with a friend late Saturday night and I decided to get a hotel room instead of trekking back home late at night. This would allow me to go in in the afternoon and just use some time to relax.  It has been a bit stressful for the past few months and I needed to get away.  I love NYC in the winter on cool, crisp, sunny days and mild evenings.  There’s no place like it with all the aromas of roasting nuts, hot dogs and the halal food trucks.  There are no tourists and the streets are relatively empty; especially on Sunday morning.

I spent my Saturday afternoon and evening doing things I never get to do: a relaxing afternoon tea, painted my nails (fingers and toes), read a book, browsed through Bloomingdales, etc. I stayed in a Art Deco styled boutique hotel and the adventure of the evening was figuring out how to turn on the shower.  Yup, had to call in an engineer to show me – quite embarrassed when he turned it on within 2 seconds.  I proceeded to meet my friends at Time Hotel Lounge/Club on 49th St.  It was great to not have to worry about how much I was drinking since my bed was only a cab ride away.  Drink of the evening was something called a Cucumber Smash.  I am not much into sweet drinks, and I never make the mistake of ordering a glass of wine at a club (you never know what kind of swill you’ll get) so this was perfect – Cucumber infused vodka, mint, St Germain, lime juice & some muddled cucumber.  Delicious!!  Had a fantastic and fun evening before crashing at around 2:30am.

Slept in till 9:30am – something else I almost never get to do.  I had my eggs benedict for breakfast sans spinach (they were out) and sans the Bloody Mary (had enough vodka & gin the night before).  I requested a late checkout and decided to go for a walk in Central Park.  It was a beautiful Sunday morning.  A little breezy but quite pleasant with a coat and scarf.  The park was fairly empty with only the locals out for runs and walks with their kids.  After walking for about an hour, the smell of the hot dogs got to me and I had to have one.  Yes, I know they’re not healthy, but how can you go to Central Park and NOT eat a hot dog from a street vendor?  I ate mine with sauerkraut and spicy mustard as I always do and kept on walking.  I wound up somewhere around the Met and made my way over to Madison Ave.  This is one of my favorite avenues in Manhattan.  Especially up that North.  It is rarely crowded.  In fact for many blocks I was alone with my thoughts.  At this point I was as relaxed as I could ever be and started heading South back toward my hotel.

As I got close to 864 Madison Avenue, I picked up a heavenly aroma.  When I got there I peeked inside and saw one of my favorite things – Macarons.  The name of the place is Maison Laduree and it specializes in macarons.  Please don’t mix these up with macaroons which are coconut cookies.  Macarons are a French pastry that looks like a round sandwich.  It is light and airy and spread with various delicious fillings. 

I got two macaron with salted caramel and they were absolutely devine.  I nibbled at them slowly the whole walk back to my hotel, and as I left to return home the lingering taste made me feel like my brief escape from reality was truly complete.  I thought about bringing a few home but decided to hold on to this experience to myself for now.  I’ll share another day!
There is absolutely no other city in the world quite like New York!!!  No one will ever convince me otherwise.

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