Day three in New York started with good bye to Laura as she had to go back to New Hampshire and her real life of teaching. Lisa walked her to Penn Station and when Lisa returned, we had breakfast in the hotel and planned our day. We decided that we would go to the Guggenheim Museum. Having seen pictures of it all of us were looking forward to seeing the phenomenal Frank Lloyd Wright building. The current major exhibit is the works of Hilma af Klint an early abstract artist whose paintings were generated in part through af Klint’s spiritualist practice as a medium and reflect an effort to articulate mystical views of reality. (The last part of this sentence was “borrowed” from the Guggenheim web site, I’m not that accomplished as a writer). Additionally, there was an exhibit of the works of R.H. Quaytman, a contemporary painter whose current work, Chapter 34, is influenced by the work of af Klint. But my favorite was the Guggenheim Collection with the works of Constantin Brancusi, one of my favorite modern sculptors, as well as works by many well known artists of the 19th and 20th century. Additionally there were exhibits of modern Asian Art.
After a full exploration of the museum, we were tired and hungry–Kathy was able to walk the whole museum. We decided to try the The Wright at the Museum. Kathy had House-Made Chestnut Agnolotti Pasta, Lisa had Biscuits & Gravy and I had the Chicken Chopped Salad. All dishes were very good but the biscuits and gravy were wonderful, and different from any other biscuit or gravy — the sausage was a combo of sweet and hot Italian sausage, and the biscuit was fabulous.
Then it was back to the hotel and a meet up with Chelsea. Her boyfriend Santhi was supposed to meet us for dinner, but ended up having a conflict. He did recommend an excellent restaurant in the East Village called Yuca Bar and Restaurant, a fusion of Latin cuisine from over a dozen countries. The food was phenomenal and the margaritas were excellent! We started with guacamole that was served with tortilla chips, fried plantains and yucca chips.
Kathy and I both ordered arepas, a delicious corn cake stuffed with various thing like pork in guava BBQ sauce, chipotle chicken and shredded beef, all were good, but the pork was the best, Chelsea had Yucca encrusted salmon and Lisa enjoyed a plantain stuffed with shredded pork. We shared the best flan any of us had ever eaten for dessert. Didn’t eve save you a picture.
Monday Chelsea made arrangements for us to have lunch with Santhi near his office in the Metro Tech Center in downtown Brooklyn. It was great meeting Santhi, who held his own with his girlfriend’s aunt and two cousins. He is a very creative person who has just illustrated a children’s book, is working on a TV series with Chelsea and works full time. We all look forward to getting to know him better. After lunch, we made a trip to the Strand Book Store, a fabulous bookstore in NYC with 18 Miles of new, used and rare books. This took up most of the afternoon. After we returned to the hotel, it was time to say good bye to Chelsea, then we took naps and decided to go to Gnocco, a little Italian Restaurant in the East Village. It is truffle time and we indulged in some fabulous dishes including gnocco, a deep fried dough similar to fry breads or sopapillas, which came with wonderful Italian cold cuts, arancini with truffles, goat cheese with honey, pine nuts and raisins on a bed of greens; pizza Amatriciana; and pasta with butter and garlic topped with truffles. Everything was fabulous. Another thanks to Santhi for the recommendation.
Tuesday morning we packed up all of our belongings and headed out. We hired a car to take us to breakfast, and then the airport. We searched the internet, and thanks to NY Eater, discovered Velselka, a Ukrainian restaurant in the East Village (are you beginning to see a pattern here? We basically ate our way through the East Village in NYC.) Velselka has been in NYC since 1954 and all reviews were outstanding. Our experience indicates that the reviews are correct. I had eggs with a potato pancake, kielbasa and challah toast, Lisa had yogurt with granola and bananas and a side of sausage and Kathy had cheese blintzes with a raspberry sauce. We also shared a piece of poppyseed bread. All were great, but the sausage was unbelievable. It was locally sourced from Esposito Sausage and we have already made plans to order some for Christmas Brunch!!!! Then on the airport to drop off Lisa, and Kathy and I proceeded to the Bolt parking lot to pick up my trusty Subaru.