Thanksgiving: Part IV

As we left the hotel in Montauk the morning after Thanksgiving, many families were arriving for the weekend. I think we’d timed our visit to perfection. We drove back the way we came, dropping our luggage off at our next hotel in Manhattan, before returning the hire car to Newark, and getting the train back to Penn. It was very much colder in New York than on Long Island and you could sense that more wintery weather was on its way.

I love Mexican food, something we cannot get in France. It’s always Tex-Mex and somewhat average. I’d booked a table for dinner at a nearby Mexican restaurant, much touted in the Michelin Guide.

Buttoned-up Midtown gets a much-needed shot in the arm compliments of chef Alex Stupak’s lively new flagship………………The menu bears the chef’s signature creative flair, offering a range of small bites, tacos and shareable large plates. Sample their clever spins on salsa, like a wickedly good smoky cashew salsa that arrives with a sampler salsa starter; or irresistible lamb sweetbread tacos with a flutter of white onion and bright cilantro.

Later that evening over Margharita’s – what else? – we had a magnificent meal which included a lobster dish I was reluctant to share! Typically my beloved and I will share most dishes but there’s stuff I now cannot eat, plus I like things a bit spicier than he does. For example, the graduated heat of the six small guacamole offerings was much appreciated.

I so rarely have a dessert but he always has one. The wait staff usually kindly bring an additional plate and spoon but are surprised to see I haven’t been tempted. It’s usually because at this point in the proceedings I’m full and, despite the number of vegan dessert offerings, I find them too “fatty” as they’re often made with coconut oil or vegan butter, and nuts.

As my beloved was going to be working all day Sunday and Monday, I let him choose what we went to see on Saturday. He plumped for visiting the Frick, an old favourite of ours, and a walk around Central Park. We walked to the Frick in the Upper Eastside along 5th avenue, enjoying the Christmas displays and lights in the shop windows. It was a gorgeously sunny, albeit chilly morning.

I often wonder what it must be like to have enough money that you could build yourself such a magnificent art collection and house it in an almost purpose-built setting? It’s hard to imagine but fun wondering about how you might spend the money. Sadly, the Frick is one museum where you can’t take photos of the rooms or exhibits just of its internal garden.

We’d gotten to the Frick just as it opened to avoid the hordes and left just as they pitched up. We crossed the road to enjoy a lengthy walk around Central Park, Manhattan’s lungs. All cities need green spaces where their inhabitants can enjoy the open air and nature’s beauty. We weren’t the only ones enjoying the Park’s bounty. There were families on foot or in horse-drawn carriages, people jogging or riding on bikes, skateboards and scooters. There were plenty of dogs nosing around their favourite spots while their owners/dog walkers looked on.

All that fresh air gave us an appetite which we put out in a well-known seafood restaurant where I had – yes, you’ve guessed it – lobster. Once more pointing the digit of doom at an innocent crustacean.

After lunch we browsed a couple of shops, specifically Lululemon, to which my hubby is addicted, and Uniqlo. We no longer have a branch of the former near us, its Cannes branch has closed. We do have a couple of small branches of Uniqlo with a correspondingly narrow range of products. No need to guess who came out of both shops clutching a purchase. Clue: it wasn’t me.

My beloved departed very early on Sunday morning for a breakfast meeting. Well, we were in New York! As the weather was still fine, I decided I would enjoy a spot of pavement pounding, door snapping and book shopping. Over the years I’ve probably spent about three months in total in New York which is why I now  like to only visit “old favourites” and any new stuff.

As I wandered around, an inordinate amount of construction and renovation seemed to be taking place. Even my favourite Flatiron building was covered in scaffolding. I happily whiled away more hours than I care to admit in a couple of bookshops. Luckily for me I was well under my luggage allowance on the way out, not so on the way back!