I woke up bright and early, eager for another day to explore the city. Breakfast of the day was leftover Artichoke’s – still good, though cold and a little watery.
We made our way north towards the Metropolitan Museum of Art, otherwise known as the MET. The MET is definitely a world class museum worth visiting if you get the chance. Its sheer size and vast collection reminds me of the British Museum in London, or the Louvre in Paris. My secret dream is to have the time and money to explore museums like these, and really just soak in what it has to offer. Personally, my favourite sections are the Egyptian Wing, Medieval Europe, and of course the 1800s contemporary paintings. I love Monet’s sunflowers and water lilies! On a side note, I discovered the old furniture wing and I quite enjoyed it. Have a walk through if you get the chance to have a look and feel of how people used to live back in it day.
We decided we had enough of being indoors. Lucky for us, Central Park was just in the MET’s backyard. With an ice cream in hand (I’d really wanted that Magnum bar as advertised by Eva Longaria, but the flavour I wanted was sold out so I grudgingly settled for Haagan Daaz), we followed the walking path and by chance discovered most of the park’s major attractions along the way – the famed water fountain, Alice in Wonderland Statue, and its numerous lakes. It was nice to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
I started to get a bit hungry, so we headed to Momofuku Ssam Bar for lunch. After passing by the Milk Bar and Ma Peche on the way, we finally reached Ssam Bar. There were no obvious signs, and I definitely would’ve missed it if I didn’t have the exact address written down. It was busy inside, though not packed with the crowd a mix of families and young hipster types. There was a limited number of menu items, and we settled to share duck dumplings (both in soup and fried) and the pork buns.
The restaurant is very casual, where you order and pay first, and the food will be brought to your seated table of choice when it’s ready. The pork buns were really delicious, but I was expecting a lot more for the duck dumplings that were featured on the menu twice. At $12 per plate, we only got 4 dumplings and they were too chewy for my liking. Although there were tons of excellent reviews, the Ssam Bar is over hyped in my opinion and I wouldn’t go back. However, I will give David Chang the benefit of the doubt and try the Momofuku Noodle Bar next time I’m in town.
After lunch, we walked all the way down to Soho for the tons of stores we missed the day before. I got an airplane charm from Links of London using my coupon, super cute orange-red Tretorn rain boots for just over $30, a few more t-shirts from Uniqlo, and some other miscellaneous items. I was really close to buying a pair of Dr Martens, but backed off as they were surprisingly uncomfortable. In between, we took a rest stop at Sunrise Mart to refresh ourselves with cold Japanese juice and snacks.
At some point, the rain was starting to come down so we got on the subway to head to the famed Grimaldi’s Pizza located under the Brooklyn Bridge. Upon getting off the subway, Brooklyn felt instantly different and more suburban compared to Manhattan (i.e. less high-rises!). Some locals were nice enough to direct us in the right direction, and 10-15 minutes later, we were there. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the long line up out the door and down the street of this older looking pizza shop – especially on a rainy weeknight and the seemingly out of place location. Serene and I took turns waiting in line, while the other would walk further down the street to catch the sunset on the East River under the Brooklyn Bridge. I wished I had a better camera as the view was breathtaking.
An hour to an hour and a half later, we were finally seated at Grimaldi’s, squished in a little table in the middle of the crowded restaurant. The atmosphere was lively and our waiter was cute. I found it interesting they had an all male staff. There was an open kitchen, and you could see the chef periodically move pizzas around in the giant oven. The pizza, although unassuming in looks, was honestly the best pizza I’ve had in my life. Talk about a mini food orgasm.
We finished our meal with a stop by the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory before calling it a day. I heard rave reviews from my friend, but I think it was just okay (the pizza was way better). It’s in a nice location though, right beside the river!