Whirlwind Visit: Home and NYC

Hi all! I know I took a quick blogging hiatus; that’s because I ran my first half-marathon this weekend! I left DC on Wednesday and arrived in Katonah, NY in the late afternoon.  Never heard of Katonah? It’s a small, sleepy town about one hour north of NYC.

Picturesque main street

Sometimes I forget that I (sort of) live in the South; it was much colder in New York, and there was snow on the ground left over from a storm a few days ago.

I forgot how big the piles of snow can get in the parking lots!

Sister J came home (it was spring break) to see me run! She made these great green tea tofu cookies; I’ll have to post the recipe later.  They were slightly sweet and delightfully chewy.

Green tea cookies!

Since we were all together, we celebrated Brother T’s admission into multiple colleges! Congrats Brother T, we’re so proud of you! We ate dinner at a Chinese/ Japanese restaurant somewhere in Ridgefield, Connecticut.  You guys, can I show you a picture of the cutest sushi I’ve ever seen??

The sushi pieces are arranged as hearts!!

After less than two days at home, I took the train back down to NYC on Friday to check into our hotel and pick up Tiff’s and my race packets from Paragon Sports.  Paragon Sports is definitely the most amazing sports store I’ve ever seen.  For one, it’s huge – 3 full stories.

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Oh these? These are just some of our Balega socks.  We have more, of course.

This store had just about everything! And I got lost on my way out and had to ask for directions a few times to find the exit, lol.  The packet pick-up process was efficient and fast.  I liked the high-quality tech t-shirt, and it came with a few nutritional samples and a nifty drawstring bag!

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Paragon Sports has a great location near Union Square, so after packet pick-up, I grabbed a delicous gyro from Rafiqi’s – a street food cart – and went to enjoy my lunch in the park.

There was a line at the cart, so you know it’s probably good :)

Lamb gyro with “white sauce”, yum!

Union Square has a pretty little park with benches to sit and people watch.  You know, I never thought I’d feel so relaxed in the city? But with the birds chirping and nowhere to go, I just took pictures and enjoyed the beautiful day.

It looks prettier in the spring, I’m sure.

A random birdhouse in the park. I don’t think a pigeon would fit in there…

Greenmarket in Union Square – an outdoor farmers market

Mike came into the city in the afternoon, and we decided to be cultured and visit an art museum (for the first time).  The MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) was right around the corner from our hotel! We found out that it was Target Friday, which means that admission, normally $25 for an adult, was free after 4 PM till closing.  Awesome, we love free stuff.  If you try this, don’t be dismayed by the long, long line.  The line wrapped around the block, and we were almost at the end, but we got inside in less than 15 minutes.  We made great use of our free tickets and explored nearly every floor.  Despite our lack of art education, we enjoyed our visit very much.  Mike liked the design exhibits, and my favorites were the paintings.

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Our hard earned free tickets!

Van Gogh’s starry night.  It was so beautiful up close!

Monet’s Agapanthus Flowers

We also saw the actress Tilda Swinton (I know her as the White Witch in the re-made Chronicles of Narnia) at the museum – apparently she was there for a performance piece.  I wish we could have seen it, but I guess by the time we got there the performance was over/ dis-assembled.

After our culture immersion for the day, we headed off in search of ramen – my carb of choice for loading up for the next day’s race!  I’d heard so many rave reviews for Ippudo, so we arranged to meet JJ and Tiff there…only to be told the wait for a four-top was 2-3 hours.  Umm, heck no.  We found another ramen place nearby – Ramen Setagaya – where delicious huge bowls of ramen were ready in minutes.  Yum.  I then proceeded to gorge my face on a bowl of Pinkberry across the street.  BTW, did you know that Pinkberry is dipping its toe in the Greek yogurt craze? They offered Greek yogurt with various toppings in addition to their froyo.  As good as the sample of Greek yogurt was, I can’t turn down froyo, so I went for their chocolate hazelnut.  Delicious, but definitely over-priced in my opinion – at least 3x the price of the self-serve places I’ve been to.

We then headed back to our hotel in Midtown to get some rest before a 6:45 AM wake-up call on Saturday.

Half-marathon recap coming soon!

NYC Restaurants Mentioned:

Rafiqis (Halal street food cart) – delicious, try their gyros!

Ramen Setagaya – solid ramen place, I loved the noodles

Pinkberry – tasty froyo, but over-priced.  Try Red Mango instead


2 thoughts on “Whirlwind Visit: Home and NYC

  1. Sister J

    I love the new header, and your background is adorable!! I adore Rafiqi’s- they have saved me from so many hunger-induced moments of grumpiness.

    1. Dawn H.

      Thanks Sister J :) Now that I’ve successfully eaten from a NY food cart without getting sick, I think it’s time to try the hot dog cart next…

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