I spent this past Friday to Sunday in the Big Apple. Does anyone even call it that anymore? Anyway, I was there, in New York City, for a conference. Although I spent much of my time at the actual conference I did get to take in some of the sights (and shops). Now, I’ve been to NYC a number of times so the excitement of The Big City has kind of worn off. It was hot – like 100o hot – and let’s be honest folks, New York City smells really bad when it is hot. Also, although it is a vibrant city I don’t find it to be the most welcoming of places so I was glad I was with my pal Heather who made up for the friendliness deficit.
But there were a few unexpected highlights in my journey that I would like to share with you as they may be things you want to consider on your next trip.
1) I flew Porter Airlines. This is SO worth mentioning. Flying out of the big Pearson Airport is a drag and I’m sure I’m not the only one who has noticed the decline in flying conditions on most airlines over the past few years. But Porter is different. Their tagline is “Flying Refined” and it truly was.
First of all, the lounge at the small Billy Bishop Island Airport in Toronto is a dream. I mean, free cookies and drinks?! Craziness people. Plus, WiFi and comfy chairs. It doesn’t get much better than that these days.
Then, you board the little plane – about 70 seats – and you’re greeted by a friendly face. Within minutes of taking off (which, btw, takes no time because there are hardly any flights) you are greeted with…wait for it…complimentary snack and bar service! Folks, I flew to NEW YORK, just over an hour flight and I had a nice glass of wine and a sandwich while others enjoyed a Steam Whistle beer on the house- it was even a tall boy.
Although Porter has limited destinations I was surprised at how many places it did go so check before you plan your next trip. The prices are great and it is the most civilized travel experience around.
2) Then, after checking into our hotel, Heather and I decided to hit the streets of New York for a place to eat. We didn’t want to sit for too long as we had some serious shopping to do but we were famished so we decided to stop in to the first place we passed, a semi-fastfood Mexican place called Chipotle.
Neither of us had very high expectations (except from the calorie count, that is) but we were hungry and it smelled good. And you know what? The giant sized built-to-my-liking burrito really, really hit the spot.
3) Yes, there is going to be a theme here folks! Although I got some great buys in NY it was the food that really stood out for me. I was disappointed not to have a taste of the highly recommended Dominican food promised by my new friend New York City Mama but the conference timing just didn’t allow. However, when Heather and I got the munchies Friday night we ended up at the W Hotel loving over a plate of their Sexy Fries.
4) After a hard morning of shopping in the smelly, humid heat of New York City Heather and I decided we needed a little reward for our herculean efforts so we decided to embark on a search for the Perfect Treat. And we believe we just may have found it here:
Yes folks, at Crumbs Bake Shop we found enough cupcakes and cakes and cookies to make any mouth water. And despite our other varied culinary adventures we were on board with the Red Velvet Cupcake. And now I know that my pal Heather is really a good friend because she bought it, held on to it all the way to the airport and then shared it with me! Here is the semi-squished but totally delicious cupcake just before the two of us demolished it: