Getaway to NYC

January 9th, 2012


We decided to close between Christmas and New Years to take a rest before the baby arrives (apparently we won’t get a rest until…forever) so we decided to visit NYC, a trip we’ve been putting off for a very long time. We arrived at around 11am, dropped our bags at the Ace Hotel and headed over to Momofuku noodle bar for lunch. Here’s a shot of the delicious pork buns.


We hadn’t eaten anything that morning so we were starving and inhaled the ramen. Never leave it up to the pregnant lady to photograph food (hence photos of partially eaten food).


After lunch we needed a pick me up so we took a short walk over to Abraco, a small coffee shop with an amazing reputation for good coffee.


For the rest of the day we just wandered around Soho visiting a bunch of places that were recommended to us by friends and customers. Some really notable retail shops that left an impression on us were:

Matter: where design meets art, a beautiful and inspiring shop. Reminds us of the now closed Ministry of the Interior, and how much of a loss it is to our city.
Wyeth: an amazing collection of mid century Scandinavian design, as well as a collection of rare George Nakashima pieces.
Atelier New York: A menswear clothing shop with a collection of very edgy pieces, basically art that you wear.
Creatures of Comfort: A great collection of clothing and accessories.
KIOSK: Forgot to mention that we went here, but it was a really cool concept and space. Much better than we had thought it was going to be based on their website. Kudos!


That night we had dinner at a dimly lit restaurant called Freemans, with a spectacular atmosphere and a hunting lodge type of feel.


The entrance of Freemans is at the end of a long alleyway.




The next day we met our friends Andi and Hamish at a Smørrebrød restaurant called Vandaag. This was the second of two great recommendations by our friend Nils, who owns Parlour Coffee in Winnipeg (shout out to the Peg! Go visit if you live there and haven’t already!).


It was such a nice place to stop in for lunch, so full of light, and way more quiet than the place we were originally going to try (Ippudo – 2 hour wait in the freezing cold for ramen? No thank you!).




To get rid of our chill Andi and I ordered some Glögg, Juli of course stuck with hot apple cider.


We started off with a bowl of mixed homemade bread and some delicious butter.


Salmon with roe and dill.


Rabbit with barley (our fave of three that we split).


Wildboar with radish and carrots.


Perch with mushroom and beet (another delicious choice).


After lunch Hamish and Andi acted as our local tour guides, taking us to see some shops in the neighborhood, including Dashwood Books, a Japanese art book and photography store and the Vitsoe showroom above.

In the photograph is Hamish, and me with the Hoi Bo travel bag (yes, we do have them in stock, just have to figure out why the website is not updating!).


One of the best experience shops we saw was this Japanese denim shop 45rpm (thanks everyone for the name). This is the entryway complete with an aromatic hinoki cedar water bucket, and a purposely watered stone walkway. It was such a cool space, and left an impression on us.


The Rockefeller Christmas Tree is something else…


We had to get out of the craziness of Soho so on day 3 we escaped to Brooklyn. We had a great list of things to see thanks to Andi and Hamish, starting at the top end of Williamsburg with brunch at Five Leaves. The day was so beautiful we got a table outside in the warm sunshine. The ricotta pancakes were delicious but they missed the mark when it came to maple syrup. I know it sounds CRAZY but there is no syrup better than Canadian maple syrup, this syrup tasted like water in comparison. Again, apologies for the half eaten breakfast…baby’s got to eat.


A lot of people had the same idea (thankfully we didn’t have to wait long)!


We liked bird, and bought something from there that we’ll share in another post.

Another notable Williamsburg shop that Juli forgot to photograph is Mast Brothers Chocolate. Andi and Hamish sent us some for Christmas, but we couldn’t help but stock up on some new flavors:  black truffle and vanilla smoke.


America – love it or leave it.




Some trees doing their thing.



Juli hasn’t been to Brooklyn for over 5 years, so it was interesting to note all the new condo developments being built.


Time for a late lunch at DuMont Burger.


They felt like they took too long to take our order so they gave us some homemade donuts with chocolate sauce.


Mini cheeseburger and fries. Even though we went mini, it still ruined our appetites for dinner!


Old timey shop Darr has a nice classic storefront.

And this is about when we ditched the camera. We attempted to visit Brook Farm General Store but like us, they took a holiday (thank you helpful neighbor). We were going to go to nearby Marlow & Sons for an early dinner, but of course we had just eaten those burgers so we were totally out for the count. Back to the hotel for a rest and then out with Hamish and Andi to Sake Bar Decibel for some Man Mountain and snacks, then off to find a classic slice of NY pizza, then to Momofuku milk bar for a dessert, and then John picked up a Kimchi and Pork Taco from a food truck. Basically a night of junk food :)

Filed under: Travel | 17 comments

17 Responses to 'Getaway to NYC'

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  1. In the US the maple trees are declining, and the maple syrup is not as sweet. Here is a video so you can learn about it.


    9 Jan 12 at 9:31 pm

  2. Hi Sara – thanks for the link to the video about the decline of the maple tree (sorry it got stuck in spam). Lately they’ve been talking about it on the news in Toronto…makes sense that the maple syrup would be compromised, and that we have yet to see the effects because we are further north.

    John & Juli

    13 Jan 12 at 6:10 pm

  3. oh, and your photos are beautiful, as usual you have a wonderful eye.


    9 Jan 12 at 9:33 pm

  4. I love Vandaag’s decor. I wish you had posted a photo of their chandeliers.


    9 Jan 12 at 10:12 pm

  5. Looks like you guys had a great trip. The denim shop you guys visited is called 45rpm

    Myles Henry

    9 Jan 12 at 10:30 pm

  6. wow! that looks like an absolutely amazing trip…and holycow freemans is so my type of atmosphere (even the alleyway leading there has a disheveled beauty to it!), i’m going to make sure we visit next time we’re in nyc. happy belated new year + xmas!! :)


    9 Jan 12 at 10:47 pm

  7. Hey Guys, lovely photos – the name of that Japanese store is 45RPM (


    9 Jan 12 at 11:06 pm

  8. Amazing pics! Man it makes me really jealous. Last in NY 8 years ago on our honeymoon! Good wee guide if we ever get back. All the best in 2012 it will be a great year for you both, Jx

  9. oh, you really missed out by skipping ippudo. it’s incredible! also, next time, be sure to visit kiosk too.


    10 Jan 12 at 10:09 am

  10. Need to book my flight to New York, not been for years. Thanks for the reviews and places I must visit.


    10 Jan 12 at 10:49 am

  11. You hit up all the great spots. If you’re ever in town again soon, I recommend Assembly and Maryam Nassir Zedeh


    10 Jan 12 at 11:14 am

  12. Great post to read at lunch time! When I was in NY before Christmas I met a young couple who were there with their very young daughters–and actually having a great time–it can be done and I’m sure you will also discover how. Also love 45rpm.
    Cheers for 2012!


    10 Jan 12 at 1:36 pm

  13. Dear K. – We were scheduled to go to Ippudo, but there was a 2 hour wait time for lunch! Also we did go to KIOSK and it was brilliant, definitely much better than I expected it to be. We accidentally forgot to add it to our list!

    John & Juli

    10 Jan 12 at 5:44 pm

  14. Love your photos, especially the food (of course) and the Brooklyn street art! Your post made us miss NYC even more — We used to live on 9th Street in the East Village. :)

    Hello Balloon

    10 Jan 12 at 6:26 pm

  15. aw, you hit up a ton of my usual haunts! looks like a pretty darn good time. :)


    11 Jan 12 at 9:00 am

  16. next time you are in Williamsburg, make sure to pop into the Sit and Read gallery! we are right across from Bird.


    11 Jan 12 at 1:33 pm

  17. so glad to see you posting again. i’ve missed your special point of view. pics are wonderfula – as usual! anxious to see the progress of your new home. hope you had a great new year.


    14 Jan 12 at 2:07 am

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