I heart NYC

I’m sure I don’t have to do much explaining for this ever so popular destination in North America. The songs, the shows, the movies and “Hollywood” does a fine job of providing every angle that New York City has to offer. For me, this weekend was primarily to reunite with several friends. First and for most, meet Jessica. An extremely kind girl with brains and beauty. We met in Italy last year and toured through France and ended in Spain together. During that journey we mentioned how cool it would be to connect again. All the way from Canada (near Niagra Falls) she flys in and finds me at the JFK airport.

Here we are in Florence…
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…and now in New York City!
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We stayed at the New York Budget Inn which is a hostel styled setting with some of the most friendly staff members I have met on the road this far. If you’re ever passing through and desire a great price, I highly suggest this be your choice for accommodations. Location, employees, comfort and cleanliness… all exceeded my expectations, thanks gentlemen!

www.newyorkbudgetinn.com .
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Here’s what my 72 hours looked like (excluding that crazy night in which I didn’t bring my camera… Good thing).

Walking the streets.
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I didn’t know they allowed small ponies to walk the streets on a leash.
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Remember the coconut jelly that I LOVED in Barbados? I found this woman selling whole baby coconuts. I get to drink the water, then eat the jelly! FYI: the flavor was nothing like on the island. I should of known, bummer.
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They were promoting the local tap water. “It’s not only OK to drink, it’s great to drink.”
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This has always amazed me for some reason.
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Hmmm, not tempted to eat here…
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Outdoor and indoor frozen yogurt, your pick!
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Markets! One if my favorite things to explore in any city.
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This vibrant artwork caught my eye in World Market.
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As the sun starts to lower the energy of the city is far from quiet. The vibe begins to rotate and the streets become darker yet louder.
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Turns out is was going to rain… a lot.
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Smile if you forgot an umbrella!
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This wet evening was far from drab as we got to eat at one of my new favorite spots. RAYMI is a traditional Peruvian restaurant that has brought authentic flavors right to your dish. How did I ever find out about this amazing treasure? On the flight home from Peru, I was seated right next to Erik Rameriz, one of the creators and talented chefs. I teased him on the plane that I would show up someday… surprise!
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With a reservation and a smile we walkEd in and were treated like royalty. Poor Jessica didn’t know how excited I was going to get when seeing so many familiar items that I’ve been missing from Peru. These are including but not limited to: Pisco, Chancaca, Cusqueña, and several fresh seafood options garnished with toasted corn and sweet potatoes!

Due to the gorgeous ambiance, I didn’t snap any photos so please click on the link to tempt yourself with the best Peruvian restaurant Kniwn to me! Thank you Erik for the wonderful experience, stimulated taste buds and a glimpse of my journey to Peru.

www.richardsandoval.com/raymi/ .

The following evening, we hit up yet another favorite of mine, Marc Forgione. Marc was winner of the next Iron Chef on the food network and joined up with an incredible staff to open this successful restaurant. One of the talented team members and GM happens to be a childhood friend of mine from Folsom. Matthew Conway (to be said in a fancy voice, even though we just called him Matt) allowed us to snag one of his beverage creations while nibbling on some unique bites.

  www.marcforgione.com .

On the way to dinner (in a cab to avoid the storm).
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After dinner we got a bonus reunion with my even longer time pal, Jimmy. The three of us grew up together and parted ways due to… Well, life. This night we got to hang out like back in the old school days. Here’s Jimmy with us on the way to the next stop. This is when the camera was put away.
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Fast forward to our last stop, non other then some New York Pizza to finish up the night! Matt is nearest on the right, then Jessica and Jimmy.
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…and of course we meet a group of friendly fellas! The one with the broken arm is getting married soon (enter smooshy love sounds here). What a fun group of boys, sure wish we could of connected sooner. Well cheers to you and your new chapter of marriage!
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Much thanks to Matt and Jimmy for not only making time for us, but enhancing our trip!

So it’s now the night before we’re leaving and I get a dental emergency. To spare you the details, we’ll just say I couldn’t have left without it being fixed. This is Dr. Peter Mann, my super hero in a white coat. He got me in within 20 minutes of a phone call and out within 30 minutes of sitting down. I’m so grateful for his calming work and the wonderful girl who greeted me with an “It’s going to be all right” smile.
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The morning we were departing, Jessica back to Niagra and me off to Madrid, we waited in the Grand Central Station for our bus. Handstand time! If you can’t find me, I’m the one with my feet in the air.
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Next time I touch ground… Spain!
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Categories: Accommodations, Edibles!, Fashion from a backpack, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “I heart NYC

  1. Daniel

    Erika all of us at the New York Budget Inn thank you for your stay and kind words. We look foreword to your next visit. Thank you, Daniel

  2. Miss Bailey

    Wow, Matt and Jimmy! I knew Jimmy was living there but not Matt… or is he? 😉

  3. Jessica Surowaniec

    This is halarious !!!! Good times !!!!! Can’t wait to see you again !!!!!!!

  4. Robin

    We stayed at the Grand Hyatt several years ago prior to embarking on a Tauck Fall Leaves tour of New England. One of my favorite things was eating at Grand Central, especially during commuter hour in the morning, watching everyone except us running around like ants to get to their destinations.

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