Wednesday, May 4, 2016

New York City Trip Report (day 1) Joe's Shanghai Restaurant, Dominique Ansel Bakery, & Yankee Stadium

Came back from Portland for 2 days then headed off to New York City. The majority of us have never been to NYC. Peter had originally planned this trip as an Xmas gift for Nicole, and the rest of us just tagged along.

We took a red eye flight on Wednesday night at 11 pm. Parker and Anh were already at the airport waiting for us.

I do enjoy assigned seating, but I don't like the loading process. They load the passengers in the back row first and the front rows last, so most of the time if your sitting in the front rows, most of the overhead bins have already been taken.

We had a 6+ hour flight on JetBlue. They didn't offer a complimentary in-flight meal, but you could purchase one.

They did however offer free wifi, and some DirectTV channels

I stayed up long enough to get my complimentary beverage and passed out.

Woke up around the time we started to descend.

We finally arrive at JFK airport. JFK is a bit further from NYC, but it's easier to get to with public transportation.

Anh was still in a cast for another week. Looks like she's going to have some trouble navigating through NYC. She has a set of collapsible crutches, but bought this knee scooter for better mobility. It's great on flat even surfaces... but terrible against everything else.

Everyone was still tired and groggy from the flight. We needed a pick me up, so we stopped by the Dunkin' Donuts' at the airport. The employee that was taking orders was not having a good day and you can by the way she was taking orders. Peter tried to order a coffee with soy, and she just shook her head. She didn't say a word. So are you out of coffee or out of soy? They he tried to order a bagel, she said she didn't have any, but there were a rack of bagels behind the cashier. We didn't bother to argue with her.

When we got to the cashier, she rung us up and asked if there were anything else we needed. We asked for a bagel, she said did you order it from the other employee. We said yes, but she told us you guys didn't have any, then we pointed to the rack of bagels behind the cashier. The cashier got us the bagel. I was already informed by many friends that New Yorkers can come off as rude. I hope they're all not like the lady who took our drink order.

After finally getting our coffee, we headed to the AirTrain.

The AirTrain takes you to the Subway. It was probably about a 10 minute ride from the Airport to the Subway.

Riding the AirTrain cost $5. You purchase a Metro Card when you arrive at the Subway. It cost $1 to purchase a new Metro Card. You can fill it up with as much money as you want. I put $20 on mine, they do sell unlimited ride passes. A 7 day pass cost $31, if I would have known this I would have purchased the unlimited pass. For a 4 day trip I ended up spending $40 on subway fare.

Our first Experience with the NY Subway.

The bagel that wasn't suppose to exist.

I got the Strawberry Croissant Donut, it tasted just like a regular doughnut, with cream filling. It really did taste like strawberry shortcake though.

We got an apartment in the Chinatown/SOHO area.

It was around 10 am and we were hungry. So this food cart right as we exited the Canal St Subway.


Rice stick with sauce.

Rice Stick with curry and fish balls.

Our apartment wasn't available until 3 pm and we had all this luggage with us. Luckily for us, our cousin just moved to Chinatown 4 months ago. He was kind enough to lets us leave our bags at his place.

I have heard that places in NYC are small, but I never imagined this small. A two bedroom, 250 sqft for $2800. You have to be kidding me.

The apartment was 4 stories up. We left Anh downstairs.

After dropping off our bags, we head off to eat.

We decided on Joe's Shanghai to try their famous soup dumplings. Phat had last time he was in NYC and loved it.

We got to the restaurant a bit early, it opens at 11 am so we waited around a bit.

It's obviously a pretty popular place.

The dumplings were delicious, but you have to be careful when you eat them. There's a bit of soup in each dumpling and when they're freshly brought out, it can burn your tongue when you bite into it.

We got pork and crab. The pork was my favorite.

this is the crab soup dumpling.

Pork soup dumpling.

Nicole was telling us that "Rice strong" so we got a bottle.

Scallion pancake was also good.

Peter and Parker taking a shot of rice wine.

Sea cucumber. I didn't try this dish.

Mapo Tofu. A bit spicey, but it was good.

Sauteed clams. This was good too.

Sea Bass.

Sauteed Rice Cake.

No matter how many shots we took, the bottle of Rice Wine seemed endless.

We finished lunch around noon. We still had a few hours to kill so we walked back towards SOHO to see if there was any shopping we could do.

Anh also had a bike bell on her scooter, but using it seemed to have no effect to people in front of her.

Dragon Fruit.

There were a lot of nice painted murals.

Peter stopped by for some more coffee. This time they had soy milk.

Just happened to walk by this bar and saw the gold lion head.

So we stopped in for a drink.

As we were walking around we happened to be very close to Dominique Ansel Bakery which is the place that created the Cronut. They were already sold out of Cronut, but there were other baked goods to try.

They have a chocolate chip cookie shot. It's a shot glass made from a chocolate chip cookie dough, then lined with chocolate and filled with milk.

A pastry chef toasting the marshmallow on a frozen s'more.

This is called DKA (Dominique Kouign-Amann) I didn't know what it was, but if they sell them in boxes it must be pretty popular. I ordered one. It tasted similar to a butterfly/palmier cookie. It's as if they took croissant dough stuffed it into a muffin tine and sprinkled sugar on top. I love butterfly cookies, but for $5.25 a piece, I think it's way overpriced. You can get a cheese roll from Porto's in SoCal for $.75 cents and I think those are better.

The frozen s'more is a vanilla ice cream center. with chocolate wafer chips, covered in marshmallow then toasted served on a branch. $7.00. I had a bite, it was good and I don't even like marshmallow.

Fresh Madeleines made to order. This we good, but I like my Medeleines a bit more dense, and these were very soft. 20 pc for $6.50

My opinion of Dominique Ansel Bakery was that the items are good, a bit novelty-ish, and quite over priced. Something to try once.

Saw this awesome guy outside the bakery.

By the time we had our dessert, our apartment was ready.

On our way back to grab our bags, saw a Chinese Bakery and stopped by for some steamed BBQ pork buns. 6 buns for $4

The apartment was on the 3rd floor and there was no elevator. Let's just say Anh's right leg got a lot of exercise on this trip.

Taking a quick break.

The back patio outside our window. Not sure if it was a residents patio or if it was open to all tenants.

After seeing my cousin's place, this apartment looked like a mansion. It had 3 bedrooms and slept 8.

We all took a quick nap, got up around 6 pm and headed off to Yankee stadium.

It just happen to be coincidence that my brother's favorite team, the Oakland A's were playing the Yankees.

I haven't been to a stadium in a long time, but a hot dog and fries was $19+1 for the cheese. Seems a bit steep to me, even for a stadium.

Beers were $11-12.

This was our first time watching an away game, except for when they play the Giants in S.F. The crowd was pleasant and there were more A's fans than I expected.

Regular and Oreo churro.

There was a drunk fan trying to start a wave. It was funny because the wave would only travel like 3 sections, and he would keep on trying to pump up the crowd. He tried like 10, it never succeeded.

It was a good game, the A's swept the Yankees in that series.

On our way back home, we desperately looked for a bar or restaurant that was showing the Warriors games.

A lot of restaurants we either closing or didn't have the game one.

So we just hopped into the first restaurant we found appealing. Piacere is where we ended up.

One thing I found pretty interesting was that this restaurant only accepted cash or Amex. It's the first time I have ever seen that. Usually it places that don't accept Amex. There were a few other places that only accepted Amex or cash.


Pappardelle di Cinghiale. 

Gnocchi and watching the game on our mobile devices.

Tiramisu. All of the food was good, but the Tiramisu was really good. It was very light and not too sweet.

After dinner we headed back to the apartment for the night. Been up so early and we had a long day ahead of us tomorrow.

Tomorrow we head to Central Park and Time Square.

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