…my last stop! I’ve been to New York a lot (though not recently), so here are just the highlights from this stop:
Milk Bar makes crack pie that doesn’t actually contain crack but is certainly that addictive! This is one of those places I’ve heard of forever but have never made it to, until this trip when Foursquare told me it was the closest bakery to where I was when I decided I wanted dessert. Get the crack pie. Don’t get the corn cookies. (Yes, corn the vegetable.)
The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is something I try to see every year. Even though it looks the same each year, there’s something magical about it and I love stopping by. It’s also near the decorated store windows, and this year I stopped at Lord & Taylor and Saks.
Le District is a new French food hall in Manhattan that opened since the last time I was in New York about a year ago. It’s all the French food you can want, all in one place– perfect! There are different areas you can go to for different food items, whether you want them to go or to take. I got a croissant (for my sister) and tarte aux pommes (for myself); wine (beujolais, one of my favorites!); a duck breast sandwich; and a petit four. And I will go back to eat more!
I discovered Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken on Instagram and after snacking at Le District, decided that for real dinner, I wanted a fried chicken sandwich. So I got one. And it was worth the hike to the East Village, for sure. Juicy and humongous and crispy and delicious…it’s just unfortunate that these sandwiches don’t transport well.
So, those were the highlights from New York. I squeezed as much as I could into the day I was there. In addition to these stops I did a lot of walking around; I stumbled across another food hall at 46th and Vanderbilt that I need to go back to, and I spent part of my morning there at the Bryant Park holiday market- but it’s not my favorite NYC holiday market, the others (Union Square and Columbus Circle) had just already closed because it was after Christmas.
And then, I was done. My dad met me in New York and we ventured around separately and together, and then drove home.
This really was best trip I’ve ever taken. In some ways it seems strange to say that considering that I’ve traveled to a lot of places that should be more interesting or more fun than the United States. But the story of this trip- how I planned it, and how it went- means more to me, in a lot of ways, than some of the bigger trips I’ve done previously. I especially enjoyed the opportunity to explore completely on my own, and make all the plans on my own, and not be tied down in any way by anyone else. It was fun for me and I’ll definitely travel that way again. Now, I’ve not only been off the train for a week and a half, but I’ve been back in Pittsburgh for close to a week as well. I can hear the trains passing by from my bedroom and I want to be back out there. There are still a few other cross-country train routes that I haven’t taken (I’ve done about half of what’s available), so I’m sure I will do the rest someday.
I printed out this map of the Amtrak rail routes when I was first brainstorming this adventure. I had a crazy idea that I thought just might work, and no good sense of geography. So I printed this rail map and drew on it with Sharpie to plan my stops and count the number of legs. And then I carried it with me across the country. I did it. The end.