Escape

Manhattan Skyline

Last week Alex and I escaped to New York for a few days while my husband went on his own excursion through Hong Kong, Taipei and Seoul. The prospects of driving for two hours with an active baby was nerve wracking, and I almost talked myself out of the trip imagining a red-faced baby crying hysterically in the backseat but off I went desperate to get out of the suburbs. As it turns out Alex slept the whole way there and back.

Alex's lucky play date with the cutest little girl in Hoboken

The reward was a reunion with a friend who I met in my obstetrician's office, her rambunctious 4-year old son and sweet daughter who is a week apart from Alex. It was so great to watch the loving care of an experienced mother and highlighted how much I yet to learn.

Grimaldi's Pizza of Hoboken

Choc-o-pain of Hoboken

We popped into Grimaldi's, Hoboken's renown pizzeria, where Alex stood fascinated by disks of pizza dough spinning in the air. The charmed chef was only happy to oblige spinning more pizza dough to feed my little boy's fascination as he squealed and kicked his chubby short legs. We topped off the experience with a heavenly warm crisp melted chocolate croissant from Choc-o-pain.

Lower Manhattan

Across the Hudson River we step onto our beloved urban jungle, where we spent a few days with a very dear friend of mine and her two sweet children Ben and Jenny. The delights of this busy city occupied Alex's attention from the tall building, bright lights, ferries jetting across the Hudson to the helicopters chopping over our head and sirens screaming along the West side highway. There was a time when I found these things a severe nuisance, but on this visit my heart was riveted.

New Trade Tower

Eataly, Madison Square

Along with the sky high sights of Manhattan, I made sure to hit a couple old haunts including Eataly, Mario Batali's Italian market, where we picked up a couple of exotic ingredients, such as kaffir lime leaves and a chunk of mangalitsa lardo, which is pure and glorious creamy pork fat sliced thinly and meant to be eaten on a good-quality piece of bread. The highlight of our trip was lunch at Andrew Carmellini's Locanda Verde, where Alex shared with us a porchetta sandwich that was so tender it seemingly disintegrated upon bite. Also notable was the tartara Piedmontese, which was beef tartar integrated with luxurious black truffles and topped with a quail egg. It was like nibbling pieces of Italian heaven. Locanda Verde is one of my top recommendations if you are visiting New York. Between my foodie friends and I, we've never had a meal here that disappointed.


Hudson River from Battery Park

This was our first mother-son trip, and while it was not very far from home nor was it new to either of us, it was still quite a memorable escape. My favorite recollection is sitting before an abnormally serene Hudson River against the backdrop of a glowing sunset with my sweet little boy while we were feeding the sea gulls. I watched Alex's arms stretch up to the sky towards the sea gulls circling above us. It was as if he thought that if he just reached his short baby arms out far enough he would be able to capture these mystical birds. It was then and there that I realized how much I live vicariously through Alex, and how wonderful it was to experience the newness and magic of the world again.

At the end of each day Alex was passed out faced down on the floor. It is cute now but it also made for an uneasy foreshadowing of things to come ....err... his college years? If so, hopefully it's not farther out.

30 comments:

Jamie said...

Alex is soooo cute! And lovely lovely trip for two (with friends). Well, Hoboken is calling my name with the pizza and the bakery. And I am even more excited now to be in NYC! Great post! Thanks for bringing us along (well minus a slice of pizza)!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Your photos really capture Manhattan in all its glory - it must have been a great adventure to share with Alex and to experience the best of Manhattan all over again!

Megan said...

What a great little escape. I'm jealous of the chocolate croissant!

Noelle said...

sounds and looks like you had a great time!

Fuji Mama said...

What a beautiful post!

Sherry Page said...

Christine, what a great trip! Wish I could have been there with you guys. I am really anxious to try Locanda Verde now! Thanks for the recommendation.

Lyndsey said...

I enjoyed this post thaks for sharing.

Penny said...

I loved this post. From the beautiful pictures of my favorite city to the precious pictures of Alex. Thanks for the restaurant recommedations. Can hardly wait to go back. Maybe next year. Sigh.

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

How fun. It must have been nice to go home again with Alex.

When my father-in-law lived in NYC, he used to send us French baguettes (via the post office) from a bakery in Hoboken that were perhaps the best baguettes this side of France. They must know how to make bread and pizza over there in Jersey.
Sam

Claudia said...

Such a sweet post. I am going to NYC on Saturday with my 20-something daughter. Going "home" after 4 years! I only hope we have as much fun as you and Alex!

Reeni said...

It looks like you hit up all the great spots for eating! Alex is so cute! All that fun tuckered him out.

Stephanie said...

Oh Yeah for a successful Mama and Babe trip! I'm headed to NYC in August and am thinking I should be printing off some of your reccos:)

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

What a wonderful, sweet Mother-Son getaway! I applaud your taking on the challenge and I'm so glad Alex was a great traveler!

Gloria said...

Love your pictures and Alex is adorable (lol)

Rebecca Subbiah said...

great job mummy and so sweet love this post

lostpastremembered said...

Just lyrical...what a wonderful time you had... you made NYC seem like a Woody Allan reverie... Hoboken too!
Since I've never gone the mother route (save to giant dogs) I rarely think of the world in those terms... you gave a wonderful mother's eye view of things. Lovely post... you remind me I must get to Locanda Verde!!

lostpastremembered said...

Just lyrical...what a wonderful time you had... you made NYC seem like a Woody Allan reverie... Hoboken too!
Since I've never gone the mother route (save to giant dogs) I rarely think of the world in those terms... you gave a wonderful mother's eye view of things. Lovely post... you remind me I must get to Locanda Verde!!

White Hot Oven said...

What a wonderful trip - so glad that you took the dive with the potential for a terrible car ride - it looks like you both had an amazing time. Always nice to get back to the city for a break from suburbia.

bunkycooks said...

Too funny on the last photo. Let's hope not. I am happy to see that Alex is such a great traveler and I am certain there will be many more trips together to come.

Velva said...

You are a city girl at heart....Great post. A sign of a great day, is a tired child. You did good.

Velva

Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

Great mother-son outing! Love the last pic! :)

tasteofbeirut said...

Lovely and exciting Manhattan! How I wish I could go back there and enjoy it! Taking your son there is a great idea, hope you will do it often and get him comfortable in such urban surroundings.

City Share said...

We just went back for a visit recently too. Ahh, it was a great escape. Glad to hear that you had a good trip too.

Barbara said...

What a super son you have! He made the trip pure pleasure for both of you. I love the last photo...he's all worn out!

sally said...

Sounds like a great trip! Thanks for sharing your photos with us.

Magic of Spice said...

So glad you had such a lovely time...and how wonderful that he slept for the drive :)
Hope you are having a great weekend...

Sara said...

Love this post. So proud of Alex for being such a good little traveler. I can't wait for you to be able to take Alex to NYC in a few years when he can really enjoy the food! That is one lucky kid! I really hope Mac's an adventurous eater and I hope we take lots of weekend trips too. One of these days we'll have to make it up to you, so the boys can hang out sometime.

nancy at good food matters said...

Great story, Christine---good for you taking the chance on this trip, which rewarded you and Alex in so many ways. I think you must be a city girl at heart! I have made a note to visit Locande Verde--many thanks for your recommendation.

El said...

I'm glad to got a chance to get back to NY and have some fun. The last picture is hilarious!

Emily said...

sounds like the perfect getaway. glad you and Alex had a wonderful time. :)