Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Post-Thanksgiving Staycation.

STAYCATION. That word rolls off the tongue like the hiss of steam in a sauna bath, and dedicating one night to do so surely felt like being in one. Thanksgiving weekend entailed a mass exodus among New Yorkers. My family doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving ("not our holiday," says dad) so I had no reason to go home, and my best friend Jess just decided to stick around this year. I was too lazy to wake up early and brave the cold for the Macy's parade (maybe next year), but we cooked and wine drank our hearts out during our orphan dinner. So that happened and then what? Day off and the weekend, might as well keep the vacation vibes going.

... can Blackberry please make better built-in cameras?

For work, Jess checked a night in at Midtown's Grand Hyatt, located right above the Grand Central Station and just a body roll away from Time Square, and she invited me to tag along. Wine me, dine me, hotel room me - I'd be crazy to say no to that. Our dining experience at New York Central, located next to the bar of the hotel, consisted of rounds of deliciously dry Ruffino wine, breads ranging from raisin to wheat, and a main course to let my mind sprawl out in gastronomy heaven. Jess got a very juicy burger with fries, and I got the apparently popular, according to the manager, scallops dish. I'm having a hard time remembering the spice mixture and overall flavor. I recall telling Jess that it did not taste like scallops at all. There was a slight toast on top of a hint of sweetness, in which the chef succeeded by throwing in chestnuts and golden raisins.

The hotel recently went through millions of dollars worth in renovations for a more modern, Midtown club look thanks to the architect house of Bentel and Bentel. They have even added a lounge which you can enter for $100 on top of your general hotel expenses. (Good one, no thanks.) The good and bad thing about the overhanging windows of the bar and restaurant area is that it overlooks 42nd street, and thus giving the feeling that you're dining al fresco. Bad, however, because I'm a major people watcher, so I'm sure Jess was a little annoyed when I stared off into the streets while she chatted away.

Jess and I retreated to her room soon after, and I proceeded to disband everything on hand and commence my hotel rituals: dive and belly smack onto the hotel bed (this hotel's comfort grade: B+), and open up the blinds to check out the view - in our case, was the side of another building and a small triangle of 42nd Street. Somehow in the heart of this city's postcard picture - the bright lights, tall skyscrapers, a bum rush of the world's people making a living - we managed to find our getaway. In my case, even if it was for a few hours (had to peace out and her boyfriend took my place), it was nice to be away from Brooklyn and just relax.

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