New York City
When in NYC, there are obviously a lot of touristy things to do: Times Square, Central Park, the Empire State Building. If you've never been there and have a lot of time to kill, then yes, do them all. See everything you can possibly see. However, if you're limited on time and need to narrow it down, these are the sites I would see and the places I would most surely eat at.
The World Trade Center Memorial is a must. Be emotionally prepared, however, because the way they chose to display the memorial is both incredibly touching and almost too symbolic of the events of 9/11. In place of the two trade centers are two very deep square holes, each representing one of the towers. I imagine them as monuments designed to replicate the holes in the hearts of those who lived through and lost loved ones that day. As you can see below, water pours over the edge of them, and continues deep down into a second hole in the ground. It's impossible to see how far the water goes, which I also imagine is a replication of how deep the wounds are from this day. I couldn't help but think the water represented all the tears shed, flowing down and down and down, into what looked like a bottomless pit of darkness. The walls themselves are filled with the names of all those who passed away on that terrible day in history.
Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center is one of my absolute favorite things to do. The views, both day and night, are extraordinary. In fact, I recommend going both times to see a comparison of the city. If you're debating between this and the Empire State Building, DO THIS. No question about it.
Uncle Paul's Pizza. While the restaurant is little, it makes up for it's size in sheer awesomeness. Most importantly, of course, the GF pizza is yummy!
This next one not only shares my middle name, but is very gluten free friendly. Also, it is fancy. Fancy-shmancy-fancy. Ohmygoodness, though, is it good. Marea has some amazing gluten free dishes (the seafood pasta was...gah...so good) but don't be like us and walk in there in street clothes and then feel silly the whole time you're eating surrounded by people in clothes that cost more than your house. Dress up a little. Just trust me on this. This Michelin rated restaurant is worth it.
Tre Dici Steak is the third best meal I've ever had in my life. No joke, I would fly to NYC just to eat there if I was all wealthy and fancy like that. Sadly, as I was linking this up I learned that the location had closed. I decided to leave this in here, hoping that this is temporary and that they're moving to a new location. It was seriously amazing and my heart is breaking a little thinking it might be gone forever.
I have to give a special shout out to Jacques Torres Chocolate. While I don't believe anything there is gluten free, the service and friendliness was off the charts. I went in to get my mom some chocolate covered almonds and they gave me a free fresh cookie- just because! See what I mean? NYC people are awesome.
Last, but certainly not least, Risotteria Mellotti. This is a very gluten free friendly restaurant that is super adorable and super delicious. I haven't had calamari in YEARS, but I got to have (seriously) the best calamari ever at this place. The staff is great, the food is amazing, and the atmosphere is charming. Go here for sure!
|Part of Times Square|
|View from our Hotel at Club Quarters Grand Central|
|Me and the Statue of Liberty at FAO Schwartz|
Washington D.C. gave me far more than I bargained for. First of all, I've never felt so American or so proud to be an American in all of my life. It's something about being surrounded by all of those monuments and the stories they hold that just makes you feel incredibly connected to this country. Not to mention grateful beyond measure to all of the people who fought and died for us.
We first started our D.C. adventure in Georgetown, a must see if you go there. Georgetown is a short metro ride away. Might I mention, the metro itself was incredibly clean. I've never seen an underground system quite so clean, actually. When you've been on as many metro systems and train systems as me, you become very appreciative of the ones that are well taken care of.
Anyway...when in Georgetown, take a stroll around. While the shops are mostly chains, the scenery and set up is very cool. There are a few unique ones that are worth your time. There's also a gluten free crepe place, Crepe-n-Cream, and an Asian fusion restaurant, ShopHouse, that you must check out, which is also gluten friendly. Plus, the people in Georgetown have a good sense of humor and understand the importance of food and human alliances.
|Hungry? We'll get you BBQ. Thirsty? We'll get you a drink. Lonely? We'll get you BBQ.|
International Spy Museum. Give yourself at least 2-3 hours to get through the whole thing because it is so, so worth it. It has really great interactive things to do for people of all ages, like testing out how good you would've been as a spy, not to mention all the history of real-life spies. I left this place feeling in awe of the world and all of the sneaky, sneaky things we've done in an attempt to save it.
Some of these pictures are available in my Society6 page and more will be added soon! I'm sure the Pizza Cutter de Resistance will be widely popular. Just kidding.