I was thinking about how my blog is called 5th and 59th yet I haven’t been above 15th Street in what feels like forever. My office is all the way down in the Financial District, and sometimes I’ve had dinner with friends afterwards, but there’s so many good places downtown and they tend to be more quaint than those in Midtown. A couple weeks ago, L and I got dinner at Buvette, a French café in the West Village. The place is so cute and makes me feel like I’m right in Paris (not that I’ve ever been, but I’m using my imagination ok?). I’m really in love with their business cards, which are really decorative and super thick (I’ve started collecting restaurant cards and have since become more attentive to cool-looking ones).
The food menu is absolutely tiny (literally – the paper it was on was maybe a quarter the size of a normal piece of paper). The drinks menu, on the other hand, comes in this whole entire booklet. All of the options looked good, but we both went for prosecco cocktails and shared a couple dishes.
Here are some pictures from the Vittoriano monument, Trajan’s column, Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and Roman Forum, which we did all in one day. The last three are all ruins from the “ancient city.” Again, a lot of walking, probably at least seven miles throughout the day. No wonder we were able to eat pizza, pasta, and gelato every day without getting fat! The pizza in Italy is good, but I like NJ/NY style pizza better. The pasta here, though, was really good. So was the wine, although maybe I didn’t appreciate it enough until I went on a wine tour in Tuscany (more on that later!) Our last night in Rome, we went to a nicer restaurant that our apartment host recommended. It was very good, and the owner came out and gave us grappa shots on the house.
Without even meaning to, H and I have started an annual summer tradition of a sister date in New York CIty. It all started when she came to visit when I lived up near Columbia, then again last year, running out of the Met Museum and trying to find a place to eat, stumbled into this really cozy and beautiful restaurant on the Upper East Side. So last week, I met up with H after work and after some shopping we walked around Union Square to find a place to grab dinner. H’s one request was that we had to eat outside, since it was such a nice day out. Luckily, we soon found Da Andrea, a cute Italian restaurant that had an open table for two outside in the front. Normally I hate eating outside (in theory a wonderful idea, romantic eating al fresco as the sun sets, etc etc., but in reality I tend to get bitten alive by mosquitos) but fortunately it was a perfect day out and I didn’t get any bug bites!
Our second day in Rome, we woke up early (is 8am considered early? I think it is when you’re on vacation) and set off to Vatican City. Well, first we went to the Vatican Museum, which is technically still in Rome. This museum is HUGE! I looked it up in my travel book after and I think that from start to finish you walk at least 5 miles. It took us 3 hours at our leisurely pace, maybe more, I can’t remember exactly. The size wasn’t even as impressive as the actual rooms and halls themselves, which were amazing. There were painted domes, tall columns, hundreds and hundreds of statues, grand staircases, and paintings that took up entire walls. We saw the School of Athens painting and the Sistine Chapel, which are both famous, but really these were just two small parts of the experience.
So, it’s been over a month since I came back from Italy, but I never wrote about it on the blog so I thought I’d start with some stories and pics from the first day!G and I took a flight from New Jersey to Stockholm, then another flight to Rome (when we had this incredible view of the countryside right before landing). Arriving in the afternoon, we made our way to the Airbnb apartment we were renting for a few nights. On the way there, we zipped through the outer edges of the city. It sounds strange but I really liked all the different buildings and especially windows we passed:
Sometimes the streets all seemed to look the same, but every day when we passed by this building I knew we were really close to the apartment.
This is City Hall Park, right near my office in the Financial District. Isn’t the fountain pretty?
The other day there was some model posing on it… a lot of people were watching, but she wasn’t someone i recognized and I couldn’t even tell what brand she was modeling for. Didn’t stop me from getting a picture like everyone else though!