Thursday, January 5, 2012

Empire State of Mind

I know I said something about writing posts with more substance and less 'here's where I was yesterday' sort of content but here's where I was yesterday-

In my defense Daughter2 doesn't go back to uni until this weekend so we're still ringing in the New Year.

We trekked into the city late yesterday afternoon to meet up with a co-worker of my hubs. We got there a little bit early because I was determined to see the tree before it comes down on Saturday. We parked near the restaurant then took a cab over to Rockefeller Plaza. In warmer weather we would have walked it but whoa!

Can you tell it was just a little bit chilly? And breezy? Still fun though...we hung out in the Plaza for a bit and then ducked into a restaurant for a glass of wine and a warm up. It was 20 degrees in the city yesterday so we kinda needed it.

Before heading over to meet our friends we made a quick stop in Bryant Park. A beautiful tree and an outdoor skating rink were set up there too and this is such a pretty little spot very close to the NYC Public Library.

We were only eight blocks from the restaurant but we jumped back into a cab because did I mention it was 20 degrees?

One of the things I love best about my hubs is his ability to make friends wherever he goes. It makes for a very rich life. This particular friend/co worker lives in Brazil but he and his wife have been on holiday in The Big Apple so we were excited to meet them for dinner. Another one of hubs work peeps and her hubs and daughter also joined the party and since they know lots of great spots to dine in the city we asked them to choose the restaurant. They did not disappoint.

Korean BBQ. The restaurant was situted in 'Koreatown' which is a whole street (maybe more?) filled with Korean restaurants and shops. You always hear about the Chinatown and Little Italy sections of NY, but there are streets tucked all around the city that are dedicated to different cultures and's a big part of what makes NY such a fun and interesting (and let's not forget tasty!) place to explore.

Back to the was a dining 'experience'. There are BBQ restaurants all up and down this particular street but we ate in one called Wonjo. Our reservation was for 7 PM on a Wednesday evening and you could barely get in the door. It was absolutely packed and they're open 24 hours a day! You know a place is good when it's full of the local folks eating there too.

The room was a little warm since essentially you have a BBQ happening at each table...our friends informed us its best to eat here in the winter. There's a hole in the center of your table topped with what looks like a grill grate.

Once you've made your entree selection your server removes the grate and then someone suddenly appears out of nowhere with two enormous baskets of smoking hot coals. I did take note of the emergency exits upon being seated because I'm a mom and that's how I roll.

Your server grills your meat in front of you and while you're waiting for it to cook you taste all the wonderful little side dishes they've placed before you. I wouldn't want to be a dishwasher here. We were a table of eight and there must have been about twenty little bowls to sample.

So interesting and delicious, there wasn't anything I didn't like. Big surprise there, right? My favorites were the eggplant and the pickled daikon which is a type of radish that tasted a lot like cucumber. There was also a little dish of salted oil to dip your cooked entree in and I could have put a straw in that it was so good.

A couple of people at the table opted to try something besides the BBQ and they chose Bibimbap. This is a signature Korean dish and its kind of like a rice bowl topped with meat, vegetables and a fried egg. Also delicious!

I love this city. There is something about being in the middle of all the hustle and bustle that is so energizing. It's hard to put in to words but I do kind of see why New Yorkers sometimes feel like they can rule the world. Even in 20 degree temps!


  1. the wind surely was kicking...i'd have been taking a cab, too!
    great shots
    and the food looks amazing, as well.
    spring and christmas are my favorite times in nyc...such fun!

  2. The Rockefeller tree is gorgeous and your meal looks amazing! I've never had Korean food but been to Japanese restaurants that cook the food in front of you. So yummy!

  3. I saw the tree and thought OH GOOD its still up cause we are going Saturday to see Billy Elliot then I read - they take it down Saturday. oh, well.

  4. Not that I am not looking forward to posts with more substance, but you know, it's fun to live vicariously through you and your experiences (since who knows when I'll get to NYC) ... so don't apologize for any of your "where I was yesterday" posts. ;-)

  5. I am a New Yorker and haven't been in to see the tree in years. It really is magical though. When I was a teenager I worked in a fruit and veggie market owned by Koreans. Dicon was a popular item in the salad bar. Your post made me smile today :)

  6. What a great day you had. I want to vist NYC. I want to see Central Park in the Fall. I want to see the trees and decorations at Christmas and I want to see the fireworks in July. I think maybe I need to spend a year there! Have a room I can rent? Your dinner looks wonderful.

  7. Gorgeous pictures ....I haven't been in the city during the holidays in so's on the list....burr 20 degrees I'd hop in a cab too! Food looks amazing! Have a wonderful day!

  8. Please never stop sharing where you travel. I love to see all your pictures. I may never get to some of the places you go and it's so fun seeing them through your eyes.

    Beautiful Christmas trees. Some day I really would like to go to NYC.

  9. Brrrr. It was cold here yesterday as well and I was out grocery shopping. Your trip sounds a lot more fun! Thanks for sharing it with us. Substance, schumbstance!

  10. Oh, this looks like it was such fun! I have never been to NYC in the winter and can see that I need to add that to my list. I've always gone in the spring.

    Thanks for sharing your outing with us. By the way, you and your daughter look like sisters. :o)

  11. What a charming post. I haven't been to NYC in thirty years so enjoyed reading about your visit.
    I remember that certain streets would feature one thing, such as 48th st was all music stores and I think it was 45th st was all diamond industry (I think it was 45th st, but that was also the home of "The Peppermint Lounge", famous for popularizing the dance "The Twist".
    I hope you enjoyed a knish while you were there.

  12. I like these posts Joyce! Your life is so different from mine, I find it interesting.

    Or maybe I just like food as much as you do? Either way, carry on!

  13. Enjoyed visiting your blog today by way of Brenda's It's All Good blog. My husband and I enjoy NYC very much. Didn't get to go there in 2011 but hope to go this year! Blessings, Debra

    Joined your blog and will follow along!

  14. Can't believe I live within a few hours of the Big Apple and have never been there. The rest of my family members have, and really like it for the reasons you mention. ONe of these days....

    Great pics and hey, substance or no, I like your fluffy posts too!

  15. Beautiful pictures! I really enjoyed NYC the one time I went; CH has spent quite a bit of time there between being at West Point and working for a textile company (when we lived in SC). I'd love to go back and do what I want to do, instead of being on someone else's schedule!

  16. The tree is gorgeous! I think it's great that you live close enough to NYC to take advantage of visiting!

    Glad you're getting some time with D2. I know you'll miss her when she goes back.

    Sorry it took me a minute to comment...I had to wipe the drool off my computer- that food looked divine! LOL

  17. Gorgeous tree. I could live in New York--at least for awhile.

  18. Sigh! I'm envious - I love NY, too! And Korean food. It looks like a fabulous time.

  19. I'm so glad you dropped by Heart Choices as I loved reading this post of yours. I am from Long Island but now living in Arizona. I miss Christmas in NYC. I loved clicking on each photo so I could see more detail. They are fabulous! There's nothing like seeing the Christmas tree and the lights and hustle and bustle of NYC.

    Happy New Year!

  20. That looks like you had a wonderful time! Glad you got to see that tree before it came down. 20 degrees? So they're having summer in NY, huh? ;-) I visited NYC once. What a crazy buzy city!! Your family pics are beautiful!

  21. I tagged you today. No pressure, just fun if you want to play along.

  22. Lovely photos of NY! Wish I could visit and see these sites just once in this lifetime!

  23. I would love to visit a restaurant like that. It looks like so much fun. I love your New York photos! Thanks for sharing them with us. Happy New Year!