New York, New York: Part Three

by Jenn (eating bender) on December 16, 2011

Hard to believe this is my final NYC recap. Has it really been more than a week since we arrived there?

Thanks for all the great recommendations on Broadway shows. We’re ready to schedule our return trip!

The four of us – Sam, Alex, Bobby and I – woke up on Saturday morning with a grand plan. It began with a drive to Liberty State Park in Jersey City, where we bought tickets for the ferry that would take us to Ellis and Liberty Islands. A beautiful tribute to 9/11 victims greeted us when we arrived.

These pillars are meant to symbolize where the towers should stand across the river. The names of the victims are inscribed along the corridor, as well.

We took pictures and then went inside the station to buy our tickets. Soon enough, we were on the boat.

Sam and my photo shoot was a bit windier than expected – as evidenced by my deteriorating hair style.

I have to say, though, that the Alfalfa look is by far my best. πŸ˜‰

The journey across the water was pretty short – we made it to Ellis Island in no time!

The island was absolutely fascinating. I highly recommend a visit if you are ever in NYC.

There are rooms upon rooms of photos, passenger records, ship manifests and information. Not to mention some pieces of the building were kept in tact, such as this graffiti written by actual immigrants as they waited for entry into the country.

I’d like to think my great-grandfather wrote something on this wall. Walenty Kurdubski first came to America in November 1912. My dad’s side of the family is 100% Polish, so this is where 50% of my heritage comes from. His name was changed to Korducki – likely one of the many examples of this happening on Ellis Island.

I found his information on the Ellis Island website. You can do your own search here.

He ultimately traveled back to Poland to fight in WWI. After the war, he returned to the U.S. and married my great-grandmother, Jadwiga. The rest, as they say, is history. :)

After our insightful journey back in time, we hopped back on the ferry for Liberty Island.

It was an absolutely beautiful day for taking pictures of this important lady, who watches over NYC.

We walked all the way around the island, pausing for pictures here and there.

We also spent the 50 cents to get a closer view of the buildings across the bay.

Unfortunately, the inside of the statue was closed for renovations, but we got as close as possible.

It was great to have a chance to see such an important part of history. All that learning and walking certainly worked up our appetites! Once we were back on the mainland, we found ourselves at Benny Tudino’s in Hoboken, home of the largest slice of pizza you’ve ever seen.

You think I’m exaggerating, but I mean it. This pizza was enormous – it took up two paper plates!

I decided on the veggie, with mushrooms, green peppers and black olives. Sam and Alex taught us the proper way to eat New York pizza – fold the top corners together and enjoy. Washing it down with beer is optional, but encouraged.

After our pizza extravaganza, we grabbed a bus back into the city to do some more exploring. We began in Columbus Circle, where they were having a Holiday Market! The vendors were amazing – creative products and delicious baked goods galore.

We walked around for a while and then headed toward Central Park and Wollman Rink. It was fun to people watch and it reminded me of one of my favorite chick flicks: Serendipity.

Our next stop was FAO Schwarz! I felt like a kid in a…toy store. A huge, dream come true toy store.

I think it’s safe to say we covered every inch of the store – including the Harry Potter section.

We also saw The Big Piano, which you can purchase for a mere $250,000. A real bargain, right?!

Once our cravings for stuffed animals and LEGO had been satisfied, we made our way toward an entirely different craving: frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity 3!

We were greeted with a three-hour wait at 7:30 p.m. Knowing it would be worth it, we promised to return at 10:30 and in the meantime, grabbed a small bite to eat – Bobby and I shared a turkey burger – to keep us from dunking our heads face first into the frozen hot chocolate when it was finally our turn to be seated. We walked around Bloomingdale’s and other nearby shops to make the hours go by quickly.

Let me tell you, there’s nothing like a big glass of frozen hot chocolate before bedtime.

We were rather curious as to what the menu would hold. Sam and Alex gave us recommendations.

Bobby decided almost right away that he would be having the traditional Frrrozen Hot Chocolate.

I, on the other hand, was not so sure.

Eventually, my love for peanut butter won me over. While we waited, Sam and I snuck upstairs to get a shot of the cozy, Christmas-themed interior.

It was nice and warm inside the restaurant – but not for long. May I present Peanut Butter Frrrozen Hot Chocolate! The most incredible combination of chocolate, peanut butter, whipped cream and frrrozen goodness I’ve ever tasted.

As we ate, the room grew progressively colder. By the end, we had coats on and were shivering! So worth it. Worth the wait, worth the sub-freezing body temperature, worth the imminent sugar coma. Serendipity 3 is an NYC must-see!

Before we knew it, our last night in the city had come to an end. We made our way back to New Jersey and got another lovely night’s sleep, waking up for our final scheduled event: brunch at Anthony David’s in Hoboken.

When trying to determine the best place for lunch, Alex gave us these three words: Bourbon Glazed Donuts. Say no more, Alex. Perhaps all of you remember this picture of my husband?

Yes, our decision was quite easy.

I started out with a small glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.

For my main dish, I went with the portobello omelette, which was made with red peppers, mushrooms and goat cheese. It was served with a side of wheat toast and homemade potatoes.

Alex gave three words, I’ll give three letters: Y-U-M!

Of course, we weren’t leaving without trying those bourbon glazed donuts.

Woo-ee! They weren’t kidding about that bourbon glaze. We were each given a small, non-glazed “munchkin” donut to prep our taste buds before moving on to the real deal. While you might not find me eating bourbon glazed donuts on a daily basis, it was a fun treat – and a strong one, at that!

All smiles after our meal, though I was definitely not ready to say goodbye…

I can’t express enough how grateful I am to Sam and Alex for being our tour guides, hosts and, more importantly, double date last weekend. Our trip to New York was wonderful, and it’s all because of you.

Can’t wait for our next adventure! Just name the time and place. :)

I hope you all have enjoyed these recaps, and that they have given you some ideas for fun things to do.

If you only had time to do one thing in New York City, what would it be and why?

Have a great weekend!


{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lindsay December 16, 2011 at 12:38 pm

The Lower East Side Tenement Museum- it is my favorite spot in the city. We go every trip even if it is just to stop in the store which has amazing things and books.


2 Jenn (eating bender) December 18, 2011 at 12:10 pm

That sounds amazing! I will definitely have to check it out next time.


3 Megan (Braise The Roof) December 16, 2011 at 1:21 pm

What a great end of your trip! I can’t say it’s the ONE thing I do when I go to NY, but seeing a show is always on the list (of course, I think Chicago has better theatre, but then again I’m biased).


4 Jenn (eating bender) December 18, 2011 at 12:11 pm

I need to see more shows in Chicago! Are there any going on right now that you really love?


5 glidingcalm December 16, 2011 at 2:24 pm

looks like such a fun trip! delicious food, beautiful sites, great company! yay!! and, baby Bobby with the donuts is HILARIOUS.


6 Jenn (eating bender) December 18, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Haha! It’s one of my all-time favorite pictures of him. :)


7 Melissa @TryingtoHeal December 16, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Ah, what a great trip Jenn! I’ll have to tell my brother about Serendipity! I’m sure he would love it!


8 Jenn (eating bender) December 18, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Yes, definitely! Let me know if he tries the frozen hot chocolate amazingness!


9 loftyappetite December 17, 2011 at 8:33 am

I loved reading the story about your relatives from Poland. I’m first generation from Poland and came to the US when I was little. Love meeting a fellow Polish person! Do you get into all of the Polish Christmas traditions this time of year?


10 Jenn (eating bender) December 18, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Aw, yay! So awesome that you are first generation. I love meeting fellow Polish people, too! Most of our Polish-themed traditions happen when I’m visiting the Korducki side of the family in Milwaukee. Unfortunately we’re not making it there this year, but I have fond memories and have no doubt that pierogis will be served no matter where we celebrate! :)** What are some of your favorite traditions?


11 Irina G (Fit Flexitarian) December 19, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Wow! Reading your NYC recap, it just sounds like you had the most fantastic “classic Holiday NYC” time there. There’s actually a couple places you mentioned that I’ve heard of but still need to check out (like Benny’s pizza). Hope you’ll be back again soon! Come in the Spring, the flowers here are so pretty (though, honestly, where are flowers NOT pretty?)


12 Jenn (eating bender) December 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm

You must try out Benny’s! I’d love to come in the spring — and am hoping I can be back sooner rather than later! That sounds like a great plan to me. I will definitely let you know! :)


13 Kelli January 4, 2013 at 3:47 pm

I just stumbled on this post while hunting for an article I wrote about doughnuts and I must make a small correction! Walenty did not return to Poland to enlist for WWI–he actually went up to Canada and trained with Haller’s Army, a regiment of recent Polish immigrants who were frustrated by the U.S. taking its sweet time deciding whether or not to enter the war (Canada, being British, entered pretty much at the start). More on that here–a cool story!



14 Jenn (eating bender) January 5, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Thanks for clarifying this, cuz! My dad has been telling it wrong so I’m going to have to enlighten him. :) It’s such a cool story!


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