As you may remember, I went on a fabulous trip to New York over my Christmas and New Year’s break.

As anticipated, it was absolutely magical. There was no snow unfortunately, but the mild weather was a lot more welcoming to the wandering traveller than my first trip to New York in freezing February was. I was lucky enough to be staying in a gorgeous brownstone with Ashley’s family thanks to his parents. His mother Kate has a blog, Glenquarry Goddess where you can see a short video of the house we stayed in at 151 West 120th street up in Harlem.

We had a delightful Christmas that was realy pretty similar to a Sydney affair– lots of food, present opening, a bit of quiet TV watching and an afternoon nap! New Year’s Eve was a riot. We went to a gallery/bar in the Lower Eastside with Ashley’s sisters Verity and Amy. Ashley’s eldest sister Meaghan and her husband Damian live in New York, so we skipped across the road after the New Year’s Eve countdown to a rooftop apartment party they were at.

Up on the rooftop, cuddling for warmth and looking out over the city lights of the Upper Eastside, it was just so incredibly romantic and beautiful that my boyfriend of 6 years decided to propose! Of course I said yes and so I am pleased to announce that we are engaged! The last few days in New York flew by at a rapid pace and I find myself now missing him terribly as he is still holidaying in the US and Canada, due back in just under a week– let the wedding planning begin!

So now that I have the big, exciting announcement out of the way, I’ll start from the beginning and show you all of the wonderful wanderings I had in NYC this time around.

I may have to do this in installments, so be sure to check back in for lots of great tips and shopping porn over the next few weeks.

I flew in to New York and went straight to dinner with my friend Yas, who worked at Super Food Ideas in Sydney but now lives in NYC, and her partner, as well as Trina who also used to work at SFI, and her partner. Unfortunately Ash hadn’t arrived yet so wasn’t able to come.

We went to Momofuku Ssam Bar to chow down on some delightfully bizarre combinations of Japanese-inspired modern American food. Please excuse the quality of the following shot, the brooding ambience of the bar does no favours for food photography!

Kingfish sashimi that I believe was cured in gin and garnished with coriander and rice puffs?

Apple and bacon dish, and a new take on pork buns.

I can’t remember exactly what the front dish was, but the back was a ‘chicken sausage’ of sorts, but done more or less like a sushi roll!

We ordered all the desserts on the menu! The first is a crunchy salted caramel brownie, the middle is a giant take on the s’more and the back is a sweet potato ice-cream… delish!

There were five of us, capping out at around $60 a head, so although that is a bit exxy, the food is amazing and definitely Momofuku is somewhere a little bit special to dine, but without the pretentious attitude!

Moving on from Momofuku (and perhaps after a quick hot toddy at a neighbouring bar) I swung by a jazz club called the Village Underground where the Blake’s were chilling. In true New York style, even on my first night I was not in bed until after midnight!

With the days counting down until Christmas I decided to stop by US Evergreens for a custom, fresh Christmas wreath. The concept of a fresh and fragrant wreath is something that simply delights me. They were super busy so I didn’t really have time to have a wreath made up for me, but seeing as I love DIY so much anyway, I figured I may as well grab my favourite flora myself and pull it together at home! At just $5, this is something that is so cheap and so special– perfect for short-term holiday stayers like myself.

The store was absolutely full to the brim of stuf! You kind of have to elbow your way through the aisle.

Overgrown US Evergreens!

Silver lining.

The parts I chose for my wreath.

Grass, blossoms and moss, Oh My!

My finished wreath sitting pretty on the mantlepiece. These fresh wreaths grace the front doors of buildings all over New York and hold up surprisingly well due to the cold climate.

That’s all for now! There is SO much more so please do check back in to see all of my beautiful discoveries.

Thanks for reading The Nookbook.

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