We were in NYC before 911, Lena & I flew back from Sweden & landed in Baltimore 12 hrs before the attack & then we went to NYC a few months after. We go about our lives not thinking about it & then you walk by something like this & it all comes back.
Day three; our last day in NYC.
Check out time for the hotel is at 12:00 noon, so we have some time. We are not taking the subway today other than to get to the train station, so more walking! We have lunch reservations at 1:30pm, but first we must find breakfast. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I came to NYC to eat!
The plan was to go to a Swedish place called Fika, but when we got there at 9:00 am, the sign said closed :[ They open at 10:00 am, and I’m hungery now, so we went for a walk around the corner and found this great little place at 1412 6th Avenue
(between 57th & 58th Street) called Pizza Villagio Café that makes breakfast sandwiches to order. The next time we come to NYC, we will definitely come here for breakfast again! The price was right, and the food was great!
After a tasty sandwich and some juice, we headed back to Fika, which is located at 41 W.
58th Street near Sixth Ave. To the Swedish, a fika is a twice-daily coffee break, usually with cookies, traditionally taken at ten and three. When we walked in, there were a few people ahead of us, so I sat at a small table and Lena got in line. When Lena got up to the counter, she asked the girl behind the counter if she spoke Swedish, which she did, so Lena and her started speaking Swedish. I enjoy seeing her speak her own language, because I know it makes her feel like she is back home, which we do not get back to enough. It’s times like these that I wish I knew the language better so we could actually have a conversation, but I’m trying.
My breakfast sandwhich from Pizza Villagio Cafe. Yummmy!!
After fika, we slowly made our way back to the hotel to pack and get ready to check out. The place we had lunch reservations for said no jeans or tennis shoes and I needed a nice shirt. So we changed into some nice clothes and check out of the hotel.
When we asked about leaving our luggage, they said no problem; they would tag it and hold it for us.
As the sun comes up in New York City.
We had lunch reservations for 1:30 at another Swedish restaurant called Aquavit, but we had some time to kill, so we walked to the Trump Tower and the surrounding area to just check things out. We found a very interesting sculpture called the Oval Buddha and walked through Trump Tower and saw the Trump Tower Waterfall. After much milling about and just looking at a bunch of over priced stuff, we started to make our way to Aquavit located at 65 E. 55th Street near Madison Ave.
We went to Aquavit for the Swedish style Smörgåsbord which included 5 or 6 types of herring, 3 types of salmon, Swedish meatballs, liver pate, västerbotten cheese, flat bread, boiled potatoes, a wide verity of deserts, a Scandinavian beer, and a shot of snaps.
The food was very good, but the gravlax was not as good as my mother in law makes. The other salmon dishes were very good, as was the rest of the food. I think I went back to fill my plate four times, then I had desert.
The front of Fika
During one of my trips to get more food, I talked to one of the servers and asked if any one there spoke Swedish. He told me the head chef and his assistant was Swedish, as were a few of the cooks in the back, but the head chef was not here. I explained about Lena being Swedish and asked if the assistant could come out so we could compliment him on the food, and to just say hi. He went back to the kitchen and I returned to the table, not telling Lena what I just did :] Shortly there after, the assistant chef came out and introduced himself, and Lena and him had a nice conversation in Swedish, with me acknowledging the parts I understood. He then invited us to come back to the kitchen before we leave, to see how everything comes together. Lena was so surprised by this, she couldn’t stop smiling.
The staff here was very nice, the food excellent, and it will be a lunch we will not soon forget. You can visit their web site at http://www.aquavit.org/flash.html
Lena ordering our food and coffee in Swedish at Fika
Ok, now lunch is done and we have about four hours before we need to get our luggage and head to the train station. Even though we rode in the horse drawn carriage yesterday, we still wanted to walk through Central Park, sit by the lake, and just relax. First, we needed to go back to the hotel and change clothes. This now done, it was a short walk to Central Park. Without a map, we walked the many paths through the park, taking time to sit on a bench or two and just take it all in. We sat in the grass next to one of the lakes, then made our way to the small pond where the small remote control boats are sailed.
Here we also had the opportunity to sit and watch the famous New York City Red-Tailed Hawk, Pale Male. I’ve sat in tree stands, 15-20 feet in the air bow-hunting deer, and have had hawks fly in and perch on a branch near me, but to see one in the big city, refusing to move away from his nest on 5th avenue is pretty amazing! The pictures I took are not very good since the nest is so far away, but I think you’ll be able to see him perched on his nest.
This is fika. Coffee and some cookies.
After a long, relaxing walk, it was time to head back to the hotel to collect our luggage and start our journey home. There is so much to do and see here, we will definitely be back. Next time, we will bring my daughter, who is dying to see a show or two here, as is Lena. I hope you enjoyed reading this and looking at all our pictures. Send me a message, or at least a smile, and safe travels to you all. :]