A martini is a terrible thing to waste.

New York City trip with my mom.


Dec 15, 2009 28 Comments

(This is a wicked long blog post, grab a chair.)

So every year I take my mom on a little excursion to NYC.  It’s a fun trip because a.) she’s not high maintenance and b.) she likes to drink a manhattan every hour, on the hour.  Plus, my little brother Steven and his wife Melissa are in NYC, so she can visit both of us with one trip.

My mom asked me what I was going to write about on Monday and I said, “um, I don’t know.  I think I’m gonna write about your trip and show the itinerary of the trip.”  and she said, “Oh Matt, I’m not sure people are going to find that interesting.”  Thanks lady.

So maybe she’s right, but I figured that maybe some of you might be heading to the city sometime soon, and maybe this will help you plan your trip.  So here it is…


9:00 am:    We leave.family

My mom arrives at my apartment in Albany with a box of boston creme doughnuts and cinnamon buns.   We leave at around 9:15 by car, and head down the NYS thruway.  I stop for iced coffee at the Starbucks on the Thruway and was forced to listen to the counter employee tell the other counter employee (and everyone in line) about her boyfriend’s new apartment.  I was like, “shut up.  please just give me my coffee.  and p.s., that apartment sounds hideous.”   I’m not a very good person before I have a coffee.

11:30 am:   We arrive.

We arrive in NYC, and I drop my mom off at my brother’s apartment in the East Village.  I go to my place to take a nap, and my mom and Melissa (my sister-in-law) go Department Store shopping.  (Macy’s, Saks, Bloomingdales, etc.).  For the rest of the day until dinner, I napped and walked the dog around the East Village.

7:30 pm: Emporio

My brother makes dinner reservations at a restaurant called Emporio in SOHO.  Mark and I meet my brother, his wife and my mom at the restaurant.  As soon as I step foot in the door I order a vodka, but find out that they only serve wine and beer.  :(  But apparently, Jude Law and Sienna Miller spent Thanksgiving at Emporio.   I shouldn’t have judged the place too quickly, because it was really amazing.   It’s a simple, beautiful little restaurant that feels very rustic and comfortable.  I ordered a lasagna dish and drank lots of wine.

9:30 pm – midnight: Tribeca Grand Hotel

We leave Emporio, and head to the Tribeca Grand Hotel so my mom can have a manhattan (and more importantly, so I can have some vodka).  We get a table and sit and drink and talk for a couple hours.  It was very nice, and if you’ve never seen the inside of the Tribeca Grand, it’s stunning.

midnight – 2:00am:  Jake’s Dilemma

I went with Mark to meet up with some of his Guys Gone Wild college buddies at a place called Jake’s Dilemma.  It’s your typical tavern with your typical drinks and your typical bring your own fun.  But Mark’s buddies are totally crazy and they definitely know how to bring the shots fun.  I get drunk love hanging out with them.  I can’t say that i remember too much of it.  It was an Open Bar situation, which usually translates to a disaster for me.  We stayed for awhile and then went home.


11:00 am – 1:30 pm:  The SmithThe Smith

At 11:00 am, otherwise known as the crack of dawn, we woke up to meet my mom and family at The Smith restaurant.  This was my choice for brunch because I LOVE this place.  I love the design, and the food is delicioso.  Plus, it’s in the East Village and has a cool, young vibe to it.  If you’re looking for a good brunch place, or just a great meal in general, I highly recommend this place.

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm:  nothing that notable.  We walked around in the rain, went to Mark’s office and looked at his amazing view of Central Park, then walked to Times Square (insert panic attack).

3:00 pm – 6:00 pm: Jersey Boys.Jersey Boys

If you’ve never been to a Broadway Show and want to see something fun and light and massively entertaining, go see Jersey Boys.  It’s especially enjoyable to anyone who grew up in the 50s and 60s because all the Frankie Valli songs will bring back a ton of memories.  I normally would prefer to go to a funeral over a broadway show, but this musical was so much fun.  My mom, my brother and I had a really great time time (I could only get 3 tickets.:(

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm:  Bocca di Bacco Restaurant

After Jersey Boys (and consequently craving italian), we went to a fantastic restaurant called Bocca di Bacco Restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen.   Again, I’m not a food critic, so I’m not sure what other words to use to describe a good meal, but it was… delicious.  Again, the interior design was outstanding, and the food was so effing good.  If you ever go see a show in NY, I recommend stopping by this place for dinner before or after.  We drank martinis, had some wine, and talked about things I can’t remember.

8:00 pm – 9:00 pm: Rolf’s German Restaurant


After dinner, we wanted more booze apparently, so we went to Rolf’s German Restaurant by Grammercy Park.  We weren’t hungry because we just ate, but Mark wanted to show us the inside of Rolf’s because apparently they go over the top with Christmas decorations.   Let’s just say this…. inside looks like the North Pole threw up.   I’ve never seen more decorations inside in my entire life (and this includes Christmas ornament stores).  It’s so crazy and hyper-decorated, that you have to go in there just to see it.  It’s nuts.  I had a martini and kept my eye on the exit because all the chaotic decorations were making me anxious.

9:00 pm – 10:00 pm:  Momofuku Bakery and Milk Bar


Have you heard of David Chang’s restaurant Momofuku?  Well, he opened a side bakery next door to his restaurant on 2nd avenue and refers to it as the Bakery and Milk Bar.   I love the momofuku restaurants, but hadn’t been to this restaurant yet.  I might go back every single day of my life.  The cookies and the pie were soooooooo good. They have the most unusual ideas that sound crazy but taste so delicious.  Check out their menu.  You can’t go wrong with any of the momofuku restaurants.

10:00pm:  Ambien.


  • Drop Shopping
    Dec 15, 2009 at 2:06 am

    New York City is known for its early American, colonial, Revolutionary War, and immigration history, annual celebrations including St. Drop Shopping

  • DB
    Dec 15, 2009 at 4:59 am

    sounds like a good time Matt. Definitely looks like Rolf’s went little overboard…
    I love the giant cookie followed by ambien, i typically do a large soda followed by ambien, and always wonder why it doesnt work.

    PS I looked at the picture real quick for Jersey Boys and thought it was one for Jersey Shore…

  • Randy
    Dec 15, 2009 at 8:05 am

    I think you should offer tours of NYC as a side job or as a prize.

  • BARV
    Dec 15, 2009 at 8:47 am

    You need to have a party/fund-raiser and give tickets away for “A Weekend Away With Matt” ~ you’d be mobbed! Thanks for sharing! =)

  • Lisa B
    Dec 15, 2009 at 9:09 am

    That sounded like a great trip! Your mom must look forward to it every year. I have yet to make it to NYC. Still awaiting a proper guide (or guru) :)

  • Sarah Joy
    Dec 15, 2009 at 9:12 am

    there should always be cookies…

  • Erin Brooke
    Dec 15, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Sounds like a funnnn weekend!!!

  • Dana
    Dec 15, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Ok, so the as I was reading your post, I’m watching Regis & Kelly and Anderson Cooper was just talking about Milk and how he’s addicted to their cookies & crackpie!!! Must be super good!

  • marnie
    Dec 15, 2009 at 9:43 am

    Sounds like a great time and tell your mom we did enjoy reading this blog..

  • Kerosena
    Dec 15, 2009 at 9:56 am

    I was really excited to go to Momofuku Noodle Bar, and the food was great, but damn, that “cooler than thou” service style really turned me off. Hipster-Doofus server acted like it was sooo lame that I asked him for a napkin and a diet coke, and made it clear that me, my dad and my step-mom were NOT the desired clientele.

    Do you think Chang trains the staff this way on purpose? If so, to what end?

  • Rosanne (Matt’s Mom)
    Dec 15, 2009 at 10:03 am

    Thank you so much for a wonderful trip to NYC. You and Steven are perfect hosts. All the restaurants we ate at not only had decicious food but I felt they were a New York City experience. You didn’t mention that Mark was the one to recommend Bocca di Bacco and Rolf’s Restaurant. There is a lot of pressue picking a restaurant (or bar) that everyone will love. Mark picked two winners.

    Every morning I look forward to reading your blog. This was special – you captured everything so perfectly – except for the Manhattan comment. I laughed out loud. Do people believe everythng you write?

    I love you!


  • BARV
    Dec 15, 2009 at 10:40 am

    Matt’s Mom ~ We believe everything he writes, especially the Manhattan comment, he had to learn to love his vodka from somewhere! =)

  • christy
    Dec 15, 2009 at 11:29 am

    This post makes me extremely sad that I haven’t been to the city with you in over a year. I want my life back. Actually, I want a nanny who can travel with me so I can have the best of both worlds.

    Awesome travel log post.

  • DJdubJay
    Dec 15, 2009 at 11:33 am

    try the Cereal Milk at Momofuku Bakery and Milk Bar.
    Fucking dee-lish.
    …also the Compost Cookies. Amazing.

  • The Original Colleen
    Dec 15, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Dear Rosanne,

    With regard to “Do people believe everythng you write?” comment; not only do we believe him, but we hang on every word. Your son has quite the following- OK he’s blushing now so I’ll stop.

    The real story is we SORT OF believe everything he writes; most importantly he entertains us poor working stiffs during the day, but we know that everything he writes is with a loving heart; knowing that he’ll stop us if we get too clingy.

    I’m going to speak for the Friday Puppy commenters and wish you a Merry Christmas; and we all hope to see you soon; where you can see us fawn over your son more.

  • Kate H
    Dec 15, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Maybe you should give a way a day trip to NYC, Panama sounds good but if you’re not going to go NYC sounds like more fun.

  • G-Dawg
    Dec 15, 2009 at 11:58 am

    I like the idea of a weekend in NYC with a guide (Matt), I think I like could like NYC but it still intimidates me so I really miss out, someday as with other things, will get over my “City fear”. Loved the whole thing, Hi Matt’s Mom ! !

  • helene
    Dec 15, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Matt: Even your weekend get aways sound full of greatness :) Next getway i plan i will have to ask you to schedule my itinerary or come!

  • Santa Speedo Sprint
    Dec 15, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    So this explains a particular speedo boy

  • Kait
    Dec 15, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    sounds like an awesome trip! I’m jealous. My friends and I are planning a trip down from the city and will be stealing some of your itinerary!

  • The Real Mark
    Dec 15, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Thanks for clarifying that Rosanne. Matt never gives me any credit.

    And I was going to make a similar comment about hanging out with Matt’s family as Matt made about hanging out with my friends. My friends may know how to bring the shots but his family sure knows how to bring the Manhattans.

    Just kidding – I had an awesome time this weekend. See you soon.

  • Flynn
    Dec 15, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    Looks like fun was had by all! Maybe the next Friday Puppy 5000th comment contest winner can be escorted around NYC like mama got.

  • Tammy
    Dec 15, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Great post. It’s great for us upstaters to get tips on where to go when we get to the city.

    Now I know why I didn’t see you when I watched the news coverage of the Santa Speedo Sprint.


    Photos of Friday Puppy Holiday Happy Hour are up on my FB page and I sent them to you, Matt.

  • Pat
    Dec 15, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Hubby and I were in NYC this weekend and also saw Jersey Boys! We had a blast although it was super cold and the wind was fierce. We found a great bar at the Warwick Hotel to warm ourselves–very old NY. We ate dinner at Scarpeta (300 something W. 13th St); dinner was fabulous and our waiter, Dave, was even better. Check it out next time you are there.

  • Edna
    Dec 15, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    My mom was my best friend,my confidant.She never judged,she just LOVED.I get the idea Rosanne is the same! So cool to make happy memories,Merry Christmas… to all <3

  • CC
    Dec 15, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    Made me hungry…

  • R.
    Dec 18, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    ok, i love you matt, but you are turning(?) into a serious alcoholic! i’m not saying you need complete abstinence, but how about a little moderation…or you’re gonna fry your liver before you’re 50! I say this with love…

  • the Original Colleen
    Dec 18, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    @#27, R. – if you look at my post above (#15) you’ll see that we all SORT OF believe everything he writes; I’ve seen Matt drink a few times and he’s way too busy to drink that much. So I say that he probably orders lots of drinks, but may not finish them. If I’m wrong, I will apologize to everyone!

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