Last year, a random group of friends headed down to West Yellowstone for the Taste of the Trails. I didn’t really know anyone except the one person that invited me. No one had been to the Taste before and we didn’t know what to expect. It was so great, we came back and talked it up, resulting in a return trip with new people this year. This year the sky stayed grey most of the day and we did get snowed on a little bit, but it was still a great day to be out.
The Taste of the Trails is a 5k cross country ski event by the West Yellowstone Ski Education Foundation. They have four food stations set up along the pristine Rendezvous Trails. You begin with appetizers, (elk strudel and candied bacon anyone?), followed by soup, (your choice of four different kinds), then the main course, (payaya!), finishing with dessert (too many to list but the chocolate chip bread pudding so so good).
Dessert! So many to try.
The course was super easy. They removed the one steep hill that was before the soup station this year to make it even more beginner friendly. The course has a biathlon shooting range on it. This year there were people training as we came along for our main course stop.
The hill that took many down last year
The cabin that they serve the main course is an old ranger cabin that they moved over to save it from demolition.
After we finished our course and warmed up in the warming hut, a couple of us went back out to do a little bit more exploring. The trails are so well taken care of and the maps and markers make it so easy to not get lost as you weave in and around the forest. I need to pay more attention to the events they have going on. They do a fun/beginners biathlon that I would love to try out and several other fun races.
One of the hills we would realize was not so bad later on
When we were done, we meet up with the others at the local Buffalo Bar before heading over to the Norris Hot Springs to finish the day off before heading back to Bozeman. I’m sure we’ll have another great crew headed down again for next years Taste!
Last year’s crew
A couple things have happened to prompt this post. Primarily, since leaving New York, I’ve had a few people who have been heading out there for a trip and have asked me what to see and do. For one person I filled a couple pages of her notebook. For another, I sent her a long email. I thought I might just edit that email into a post and then I can just forward it to whoever asks.
The second is the fact that The Sexy Master Electrician and I are heading to New York in early March on our way to a wedding in DC. I am super exited to revisit some of my favorite places and find some new ones. I just hope all my favorites are still there and still wonderful!
This list is all of the the spots and things I would tell anyone coming to visit me while I was in New York to see. Some of the less touristy stuff I would do with them, (most of the eating and drinking stuff) and I would always try to get them on a bike. Seeing a city by bike is probably my favorite way to do it. Anyway, here we go in no particular order or importance…
Things to See:
- Go to Madison Square Park (Broadway and 23rd St) The Flat Iron Building is here. Several times a year there is Madison Square Eats on the west side of the park in the middle of the street triangular intersection. Several great food trucks and smaller restaurants set up around the perimeter for you pick and choose from. Enjoy some food, you can’t really go wrong- all of the trucks are fabulous.
- Walk down Broadway from 23rd to Union Square (17th Street). Look up, there many beautiful buildings.
- Check out the One World Trade Center aka the Freedom Tower and 9/11 Memorial (you might need tickets ahead). I want to check on the new museum that is finally open and hopefully the observation deck at the tower if it opens.
Fountain at the World Trade Center Memorial
- Unless you want to go into Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty (which is really cool, save your self the time in line and money by taking the Staten Island Ferry over and back. Even better, catch a Staten Island Yankees’s game while you are there.
So this isn’t from the SI Ferry, but close enough
- If you are there in the summer see if you can go to Governor’s Island and wonder around. The park spaces are beautifully designed around and through the old base and they have a very interesting mix of art and performances through out the season.
The view from Govenor’s Island
- Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and hang out in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Taken while biking over the bridge
There are signs everywhere directing you to the park, Make sure you take the stairs on the Brooklyn side shortly after the wood planks end, instead of following the path all the way down. The stairs drop you in DUMBO, close to the water, the path goes much farther into Brooklyn.
DUMBO Arts Festival
My favorite part of the park is on the north side of the bridge, under the Manhattan bridge. Two old warehouses are right along the water that are gorgeous. Although, I know this is changing as a part of the Brooklyn Bridge Park development.
My favorite Spot- with odd color setting
ET in the park
Get a hot chocolate or ice cream from Jacque Torres on Water Street, just behind the abandoned Empire Warehouse.
- Take a cab ride down Park Avenue to 34 Street from some where in the 70’s. They should take you up and around Grand Central Station. It’s such a great perspective going around GCS. The ride down Park Ave is nice too, typically there is some really good art in the median gardens and do not forget to go inside Grand Central.
Art along Park Avenue
- See if there is an exhibit or even at the Park Avenue Armory. It’s a cool space and the exhibits are typically grand in scale.
- See the Met, Guggenheim, and MoMA. The Met and MoMA are huge, I typically have to pick which exhibits I want to see and go to them, otherwise, it’s just too much. Go to the roof of the Met. Hopefully the latest installation is up for you to enjoy with an awesome view of central park. The Met rooftop and MoMA are my favorites if you don’t have time for all of them.
- If you want to go to the top of the Empire State Building, do it during the day, if you want to go to the Top of the Rock, do it at night.
View from the Top of the Rock
A great view of the Empire is from a rooftop bar in the La Quinta on 32nd Street. Opens at 5PM.
Empire State from the Rooftop!
- Go to the Storefront for Architecture and the Center for Architecture. Both are in great neighborhood to wander around in. THe CFA is a block away from Washington Square Park.
- See Time Square, but don’t waste too much time there. Don’t eat anything there or around the Empire state building. There are much better places out of the tourist areas farther north or south.
- Walk along the Hudson River Park. The view and parks are great.
Pier I on the Hudson River
- Walk the Highline. I would stay start at the top (near 33rd St and 10th Ave, I think, they keep expanding it) End down in Chelsea and wander. Great buildings to see along the walk and down in Chelsea.
- Take the Train to the new Atlantic Terminal and check out the Barclays Center and BAM.
The Nets vs the Wizards
If you can catch a performance at BAM, I recommend it. One of my favorite venues. Wander around the Fort Greene neighborhood.
Opera at BAM
- If you want to stick to Manhattan, see if there is a performance at Lincoln Center. The spaces are gorgeous and so are the performances.
- Wander around Soho, but skip Broadway, get on the smaller side streets. The storefronts are amazing and so is the stuff they are selling.
- In Brooklyn head out to Greenwood Cemetery. It’s huge, old and really cool. It’s also the highest point in Brooklyn. At that point, the statue Minerva is pointing out at the Statue of Liberty, who is facing her.
Greenwood on the way to work one foggy morning
- If you get on your bikes and have a day, check out Coney Island on your way to Rockaway Beach. Skip the beach at Coney Island and enjoy it at Rockaway.
Kite surfers on the way to Rockaway
- Don’t forget to take the tram over to Roosevelt Island and check out the old buildings and the memorial.
- Go to the 8th Ave and 14th Street subway station- just to check out the sculptures.
- Pizza by the slice: Luigi’s in Park Slope. When I told the owner I was moving, he gave me a t-shirt. Curious to see if he remembers me when we go back.
- Pizza resturant: Fornino in Williamsburg Brooklyn, but Patsy’s near Union Square is also really good and probably closer to where you will be.
- Thai food on the cheap: National, Joya or Song. Same owner three different Brooklyn hoods, all amazing.
- Sweet Revenge will pair your cupcake with a beer or wine.
- Egg and cheese sandwich: Any deli (for the most part), so good no matter how you order it, seriously.
- Also get a macaron. Many delicious places have them, but look for a place that specializes in them. Cafe M was one of my regular stops.
- Favorite Cheese Shop: Murray’s Cheese Bar, they also do beer and wine pairings.
- Favorite sandwiches: Snice, Spreads, No. 7 Sub or a wrap from Nanoosh
- Favorite expensive dinner: Freemans
- Favorite burger: Bonnie’s Grill in Park Slope
- Favorite Chicken and Waffles: Melba’s or Amy Ruth’s
Melba’s after the Shamrock Run
- Favorite Brunch: Kitchennette, in Brooklyn Giovanni’s
- Favorite Doughnut: This is hard one but Doughnut Plant is amazing, one of my favorites was the Orange Blossom Cashew, but you can find many excellent options in many places. #nycdonuttour
- Favorite BBQ: Dinosuar BBQ
- Favorite Taco: Rockaway Taco, get the guac with plantain chips
- Favorite Pie: Four & Twenty Blackbirds in Brooklyn
- Favorite coffee shop: Southside in Brooklyn, Joe’s is good too in the city
- Favorite hidden cocktails: the Mulberry project or PDT
- Favorite brewery: Brooklyn Brewery. Go on a Friday night and order pizza from Fornino’s (see above). Rocky Sullivan’s is connected to the 6 Point Brewery and has some awesome pizza with a rooftop deck down in Red Hook too!
Rooftop flip cup at Rocky’s
Whew! That’s all I have for right now. I’m sure I will add and change this as I remember things and visit old places and new ones!