Going to Levain on the Upper West Side has been on my to-do list ever since I read about the amazing cookies on Serious Eats. A friend came to town this weekend and was practically forced by her former boss to visit the popular bakery, so it became the perfect opportunity to see what all of the fuss was about.
I opted for the classic chocolate chip walnut cookie, while my friend got double chocolate chip. Though we each shelled out $4 per cookie, the result was truly the best cookie I’ve ever tasted.
The outside is crunchy enough to hold in the gooey dough on the inside. But barely. The amount of chocolate and nut in each cookie was perfect, and I have to admit, I was pretty much licking off melted chocolate from the inside of the bag.
My suggestion is to head to the deli around the corner on Amsterdam for a $2 individual serving of Horizon milk with a straw. You’ll need it, and you won’t be able to wait til you get home to dig into these amazing cookies.
Still held together
A look past the crust
Not only did I walk across the Brooklyn Bridge this weekend, but I saw and tasted a number of amazing things. Here were some of my favorite moments:
View from the Brooklyn Bridge promenade
The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, the cutest spot at the base of the bridge
Chocolate Chocolate Chunk ice cream, my light at the end of the promenade tunnel
Peanuts taste better out of a brown paper bag at a baseball game
My #2 favorite pizza in New York at John’s of Bleecker
“Icies,” as we called them, bring me right back to being a kid. And it’s the only thing in my neighborhood that’s still $1
Here are some of my favorite moments of the past weeks. Just a reminder to myself to remember the little things.
Great Lawn at Central Park
Oatmeal pancakes, brioche French toast, and mimosas
Perfect breakfast of fresh jam and fruit
View from the Highline
West Village stoops
I can’t decide if I’m a good New Yorker or a bad New Yorker for having never visited these New York hotspots. But nonetheless, here’s a list that I’ll attempt to get through before the end of the summer:
1) Ellis Island – After a family heritage project, I became obsessed with knowing everything about my heritage. My school gives students free access to Ancestry.com, and I was able to trace back the journeys of my Italian, Irish and Portuguese relatives. I want to go to see the documents in person with my dad, if I can.
2) Empire State Building – Secretly just hoping to find a backpack with a teddy bear named Howard.
3) Walked across the Brooklyn Bridge – I’ve driven across it, but never walked. Such a depressing confession, but, unfortunately, a true one.
4) Ridden the Staten Island Ferry – Again for a cinematic moment – I’m just hoping it’ll result in some strong Staten Island Iced Teas. My hair hurts.
5) Go to the Statue of Liberty – Speaking of ferries, I’ve been on the Cruise Line which swings around the Statue of Liberty. But I’ve never actually been to Lady Liberty herself.
Gulp. I’m ready for judgement that will come my way. Also ready to make some changes to my New Yorker anti-tourist attraction mentality.
If you’ve seen my Instagram lately (@maddiemonmon which is private – but I’m pretty open to accepting followers), or at least have looked at the right sidebar at my two most recent photos, you will notice that I’ve been very into taking photos of architecture in New York lately. The crisp black and white filter comes from Nigel Barker’s Instagram, which is one of my favorite odes to NYC. I took an architecture class in Paris, and ever since, I’ve been more aware of architectural beauty. Here are some of the buildings in New York that I find to be five of the most beautiful.
1. The Frick Museum – One of my friends and I have joked since high school that this is our future home. Right on 5th Avenue with Cherry Blossoms that bloom in the spring, this mansion-turned-museum is quite a beautiful view from the M1 down 5th Ave.
2. St. Ignatius Loyola Church – Studying architecture in Europe means studying a lot of churches and cathedrals. That’s why I think of St. Ignatius Loyola as one of the best examples of classic architecture in NY. It is elaborate and has egg and dart and pilasters all over. You can tell it’s nestled among posh Park Avenue apartments and has parishioners like Kennedy’s by the way its beautifully kept.
3. Cooper Hewitt Museum – Formerly Carnegie’s mansion, the museum has been under construction for the past few years. But its beautiful facade and even more beautiful hardwood interiors are architectural beauty at its finest.
4. Ralph Lauren, Madison Avenue – Would you believe me if I told you this building was built in 2010? Ralph Lauren mimicked his other building just across the street for his new flagship store on Madison Avenue. I’d happily give up the Frick to my friend to live in this Madison Avenue masterpiece.
5. Classic Brownstones – New York’s brownstones give it much of its personality. From Carrie Bradshaw’s rent-controlled apartment everyone in New York simply dreams of, to the cute and homey brownstone Meg Ryan called home in You’ve Got Mail (shown below), brownstones are classic New York.