A Lunch Date in Manhattan!

That Bonaparte!  What a man!  He knows that this time of year I get a bit “homesick” of sorts for New York City. It’s true.  I need my fix of going back into Manhattan.

My video plan didn’t go as expected. I was having too much fun to take videos–but I took lots of pics for you!

When I lived in New Jersey, I loved my home.  The house had room that the apartment in The City lacked.  Each of the children had their own bedroom and we had three bathrooms.  The yard was spacious and…. I had a driveway!   Having a driveway meant no more dealing with alternate side parking! I also made great friends and the kids have great memories of living a suburban life.

I’m still in the suburbs—and don’t get me wrong, I love my home.  The home that my husband and I own is even more special to me because I lost my New Jersey home during my divorce.

The thing is—I’m just a city person.  And not just any city. Living twenty minutes away from Philadelphia would seem like a dream—but it isn’t.  In all honesty, I’m not fond of Philadelphia. I’ve never warmed up to it. It just doesn’t have the personality of New York.

This. This kind of living makes me just feel happy! I love being in a building surrounded by neighbors. It’s like being in a cocoon. Or a warm blanket.  I know the buildings are old but I love that. I love the fire escapes I love the character. I love the dirty windows because that means I don’t have to clean! I don’t love the parking situation though!

Perhaps it’s because I was born in New York and was raised less than an hour away out on Long Island. I’m biased toward cities that don’t sleep.  NYC, New Orleans and Paris are my three faves—but let’s focus on New York.

Bonaparte decided that we should have a lunch date.  We asked Roman to join us, but he had to work on SNL—the show was being taped that night.  With U2 as the musical guests, I would have stayed in the studio to watch rehearsals too! And since Roman was working, it would be a fun trip for the two of us.  Since Christmas is in three weeks and we’ll have a full house and a ton of activity, this lunch date would offer a quite respite for the two of us. I also had to stop at Momofuku Milk Bar to pick up more Corn Powder for baking!

Chippy was glad to spend the day at doggie day camp with his buddies as we dropped him off and went on our way.  Our plan was to also spend a couple of hours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art after lunch.

This guy. This party animal was more than happy to spend the day with his canine buddies!

Here’s how it rolled.  This is photo-heavy so come along on my little journey. OK?

First things first!  I wore my Carrie Wig from Uniwigs LaVivid Collection.  Since the weather was on the mild side, I didn’t need a coat. I opted for my J. Crew Regency blazer, black Pixie Pants and a toasty scarf.  The five-year old Tory Burch boots went well with my Kooba bag that I bought over 13 years ago! See how happy I am?

The drive on the Turnpike was good and timing was perfect. There wasn’t a ton of traffic–which is always welcomed.  And when the City skyline comes into view, I always get excited!

Doesn’t matter how many times I see this view–I get excited every single time. Hey. I thought all birds flew South for the winter?

We were also very fortunate that tunnel traffic was at a minimum.  I love when this happens!


Clear day. Sunny skies.  Warm weather. Tunnel traffic at a minimum. It’s a great day!

Out of the tunnel and onto my old stomping grounds!

My artistic endeavor of a bowling sign on the West Side. I’m no Jacques-Henri Lartigue–that’s for sure!

One great thing about Bonaparte is that he loves driving in the City. He doesn’t mind the traffic at all. I think that comes from driving in Paris for so many years!

On the way to my first stop. Momofuku Milk Bar!

The infamous Patsy’s Italian Restaurant. Sinatra’s old hangout!  

Drive-by (Photo) shootings are so difficult at times–I can never get the photo I want!

As usual, parking on 56th Street was non-existent.  Bonaparte parked the car in front of a hotel across from Milk Bar and when I got out, the doorman came running over to me to ask if I was checking in.  I explained to him I needed to run into Milk Bar for a moment. I must’ve looked nice to him because he said not to worry and the car could stay there as long as needed.

I scooped up a few bottles of corn powder and went to pay!

That doorman couldn’t have been more helpful.  I went to pay in CASH for my Corn Powder then found out that they only took cards.  Back to the car for a card and back to Momofuku Milk Bar.  Nothing is easy for me!

Card in hand, I was able to stock up…

Some people can’t live without their bottles of wine.  I can’t live without my bottles of Corn Powder!  Off we go!

City road work.  This is a vision of beauty for me.  The steam rising from the striped tubes–that’s a chimney to me.  Will Santa make it down?  Damn, I miss this!

And as we headed over to the East Side,  we noticed policemen and women of New York’ s Finest blocking the many side streets.  I was to find out this was due to Trump’s visit to New York City. Why did that pig decide to visit Manhattan on the day that I was there?  I swear sometimes if it weren’t for bad luck–I would have no luck at all! I wasn’t going to allow that filthy liar to ruin MY day!  I took it in stride.

NY’s Finest.  None of them look too happy and I know why!!!!

As our route was diverted, I wanted so badly to stop at Sephora–but my driver wouldn’t stop!


An Orthodox Church.  Odd thing is that I must have passed this church a gazillion times when living in NY and never noticed it.  Funny how you notice things from a car that you don’t when walking!

Finally arriving to lunch, we found a parking space right up the street from the restaurant.  My luck was changing!

My chauffeur!!  Is he in a pensive mood?  Non!  He’s just hungry!

We had lunch at Le Ralais de Venise L’Entrecote.  This restaurant has the smallest menu ever.  Salad.  Steak. Fries.  Wine and dessert.  Since Bonaparte was driving, we opted for no wine–just good ol’ NYC tap water. And might I add, NYC tap water is the best water on the planet. I should have taken an empty milk jug and requested they fill it with water!

The mid-town location offers a great weekend luncheon because it doesn’t get as crowded as the weekdays with business lunches.  Locations in NYC, London and Paris, this small chain offers great food at such an affordable price!

We were one of the first parties to arrive at opening.  How can you tell this isn’t the Paris location?  By the “No Smoking” sign!!!

Our table offered a good view for nosy patrons such as myself!

My eau-de-vie. NYC Tap Water!  

The simplest menu on earth!

This salad. Nothing more than lettuce and walnuts but the best salad dressing I’ve ever had.  I could have had seconds on this…

The L’entrocote, sauce and fries.  Articles have been written on attempts to dupe this sauce. I’VE tried to dupe this sauce. Nobody has been successful.  The sauce is bomb!!!  I think I did detect a bit of clove–just a hint, and nutmeg. It’s back to the drawing board for me!

Sorry peeps.  But any restaurant that serves me steak the way I want it–blue, is A OK in my book.  This is red meat at it’s best!  And that sauce…

We enjoyed our lunch with conversation and laughs and planning a trip to Paris.  And by the time we left, the restaurant was mobbed and we didn’t have time to visit the museum.  Perhaps next time…

As we did make our way up the East Side, traffic and lack of street parking would hinder our visit to the museum, but it was no big deal.  Next time!

A spectacular view of the 59th Street Bridge brought memories of the day I went into labor with Jake.  My dad and I drove out to Long Island to see my grandmother who was in the hospital.  We drove back to Manhattan via the 59th St. Bridge.  The ride was so bumpy that my dad told me I would go into labor. He was correct. I did!!

Park Avenue. Notice the cops on each corner.  Tax money already wasted on Trump! 

Marymount School. Had we stayed in NYC, this is where Oona would have gone to school.  The uniforms were so cute!

We passed by St. Ignatius School.  I spent a great deal of time here bring the boys to school, picking them up and volunteering. I loved this place!!!

At one time, the school had a separate entrance for girls…

And one for boys.  I can still smell the inside of that school. Old wooden desks, wood floors. It was great!

Here’s a site for a Saturday afternoon….


Another fun site was this group of groomsmen on the way into St. Ignatius Church for an afternoon wedding.  Too bad we couldn’t crash the party!

Back over to the West Side to my old neighborhood on Riverside Drive then off to home!

A man and his two beautiful yellow labs. the one on the ground reminded me so much of my Ruby.  I can’t count the times I’ve walked along this stretch of Riverside Drive!

And that concludes my day in NYC.  I hope you enjoyed it.  And if the question of why didn’t I take a photo of the Rock Center Christmas tree?  In my heaviest NY accent “Hey. Ya seen one tree–ya seen ’em all”.  I’m jaded.  I’ve seen the tree too many times.  I would rather look at the buildings and their beauty!

This is for you.  One of my favorite songs that reminds me of The City!  I always feel groovy when I return!

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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49 Responses to A Lunch Date in Manhattan!

  1. KEWLM0M says:

    Just goes to show you – you can take the girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the girl! Thanks so much for sharing your lunch date and trip to the city with us! I♡NY too!

  2. Dawn says:

    You look mahvelous, with that particular hairstyle! Thank you for taking such good photographs of my former home for 23 years. How I miss it! I am 50 miles away on Long Island and still haven’t quite gotten over the spell that Manhattan cast on me.

    • Catherine says:

      Dawn, how far away out on the Island are you? Past Islip? Close to Riverhead? The great thing about L.I. is that you have easy access with the LIRR–when it’s operating!!!! XOXOXOXO

  3. doodletllc says:

    Love the quick trip to NYC. Oh my, I do miss the City. Brooklyn and the City and my favorite museum, The Met. Thanks for the fun run!

  4. J says:

    Thanks for the tour! I lived in Boston for 25 years and miss it and dream of it. But I could no longer afford to live there after I became a mother at the advanced age of 40, so here I am in a Midwest college town. I have to remind myself of the advantages almost daily. But I am not a city girl anymore. What I miss most is the ocean and the culture.
    Thanks again for the pictures

    • Catherine says:

      Hi J! Oh…I hear you on the affordability. Trump, along with other developers and Guiliani literally destroyed NYC for the middle and working class. That along with the demise of rent-controlled units just killed it for anyone who either wasn’t wealthy or poor. It’s a shame and it is one of the reasons I hate Trump so much. NY used to be so much better when there was a certain seediness. I can’t even!! Glad you enjoyed–and Boston is a great city too!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  5. hipchick66 says:

    Ya know, I get it. Your love for NYC and never feeling warmed up to Philly. Because I’m the exact opposite. Love my Philly, and never felt a good vibe anytime I’ve been in NYC. But I really enjoy seeing it through your eyes! Xoxo

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Lori! YES!!!! YES!!!!! You certainly do get it! It’s not that I can’t stand Philly because I enjoy our time there (except parking) –but it is the lack of familiarity and people love the cities they either grew up in or near!!!! I’m so glad you get that!!! Thanks!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  6. Fiona says:

    Thanks for the armchair tour of NYC Cathe.
    Although I’ve visited the States many, many times I’ve never been there.
    Glad the orange person didn’t spoil your day. Xxc

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Fiona! LOL. No–he certainly didn’t spoil my day–looks like he did manage to spoil the weekend for the NYPD though. They really looked miserable!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  7. Judy says:

    What a wonderful account, Catherine! A perfect day, in fact. Sorry you had to have the orange person in the city at the same time – my friend in Baltimore tells me there is a March for Impeachment on January 20 in Washington and in cities all over the US – should be interesting. I have found there are 5 branches of Le Relais de Venise in London so next time i am in the city, i will definitely have lunch there and see if i can wheedle at least some of the ingredients of the sauce out of someone!

    • Catherine says:

      Hey Judy! We certainly had a most perfect day! I love days like that! The March for Impeachment won’t do any good. It’s the voting that counts and the Democrats and Independents (such as me) will have to go out and cast our votes against the Republican Congress for the mid-term elections. As a former Republican and Democrat, I am validated in stating that both parties have strayed from their roots, but the Republicans are nowhere near the party they used to be. I’m disgusted by them. Absolutely disgusted.
      But back to our day! It was grand. And definitely check out the locations when you are in London because the price is right and the food is great!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  8. Deb says:

    How I can relate! I grew up twenty minutes from Philly in South Jersey and never warmed up to it! And, sadly, I never took advantage of my relative proximity to NYC back then either. Oddly, I live in the L.A. area now but have taken to visiting NYC between Thanksgiving and Christmas in the years I can manage it. I LOVE NYC!!! My husband and I check a couple of touristy things off the list each time and then we give ourselves permission to just BE…. we grab a bench or seat in Central Park or Bryant Park and “watch the world go by” while sipping a coffee or hot chocolate—-omg….I can close my eyes and imagine I am there right now. I have to go look at some Humans of New York to get a fix! Your posts have been so entertaining and engaging—- I feel like I’m back East, enjoying this time of year, through you, all from the comfort of my Southern California armchair!

    • Catherine says:

      Deb! I LOVE HUMANS O NEW YORK!!!!!!!!!!! OMG. I would sit in Central Park and people-watch all the time. That’s why I love Paris so much. We’re like you and your husband. We give ourselves permission to just BE as well and sit in cafe’s for hours people-watching. That’s why I love both cities because you can just blend. Glad you enjoyed the post!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

      • Deb says:

        Confession, I’ve NEVER been to Paris ! I was supposed to go this fall and it didn’t happen—- now we are shooting for the Spring, fingers crossed! I joke that I only get to places where my children have lived and while that has included Australia, Thailand and London, so far their adventures have not gotten me to Paris! As I get older I am less and less interested in traveling to places other than big cities….I love the endless opportunities and diversity of, as you said, the cities that never sleep. My husband is not much for the nightlife and I am definitely a light weight, but I love knowing that it’s all out there, waiting for me if I choose to partake. There is an energy and atmosphere in NYC that is perfection, in my mind. Whenever I am perusing the HONY website, I always tell whoever is within earshot, “THAT’s where my people are.” My people are in NYC….

  9. Thanks for the mini tour. You know, I’ve never been in Manhattan, only the JFK airport going to
    Europe when I was very young. However, the girls and I are taking a trip of NYC next summer for my birthday. Well, that’s it. Terri

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Terri! You will LOVE NYC–especially in the summer when you can walk and walk and walk and can enjoy Central Park and Battery Park–it’s going to be a blast!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  10. When I was 25, I traveled solo to Manhattan and fell head over heels in love, I talked about it so much that six months later my sister went back to experience it for herself. I returned to Ohio and plotted my move however live intervened and I didn’t get to fulfill That dream. Reading your account was so gratifying, thank you so much for sharing. Oh my, that sauce looks divine!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Arabella!! I’m so happy that you were able to enjoy my afternoon in NYC!! It’s true though. Manhattan is definitely a city to fall in love with. There is NEVER a dull moment. When I was pregnant with Jake, I lived on 94th Street and Riverside Drive. Taking the subway home from Wall Street, I would purposely get off in the evenings at 72nd street and walk the 22 blocks home. I loved that walk because day after day, night after night, I always spotted something different every time. It was a great time!!! XOXOXOXOXO

  11. Patrice Johnson says:

    Your hatred of Trump is so apparent. I wish you would not allow it to bleed into your otherwise wonderful blog. It’s like the most perfect walk on a beautiful day and all the sudden you’ve stepped in dog poop.

    • Catherine says:

      Patrice. You are right. I try very hard. Very hard to keep my politics out of my blog because I do want to keep the momentum fun and uplifting. And every now and then I slip–but thanks to readers who point out my political slippage (is that even a word?), you are keeping me back in line. Thank you Patrice! I appreciate that–a lot! I’m back on track!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!!

      • heididonner says:

        I love your honesty and the freedom with which your express yourself. This is your blog. Goodness, you should not have to censor yourself. I may not agree with everything you write, but it does not take away from my enjoyment. If I do not like something, I can just ignore it. Or discuss it with you in the comments. I feel like I just stepped in dog poop reading that comment.

      • Catherine says:

        Thank you Heidi!!!!!! XOXOXOXO

  12. margaret daley says:


    • Catherine says:

      Hi Margaret. Corn Powder is freeze-dried corn that has been ground up. It is essential for some of the momofuku milk bar dessert recipes–i.e corn cookies, crack pie. It’s so good in the recipes and I always have it on hand!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  13. bluetulips says:

    Catherine, thanks for posting about your day trip to NYC. How long does it take to drive from Philly to NYC? Although I live in Australia, NYC has special place in my heart. My first experience was in 2001, I travelled on my own for the first time as part of an 8 weeks trip USA, Canada and Europe. I stopped in San Fran for 2 days then NYC for 3 days. It was not enough. I remember it was August, very hot and humid. I swore I would come back and spend at least 10 days. In 2010 I travelled with a friend and it was her first time. I insisted we must do at least 10 days, we stayed for 14 days. (Mind you, we needed a few days to get over the jet lag, it is a killer) 14 days still wasn’t enough time, I wanted to see more. I will come back again 🙂 Oh being Greek I want to go to Astoria next time 🙂

    • Catherine says:

      Dianne. Astoria is a great little section of Queens. Roman and Oona shared an apartment there for a while before Oona was transferred out of New York. Astoria is still affordable and has become a bit of a hipster area as of late! There is quite nothing like NYC. Although I do have a fondness for Sydney!!!! XOXOXOXOXOXO!!!!!

  14. Renee in Northern California says:

    Thanks for the mini-vacation! Patsy’s…I have fond memories of dining there with my niece a few years back. Oh, how I love cities, too! Your post reminds me to get to San Francisco this month for some shopping, lunch or just walking and checking out the sights/people.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Renee! You are quite welcome!!! Patsy’s–home of Frankie’s main meals!! It’s so funny because it isn’t anything fancy–and that’s whats so great about NYC–you can find great dining just about anywhere that won’t cost a fortune!!!! Get to San Fran!!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  15. 3C Style says:

    Thanks for taking us with you. I enjoyed the visit. It almost felt like I was there with you. Too bad I could not steal you a few fries though.

    • Catherine says:

      LOL. Dominique. I’m not much of a fry person, but boy, when frites are done right. I will chow down. I had two helpings–that’s how good they were!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

      • 3C Style says:

        They sure did look very good! There are two things I cannot resist and that is crème caramel and fries. I’m pretty much like Bonaparte on this I guess.

  16. Miss Bougie says:

    I love NYC; We lived there for a year , on E51st, before we had the kids, and I have very fond memories. We’ve been back many many times since then and there is always something new to see. Last time we discovered the Oculus in lower Manhattan. The city is so vibrant and changes quite a bit between two visits. I understand your attraction, especially living in the suburbs of another city where you have no prior memories.
    Funny you used to live on Riverside Drive. We have friends that live there too; between W73rd and 74th street. The upper west is a great area to live.
    Thanks for taking us along today.
    Btw, what’s that corn stuff you bought. What do you use it for?

    • Catherine says:

      Hey B. Bonaparte used to live in NYC too –soon after arriving in the US. He was in the E. 60’s. Are you talking about that huge brick building between 72/73rd on RSD? One of my friends used to live in that building. I love the West Side so much and Bonaparte is a very East Side person. I told him if we ever moved back into NYC we would have to compromise and live in the East Village!! Great place to live!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  17. Bridget says:

    Looks and sounds like a wonderful day! I love NYC, Chicago, and Philly – they are the same but so different, I think you just need to love each one for its own personality. For me, each one has huge pluses and minuses, and I love them all anyway!

    Don’t feel like you can’t express yourself. Your blog, your politics. Anyone who objects can read past it. At least that’s how I feel on my blog.

    Give Chippy a kiss from me!

    • Catherine says:

      Thanks Bridget. I appreciate that. Sometimes I just feel like “fuck it”. On one hand I realize that I am very vocal about my hatred for that person in the White House. On the other hand, I do as much as I possibly can to keep my politics out of the blog. But it’s funny because Trump hates most of us–but his despicable behavior–lying, debasing women, sleeping with Putin, his anti-Americanism, bigotry and hatred–all seem to be acceptable. And now with his tax bill that’ll help destroy the middle-class altogether, he still manages to have supporters. I can’t even, girlfriend. I can’t even!! XOXOXOxO!!!!

  18. pollymacleod says:

    I’ve really enjoyed your lunch date trip and could feel how much you love New York. I visited in 1988 and had a great time staying with friends. I have wanted to return ever since but so far haven’t managed it 🙁 one day maybe.

  19. maidsdayoff says:

    I feel the same about Chicago. I’m only 20 minutes outside of St. Louis now, but it can’t hold a candle to my home. I get the same giddy feeling when I see Chicago’s skyline. And when we’re driving there, I know the exact mile marker when I can pick up my favorite Chicago radio station! haha!

    • Catherine says:

      Rita! I LOVE Chicago–especially Old Town. It’s a great city–the people are great and the suburbs are even cool! I LOVE your remark about the radio station–I know when to pick up my favorite NY Stations.

  20. Diane says:

    I loved reading about your lunch date in NYC.I live in northern Canada but visited NYC once a few years ago when we were catching a cruise from New York down through the Eastern Caribbean. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a lot of time to see the city but I just loved its “vibe”.

  21. Kelly says:

    I’m in Melbourne Australia, just so enjoyable seeing your pics of New York, it’s on my wish list to visit there one day 🙂 But for now taking your tour was so much fun! Thank you, Kelly xx

  22. Susan says:

    Hi Catherine; being a native New Yorker as well, I just returned from NY myself. I was in the city meeting my best friend and came across Ricky’s a makeup store. I was thrilled to see that they carried “The Ordinary” brand makeup!!!! The sales person helped me pick out the correct shade, and I snapped up some primer and eye cream as well. Did you know that Sephora will start carrying that brand as well?

  23. Noel Hartem says:

    As a country pumpkin born and raised, I found your post intriguing and insightful. Thank you for taking me along with you. I enjoyed my day in NYC with you and your driver.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Noel. And I thank you so much. I miss NYC and wish I could still afford to live there–but I’m lucky that I live within driving distance!!!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!!

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