The High Line

Grab some lunch from the Chelsea Market. Find table under the Standard Hotel. Enjoy the view and lunch from The Lobster Place (like some uber fresh sushi or a lobster sandwich) and dessert from the Magnolia Bakery (drooool- banana pudding), as a violinist plays beautifully across the way. Walk the the entire High Line and laugh with some good friends.

Easily a must-do on the west side.

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Biking through Central Park

Rent a bike and cruise through Central Park. It’s an absolute necessity when you visit the Big Apple.

If that small paragraph didn’t convince you to take the next plane to New York to bike through the Park, then maybe this set of photos will.

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And if that cute slideshow didn’t convince you, then maybe Abby’s adorable smile will.

Maharlika Filipino Moderno

My method to explore any new city is to explore its culinary offerings, as I’m sure it is for many, many travelers. Under that, I love exploring the city’s Filipino cuisine, if any. In LA, there’s no real presence of my mother land’s cuisine save food trucks who’ve really gotten it down (White Rabbit, Manila Machine, Tapa Boy…). New York, on the other hand, has a true gem of an ethnic restaurant at 1st Ave and 7th St – Maharlika Filipino Moderno.

Their brunch menu is simply a play on the American brunch menu – instead of Eggs Benedict, you have Eggs Benigno (my uncle’s name!); instead of Eggs Florentine, you have Eggs Imelda. They’re mostly known for their chicken and ube waffle, but I was a sucker for their Pampangan-style sizzling sisig with egg. Sisig is a tasty medley of pig ears, snout, cheek, and belly, and oooh my it was heavenly! I paired it with their version of a mimosa called Hilda Koronel (kalamansi honey and sparkling wine).

The restaurant decor is filled with familiar Filipino staples like The Last Supper and the giant wooden spoon and fork. At the same time, it wasn’t obsessively or excessively patriotic – a great balance between contemporary American style and traditional Filipino tastes.

And finally, the service was excellent. We had a cute East Asian man who had a great Tagalog accent despite only having the capacity to learn one word a day.

A must-visit on your next trip to NYC!