‘Tis the Season for Timing in NYC

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Lincoln Center

Mutti at Lincoln Center

My holiday gift to Mutti this weekend included a trip to Lincoln Center to see War Horse, the theatrical play. With only a few weeks left to catch it I figured it was good timing. On the contrary, it was the timing that ruined the experience.

This is NOT a show you see so shortly after the worst school shooting in U.S. history. I realize it’s about World War I but we couldn’t stop thinking of the children of Connecticut and nearly walked out when bullets started flying during the second half. And, despite having orchestra seats, only two rows from the stage, this is a play you need to appreciate from a distance. In fact, the further away you are the better the acoustics, visuals and suspended animation.

Thankfully, our overnight stay at the Empire Hotel brought to us by DealAngel lifted our spirits back to normal. Ideally located right across from Lincoln Center, the price was 60% lower than average for a double with comfortable beds, courteous staff and easy parking. Mutti packed her bathing suit and towel for a dip in the rooftop cabana and pool.

“Oh, I’m sorry but the pool is seasonal and it is closed for the winter,” said the bellhop.

Closed? Oh no. Another bad timing moment.

So be it, instead we’ll eat to our hearts content.

Being German, Mutti had been looking forward to homemade veal cheeks, spätzle and red cabbage. We would walk through Central Park, stop to browse the Christmas booths and dine at a restaurant called Seäsonal on 58th. Growling stomachs would soon be satisfied with Kartoffelsuppe made of chicken consommé, potato, leek and speck.

We got to the door and heard the following: “I’m sorry but we don’t open for dinner until 5p,” frowned the host. It was only 3:30.

Timing was not in our favor this weekend. Our of sheer desperation we popped into the closest diner we could find saving ourselves a ton of money but not nearly as satisfied as we should have been.

The next day played out much better. Chelsea markets filled our cooler container with ample amounts of smoked Sturgeon, a rare kind of fish only found in the city and for lunch we enjoyed a popular chain I’d been meaning to go to since it opened 8 months ago.

Ooytoya Restaurant

Known as Ootoya NYC, the cuisine is fancy but not exotic and the place was filling up fast when we arrived for lunch. Roughly 9 in 10 customers sitting around us looked like homesick Japanese. Hundreds of franchises exist in Asia but this is the first in the states.

We sat at a stylish sake bar where we were greeted by friendly shouts from the cooks in the kitchen. Mutti became a little worried seeing only chopsticks sitting next to Bento boxes. I was hoping she would finally learn how to use them but she broke down during tasting the creamy tofu salad.

We wrapped up the holiday get-away going to our favorite church – the Limelight Marketplace.

Limelight Marketplace Church