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This past weekend, I had friends visiting me in the city and as a result, I didn’t get much reading done.  While I’m still interested in reading more and more of Donna Tartt’s The Little Friend, I was perfectly content spending the weekend sharing some of the wonderful things that this city has to offer with two of my close friends.  So much fun, in fact, that I thought I’d share it with you.

McSorley’s Dark and the Cheese Plate

Friday night, we made our way downtown to McSorley’s Ale House, one of the oldest bars here in New York City.  Even though McSorley’s was the last bar in Manhattan to allow women to enter, I don’t hold this against them because their beer is so tasty and the atmosphere is so fun.  You have two choices of drink at McSorley’s: their light beer or their dark beer.  While both are delicious, I prefer the dark.  If you ever get the chance to visit this wonderful bar, be sure to order the cheese plate (my boyfriend would consider this blasphemous but I might like the cheese plate even more than the beer).  The cheese plate consists of a sleeve of saltine crackers, sliced cheddar cheese and raw onion.  Put it all together with some spicy horseradish mustard and somehow the combination works perfectly.

Saturday, we made our way across the park to the Upper West Side for lunch at one of New York’s favorite burger spots, Shake Shack followed by a wonderful afternoon at the Museum of Natural History.  I’m sad to say that even though I’ve lived in New York for more than a year, this was my first time at this museum.  I find that a lot of my friends grew up in the New York area and have visited so many of the museums on class trips growing up, so I haven’t been able to convince as many people to visit museums with me.  I took the fact that I had friends not from New York visiting as an opportunity to check one off my list.

I couldn’t wait to see the giant whale!

I think I’ll go out on a limb and say that the Museum of Natural History is one of the coolest museums I’ve ever visited.  All the exhibits made me feel like a little kid in school, super excited to learn (I was a bit of a nerd growing up). I’m glad that we were able to spend as much time as we wanted exploring the enormous museum (and that I wore comfortable shoes).

Pick your cookie, pick your ice cream!

Snickerdoodle and pumpkin, salted double chocolate and salted carmel, red velvet and Tahitian vanilla.

Following the museum we stopped by the Coolhaus ice cream sandwich food truck, parked conveniently across the street on Central Park West.  Coolhaus features make your own ice cream sandwiches with all kinds of delicious cookies and ice cream.  I highly recommend checking out their website to track down this truck and take advantage of creating your own tasty treat.

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend made up of some of the best things that New York City has to offer: good beer, good food, good friends and some culture thrown in the mix.  You can’t ask for much more than that!