NYC | Friends with Benefits

I am ridiculously lucky to have such amazing friends in the city.  I am even luckier that some of my friends (via their jobs) have been able to get me into some cool events, provide me with free tickets to shows, or get me some free grub.  Why else would I keep these crazy kids around?

Kat and I spent the day on Saturday enjoying some benefits of our respective jobs.  We went to brunch at Ditch Plains on her and went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art on me.

Ditch Plains has two locations, 29 Bedford Street in the West Village, and 82nd and Columbus.  Kat and I went to the Upper West Side location and were immediately greeted with “Hi, Kat!”s from every direction.  Kat works events at BenchMarc Restaurant Group, which runs both Ditch Plains locations as well as two locations of Landmarc.

My dad and his “surfing buddies” (which includes basically anyone on our beach – with the exception of Summer 2007 speedo man) would love this place.  The restaurant is decorated all over with waves, surfboards, and black and white photos of surfers.  The bill comes with salt-water taffy.  I am dying to experience their $30 Lobster Bake that I saw being offered on Sundays and Mondays.  I kind of want to go back every single day because I loved it so much.  Here’s what we ate:

Have you ever seen French Toast this high?!


Have you ever tasted carmelized bananas and walnuts with toast and cinnamon butter so yummy?!


Have you ever experienced the magic of Chilaquiles (which were explained to me as breakfast nachos)?!


Add on a few drink samples from our fantastic bartender like watermelon mojitos, frozen lemonades, tequila and watermelon shots, and how could you possibly have a better brunch?  You can’t, that’s how.

We decided to take our food coma to the Metropolitan Museum of Art because one of the benefits of my corporate job is free entry and no lines in the major museums in the city.  No lines were a must on a 104 degree day outside.  If I had had to wait in the lines, I would have jumped in here first:


We didn’t really have a huge game plan but I wanted to see some old guitars since I finally picked mine up again recently.  We wandered over to the musical instrument wing where we discovered this three-necked guitar which I couldn’t stop picturing all three Jonas Brothers play at the same time:


Then we remembered about the Alexander McQueen exhibit so we tried to find that.  I have the hardest time getting around museums so I forget about my map and always ask the museum liaisons for help.  The problem is that I always only am able to remember the first thing they say.  So I will do the first thing they say (“turn right and enter the European Painting gallery room 121”) and then I will spot another liaison and ask the same question until I finally find what I am looking for and have spoken to every single person who works at the museum.  It is a very efficient process.

But anyway, there was a terribly long line for the McQueen exhibit so we settled on more wandering and eventually made our way into my favorite area, Modern Art.  I don’t really know what it is about Modern Art but I always really enjoy it (hence my MoMA posts 1 and 2).  Maybe it’s because it doesn’t necessarily have to mean what you would initially think, or maybe it’s because some of it I could picture myself doing if only I had had the idea first, or maybe it’s because it is just more fun to take obnoxious pictures with.

My original plan when I moved to the city was to try and visit a few galleries a month in the Met since I can really go whenever I want for free.  I think I am going to try and make this happen to take full advantage of this benefit.  If anyone wants to come with me, let me know, I’ll trade you for one of your work benefits.  Extra credit if it is food-related.


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