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FFF: Return to the Big Apple

  • October 2, 2015
  • By Brittany
FFF: Return to the Big Apple

Hi all! How was your week?  Mine was a tad bit of whirlwind.  São Paulo to NYC to Cape Cod and back to São Paulo tomorrow.  It was the first time heading back to the Big Apple since we moved and it was weird to be back.  It was like seeing an old friend that you used to be very close to but you don’t get to see often anymore. Everything felt comfortable and familiar like you could pick up right where you left off. At the same time, you don’t necessarily want to change your current circumstances just so you can see them more. 

It was interesting to see a all the women dressed in their outfits, with their nice shoes and bag commuting on the train or getting a salad for lunch. It made me feel like I was supposed to be somewhere and I was running late.  It’s weird to look in at that life as an outsider and think “that was me for 8 years!”.  But all change is good change and now I get to stay home with my little guy.  Plus, he has the most amazing time in NYC.  It was hilarious.  Read on to find out our eats, workouts and entertainment for Coops!

Food and Fitness Collage






The number one thing I miss the absolute most about NYC is the food.  I mean, yes, the restaurants are amazing but it’s actually the simple lunch places and the focus on healthy, organic food that I really miss.  I am pretty sure that “healthy” is not a word in the Portuguese vocabulary when it comes to lunch food and some of my favorite cool weather veggies aren’t available in the tropics of Brazil.  Before heading to NYC, I carefully mapped out my lunch plan:

Day 1: Digg Inn

This was a workday lunch staple for me and we even ordered our Thanksgiving dinner from here last year when we had a 1 week old!

digg inn

I am a huge fan of everything they serve and I love how they season their chicken but I was craving veggies so I went with the veggie bowl, the speciality grain (which I’m pretty sure was bulgur with some veggies in it), peach panzanella, a kale salad with tomato and feta and roasted brussel sprouts.  Everything was incredible.  My only complaint was that the portions seemed a bit small, especially if you are only getting veggies.  I feel like they used to “heap” a bit more and now its kind of just a “spoonful.”

Also, the ginger lemonade was amazing.  Going to recreate this one at home.

ginger lemonade

Dinner was our absolute favorite favorite Indian from a little place on the UES.  It is honestly the best Indian I’ve ever had and I can say this with authority as someone who has never been to India and generally is not an Indian aficionado.  Kidding!  This place is the best: chicken tikka masala, lamb coconut curry (has a name but can’t remember) and my favorite cauliflower app.

indian food

Day 2:

Juice generation!  I’ve missed you so much!  But holy crap, it costs $18 for a juice and an acai bowl.  That stuff costs be approximately $5 in SP!  But I have an undying love for hail to kale (kale and watermelon is a winning combo).

juice generation hail to kale

And the almond butter acai bowl.  

juice generation acai bowl

Lunch at Sweetgreen was actually a new stop for me.  Sweetgreen wasn’t really open in a convenient location for me when I was actually living in NYC so I would always go to Chop’t and while Chop’t is good, Sweetgreen is great.  I went there over the summer in Boston and want the chain to just move into my house.  Think I have good odds?

sweetgreen salad

Apple, pear and cheddar salad with added butternut squash and cranberry dressing.

Dinner at Red Farm with friends.  A really trendy and really delicious Chinese fusion restaurant on the UWS.  You can only call to get on the “waiting list” and they are kind of pretentious on the phone.  Normally I don’t do that kind of thing because it annoys me but it was so worth it for the food.

Day 3:

Sadly my departing day but a stop at Le Pain and being able to put Stevia in my coffee made me a happy camper.

coffee with organic stevia

Not to mention that a brand new healthy Indian restaurant opened recently in NYC and I was more than a little excited to get to try it out.  Inday is like an Indian version of Chipotle where you make your bowl by choosing your ingredients.  Instead of extremely heavy and rich curries, this restaurant focuses on light, healthy and flavorful food.  I had “not rice”, which was a mix of shredded cauliflower and brussel sprouts (yes and yes), plus perfectly seasoned salmon, a scoop of fresh paneer and various other spices and veggies.  It was tasty and felt healthy but not in the I’m-eating-bark way.

inday 2

inday 1





The second thing I miss the most about NYC is the fitness.  I honestly am kicking myself for not taking a class every single day I lived there for 8 years.  The classes, the instructors and the atmosphere are all amazing.  I hit up three of my favorites while I was there.

Physique 57

physique 57 ball

I tried their new F.I.T. class (Focused Interval Training) and actually got to (finally) take class with their founder.  An amazing workout as always.  The hour flies by.

AKT in Motion.  Any workout done by Kelly Ripa and SJP is a winner in my book.  I trekked to my old neighborhood with only a slight twinge of nostalgia to take Happy Hour with these guys.  A mix of dance and strength, this class is pure sweat and fun.

akt in motion class

akt studio

Chaise Fitness.  Their location on 92nd Street opened just before I got pregnant with Cooper so I didn’t get to use it as much as I would have liked (in my opinion, it is not the most prenatal friendly class because there is a big focus on core).  But when I found out I was going to be back in NYC, I signed up immediately.  One of my favorite instructors was teaching, which was a huge bonus.  The class is like an amped up version of a pilates chair class.  Loved every second.

chaise fitness class


I told Coops repeatedly that “this is NYC!” and “this is where you were born.”  He seemed underwhelmed?  Anyway, the kid took New York by storm.

nyc look out

Look at this face.

nyc cruising

I can honestly say, it 8 years I lived in Manhattan, I never got so many smiles walking down the street. Cooper, you should run for president.  If you can make New Yorkers smile, you can solve all the worlds’ problems.

nyc soho 2

We cruised around Times Square (and I remembered why I always avoided this neighborhood) and SoHo (and I wondered why I didn’t spend more time there).

nyc subway

We took our first music class at Citibabes, which was so fun. Coops was really into the musical instruments they let them play with an he enjoyed the reggae theme they had for the class.  

nyc citibabes 3

citibabes 1

nyc citibabes 2

We also hit up another favorite of mine: Chobani SoHo where we shared a mango and avocado yogurt delight.

nyc chobani cafe

nyc chobani

Interestingly enough, I was seated facing the street and half listening to these English ladies talking behind me about how expensive Soul Cycle is when I randomly decided to turn around.  I caught a glimpse of this women and then realized, holy crap!  It’s Minnie Driver.  Do you know how many famous people I got near when I lived there?  NONE.  Zero.  Zilch.  Seriously, where do they hide?  Oh wait, there was that one time when I was like 38 weeks pregnant and Jake Gyllenhal nearly ran me off the sidewalk. #willneverforgivehim

Anway, I was thinking, oh this is cool.  Then they spotted Cooper and all heck broke loose.  She was gushing over him and touching his feet and telling me how gorgeous he is (obviously).  Cooper, forget president, become a model.

nyc soho

Anywho, we also hit up Gymboree, which we used to do when he was teenie tiny baby and he absolutely loved it.  The slides and the climbing gyms and all the balls and mats were exactly what he needed to get his energy out and practice all his skills.

gymboree 4

gymboree 3

At the end of three days, the little guy and I made the drive up to Massachusetts.  He slept the first 1:15.  Woke up and cooed for another 30-40 minutes.  Had a bottle for about 20 minutes.  Screamed at the top of his lungs for exactly 1 hour.  Then slept the remainder of the way. #goodtimes

gymboree 2

Readers, if you had to choose your favorite meal from your favorite restaurant, what would it be?  Any celebrity encounters?  If you left your city, what would be the thing you missed the most?

By Brittany, October 2, 2015
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