Our second day in Brooklyn started out with an amazing breakfast at Brooklyn Label. Despite the 30 minute wait in a crowded entrance and strange debris constantly falling from the ceiling the food was good enough to overlook the negatives. Crystal had a monster cast iron waffle while I had their very unique French toast which was delicious.
Unfortunately the buzz we got from a great meal was quickly spoiled when we arrived back at the apartment. As we were about to head back into the apartment to freshen up I asked Dennis, “What’s that note on my car?” His reply, “oh shit you got a parking ticket” was all I needed to hear. It’s still annoying me as I write this post. The ticket states that I was parked three feet from the fire hydrant; I’ll let you be the judge.
After I had about a twenty minute breather we all jumped on the subway and headed towards Dylans Candy Bar which was a destination recommended to us by Crystals brother. This place quite honestly makes an adult feel like a kid in a candy store, literally. The prices are a bit high but then again it is New York we’re talking about here. Dylans consists of three different levels of candy, candy, and more candy with a candy bar on the top level. Still feeling the sting of receiving a $115 parking ticket we only spent about $25 dollars but if we had the money it would have been easy to leave with a $100+ of candy in our possession.
Something that has become a bit of tradition with Crystal, me, and I’m sure thousands of other visitors to NYC is visiting Ground Zero which is something we will do on every visit to NYC. This time our visit to GZ fell upon a dwindling sun but we still got to see the progress they’ve made since our last visit. It’s going to be an amazing site to see the memorial completed. We wanted to check out the 9/11 Tribute Center which is right next to a FDNY station directly across from the World Trade Center construction site but as our luck would have it showed up one minute after they had locked the doors for the night. I think it’s the least we can do as Americans to visit GZ and spend a few minutes reflecting on the magnitude of what took place on that September morning.
We had earlier decided to keep our spending down to a minimum for dinner and I wanted to thank Dennis and Yuki for letting us stay in their apartment and for showing us around town so we headed to Trader Joes to get the ingredients for my specialty, chicken parmesan. We quickly realized Trader Joes didn’t have my usual list of ingredients so we worked with what we could get our hands on. Trader Joes was a mad house, I had never seen so many people navigating their way through controlled chaos. The line to check out was so long that I had to suck my stomach in and walk sideways between several people and buggies just to browse through the cheese. The store cashiers were very friendly which kind of lightened the impact of being in a line of well over 50 shoppers but I was happy to get out of there.
Our trip back to the apartment required us to take the subway departing from Union Square which was quite the experience. This was the first time on the subway where we had zero personal space, people were crammed into every crevice of the subway car and with Crystals anxiety issues this was the ultimate test for her. I could see the stress in her eyes as the subway car was setting for departure but she handled it very well, I think she zoned out and went to some other place to forget about the situation we were in. Shortly after the subway car started down the tracks we were informed we had to transfer at the next stop. Yet another new experience for us, the people (including ourselves) forced their way out like a herd of calm buffalo rushing for the best spot on the next Subway car. Luckily our next transfer proved to be a lot less crowded but it’s these kind of things that remind me of why I live in East Tennessee.
After another busy yet fun day we finally made it back to the apartment and started dinner, popped some bubbly, silver patron, and a couple of good wheat beers. Aside from the parking ticket which I just can’t get out of my mind we had a wonderful day and look forward to another one tomorrow.
My Chicken Parmesan Recipe.
- 3 – 5 – Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (preferably organic)(depending on number of people eating)
- 1 TBS – Olive Oil
- 1 – Package of Extra Crispy Shake and Bake (You can use Italian bread crumbs or equivalent depending on your taste) (If you opt for the Italian bread crumbs you’ll need slightly beaten egg whites to dip the chicken in prior to coating with the bread crumbs.)
- 1 – Package of Penne Pasta (You can use any pasta you like, we used bowties last night)
- 1 – Block of Premium Mozzarella cheese. (Organic preferred and you can use whole milk cheese or reduced fat cheese depending on your taste)
- ¼ cup – Premium Parmesan Cheese. (I prefer grating it myself but you can use pre-grated cheese)
- 1 – Jar of Prego three cheese pasta sauce (Can substitute depending on your taste or you can do like we did last night and make your own)
- 1 tsp – Dried Oregano
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. While the oven is heating up you’ll need to coat a 9 x 6 glass cookware with olive oil, clean and rinse the chicken breasts, coat the chicken using the directions on the shake and bake box, and finally place the chicken evenly spaced into the glass cookware and insert into the preheated oven. Cook the chicken for 25 minutes. While the chicken is cooking you’ll need to prep the cheese if it needs to be grated, get some water boiling for the pasta, and begin heating up the past sauce using a saucepan on the stove (stirring regularly). When you have about six minutes left for the chicken to cook place the pasta in the boiling water(stirring regularly, and cooking for about 11 minutes). Once the timer goes off for the chicken pull it out of the oven and coat each chicken breast with pasta sauce and then the following, mozzarella, parmesan, and dried oregano. Continue cooking for 5 minutes and then strain pasta and serve by placing a piece of chicken on each plate, then pasta, and finally pasta sauce over the past to each person’s preference.