It's summer time in the city! I spent the day with my brother shopping, eating, and walking (because what else is there to do on a hot NYC day?). I also had a meeting at My Social Canvas, where we've been working on some really exciting things that I hope to be able to share with all of you soon!
So Sam and I did something I rarely do... we ventured all the way to the Upper East Side. Our actual plan was to spend the day at art museums and galleries, but we kept getting distracted by Bergdorf's and Barneys, so we only actually made it to one gallery: Neue Galerie.
Neue Galerie houses German and Austrian art, and the museum is owned and curated by Ronald Lauder, Estée Lauder's son. I was really excited about visiting this particular gallery because it is known for displaying a lot of Expressionist art, which is my favorite art movement.
A nice thing about this gallery is that, while it does have an entrance fee, if you are a student, it's discounted! A not-so-nice thing about this gallery is that photography is strictly forbidden.
My brother and I became interested in Neue Galerie after seeing Woman in Gold, starring Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds. This movie tells the story of Maria Altmann, an Austrian Jew who left her homeland during the Holocaust and lost many valuable items that belonged to her family. The most notable of these items was a Gustav Klimt painting of her aunt, called "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I." Following the Holocaust, this painting became the centerpiece of the Austrian State Gallery, where it remained until Maria Altmann decided to challenge the Austrian ownership of the painting. She believed that the painting was her property, and enlisted the help of lawyer Randol Schoenberg. After successfully reclaiming the Klimt painting, Maria sold it to Ronald Lauder. Since 2006, it has been on display in his gallery.
This masterpiece by Klimt is incredible in person. Although it was smaller than I imagined, the texture and detail is so mesmerizing. While this portrait was the centerpiece of the exhibit, the room in which it is displayed is filled with other stunning works by Klimt, including Lady with Feather Hat and Forsthaus in Weissenbach II.
The gallery's other exhibit displays modern Russian and German art. I was so entranced by this exhibit because it contained many works by Wassily Kandinsky, who is often remembered as a pioneer of abstract expressionism. A lot of the other works in this exhibit were in the style of Fauvism, which is a painting movement in which artists emphasized color over realism.
Neue Galerie was a really great museum because it contained some incredible works of art. It was also quite calm and small, which made it less overwhelming than most Manhattan museums. I highly recommend this gallery for all art lovers!
After Neue, we headed down to Midtown for dinner. I've heard a lot about a trendy sushi restaurant called Koi, so we made a reservation for dinner there!
Koi is located in the stunning Bryant Park Hotel right across from the park! It's an upscale club-style restaurant with an Asian fusion aesthetic. The restaurant consists of a main dining room, a sushi lounge, and a trendy underground bar. Sam and I began our meal with a delicious bowl of edamame. We ordered a Dragon Roll (shrimp tempura, eel, and baked crab), Soft Shell Crab Roll, and Salmon Roll to share.
Dragon Roll - Up Close
Soft Shell Crab Roll
Of all the sushi I've had in my life (a lot), this might have been the best. The fish was so fresh, the size of the rolls was perfect, and the flavor was out-of-this-world. In addition, the atmosphere was really nice, especially for a restaurant located in Midtown! I would definitely go back to Koi next time I'm craving sushi!!
After dinner, we thought it would be fun to take a stroll through Times Square, just for fun. As soon as we made it to the Toys R Us Store, I remembered why I'm constantly avoiding Midtown. After battling our way through the crowds of tourists, we headed up 9th Avenue for dessert.
Holey Cream... if you haven't seen this place on your instagram feed, you should reevaluate which NYC dessert accounts you are following. I know I'm constantly raving about different dessert places in the city, but nothing I have ever tasted in my life compared to the Donut Sandwich I ate last night.
Upon entering this tiny dessert shop, I was greeted by a giant sign that hangs on the wall, explaining the method for creating a delicious Donut Sandwich.
Holey Cream offers a lot of different dessert options, but the Donut Sandwich is what has made them so famous! They have a bunch of amazing ice cream flavors and toppings to choose from!
For my dessert, I chose birthday cake ice cream sandwiched between a vanilla frosted donut covered with rainbow sprinkles.
Okay, so I know this LOOKS amazing, but does it actually taste good??
This is 100% the best dessert I have ever had. You know how the donuts from Dunkin Donuts always taste stale and kinda gross? At Holey Cream, the donuts are so insanely fresh, soft, and flavorful. This combination was so so sweet! I LOVED it! No macaron, cookie, cake, or froyo can compare to this delicious masterpiece.
So I'll probably never eat anything sweet ever again after my sugar-overload from Holey Cream, but it was totally worth it. If you haven't already been to this amazing shop, head over as soon as you can, and come on an empty stomach!