Central Park + Isabella’s
Sometimes a New York girl finds herself stuck in the city on a particularly hot, sweltering summer weekend. And for those few, rather unfortunate times, there is only one respite from the heat, the stench, the agony.
We call it Central Park.
Central Park is magnificent for any number of reasons, but my favorite is that it’s the one place in NYC where you can just get completely LOST. Its broad expanse of bucolic beauty gives you license to wander willfully, roam aimlessly, and simply let go — No matter how many times you’ve been there’s always something new to discover, wondrous people watching to enjoy, and a quality hot dog stand somewhere along the way. What Wonderland was to Alice, Central Park is to New Yorkers; a necessary escape from reality.
Starting on the Upper West Side near Strawberry Fields, Dave and I zigged and zagged through windy walkways and stony staircases discovering parts unknown, and in doing so absent-mindedly stumbled upon some very famous landmarks. Among our better finds were row boats gliding under Bow Bridge, gaggles of tourists climbing Belvedere Castle (Stepmom, anyone?!), little league baseball teams battling it out across The Great Lawn, and finally, the breathing Jackie O’ Reservoir, which is as stunning as the woman herself. It was a lovely, almost zen-like visit, so we appropriately capped it off with dinner at Isabella’s.
Isabella’s has been a see-and-be-seen UWS outpost since the 80’s, but in spite of its tenured status its appeal remains as strong as ever. Housed in a bright, airy venue with a vaguely Palm Beach-feel, Isabella’s Mediterranean dishes are as light and effervescent as the space it inhabits. Dave and I were able to snag a coveted patio spot, and from there we dined, drank, and slowly watched day turn into night. Meal highlights included crab cakes with creamed corn + corn-pepper salsa, handmade spinach & egg pasta with sun-dried tomatoes in a creamy white wine sauce, an ample serving of corn nut crusted yellow fin tuna, and of course, rivers of rosé.
It was — as you may have guessed — as delicious as it sounds. xo