New York and Carnegie Hall

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I finally feel like I can take some time to write about all the wonderful experiences we had while in New York. Even though it has only been 2 days, it feels like I just got back. Ryan told me he was ready to go home, but I almost felt like not going home. There was still so much more in New York!


After a whirlwind of rehearsals for 2 1/2 days and then the performance, I sure felt wiped. My feet hurt from standing during performance and from all the walking we did during the evenings. I was mentally and physically exhausted because we were going to sleep at 2am almost every night (or morning). New York sure did keep me on my toes.

One of the things I was asked often was, “How are you feeling?” I am now almost 11 weeks pregnant and the little kumquat has taken its first trip and been at Carnegie Hall!


Our first day in New York started early. We took a 6am flight from Michigan to LaGuardia and arrived at 8:15am. Ryan and I promptly check our bags, since check-in was not possible at the time, and headed out to find a place to eat. I totally forgot my map marked with the places to try, but I remembered one place. Ryan did not care where we ate since he was ravenously hungry so I was in charge of the place. We took a subway to the Eastside and waited 45 minutes to eat at Clinton St. Baking Company, where they served us the best pancakes and breakfast. We technically had brunch! We walked around the area and walked 42 blocks back to the hotel because it was the BEST sunny day ever.


Ryan met some folks in charge of our tour and then we were able to check in. I promptly plopped on the comfy bed and slept for 2 hours. I woke up and we had to get ready to head towards the Theater district for our show Anything Goes. I asked Ryan where we should eat but he was not hungry yet. Hmm, was this pregnant lady hungry? Maybe I should not be? I ate some trail mix and an apple and got dressed.


The show was really great but it lacked more dancing numbers. I love watching tap numbers and imagine myself being up on stage…sigh! During intermission, two couples got in a nasty altercation just as the curtain was going on. It was scary but it was over in 3 minutes, which felt like 15 minutes! After the show got out, we both realized we were REALLY hungry. My in-laws got into town that very evening so we decided to go out to dinner after the show. This lady was getting nauseous because she was hungry! 10 hours without a proper meal did not cut it. We headed to Lombardi’s Pizza after I got us lost for a bit, only 5 minutes before they closed. We order one large pizza only to find out it was not enough, and too late to find out that the kitchen had been closed. Oh well, the thin crust pizza was DELICIOUS!

That night, we slept like babies especially since we had an 8:30am rehearsal the next morning with close to 200 people!

Saturday morning was tough. Who wants to get up at 7am and shower? I did, so I could wake up. I only had a bagel for breakfast which I later found out was not going to cut it. I made sure to eat protein the rest of every breakfast during the trip. We had a 4 hour rehearsal with a 15 minutes break, rehearsing Haydn’s Mass in Time of War. It was really great to be singing with 4 other choirs in addition to our choir. After that rehearsal our choir had a break for lunch.


Lunch was a blogger meet-up 5 blocks from my hotel at Josie’s where I met JL from JL Goes Vegan, VKO from Lifestyles from the Chic and Vegan, Birdy27, Barbara from Gone Pie Bakery, and Andrea from Celery in the City. We had such a great time getting to know each other over really bad vegan food. Come to find out that the restaurant was for both vegans and non-vegans alike so the vegan food really lacked flavor. No matter, because we had each other’s company and it was the best!

After lunch I went back for our choir’s 1 hour rehearsal before having the evening free. After our rehearsal we rested a bit and met up again with my in-laws for dinner. It was great seeing them since it had been since Christmas we last saw each other. We hiked to Chinatown to Joe’s Shanghai Restaurant which came recommended. There are probably lines to wait for dinner all over town but we were happy to wait for ours. The restaurant was packed and it was all served family-style so we sat with 3 other parties. Our meals were flavorful and delicious. We were NOT disappointed!


Sunday was another full day of rehearsal while our in-laws went to see Wicked in the afternoon. our time flew so quickly that Ryan and I decided to just take it easy and not really plan to see landmarks or museums. We were more interested in seeing the area and neighborhoods we had not visited on previous trips.


Sunday evening dinner reservations was at one of Bobby Flay’s restaurants called Mesa Grill. It was definitely fancy and really great food. There were sides that were vegan but most of every dish except for one could be vegan. At this rate, my tummy has not been acting well so I have been eating what protein I can get. I still opted to get the Cornmeal-Crusted Poblano Pepper filled with eggplant, manchego cheese and more. It was DELICIOUS! It was served with a red pepper coulis and a balsamic vinegar reduction. I have to say that Bobby has great dishes.


After dinner we decided to take a stroll down to the Empire State building at 10:30pm. It was FREEZING, but it was a great view! We took lots of pictures because we kept getting blurry ones but the wind gusts were painful cold we quickly headed out of the cold and headed to Times Square.

Are you still with me?

Monday was our performance day. We had until 2pm to rest up, sightsee, and catch up on music before our dress rehearsal. I took a brisk walk and met Leinana from Vegan Good Things for 30 minutes. I originally thought we could make lunch but then during our trip learned that it was going to be too hard to fit that in. Either way, we were still able to meet and chat and enjoy each other’s company. It was great. She has such a sweet personality and it was sad to leave but it was nice to have the time we had.


I checked out Union Square and then headed to One Lucky Duck for a Blueberry Sunset smoothie, a mallomar, and a moon pie. I have had so many people rave about these goodies that I was so happy to finally try them. I saved the moon pie for dessert later, but I had to eat the mallomar since the cream was melting. It was SO SO SO WOW-melt-in-your-mouth good! I want to learn how to make them for sure!


I headed back to the hotel and got ready for dress rehearsal. We got dressed for the rest of the day and headed to Carnegie Hall. It was such an amazing experience to be in the building again despite my NOT remembering the last I had been there. Who cares? This was going to be more memorable for Ryan and me. Dress rehearsal went by quickly and then our choir, the Holland Chorale headed out to a reception hosted but a donor. We took some great pictures, ate great appetizers, and sang 2 pieces for the company/ We promptly got back on our buses and headed out to Carnegie Hall again for performance.


It was a long evening folks but it was a memorable one. The house was full for a Monday night and Holland Chorale’s solo performance was perfection under Ryan’s direction and Haydn’s Mass in Time of War, was superb under our friend, Jason Paulk’s direction! Our performance was from 8pm until 10:15pm. We then headed out to a party cruise on a private line that cruised by the Statue of Liberty at night. Wow, it was cold but it was definitely worth the picture.


We are glad to be home even though we would have like the experience to last longer. It was a blast and I can assure you that everyone else had a great time too!

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  • Maureen

    What a trip!! You and kumquat need to take it easy after all that. What fantastic memories you made and the foodie photos were great.

  • Mandie84

    Glad you guys had fun and glad that you are back safely!

  • Keri – I Eat Trees

    Wow, what an amazing trip! It looks like SO much fun!!

  • Abby Bean

    Really enjoyed reading all about your trip. Sorry that Josie’s was such a bust :-( Let me know when you crack the code of the mallomar; I haven’t been able to convince myself to splurge on that one yet!

  • vko

    Aww, glad you & kumquat had such a great time! You sure did pack in a whole lot for a few days Momma Kumquat!BTW, I go by VKO on my blog (you outed me;) ) but it was so super fun at brunch and next time you are back in town, we will have good company & good food!xox

  • Christina

    What an amazing experience! Glad you enjoyed yourself!

  • Debra

    Great pictures.. Sounds like an amazing experience. I am jealous you got to go to One Lucky Duck..
    Blessings, Debra
    Raw Vegan Diet

  • Geanna

    Your pictures of the food and the city look fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

  • lucyseay

    Loved reading your story! Almost like being there… :)

  • mywanderingspoon

    Love this place….been there recently, great memories….wish that we can visit again soon….thanks for the post:)

  • HiHoRosie

    Looks like a wonderful trip filled with so many good things! Glad to hear you did so great – not sure I could’ve kept up so well at 11 weeks. lol! You look so radiant, too. One day I’ll make it out that way. :)

  • JL goes Vegan

    I feel so lucky that I got to meet you during that whirlwind trip! Next time, we’ll eat GOOD vegan (ala Candle 79 or Pure Food & wine) 😉

  • Brian

    hey! looks like an awesome trip, sorry i haven’t been around much lurking on your blog :) as you know its been crazy. love the pics, you look awesome btw! glad you had a good time. welcome back

  • Sarah Idiaquez

    Wow, sounds like you had a great trip! I’m exhausted just reading about it – and I’m not pregnant! New York is such a terrific city, and I’ve heard so much about great vegan food there, too. I’m glad you got to sample a little bit. That smoothie looks yummy!

  • Monet

    What a great trip…I love NYC, and seeing your pictures made me want to return! My love started in the womb (my mom and dad visited when she was about 8 weeks along) so your little one will likely fall in love with the city too! Thank you for sharing with me tonight. I’m in the need of some comfort…and you are one of the blogs I know I can turn to. I hope you have a great start to your week. Blessings and love.