New York – Chelsea Market, Halal Guys, and Times Square

Notable places: Chelsea Market, Halal Guys, the MET, Shake Shack, Schmackary’s

Chelsea Market

Days continued to be dreary as we set out for Chelsea Market. It wasn’t difficult to find, and if you go as early in the morning as we did, there’s hardly anyone walking around. If you have trouble knowing where to go, just look for Google, because it’s right across the street. If you’re looking at Google, do a 180 and head through the double doors.

It reminds me a lot of the Ferry Building in San Francisco, with plenty of small, expensive shops that I would never buy from. We didn’t even bother with the shops as they weren’t open anyhow.

We were preoccupied with this one archway that screamed “Instagram background!” I’d say we spent a good 20 minutes at this one spot.

This place was really an excuse to kill time so we could say we had Halal Guys for lunch and not brunch. I would say that Halal Guys was one of our top three must-haves while in New York, and we set out accordingly to (intersection) and (intersection).

Halal Guys for lunch

There are two carts set up, one at each corner. It’s debatable what the original cart location is, but it really doesn’t make a difference which you line up at since they’re both legit Halal Guys carts. It was a misty sprinkle by the time we got in line, so we didn’t have to deal with the typical lines that wrap around the block.


They only accept cash, just make it easier for yourself by having exact change. The only problem with eating from a food cart is that you have to find a place to eat, and in rainy weather this can create a challenge. We went to a nearby market to pick up some soft drinks, but you won’t be able to sit at the tables inside. They’re reserved exclusively for the market’s meals, and you’ll be kicked out if they see you whipping off the top of your foil plate.

We decided to eat outside next to a business building, adjacent to its dedicated smoking area. I’m pretty sure we looked like desperate tourists, but we didn’t care, because Halal Guys food. It’s not an easy meal to have while standing, because you need to sauce it up with their special white sauce first, then mix it in. Careful with the spicy sauce though; essential stuff, make sure you get in a good squeeze’s worth, but two squeeze’s can start to make you look for a cool beverage if you’re sensitive to spices.

The servings are large, you can definitely share one dish between two girls. I was greedy and got one for myself because the idea of someone else’s spit-covered utensil going in and out of a dish I’m eating makes me squirm. I ended up throwing away half, but I got my feel and it was well worth the $7 for the meal.

Once you have a large meal, the next best thing to do is to head to a museum so you can walk it off and prepare yourself for the next big one. And also so you have access to a restroom with plenty of extra toilet paper.

So on to the MET!

If you have small children, stick leashes on them or GPS trackers, otherwise you’re going to lose them.  The only way you’ll find them is when a siren goes off and you see your child finger painting with their spit on a priceless Monet.  This place was an absolute maze, and I got exhausted quickly.  BUT, it’s worth it.  Even if you’re not an art snob, it’s a great place to go if it’s raining, you’re tired, need a clean bathroom, or if you need free wifi.

It’s technically free, because it’s completely donation-based.  You go inside, and to the left are a couple booths where people are lined up.  Pay attention to see if you’re in the cash or credit card line.  You make your donation, then they’ll hand you a receipt and sticker that you put on your shirt so the guards can see it before you head in to the first exhibition.  It’s okay to be cheap, but if you are only planning to donate a $1, I’d recommend the cash line because the credit card line people ask you, “And how much would you like to donate?  The recommended donation is $25.” And sliding your card for a $1 transaction is pretty ballsy.

There are famous pieces that you’ll definitely recognize by Seurat, Van Gogh, Monet, Manet… the list goes on.  There are older and younger pieces of art, but I don’t know much about them so whatever.

Spent: $5?

Shake Shack is for dinner

As a Californian, I’m always hearing the debate between In-N-Out versus Shake Shack.  As someone who doesn’t really care about things like that, I went into Shake Shack with an open mind.

The line is long. They sell lots of food other than burgers.  And it’s expensive.  That being said, it’s pretty good.  You do taste the extra bit of quality ingredients, but overall I don’t think it worth the extra splurge of money.  If I saw Shake Shack and In-N-Out Burger side by side, and I was craving a burger, there’s nothing in the cheeseburger that Shake Shack provides that In-N-Out can’t satisfy for a lower cost.

Spent: $7

Times Square at night

When in New York, do as tourists do, am I right?  Once we were on the verge of lapsing into food coma after our greasy dinner, we made a beeline to Times Square.  The sky was black by then, the perfect time to see bright lights.

I think Times Square is the most tourist New York experience you can ask for, and it certainly delivers.  You’re surrounded by jumbotrons, tourists, scammers, ads, brands.  You must come here if it’s the first time you’re in New York.  Craning your neck to see the Empire State Building, underwhelming.  Statue of Liberty, oh look there she is.  But Times Square, you really feel in the middle, immersed in the tourist attraction.  It was fantastic.

After that, we headed to Schmackary’s, since it has amazing reviews about its cookies.  I’d say a hard meh, super expensive, I’m not a fan of exotic flavors, so it’s definitely not for me.

Spent – $6.25 (for a cookie?!)

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