Seeing the city skyline for the first time, listening to our cabbie yell at pedestrians (seriously) and greet friends from across the street, taking the subway to Yankee Stadium for a Friday night game surrounded by fans, sitting alone in my seat, rather high up, trying unsuccessfully to shield myself from the light but steady rainfall, while laughing at Yankee Stadium’s humorous choice of music – “Singing in the Rain” – thanks, guys! Making small talk with strangers at the game, bantering back and forth with a fan at a Yankees merchant in the legendary baseball park, and later diving into a Nathan’s with brown mustard – I will only eat hot dogs with brown mustard now – unless, of course, I’m under duress – these are some of my favorite and first memories of my trip to New York City last year. No, it wasn’t my inaugural trip, but it was just as special. It was my first time to Yankee Stadium, my first time indulging in a Nathan’s hot dog – my favorite hot dog – in its home locale, and some of my first interactions with NYCers that I remember. On that note – everyone we talked to was nice, not rude. Who’d ‘uve thunk stereotypes might be wrong? My first meal at a Bobby Flay restaurant, my first bacon and chocolate tart, courtesy of Gramercy Tavern, my first time visiting the impressive and awe-inspiring U.N., my first trip to the Met, and, possibly most memorable, if not most important, my first time hurrying as quickly as I could out of a nice restaurant (Peter Luger’s), well, really, any restaurant for that matter, because I had clogged the toilet (no, not like that, I swear). My first visit to Coney Island – and the original Nathan’s – see a trend here? And we made sure, of course, to try two popular NY pizzerias – Lombardi’s first in Little Italy and Grimaldi’s in Brooklyn, just under the famous bridge. Both were great, by the way, and have led to pizza-making at home and obsessive searching for the best pizza in the greater L.A. area give or take. O.K. I guess the trend isn’t just hot dogs, huh? Food, in general, was a large part of our trip. The official reason – to see the original Yankee Stadium before it was torn down; it’s a piece of U.S. popular history people! And since we were going to be there – one of the best food destinations in the U.S., if not the world – well, clearly, we had to fit as much food in as we could. I’m not going to say that on more than one occasion we ate four full meals, or the equivalent thereof, but I can’t lie about something as serious as food either. Tonight we’re making pizza, watching a movie set in New York City, and going to think about how awesome NYC is.