Downtown Date Night

I've expressed in previous blogs that one of my favourite part of the cities is the West Side Riverside, ESPECIALLY now it is Summer. I ran down the Riverside path a few weeks ago before I walked and each pier had something going, BBQ's, sporting events, New Yorkers hanging out in the sun, so so cool. On the sort of mid-section of my run I went round Pier 25, Pier 25 had sun-loungers, astroturf, volleyball courts, cocktail bars on boats, skate parks and mini-golf. Loads to do and it seemed just a great environment in the city to relax or exercise and have fun! Now on holidays/vacation I am a sucker for a game of mini-golf, its most likely my desire to win, and mini-golf is one of the few "sports" I. WILL. WIN. SO I thought mini-golf would be perfect for date-night with Gino. With it being the Summer our hours at work have increased meaning that we don't get to see each other as often as we used to so date-nights are perfect in the city, and of course there is so much to do! We both agree that this date was the besssssssst, so I thought for this blog I would talk about where we went as we can both highly recommend. 

Washington Square Park & Greenwich Village
First of all we mooched on down to Washington Square Park. If you've never been to Washington Square Park, its the park that Will Smith's character Robert Neville lives opposite in I Am Legend. The park is surrounded by some of NYU's Buildings so the park is always busy and full of artists, painters, photographers etc. Last night we walked straight into the park and straight past an artist doing a huge pastel drawing of Muhammad Ali. The park was pretty busy at around 5:30PM as people were stopping in the park on the way home but still, the huge fountain make it such a gorgeous place to wander through. As you cross through the south exit down Thompson Street you are in the heart of Greenwich Village, with tonnes of cute boutique stores, pubs and restaurants. We then took a right down Bleecker Street to one of my favourite eateries!

byCHLOE - Bleecker Street
I LOVE BURGERS. Love them. NYC is like a trap when it comes to good burgers, the city is literally showered with good burger joints. But as I am currently being good and attempting to cut all the crap I eat, out of my diet, I have been avoiding burgers. That was until I discovered byCHLOE. On the corner of Bleecker Street and MacDougal Street, byCHLOE is a vegan/healthy fast-food and brunch establishment. The MENU is to die for, and although it is a little bit pricey it is definitely worth forking out the dollar for. To cure my dying need for a burger we opted for the much healthier option, heres what I got:

Luke:
- The Guac Burger
Black bean-quinoa sweet-potato patty, corn salsa, onion, guacamole, tortilla strips, chipotle alioli on a whole grain bun
- Air Baked French Fries
- Seasonal Fresh Lemonade (Peach)


Gino:
- The Guac Burger

Black bean-quinoa sweet-potato patty, corn salsa, onion, guacamole, tortilla strips, chipotle alioli on a whole grain bun.
- Kale Artichoke Dip
w/ Almond Parm & Tortilla Chips
- Unsweetened Ice Tea

The whole meal came to around $40, which like I said is a little on the pricey side, but byCHLOE makes for a perfect casual date-night restaurant with a great atmosphere and food that tastes incredible. Living in NYC we could have easily spent a lot more on a simple meal for two! byCHLOE offers a wide range of meals and beverages that you can simply grab and go en route to work or for lunch. Their "Brunch Menu" looks particularly tasty and light, which is great if you're looking for a brunch that won't leave you feeling too heavy afterwards. I highly recommend byCHLOE if you're vegan or require gluten free, or quite simply if you're like us and want to try great tasting alternative food options. 

West Side Highway
If you're looking for a gorgeous evening stroll or a scenic route to get you Downtown then the West Side Riverside Highway is perfect. Along the way you have Chelsea Piers, a pier dedicated to recreational activity. Several other piers that offer a place to rest/read/meet with friends/exercise etc. and parks/boardwalks perfect for the New Yorker looking for some downtime. Walking from the West Village down to Pier 25 we passed joggers, couples, groups of friends, tourists all wondering along the path taking in the views of Jersey City across the water. One of my favourite spots is this dog water-park. Everyone knows I'm obsessed with French Bulldogs and these dog parks seem to be a great spot to try and see some...that I can steal...I'm kidding...

The West Side Highway also makes for a great running/biking route. Head all the way along to the West Side and you can run all the way around the edge of the island. I usually head to the West Side on 30th street and run down to Battery Park, this is about a 7.5mile route. 
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Pier 25 - Mini-Golf Course
We just HAD to do it, and you know what, we actually had a really great time. Keep in mind the times, we had read online that different times daily mean that the course gets busy and as we were playing golf there seemed to be more and more people waiting for their turn at the next hole. For the two of us it cost $12 ($6 for an adult) and keep in mind that they only accept cash payments. This wasn't outlined on the website so we had to get to a local ATM, however located near the financial district this was not impossible. The course was great, very simple but some challenging one's that make for a great laugh. I am yet to see a mini-golf course that beats Winter Summerland Golf in Walt Disney World Orlando, but for a relaxing evening in Manhattan, the course makes for a great time. From the pictures below I think you can figure out who won ;)

As we finished the course the sun was really beginning to set making for some great photos of the river and the views around it. We highly recommend wandering around the rest of the pier, at the very end there is some sun-loungers that you can rest on and watch the sun set behind Jersey City. 

I hope you enjoyed this slightly different blog post, from the last few. A couple readers had said they missed write ups and reviews about specific areas and places to visit in NYC so I thought I would encompass that as well as what I've been up to in one big post. 

NOTE: As I was writing this blog, two news stories were released of two separate shootings occurring within 24 hours of each other in Orlando. Why the world has to be full of hate I don't know but I hope and long for a better world where things like this do not happen. My thoughts are with the friends, families and fans of Christina Grimmie, and the families, friends and all those effected by the shootings last night at Pulse Night club in Orlando. 

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