Sake Gumi
One of my oldest friends in NY, Kanitra aka kanshefle aka W(h)ine-o, is leaving for Austin today. She got a full ride to study Latin American Art History at UT, and so after 10 years in the city, she's saying goodbye. She's leaving me!

Kanitra and I met in the summer of 2003, in a beginner French class we were both taking at Cooper Union. The only thing that stuck from that class is the phrase "je travaille dans musee", and our friendship.

Over the years, we've had some ridiculously fun moments together. Once we took a bus to DC to see the Joseph Cornell show, had Ethiopian for dinner and missed our bus back. We've rocked out at Seu Jorge and MIA shows. We've devoured steamed mussels and fries at Florent at dawn, after a hard-core night of sweaty techno dancing. We've crashed countless art and film openings around town together for the free booze and celebrity sightings. (Someday she can tell you about the time I went inappropriately apeshit on the dancefloor in the lobby of the Guggenheim.)

Ah, good times.

So as our final hoorah, we did what we always do together: eat, drink, museum-hop, bicker like an old married couple, followed by more eating and drinking. She had never been to Cafe Sabarsky (one of my favorites!), so we started there.

Cafe Sabarsky is a gorgeous Austrian cafe inside the Neue Gallerie- dark wood, high ceilings, dainty crystal light fixtures, marble top tables. And of course it's comforting to know that the most expensive painting ever sold (at least up to that point) is right up the grand staircase. Eh.

It's a little bit of old world Vienna in the Upper East Side, and the only place that I'll eat at in that part of town. It's the perfect pit stop between the Met and the Gugg for a posh lunch or a teatime snack. There's always a little line, but it's totally worth it- I believe it's the same chef as the guy behind Wallse in the West Village.

I'm feeling a bit under the weather, so I got the hot spiced red wine. It was intensely bitter, so I added sugar, which may have been a total faux pas. They bring your hot beverages on a silver tray with a little glass of water. Love that.

Kanitra got the crepes filled with trout and horseradish creme fraiche. The dish was delightfully chilled, fluffy and light. Kanitra did not shut up about how good this was for the rest of the day. It was pretty damn good.

They have an awesome selection of cakes and tarts- but I always get the apple strudel. The pastry is buttery, a bit charred, the inside tart, never too sweet, and the whipped cream ("schlag") is to die for. I want to ask for a side of the cream every time.

Their Viennese coffee is awesome. It comes on a tray too!

Colorful jewel-like cakes.

We walked to the Cai Guo-Quiang exhibit at the Guggenheim, which I thought was pretty spectacular- it closes this week so GO NOW! Here she is faux-petting the wolves.

Oh, Kanitra- what am I supposed do in this crazy city without you? More importantly, what am I gonna do without your MoMA employee discount? HA!

New York City, and I will both miss you very much.

Cafe Sabarsky

Inside the Neue Gallerie
1048 Fifth Avenue, near 86th Street
New York, NY


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