I lived in New York for over six years, which is like 12 years elsewhere since New York moves twice the speed of any other place in America. I am always happy to return. My employed visits entailed non-stop meetings and business meals. This time, I took more of a tourist approach and slowed it down a bit.
October 14-20, 2013 (Monday-Sunday)
We arrived to Jack’s place in the East Village and had dinner with John and Ellie (Jenni’s friends from Cornell) at Café Mogador on St. Marks Place. It is a cozy, subterranean spot with good food.
OK, I am having a hard time writing at this moment but feel compelled to catch up more so please excuse me as I do this post in bullet format…
- Bagels, lots of them…tasty sable sandwich at Russ and Daughters
- I love the energy of New York…it is not an exaggeration to say that in a five block radius one can find an assortment of restaurants, bars, shops and ethnicities to rival most mid-sized cities in America…actually, said blocks would easily surpass in the ethnicity category
- The electronic walk signs count down the seconds remaining until the light changes, and when I cross an avenue I like gazing at the synchronized wall of vehicles approaching a few blocks away since all the lights are timed…and unlike in Los Angeles, you might get a ticket for not jay-walking
- I had my first experience at a TKTS booth…we walked from the East Village down to the South Street Seaport location and got two tickets to Jersey Boys for $177, not a small sum but a substantially discounted price for very good seats dead center in orchestra Row T. The show was very good and a nice cultural injection since we so rarely see plays or musicals
- After the show we had drinks with John at Annie Moore’s Bar, and while I figured this Irish pub next to Grand Central would slant towards men, I did not expect that Jenni would be the only woman in the establishment
- For the first time I saw strollers with neat skateboard like attachments so the toddler can ride along and keep up with the adults pushing the infant
- The Maine style lobster roll I got from the Red Hook Lobster Pound booth at Madison Eats rivaled anything I got in Maine…it might have been the best of the trip, with a dusting of paprika and perfectly buttery, toasted split top roll
- Eataly is pretty impressive with its huge selection of Italian food and beverage and rooftop restaurant
- While watching Project X briefly before dinner at Redhead with Emily, Mike and Jayme, Jenni said “I bet this makes everyone in the world nostalgic for college. Except Jack, because I bet it makes him nostalgic for last Tuesday night.”
- For old time’s sake, I got my haircut at the legendary Astor Place
- Despite unemployment, we paid the full freight $50 for two tickets to the Met…if you don’t know, ticket prices are merely a suggestion and you can enter free, but I decided to atone for some past transgressions. The roof top affords some of the best views in Manhattan
- We had a fun, Tufts group dinner at DBGB (solid burger) where I ran into Eduardo who is the sommelier and was an acquaintance in Los Angeles…so, Doug, I misspoke and there were at least three chance encounters on the road trip
- Before meeting Ross for drinks at the swank top floor bar of the James Hotel, Jenni and I popped into The Dutch for a snack. We were not dressed terribly well and struggled to understand the extraordinary treatment we received. Sitting at the crowded bar, we did not even order alcoholic beverages and along with our lattes and two small dishes we ordered came cornbread, an extra oyster sandwich, broccoli gougeres and a piece of key lime pie with coconut sorbet. Did they recognize alisnotlost and butitsonmylist?!
- I rode public transportation more in a few days in New York than eight years in Los Angeles
- Over drinks at The Wren I concluded that the pickleback has gone mainstream…someone even told me of a bar that offers several flavors of pickle juice. This is a good development
- We had lunch with cousins Nina and Jonathan at the Breslin and then saw Jonathan again the next day at my grandma Elsie’s house along with Mickey and Sharon. Elsie just turned 97 years old!! I always considered her house décor less than attractive, but Jenni was enthralled by the mid-century modern…and some outstanding photos of me and my family from days past!
- My policy is to be sparse when discussing friends’ weddings, but I have to say a few things about Phil and Eileen’s nuptial bash, in addition to the supreme Guinness served at the Viana…
- At the rehearsal dinner, Phil’s father spoke in Russian and Phil translated…it was pretty neat to see Phil talking about himself through his father’s voice
- At the wedding itself, there was a pre-cocktail nearly hour with drinks, then a cocktail hour+, then a reception that lasted until about 2 am…with a bottle of cognac and Russian standard vodka on each table…then an after-party…I went to bed around 6:30 am
- Jenni had to drive the next day down to Seth and Jill’s house in Maryland, and Jenni had gone to bed not that much earlier…she was a tad displeased
So that was our time in New York in a nutshell. Countless details omitted. There is so much to see and do in New York and I make no attempt to offer comprehensive guidance, but in addition to the “usual” websites like Yelp or Tripadvisor or Citysearch (does that still exist?), you may find useful information at http://ny.eater.com/, http://www.timeout.com/newyork, http://nymag.com/, http://www.villagevoice.com/bestof/, http://gothamist.com/ and I’m sure lots of others…