Hello, and welcome back! 🙂
Last week I posted a small rant about tourists being what they are. This week, I’ll tell you about the tourist things I did that weren’t (hopefully) going against everything I’ve just said in the previous post, hahaha 😉
Starting out with the obvious: walking the streets.
You already know I went to Central Park. A couple of times. And I’d gladly go again next time I’m in NYC. And why wouldn’t I? Even with the throngs of people there, the park is so big that there’s room enough for everyone.
I walked Broadway Street up and down a couple of times. Union Square was a frequently visited spot because it was a walking distance from the hotel, and The Strand and Forbidden Planet were just down the street (again, Broadway) from there. I’m surprised I didn’t spend more time there 😀
I did not see Madison Square Garden, although I did pass by that square, but I saw Washington Square Park. Again, not what you’d expect from a park:
I did walk down 5th Avenue, but I’m (only slightly) ashamed I didn’t go in either of the museums. It just wasn’t a museum day, it was Central Park day, so I had to prioritise.
Got to leave something for next time, right? 🙂 Maybe it will be winter next time – perfect museum time 🙂
So I kept wandering the streets, and as any new yorker knows, 5th Ave & Broadway equals…? Yep, the Flatiron Building. Very imposing building indeed. I had to do a bunch of funny poses in order to be able to get the whole thing in the picture, but I managed.
Not my best work, but you have to know, at that time, I was still not taking pictures explicitly for this blog. This will change soon enough 🙂
Some places I went, which will not be showcased in pictures, are: the Williamsburg Bridge, which I walked from end to end; Hasidic Williamsburg, which is on the Brooklyn end of the bridge; and some of Brooklyn itself, during which visit I got more than a little sun tan. I have yet to explore all the Boroughs of New York, so I’ll just stick to the one I have explored for now.
Back in Manhattan, I went all the way down to China Town and Little Italy. I didn’t spend much time there, though, and to be honest, I don’t really get why that would be on anyone’s to-do list. Sure, it’s probably a great place to find some good food of the respective variety, but it seems that’s where it ends. I also suspect that in order to go get that specific “good food” you’d have to know your stuff already. Which in its own turn implies – not being a tourist.
For me, the best part of China Town was the small Chinese garden at one end of it; the tranquility right before you hit the streets full of yelling people, raw seafood sold on the sidewalk next to cheap colourful clothing and knick-knacks, and smoked ducks hanging in (and sometimes out of) windows.
As for Little Italy – pretty similar situation, only with cannoli and other pastries sold out of little carts, which I’d take any day over the smell of raw squid and other sea creatures I can’t even name.
I also bought a couple of cannoli there, hence my observation that you have to know what you’re looking for. Because either cannoli is not the awesome dessert people claim it is, or I just didn’t choose the right ones.
However, food in New York is just… superabundant. You can’t try it all in a month with three meals and a some in-between snacks a day, maybe even longer, let alone a week.
But I gave it my best shot, hahahah. Starting out with some amazing sushi, going all the way to the upper Upper East Side to get a hot-dog at Papaya King, and even waiting for about half an hour in a very hectic line for a bagel.
Monster Sushi has a horrendous website, but the sushi is pure heaven. It was hard to walk after that lunch! 😀
As for the bagels, I did very little research and still got pretty good results. I had a plain bagel to go with my Senegalese soup at a place that I can’t seem to remember, but it was really nice and I’ll look for it.
At the end of that long wait I mentioned, I had a classic salmon and cream cheese with a twist (capers, red onions and tomato) at Murray’s Bagels.
The line was literally going out the door at Murray’s Bagels in Chelsea, which is usually one of the best signs for a food place. Also, if Harri, over 120 reviewers on Google and over 500 on Yelp say it’s one of the best places to eat in New York, there must be something to it.
A day – and a menu – would not be complete without the evening cocktails. Which is when knowing a barman or someone who knows one comes in handy. Luckily, we knew someone who knew someone, which is how we got to get a table at a tiny but quite popular bar somewhere in Tribeca (I will never find that bar on my own again 😦 ), and end a wonderful night on a very high note with some signature drinks. I had the “Razorblade” (pictured) 😉
On our (first) last night in NYC, we had some swanky whisky drinks at The Tippler and an unexpected snowball fight as a farewell treat.
Yes, it f**king snowed in the city in April, while I had a sunglasses tan line and we were heading very much south the next day. It was a somewhat paradoxal evening.
And on this party note, I am leaving New York (for now), and there’ll be more cocktail talk next week, from a place that’s as far away from Manhattan philosophically as it is geographically. Cheers!