OK, so here we go, we're in the home stretch now!
Woke up to another bootiful sunny morning and grabbed Ed for a walkabout, aiming in the general direction of some more recommendations from friends. Took a subway down to the East Village (OK, let me say something here. I love NY subways. I do. Despite them being hotter than freaking Hell down there. And even despite a 45 minute trapped in a car ride up to Park Avenue early in our trip.)
I know, this isn't anywhere NEAR the East Village, but we liked it. So there.
Because none of us can function without the Elixir of the Gods, we hit Joe: The Art of Coffee on Waverly. Recommendations from one of P's contacts as well as a Food and Wine Mag write-up prompted us to try it.
It was good. Not steal coins from under your neighbour's sofa great, but good. I liked it better than Starbucks, that's for sure. Apparently Amy Sedaris (who we love and adore) occasionally sells cupcakes there, but we didn't see any. I want one of her cheeseballs, btw. And from there to find Patisserie Claude (187 W.4th St), rumoured home of kickass croissants and grumpy Claudes. Can't comment on the grumpfactor, but I got some croissants and a brioche (I lurv brioche, bigtime). Delicious. Let's face it, most bread products make me inordinately happy. And buttery ones move to the top of the list. And buttery sweet ones? Well, they're like little happy clouds angels sit on and chat.
From there through to Gay St and Stonewall, and then off to Ground Zero, aka Near Century 21.
Yes Virginia, there IS a bear uniform.
Couldn't see even a dirt clod of the WTC site, all boarded up. The church across the way was lovely though.
And then the shopping began. Let me begin by saying this blog is mainly about the food and friends, and shopping usually won't get much space. Contrary to popular belief, I don't much like it. I like SPENDING, and there's a difference, people. But I do like pretty new shiny things. P is not a big shopper either, nor is Edward. I think they might hate it more than I. Which makes it especially funny that I barely got a thing in marathon of shopping that followed. Others were luckier than I ;)
Those are some damn happy post-shopping faces, I tell you what!
Shopping makes one hungry, so we had crappy sushi and udon at a Bento nearby. Bleah. Life is short, folks - avoid it. And the loos were horrid. Tons of stairs, through a broom closet and a drippy basement and voila! Stink!
From there it was off to the Staten Island Ferry for the CheapBastard's view of the Statue of Liberty. Long waits for the ferry (thank goodness for good company) and then a nice sunny view.
I think next time I go I'll do a boat tour around the island. Funny local moment when a mendicant was asking tourists for change - she went right up to a guy on a bench (who was completely ignoring her despite her smelly proximity) and said "You're a hairy motherfucker aren't you". Just about PISSED. Off the ferry, run to the next loading bay for more waiting and then back to Manhattan. Then we headed to Wall St.
I made him do that.
And the Stock Exchange
and then it was time for the big guns. The Bridge.
We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge as the sun set. I liked it. I'd do it again. Although maybe NOT while dragging the 400 shopping bags with us. There's a video on the bottom of the blog for those who like that kinda thing.
We were aiming for Grimaldi's pizza on the Brooklyn side, under the bridge. STARVING. TIRED. NEEDING ZA. And instead of a charming little boite with pizza pies, we found this...
That's right, that's the line up.
Needless to say, we piled our sweaty famished asses back on the subway, headed uptown to a Mexican spot Ed knew called El Centro.
If you know me, you know how much I love Mexico. The food, the weather, the people, the language. The whole thing. And I liked this place a lot. Go there, give them your business. Drink their caipirinhas. We ordered so many things here it was like tapas galore, and we ate it all. It got some booze in us and helped get our blood sugar up to a healthy level, and that's a good thing.
From there we headed home, got changed, hit a bar for a drink and then walked around a little. We wanted to go to Papaya King to check it out (another reco) but it sadly it was closed so all you get is the URL. So we went to bed.
On our last full day, we rose chipper as chipmunks and hungry AGAIN! But on our way to breakfast, we hit the Barney's Warehouse Sale. Once again, I found nothing and P lucked out. Not bad for someone who hates to shop! So we hit a Starbucks again and walked a little bit to find a place that we'd heard of (I can't recall how, actually) called the Cookshop on 10th. We liked it - I had the rancheros and was stuffed. Coffee was good, company was good once the caffeine hit ;) and reasonable prices. And good bread. The loos were nice here, I recommend them.
And then off to the MoMA. Which. I. Loved.
Although we were too late for gelato in the garden from Laboratorio del Gelato, which was on our list to try :(
Then more walking around, back to the Strand (I love it) for more books, a bit of walking and talking and generally having fun, ending up in Chinatown/Little Italy at the (wait for it, Ron!) NONYA!
This place came highly highly highly recommended by some good friends, so I was pretty excited! The ice tea was perfect, but the rest of the meal wasn't 5 star for me. It was good - I love Malay food, it just wasn't excellent. But I'd check it out again, no question. Ed joined us for dinner and then a gelato,
then P and I walked around Canal St a bit (by the way, it's pronounced Cah-NAL street, not the other way), then back up to Chelsea and our comfy bed. Well, Ed's comfy bed to tell the truth. On the way home we passed the gryphon that lives under the stairs.
That's it for New York - the next morning saw us slam a yoghurt back and head for Penn Stn., then off to Newark to fly home. No biscotti on this side, just Sausage McMuffins and more Starbucks.
All in all a delicious trip.