can’t we just stay in NYC a little longer?

In ALL, FOOD LOVE, MY LISTS, RESTAURANTS, STYLE, TRAVEL by Stephanie Klein51 Comments

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I was eating dinner the other night with a dear friend who just quit her job and decided to take a month off.  She’s been busy planning a list of all the New York things she’d like to do before going back to work, at a new job.  "Stephanie, you should make a list of all the things you want to do while you’re still here.  Restaurants you want to go to, bars, museums.  Whatever."  She mentioned Brooklyn.  "Well, I’ve never been!" she said.  This I knew about a lot of my Manhattan friends.  My goal during this one month stretch is to make the list and write about each thing I want to do here–on the blog.  Photos optional.  If you’ve got any ideas, please let me know. And before I even take a stab at it, I’ll warn you, 90% of the list, at least, will involve or be centered around food.  Maybe alcohol.  Mostly food.  I will continue to add to this list as I decide what to do.

Dim Sum.  I don’t particularly like Chinese food.  I’ll eat it, of course, but it usually leaves me parched and still hungry.  I grew up eating it, like every other Jew, in a restaurant on Sunday evenings.  I stopped doing that once I got to college.  I never have it anymore, but P.F. Chang’s (which they do have in Austin along with Cheesecake Factory) is not Chinese food; it’s America’s idea of what Chinese food should be.  I want the real deal.  The shit you find in Flushing, Queens.  And I want to go on a Sunday with a big group of our friends, where we point at the foods on the carts as they go by.  Eating those steamed shrimp in slippery pockets of glassy dough.  I don’t know what they’re called.  They look like Chinese blintz, but stuffed with shrimp in a chewy slippery dough.  Then they squirt it with a squeeze bottle of sauce.  They don’t use dumpling sauce but something sweeter.  I need to get down to the bottom of this.  Phil needs Peking duck, the kind where they carve the duck at your table, make the pancakes for you, then take the carcass to the back and make a soup with the bones.  That is how that shit is done.  The other day he told me he’d never had Peking duck.  I gasped and simply hadn’t heard anything as shocking.  Get thee to Peking House.  "Oh," he said after some explanation, "you mean the pancake with the scallions and hoisin sauce?  Well I’ve had that, but that’s not Peking duck."  Yes, my friend, it is.  And we need some while we’re still in New York.

A little Girl Day. I need one of those, the kind I had when I was growing up, in a dress coat, where we’d come into the city for a matinee then went to Serendipity III for a bowl of sesame bread sticks with butter and an equally big bowl of frozen peanut butter hot chocolate.  That place is just a New York moment to me.  But you have to walk there.  Build up a slight sweat for sweet.  You’ve got to work for it.  It might have involved FAO Schwartz, but I can live without another visit there.  I know the key now.  You have to learn something on days you go to Serendipity.  You have to have come from the Planetarium or Lincoln Center.  I’ll have to do something cultural first.  Not Broadway.  Not your typical Museum.  Just something artistic or interesting.  I’ve got to work on this one.  I can live without Dylan’s Candy Bar, a few doors away from Serendipity; I don’t have a sweet tooth for by-the-pound items, mostly because of the name.  It’s too much of a reminder of what happens when I eat it.

A Musical.  I love musicals, really love.  Like, I’m one of those people.  I buy all the music (read: sometimes just download) before I see it.  I don’t know how anything will top Wicked for me. But my goal this month is to see two musicals.  I’ll listen to the music beforehand.  I hear Alter Boys is a must.  Is Avenue Q still out?  I want to see Avenue Q!  And afterward, I want to walk a bit then head over to The Paramount Hotel and sit at the upstairs bar and drink their Sauvignon Blanc.  That, or some champagne.  I don’t need dinner beforehand, because mostly, I don’t care for the way they rush you in and out with the pre-theater crowd.  Besides, as much as I want to do cliche New York.  Dinner and a show is too– I’m not going to finish that sentence.  You know what I’m saying.

Tea.  Big time tea, with crustless cucumber and sweet butter sandwiches.  Currant scones.  Clotted cream.  The Ritz.  The Plaza.  Anywhere with "The" in the title.  I don’t want Takashimaya.  I want English Tea, something grand and completely over the top.  Maybe Fauchon, but I’ve heard it’s a disappointment.  I’ve done Alice’s Tea Cup (and loved it), done Lady Mendel’s Tea Salon (also loved it) but I’m not looking for that.  I want a hotel tea time, followed by an artsy independent film that will make me cry and think and laugh. 

The Bronx Zoo.  But then I thought about it.  Austin has a zoo.  I don’t need to go to the Bronx zoo again until I have children.  Some of my favorite memories happened at the zoo.  Isn’t that weird?  How I think we can, most of us, remember something about the zoo and our childhood.  I think it’s the age we’re brought there, or the fact that it’s one on one time with someone who cares enough to take us there.  I remember riding the tram.  Is it a tram?  It was a cart on a wire, in the air.  I don’t know what it’s called, and I’m too lazy to look it up.  But I remember riding on it with my family, sitting on my knees, pressing my hands to the windows looking down.  Zoos are wonderful for children; their minds have so much to eat there.

The Soup Nazi.  I used to live right near him, on 55th St. in La Premiere, where almost all New Yorkers have lived at some point.  Okay, not all, but it feels like all.  I lived there while in college, and I would routinely eat there, swing by when the lines were down to a scant three people.  Got eggplant parm soup.  Soup!  I need to get my fix.  Is it still open?  I’d go there, grab soup for lunch, then grab a few magazines at Universal News and walk to Columbus Circle, to eat it outside, near the horse and buggies (but not that near), maybe sit in the "statue garden" of the ugly black building Trump put in the circle. 

Tourist Trappings.  I’ve already done them all. Been to Yankee’s Stadium.  Seen the Met’s.  Been to The Garden for The Knicks.  Done Radio City Music Hall and hit Lincoln Center way too many times.  Done the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, and all the museums they tell you to see.  I’ve taken a red double-Decker around the city.  Heard the shpiel about Macy’s and the rest of the city.  I don’t need to do any of these things again.  Not for a while, anyway. 

Pizza Tour.  I’m not a huge pizza fan, but I’m thinking I’ve gotta take one for the team.  I’m hoping to go on a pizza tasting tour, with someone else, hopefully.  Where we share a slice at each "Original" must in this city.  John’s Pizza.  Something on Bleeker.  A Ray’s?  I need help with the musts here.  Don’t say Grimaldi’s.

Food Porn.  I need to get my fill of it.  And for me that means I have to make stops (with my camera and appetite) at the following places: Gray’s Papaya for two dogs "all the way;"  Zabar’s; Popover Cafe for their Pop Art sandwich (one of my favorite things); Balthazar for a French Martini and the goat cheese onion tart; eat at the bar of Union Square Cafe; take photos at the outdoor farmer’s market; I have enough photos of Chinatown.

Brandy’s Piano Bar (CLOSED: sadly has had a fire since first writing this post).  I love this place.  Love.  I know Austin has dueling piano bars!  But I need to go to Brandy’s with my New York friends who’ve never been there.  This is a must.  I am happier at Brandy’s than probably anywhere else in the city.  Isn’t that strange?  It’s storytelling to music.  Gay storytelling, mostly, but it’s warm and what memories are made of. 

A writer’s life.  Get drunk with my notebook at the following places before I leave: Bemelman’s Bar (where the walls were painted by Ludwig Bemelman, author and illustrator of the Madeline books, and where they have piano music), the Oak Room at the Algonquin, and the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis. I have no desire to return to Chumley’s, McSorley’s, or White Horse tavern, as good as they all are.  I’m over it.  Unless it’s Sunday, and I have the paper and a hankering for a burger and homemade mustard, I can do without.

Museum crap.  Surprisingly, I’ve never been to the Museum of Television & Radio and would like to go.  I’d also like to–I know this is weird–go to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum.  Yes, I want to see the bodies exhibit too.  And I want to go back to Hayden Planetarium to make out in the dark.  Something magical also happens in the mineral room of The Museum of Natural History.  Last time I was there, I agreed to my book deal over the phone, but I won’t go back.  That museum is quite dull.  The Frick is fun, but mostly when there’s an event involving champagne.  I recently visited the MOMA, but it has been a while since I’ve visited the statue garden at The Met with my drawing pencils.  If there’s time, I will do that.

A girls night.  A girls night in Manhattan is very different from a girls night in the hampton’s.  It just is.  There are different kinds of girls nights, too, even within Manhattan.  Sometimes we have our Sunday Sip, where we meet at Angelo & Maxies for wine and raw tuna, or in the summer, outdoors, in the garden with a bottle of white, artichokes, and grilled fish.  Relaxed nights.  Then there are what my friend Amy calls our "velvet blazer nights," where we get a little decked and hit the latest "it."  For me, it never involves a club or dancing, as that’s just not my thing.  But one will definitely be had at 212 restaurant before I leave (as I’ve only ever had a memorable night there with my girls).  Girls nights always involve alcohol and usually involve something we shouldn’t be eating at a very late hour.

A tasting Party.  I love this idea.  My parents, growing up, had a Chinese New Year’s party, where they got their favorite dish from each of their favorite restaurants, and brought it in.  So chicken from Hunan Balcony, Duck from some Orchid restaurant.  You get the idea.  I did the burger date.  Now I want the pizza tour, yes.  But it would still be fun to pick a theme and host a party where everyone brings one dish, their favorite dish from their favorite restaurant, and we all chow on one another’s favorites.

Traveling Dessert. I did this once.  Went to different fancy restaurants and only ordered dessert!  I love this idea because you get to go to a fantastic restaurant, get the experience of the place, and then eat only a dessert.  Then, onto the next place.  It’s sinful but a must. I’m going to have to figure out where to go, and please, don’t say "chikalicious" because that takes the fun out of the hop. 

Comments

  1. Yes, it's called a tram, and The Bronx Zoo is one of the two best in the country and one of the ten best in the world.

    Things to do-

    1-Visit one restaurant in each borough. Peter Luger's in Brooklyn and Frankie & Johnny's in The Bronx come to mind.

    2-Visit Striver's Row in Harlem.

    3-Take a tour of Woodlawn Cemetary.

    4-Tour the Federal Reserve and the Commodity Exchange.

    5-Visit the Woolworth building, easily the prettiest skyscraper in NYC.

    6-Schedule a series of visits to historical churches, temples and mosques. I used to work next to Trinity Church and it's just a beautiful place. Same thing with St. Bart's. Some of the best architecture in NYC are the religious places since they've never been torn down.

  2. Anyways, as a frequent visitor to NYC, I had never gone to Ellis Island. Last month I went, did the audio tour and cried several times. We are all immigrants, for many of us our families came through Ellis Island.

    The stories are heart wrenching. I pictured myself, with children at my feet, hungry and sick after being at sea for weeks, being given a
    six second assessment as to our fitness to live in the US. If you flunk, you go out on the next boat. Many families were split up because one of the children was ill and sent back with one parent. I still get chills thinking about it.

  3. Yes, Justin, that was intentional. Call it being a New Yorker.

  4. there is a restaurant in the village called north square. they make an endive salad that i crave, and it's a nice, romantic but reasonable restaurant. also falafels at mamoun's in the village. yum.

  5. Avenue Q is still open — and is amazing. For Tea, go to Tea & Sympathy. Its an English tea place but still has the New York feel to it, which you are undoubtedly going to miss in Austin.

  6. Stephanie, those shrimp dumpling things are called Har Gaw, pronounced Har-Gow and are usally in a rice noodle dumpling… they have some fantastic authentic Dim Sum in Chinatown as well, around Canal and Elizabeth streets.. you should check it out!

  7. And if you are looking for a website which will clue you in to events in Autin, try Gothamist's sister site – Austinist!!!

  8. Foods that I would miss if I died (or ever even THOUGHT about moving away from NYC)….Greek food in Astoria (Elias' Corner or Telly's Taverna), corned beef sandwiches from Katz's, garden lunch at Provence, Korean BBQ in Flushing (Kum Gang San), pizza from Lombardi's on Spring, couscous from La Kasbah, porterhouse steaks at Peter Luger, homemade Japanese noodles at Momofuku, cheesecake from Juniors, the salmon from Jewel Back, sushi at Tomoe, and many more.

    Last-month activities to do before going to Austin…dinner/dancing at the Rainbow Room, midnight carriage ride in Central Park, day game at Yankee Stadium, Circle Line tour, climb Statue of Liberty, rent a kayak at the piers, and many more.

    Should be a fun month for you. I'm jealous! Good luck!

  9. new york magazine just published their best of issue, as i am sure you are aware. they listed the best place to get peking duck, among others. i don't have the issue in front of me but i am sure you could find it somewhere, or maybe you have it. good luck, sounds like a great month.

  10. I moved from NJ to Atlanta about 6 months ago. It is a very odd experience. I never lived in Manhattan, but I grew up on the shadow of NYC, and it is as much home to me as any place. Acclimating to the south is not easy, being a very blue person in a very red place. Work prevented me from having a farewell tour, the next time I am in NYC on business or a visit I will be hitting Blue Chili for the satay chicken appetizer and the sashimi dinner. It is in the 50's right by the theater where Hairspray is playing. Very enjoyable.

  11. I'm a NYer living in Argentina…the one thing I always do when I'm back in the city…the Guggenhiem (TIP: take the elevator to the top and walk down)…then saunder to the steps of the MET and eat 2 franks and ice tea.

  12. 69 mott street for dim sum

    pizza – adriennes pizza bar in the wall street area, saint marks pizza, and of course stromboli on saint marks

    areos in bay ridge bklyn for italian and park side in queens….park side is one of the best restaurants in new york

    slam dancing in chinatown in a special secret ukranian underground club- if you can find it – you will have the best quintessential new york night ever, i cant really reveal the location…

    walk across the willy b bridge and take the train back

    there is so much to do
    enjoy

  13. The dim sum at Shun Lee Cafe really is out of this world. So is the pizza at John's on 58th & 9th (at least I think its called John's…..)

  14. After Sunday afternoon dim sum in Chinatown, visit the Eldridge Street Synagogue (www.eldridgestreet.org) — national historic landmark, amazing building from 1887 that is being restored as a museum and cultural centre. A gem!!! Nearby on Essex Street, go for the best pickles at the Pickle Guys, and then Kossar's Bialys on Grand St for a hot bialy!!!

    Walk the Brooklyn Bridge for great pizza at Grimaldi's, yum!!!

    And of course, you have to have an egg cream before you leave!!! Go to Eisenberg's on 5th Ave between 22 and 23… a throw back luncheonette – and great tuna sandwiches!!!!

    Enjoy!!!!

  15. No need to miss tea in Austin – the historic Driskill Hotel does a FABULOUS job… I would eat all the chinese/japanese food you can get before you leave…

  16. A friend of mine who just returned from Austin was telling me about the deuling piano bars. That'll be my first stop when I get there.

    I feel very strongly about you stopping at Serendipity because those frozen hot chocolates are heaven.

    Oh, also, any particular spa type places that you really enjoy in NY? Add those to the list.

  17. Yes, Austin does have a "zoo" but it's really a sanctuary for rescued wild animals. (Texans have a penchant for buying wild or exotic animals as pets and then not being able to care for them once they grow up.) The bear is the retired mascot from Baylor University. The San Antonio Zoo is not far, nor is the Dallas Zoo but if you are a zoo fan, go by the Bronx Zoo before coming to Austin. Otherwise I think you may regret not doing it.

    Also, I recently moved out of Nalle Woods. It's great there – you will love the pool!

  18. Grimaldi's is not the best pizza in New York. It's just not. I had great company while there, certainly, but the pizza is soft. I like mine crispy, well done, where the tip stands straight out at you. That first bite is what it's all about. That corner tip, when it's cool enough, is the measuring stick of pizza.

  19. I'll second Tea & Sympathy but if you want the fabulous hotel tea experience too then the St. Regis is the place to go (and it got "The" in the name). Good luck!

  20. bemmelmans is a sheer delight-one of the few 15 buck cocktails that's actually worth it. and fantastic snacks! last time i was there i sat next to tom ford and made (subtly) out with my boyfriend. a real piano player is irresistably romantic.

    grimaldis pizza in brooklyn heights-and then you can go to the brooklyn ice cream factory for the best home made ice cream in NY. only a handful of flavors, organic, goodness gracious. walk over the brooklyn bridge to get there, or take a water taxi if you're feeling lazy. catch a matinee at st. anns and then go to the river cafe for some serious dinner (and romance).

    out of the way, even for a brooklynite like myself, but limans in sheepshead bay-try the st. peters fish. with just lemon juice, salt herbs and olive oil it was the best grilled fish i've ever had in my life. walk or take a car over to brighton beach and get freshly made halvalah for desert, or vodka at one of the 80's lux flashback bars.

    in brooklyn there's also brooklyn chinatown (diamond for excellent dim sum, right offa the 8th ave N stop), and amazing, nonhectic food shooping. king crab legs $9.99 a lb. nuff said.

    greenwood cemetary-fantastic revolutionary war memorials (as in the battle of brooklyn), and the amazing crypt of alfred parsons-it's some crazy gnostic pyramid sphinx thingy. go bowling afterwards on 5th and 29th and get some damn fine hot wings. or s. carolina bbq and and a bevy of burbons at brooklyn bbq on 6th and 20th.

    city island. breezy point. goodness gracious!

  21. I saw Alter Boys. It was really quite funny. You must try John's Pizza, I think its one of the best in the city. Oh and City Bakery for their hot chocolate and home made marshmallows. Diner 24 serves crispy french fries with melted brie and a drizzle of truffle oil. YUM!

  22. Cristina, I might be in love with you. City Bakery was on my list, but I crossed it off. Now it's back on because you mentioned homemade marshmallows. How does one resist such things? And I've never been to Diner 24, but now I MUST go. Fries with brie and truffle oil? You had me at fries.

    And now, obviously, I need to learn more about slam dancing, though it sounds frightening. Certainly not something I'd do alone.

  23. Wow! I loved this list. It's so inspirational. I hope that one day I can visit New York, though I know there will never be enough to do. Now Chicago, I could go on and on about my town…

  24. Tickets to see the Daily Show. Lombardi's down on Spring (prince?) and Mott. Also, I really enjoyed the walking tour of Greenwich Village – can't remember who ran it, but it's always listed in TONY. So wonderful to learn the nuances of the neighborhood; as a writer, I'm sure you'd enjoy it as well.

    Enjoy your month!

  25. When you are at the Met with your pencils, I recommend going later (it is open until 9 on Fridays and Saturdays) and sitting on the roof and watching the sun set over Central Park while enjoying a cocktail after a long hard day of sketching and looking at art.

  26. Stephanie,
    A Lovely New York List. A few more to think about…

    ~ Cavo Cafe for Mezze in Astoria (I am adding Tony's OPA! to Metrodad's list)
    ~ The Village Vanguard
    ~ LIPS (I have a feeling there are not drag queen restaurants in Austin?)
    ~ The Cloisters
    ~ Strawberry Fields in Central Park
    ~ An ballet opera at Lincoln Center

  27. Damn, damn, damn!!! Stephanie, I so wanted to chat with you over the janemag forum today. But now it's 15 minutes away, and unfortunately I have to go to work…BOO!
    I hope you get to do all the things you've planned. Wanna know something interesting, when I lived in NYC I never took advantage of all the city had to offer. I spent an entire summer working in the Empire State building and never once went up to the top floor. I did manage to get to Macy's at least 3 days a week on my lunch breaks, so the time wasn't a total waste. I've never walked the Brooklyn Bridge, been to Ellis Island or the Statue of Liberty, or a whole lot of other tourist things that folks do when they go to NYC. I've been to 2 Broadway plays in my 25 years. I think when it's always there it's easy to take it for granted. Now that I'm in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do, I wish I had those options. Interesting thing is this. When I came home for Labor Day I brought two friends from MI with me. They did all the things I've never done, but instead of joining them, I spent my time curled up in a cute guy's basement apartment cuddling for hours. Now that was a GREAT use of time.
    Anyways, have a great chat this afternoon with all your fans. Take care.

  28. Your blog is one of the first things I click to in my daily morning routines. I read it and think you are what I could be if I would be more honest with myself and with others. I've really enjoyed reading the past couple of weeks because you are now embarking on a new chapter in your life that I did a year and a half ago; I moved from New York to Dallas. I don't miss the city like I thought I would but I do miss Ginger. Go have dinner at Ginger one night before you leave and it will leave a wonderful, warm/fuzzy feeling with you. It's a tiny but fantastic sushi restaurant in the East Village (1st avenue & 6th). Everytime I'm back in the city–that is literally the first place I go.

  29. My brothers saw Alter Boys last year and said it was really good. However, and I know it's not a musical, but they said they were totally blown away by Glengary Glen Ross. . . so if you haven't seen that, per their reviews, I recommend that!

  30. KEEP ADDING TO THIS!! How totally fun! And I am so mad at you for moving :(

    Ok, here go my 2 cents:
    – As one who works in the wine industry, get yourself to a full-blown wine tasting. Even sneak into one of our trade shows. Or get to Kevin Zraly's class one night. You will love it.
    – Musicals: if you haven't yet seen Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, John Lithgow was amazing; and Chicago is still one of my favorites.
    – Pizza: my vote goes to Arturo's in SoHo. If you like a nicer setting, the margherita pizza at Abizz in the LES is just to die for.
    – "Dessertinis" at Dylan Prime.
    – Hate to drag you back to Long Island girl, but get your family together and splurge for brunch at the Garden City Hotel. It's one of my accounts and I live in Mineola, so I will buy you all a round of Bloody Marys if you make it:)

  31. Before I moved to LA I was incredibly nostalgic for all things New York. One of the best things I did and will always remember was an all night walking tour of the city with my mom. We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, rode the Staten Island Ferry, saw the Statue of Liberty–you know, basically all the things natives never do. And if you are a bagel fan, get your fix now while you still can. Enjoy every single delicious moment of the next 30 days.

  32. Austin has a soup peddler. He used to deliver soup on his bike but the business grew exponenially and now he has a truck.

  33. things i would do before departing nyc..
    1. avery fisher for a concert on a clear cold night, kinda dressed up
    2. john's pizza and cheap pitchers with as many friends as i could muster
    3. an afternoon in central park, preferably in autumn, and with food
    4. an afternoon by the water (the harbor, the hudson, the river, anywhere), preferably in summer, and with drinks
    5. cocktail hour into dinner at the bar at gotham
    6. stay up all night some night and go to a diner somewhere early early early with the all-nighter buzz and feel the city waking up
    hmmm, that would about do it…have fun, whatever it is you decide upon doing, all you really take with you that will last are your memories… best always

  34. There are starving children in Africa, and you are really spoiled, Stephanie.

    I think I need to stop reading your blog.

    Good luck in Austin.

  35. what a wonderful idea…. I've been compiling my own list of things I must do here in DC before I relocate (while studying for the bar exam). This post is a great guide for NYC visitors to find all the best- I'll be up for a bachelorette party the weekend you leave and will definitely be dragging my friends to some of the spots on your list and from the other posts.

  36. welli've never commented this much on a blog in my life, but then again, on nyc i have so many opinions: mehanata is not slam dancing per se. it's a bulgarian bar that at night turns into a cheap, super crowded, international dance club. greasy foods, cheap cheap beer, shameless (and how) making out in booths, on the tables of booths, and fantastic dance music from all over the world, and a fun, sometimes sleezy crowd that loves to dance. bring a wristlet, no coat, cause there's no place to put anything, and you want to focus only on the tunes and your freinds.

    also, on last thing: coffe and torte at cafe sabarsky in the neue gallerie. delight!

  37. Has noone mentioned Lombardi's for pizza? Granted, they've gone downhill since they expanded but I still think their pizza is close to the best in New York.

    Also, the bar at Gramercy Tavern. The chicken liver crostini is to die for. It's close, but I would choose this over Union Square Cafe. You might also want to consider The Spotted Pig.

  38. Being a finance guy, there seems to me to be an obvious ommission from your list of "touristy" things: a tour of the NYSE. In my mind, it's quintessential NYC fare.

  39. I found this restaurant (bar & grill type place) in the Village called "The Garage". It's really good–you can sit outside (weather permitting) and even if you sit at the bar—they have raw oysters/clams and some sushi—it's incredible. The staff is really friendly–great atmosphere and the whole experience going there is a blast. The crowd is a mix. Straight/gay/bi/—whatever. You'll find it a lot of fun over there especially if you get a nice warm evening so you can sit outside for dinner and drinks.

    Have fun! But if it were up to me before I left NY—I'd go with Nick's Restaurant down in the Hamptons. LOVE that place. I believe it's actually considered Montauk. You probably have been there already. (It might be just a seasonal place to) Don't take my word for it! ;)

  40. I don't like the food at The Spotted Pig. I also don't like liver. Though… I gotta say, SAPA's happy hour has amazing oysters with foie gras butter and fig. Oh my god, so good.

  41. crap-once more; the village (9th or 10 and 6th ave, manhattan) for $1 oyster happy hour and really, some of the best sidecars i ever had, and dear lord do i drink sidecars. great people watcing, too. the cloisters, natch. too bad 2nd ave is gone-diane kassner, the fantastic waitress is pure nyc bliss. sylvias gospel brunch in harlem (i still dream about thier biscuits) and the bronx zoo – it has finger monkeys. as in, lil' monkeys the size of your finger. those are so worth the trek to the bronx. as is city island!

    my friend had an end of the world dinner party after 9/11-everyone brought thier very very favorite food. it was an amazing dinner, everything from goulash to steamed brussel sprouts to homemade congac ice cream. my favorite is a family recipe: line up a bowl of strawberries, a bowl of grand manier, a bowl of dark brown sugar and a bowl of creme freche (or sour cream or full-fat greek youghurt). seriously. i'm done now. enjoy austin!

  42. Once upon a time, friends and I did a Pizza Marathon coinciding with the NY Marathon and following its course: Ferry to Staten Island for pizza at Denino's, back to Brooklyn for pizza at Grimaldi's, to Nick's in Queens, then to Little Italy in the Bronx for slices (and cannoli and drinks) at the Full Moon, and finally to Lombardi's for the final. It was a long, long full day but a really fun one.

  43. this post makes me want to:
    a) visit nyc and do all these things
    b) to explore my own city more … most of the activities that i would list as the essential things to do here (halifax, nova scotia, canada), i have never done

  44. Such a pleasant post! I am so pleased you thought to talk about it.

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