What do i say about NYC, especially since i was there only for 4 days, time in which i could only just barely scratch the surface of this weird, magical city that made me wonder why the f*** do all the millionaires and billionaires live in whatever shithole of the city they live in. Yeah, its possible i am biased or probably intoxicated or have just lost it. Nonetheless, the last few hours i had in the city, as i looked over at the island of Manhattan, the Brooklyn bridge on one side and acres of green on the other, i wondered why do some people get to experience this whenever they want and i only for a fleeting moment. Life is not over yet, so that is hopeful!
There is just too much to do, experience, eat, see in the city and I as expected was mostly just seeing and eating, as much as i could possibly in a matter of 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinner and unlimited coffees.
My favourite part of the city was surprisingly the whole lot of streets full of Broadway theatres. Starting from Times Square and going upto Lincon Centre, one of the most beautiful sights i have had the pleasure of seeing especially at night. These streets are also a bit chaotic but somehow i loved that part about the city. Its full of colour and energy. If you are visiting the city, be sure to watch a Broadway show, its a shame if you don’t because you shall not experience that kind of theatrical excellence anywhere else. (Discount tickets are available at TKTS counters in Times Square and Brooklyn and also some productions have $35 rush tickets that you can pick up in the morning of the show).
There are many places to eat around Times Square, especially many food trucks serving almost everything under the sun. I had an interesting Japanese meal at ‘Sapporo’, a place famous for ramen noodles. Try out the Miso Ramen and gorge on as much Gyoza (dimsums) as you possibly can.
Central Park – Spend an entire day or 2 half days, roaming through the lush greens of this extraordinary park which stretches on for miles. Take a picnic basket along or cycle through the roads inside or just sunbathe or take a nap depending on the weather. The possibilities are endless as you what you can do here and probably that is what makes the Central Park so brilliant. I also went to the Washington Square park in Greenwich Village, and though much much smaller, it has a eclectic feel to it, making you feel liberated. You could just burst into a small dance routine there and be totally in place.
Clinton Street Baking Co. & Restaurant – A separate paragraph has been reserved for this place because, it deserves so. We waited 90 minutes outside this Pancake & breakfast joint to get in. They don’t take reservations so your best bet is to reach this place at 10:30 am sharp and hope you luck out. The place is supposed to have the best pancakes in the city and though we did very much like ours – Banana walnut pancakes, i have a suspicion that the pancakes are famous for the incredible maple butter they are served with. Also try out the Rosemary sausage – It’s the best shit you would have ever eaten. Just completely delicious and will ruin every other sausage or even meat in the world for you in the future.
Brooklyn – Ok, i just touched the tip of Brooklyn given i had spent only half a day there but I was in love with the place. Possible reasons could also be two extraordinary food joints which i shall remember for eternity – Almondine Bakery and Juliana’s Pizza. Everything in Almondine is so breathtakingly scrumptious that we made two trips to Brooklyn just to eat there. Their Peach Danish is … words have not been invented to describe how delicious it is. If you breathe anywhere near Brooklyn and have not visited this fabulous place, you are missing out on life. And you are stupid. Yeah, i said it, you are stupid. If i lived even 2 hours from the city, i would be visiting this place every week. Juliana’s Pizza is also pretty awesome, order the Margarita pizza over there and enjoy it while it lasts. Then, just walk up the river front and stare at the beautiful view in front or take a stroll in the Brooklyn park next to you and give thanks for being alive and amongst such beauty.
SoHo, Greenwich village, Little Italy, Chinatown – Walk through these various neighbourhoods of the city to get a taste of all that the city has to offer in terms of culture, food and in general waiting time for restaurants! Except for in Chinatown, which is my favourite place in the world, possibly because if the endless supply of dim-sums it offers, we had to wait quite a bit in all restaurants. Be extra prepared, call ahead to either reserve a table or just avoid the restaurant if the time is too long. Some of the places i had food at was:
B&H Dairy – Amazing place for breakfast or even a midday snack, try their Challah french toast and their sides of Potato are to die for. (Cash only)
Abraço Espresso – A hole in the wall, coffee shop. Pretty awesome cuppa joe, in my books.
Ed’s Lobster Bar – Reserve ahead, and try their Fried Ipswich Clams.
Royal Seafood – Dim Sums, delicious Dim sums. The best thing is that you don’t have to order, the food is being pushed around in various carts around you. All you need to do is point at it and it’s put on your table.
Il Buco – A tad bid expensive but the brilliant food (Italian), ambience and incredible service is worth the experience.
Also, if you are lucky try scoring a table at Rubirosa, supposedly the best pizza in the city and please tell me how it was.
I completely forgot, see Metropolitan museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art (free friday evening), ride a bicycle, go see some buildings, walk on the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty and all that stuff. Or if you are like me, just stand in the middle of Broadway and feel like you are in the best city in the world.