23 August 2007

My trip to New York - The Beginning

My trip out to New York was pretty uneventful. My flight even landed a few minutes early. I met Katya and we got the bags and it all went very smoothly. We stopped at the A&P to pick up a few things and then headed over to the house. We got there and the air conditioning was so nice that Katya suggested I stay at the house rather than in the flat (with no air conditioning). I agreed!

We had a lovely little noshy dinner avec vino and when Hubby came home, we even sang karaoke until the wee hours (or so it felt with jet lag involved).

I was awakened in the night by the most furious thunder & lightning storm I have heard in some time - and yes it was also raining.

The next morning, Katya drops me at the station on her way to work and I head into the City. It is approximately 8:30 am when I board the train. The conductor apologised that the train was delayed by water on the tracks. No worries for me, right? I'm on vacation.

I get off the NJT at Penn Station and NYPD's finest are blocking the subway entrances - no subways running due to rain.

I am planning on going to Cloisters up in Harlem. I know the M4 bus goes there, but where to board? I head outside. I finally find the stop at Herald Square. Luckily, it's near the beginning of the route and there are few people lined up so I get on AND get a seat!

I get off the bus at Cloisters at 12:30pm - that's right! Including my train trip in, this adventure has taken 4 hours! Ridiculous, but I console myself that I am not trying to get to work or school or to an appointment. I am on vacation.

I enjoyed the museum and had lunch in the cafe (Katya had packed me some squash pie!) but while I'm admiring the view along the Hudson, I get an urgent text from The Little Dutch Girl who will be joining me tomorrow morning. She's heard about the subways being shut down and is a bit agitated about our schedule the next day. We go over all of her options and I tell her to phone when she lands tomorrow.

Upon leaving the museum, I discover that the subways are indeed running again and grab the A train downtown. I hop off and catch the crosstown bus to 5th Avenue and manage to squeeze in a quick visit to the Met before meeting my Hillsides Gal Pal for drinks after work.

On the downtown bus, a VERY handsome doctor (think McSteamy & McDreamy put together!) sits near me and answers pages while reading a Leica magazine. Everyone's got to have a hobby, right? The morning tranportation woes seem to be a hazy memory.

Something else that's relegated to the past: The Plaza Hotel. It has gone condo! It's all covered in scaffolding and leads me to the mantra for this trip "I guess you can do anything if you have enough money".

More later...

18 August 2007

I love New York!

I just got back from a long weekend in New York. I have several new favourite spots. I met some great new people. I had the fun of being in the city the day the rain stopped the subways from running.

I will try to post some little tidbits about my trip in the next few weeks. But in case I don't, here are some places to try next time you are in the Big Apple:

The Cloisters & The Metropolitan Museum - $20 price is SUGGESTED so you can tell them what you would like to pay and they have to take it. Plus your admission is good for both places on the same day.

Dos Caminos - Park Avenue between 26th & 27th. Pretty decent margaritas and excellent guacamole but the menu is a bit too "nuevo" and the prices a bit "mucho". $70 for two for one drink and one appetizer each!

Kettle Of Fish - just north of the Christopher St station at 7th across from Sheridan Square. A classmate from Emma owns it now. If you had a bar in your living room, this would be the place. A comfortable watering hole with much more reasonable prices.

Pour - 74th & Amsterdam - a great wine boutique with free tastings, excellent staff, and great selection.

Josie's - 73rd & Amsterdam - an organic cafe with the best menu and most reasonable prices I saw on the whole trip.

Museum of Modern Art - free after 4pm on Fridays but make sure you are in line by 3pm.

Angus McIndoe - 44th across from the Majestic. A Scottish steakhouse? but the menu is excellent and the house wine (which MUST come from a box - vino collapsivo!) is excellent. Everything on the menu was fabulous and the best service I have had in a while. They even came to remind us that it was 7:30 in case we were on the way to the theatre!

Them's the highlights. Details to follow.