Travel Stamp

Notes From A Vacation—Part 1: New York City

I always approach the end of a vacation with mixed feelings. On the one hand, I’m happy to return to the familiar comforts of home, but I’m also very sad that I didn’t have more time to see more of what I wanted to see. And that was very much the case this time as well. We only had three and a half days in DC, and that was not nearly enough time. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

We arrived in New York (well, Newark, actually) at around 5pm and were picked up at the airport by J, who took us back to their apartment on the upper west side where A and little J were waiting for us. A is five months pregnant and starting to show a little. We dropped off our stuff and headed out for dinner to an Indian restaurant that had recently opened near by (can’t remember the name). We don’t go out for Indian much at home (don’t know why, really), so we were excited to have some good curry. And it was very good, particularly the Lamb Somethingorother.

The next day, Sunday, we all went to the Feast Of St Gennaro festival in Little Italy, but only after stopping by The Pickle Guy for a variety of pickles (the full sours proving the most popular), and The Doughnut Plant for what A assured were the best doughnuts ever*. And next door to the doughnut place was a bagel shop where we had to stop for a Bialy. And then, while walking to the festival we stopped at the Yonah Schimmel Knishery for a Knish, because Irene had never had one before and the place had been around for over a hundred years.

So by the time we got to the festival, we had all ready noshed quite a bit, and after sharing a Mozzerepa we had no extra room for any of the extremely tasty looking festival food that was everywhere (sausage and peppers, steak sandwiches, pasta, pizza…).

After walking the festival from one end to the other and back (with a short stop for some playground time for little J) we parted company with A and J so they could take little J home for his nap. We spent the rest of the day walking around SOHO and before heading over to Katz’s Deli , where we split a Reuben for a late lunch.

I guess I won’t give you the play by play, and will instead hit the highlights. So:

Museums we hit included The Jewish Museum (for the comic artist exhibit, which included work by the incomperable Will Eisner, and the amazing Chris Ware [man, that bastard is too good]), The National Design Museum (which at $12 a pop is not a good deal).

We had an amazing meal at Public restaurant. We both had the Grilled Lamb Tenderloin, kinda lame to both get the same thing but we both really wanted it and it was super tasty. If you are in New York anytime soon I highly recommend the place. Plus the interior and desgin is very cool.

As this was only the second time Irene had been to New York and the first time was a short trip as well, we did a few of the tourist things that she’d missed out on last time. Like going up to the top of the Empire State Building . Which let me tell you was an overpriced and obnoxious expierience. Let me tell you why obnoxious. As we were waiting in the line at the top, a woman kept yelling about and pushing this audio tour that was for sale for only $6 more. And to sell she intimated that you would need the tour or you wouldn’t know what you were looking at while you were up there as there were no signs telling you. Which in fact turned out to be a lie, there were in fact displays with the skyline and markings on every side. So if you do decide to go up, keep that in mind. We passed on the audio tour. I’m glad we went up though, because now we never have to do it again.

A much more pleasent experience was hopping on the Staten Island Ferry which was free. Free! and the short 20 minute trip takes you with in photo taking distance of both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

I guess this is running kind of long so I’ll end it there and continue in Part 2 later.

*We were skeptical because we have Top Pot Doughnuts here in Seattle, and those are some pretty damn fine doughnuts. So while we were in the shop, the guy behind the counter asked us where we were from, and when we said Seattle, asked if we knew Top Pot. He then claimed that Top Pot stole one of there doughnuts. Well, whatever, I’m going to show my home town loyalty, because I think that Top Pot makes the better doughnut.


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