WordPress issues last night published this thing prematurely
Day 1 can be found here. Day 2 was interesting to say the least.
There’s something about spending the evening in NYC while knowing you don’t have to drive home soon. Although my favorite part is waking up in the big city. There’s this level of serenity, like the great calm after the storm. Beautiful young drunk boys and girls are coming home after their one night stands, one reminder after another that you went to sleep way too early last night, and you are just old. People talking to themselves without ear pieces, is another early morning phenomenon.
The best advice I can give a real tourist (as oppose to the fakes like me) is to skip the hotel breakfast option. Come out, explore, follow your nose to the nearest bakery, coffee shop, etc. A Frenchman walks into a bar with a toad on his head. The bartender asks “where the hell did you get this”, the toad replies “In France, they got a million of those” So is coffee shops in NYC these days, and bagels everywhere you turn. Squirrel seekers can even find a plethora of flat whites all over town these days. Instead of sharing a hotel dining room with sandal and socks wearing tourists, come out and eat where the locals eat, and meet some of them. Like Everyman Espresso around the corner from the Hyatt Union Square. Voted by the Daily Meal as one of the best coffee in America, where we enjoyed some fine latte and flavored muffins. A light little breakfast, to save room for a great lunch and dinner, is the way to go in NYC
We then checked out of the hotel and started walking toward our next destination, the one that crashed Trip Advisor. A trip without walking through Madison Square Park is a like a trip without sunshine. Its not only the squirrel capital of the world and the place to see unique art installations, but this is also the place where magic happens… Shake Shack. Well, the original one at least. Shake shack employees and a few squirrels joined together for a pre-opening meeting this fine morning. It occurred to me how large this SS operation really is.
Whenever we look for parking in that area with the kids, somehow, for some bizarre Freudian reason we find a spot right by the Museum of Sex. The kids are too shy and embarrassed to ask any questions about this, and we are too embarrassed and lazy to explain. Since wifey and I are now kidless we decided to pop in. Would you believe it if I told you that this was not only fun and unique, but educational? You got an interesting exhibit dedicated to Linda Lovelace. Funland, a playground for adults that features a new spin on Kentucky Derby horse racing, Grope Mountain climbing!, and a bouncy house where you are surrounded by inflatable fake breasts, some of which were more wrinkly than others I noticed! And who witnessed a German tourist breast suddenly pop out while bouncing? This guy! The educational part: Animals and sex. Very interesting facts and tales like about ducks raping other ducks after chasing and killing them. Another floor offers extremely interesting displays that I can not possiby describe here, and the first floor is a store offering among other things, new pasta shapes I havent seen yet. A new meaning to Al Dente (firm… get it?)
We proceeded to walk toward our first culinary highlight of the day, but first we pass Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop and it occurred to me.. I havent been here in 13 years since I worked at Forbes.com around the corner. That brought back memories. “Just browsing” I told the clerk, as I had brunch plans. This is not the place for browsing. You attack this thing with full force.
Add the burger at The Gander to the list of NYC growing must eat burgers. This beauty is priced well at $16, available for lunch/brunch only. 28 day dry-aged beef, cheddar – adding anything else to it except for the bone marrow mayo that comes on the side would be criminal. Juiciness level I haven’t experienced since college! Confit Duck Hash, Poached Duck Egg, Port Béarnaise, Duck Chicharrónes was very good, while could have used some acidity in the form of roasted tomatoes or something, but enjoyable nonetheless. Good drinks, great service, nice looking rooms (got filled up a few minutes after the picture was taken). Will be back for more at this 2 month old for sure
We then took a walk along 6th ave toward midtown to witness one of our great holiday celebrations… The Dominican Day Parade (special thanks to TER and ZTAKS from Trip Advisor for this suffering ;)) It was actually quite fun though a tad too crowded. We overheard one visitor ask a police officer if this was the American Independence Day parade.
A mistake on my part. Plan at this point was to walk all the way west to 12th ave, Hudson River. The 20 minute walk turned to be challenging due to the heat. And on top of that, the Citibikes in that station (12th and 40th) had problems with credit cards and 24 hour passes. I have an annual pass but Mrs Z doesn’t.
We managed to get bikes a block away and Mrs Z managed quite fine for her first bike ride in the city without any incidents. I chose the Hudson River Park as its flat, carless, and quite Obama-care friendly. We then parked the bikes in West Village and took advantage of the green space on that end of Hudson River Park, one of my favorite parks in the city overlooking the Hudson and Jersey City. Manhattan has pretty cool parks these days, something I wasnt able to say 10 years ago. We then walked all over West Village all the way to the hotel crossing the always vibrant Washington Square Park yet again
Although we already checked out of the hotel, we were able to use the facilities to make ourselves pretty, or make Mrs Z pretty for our dinner at Ma Peche with friends from Brooklyn. Cant say enough about this place, their new cart service, the fried chicken, and those addictively sick rice cakes (Korean gnocchi on crack) I constantly dream about. Highly recommend Ma Peche. Try the Seven Spice Sour cocktail if you go
We capped off the night at one of my favorite bars in town, the rooftop at Ink48. Glorious moon, glorious views, and another glorious day in the city I call home!