Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Marge_Simpson, Dec 2, 2012.
My friends and I are doing SantaCon this year. Great excuse to be silly and drink for a good cause
I'd love to do SantaCon, but I don't have a costume. (I do have a pair of jingly reindeer antlers. I wear them to work on Christmas eve. And Christmas day if I am stuck working then. )
I will have to be satisfied with donating some food.
Tonight I dragged my friend to the Lower East Side so we could have dinner here:
Those of you in Secret Sources may remember that I recommended this place to someone for their wedding rehearsal dinner, which is taking place this month. Naturally, I felt obligated to visit this place again to be sure they are still up to par.
They are. I had the pomodoro pizza, which was really nice. My friend had the octopus salad. She swore it was delicious, but I wouldn't eat octopus on a bet so I had to take her word for it. We shared a bottle of wine, which caused us to throw caution to the wind and order dessert. The tiramisu is divine.
Before we had dinner we stopped off at this gallery, because I wanted to see the photos of NYC Ballet:
They have some really nice photos on display, but there are only about 20 of them. So I wouldn't rush down to see this unless you're a real NYCB fanatic. However, it's free, so if you happen to be in the area you might as well take a look.
After dinner we went for a stroll (we needed to sober up!) and my friend insisted on going inside this shop, even though the smell of fish makes me want to heave:
The place has been there for about 100 years. If you like smoked fishy things, this is the place for you!
Something really cool happened when we got to GSC to get the train home. A flash mob turned up out of nowhere and began to sing Christmas carols. They were so good, we decided to take a later train so we could hang out and listen.
BTW: Has anyone been to the Chelsea Clearview to see Rocky Horror?
When I was in college (this was way back in the dark ages, of course) a whole pack of us used to go see it in Brooklyn fairly often. Every time I pass the Clearview I wonder if I should try it again. I imagine all the lines have changed, but probably the props are the same?
Whoo! to those doing SantaCon. I was giving a friend a tour of NYC and we were in the midst of the NYU campus when we were faced with er... extremely ruddy faced Santas. I pity the parent who has to explain to their kids why there are so many Santas in various states of sobriety.
Anyways, if you're by the NYU campus, I'd recommend at least sticking your head into The Chess Shop: http://www.chess-shop.com/
At least gawk at the variety of chessboards in the window.
For those mentioning delis, I've got a friend who swears by 2nd Ave Deli (no longer on 2nd) though I hear many people prefer Katz's. http://www.2ndavedeli.com/
I haven't gotten to the Morgan, but I like The Frick http://www.frick.org/visit/museum, http://www.frick.org/visit/museum/admission
On Sundays, it's pay what you wish from 11AM to 1PM.
My other favourite small museum is The Noguchi Museum in Long Island City: http://www.noguchi.org/
Nearby is the Socrates Sculpture Museum: http://www.socratessculpturepark.org/
For those into music, definitely check out Steinway Pianos http://www.steinwayshowrooms.com/steinway-hall
For those into farmer's markets and other artisanal type food, here's a handy reference to the Green Markets around NYC: http://www.grownyc.org/ourmarkets
Out of curiosity, has anyone gotten to displays or performances at the Park Avenue Armory? http://www.armoryonpark.org/
Or St. Mark's Church in the Bowery? http://stmarksbowery.org/art-partners.html
Another Frick fan here.
I've never gone to the Armory (I'm adding it to my bucket list, though) but I've gone to dance performances at St Mark's, although not recently. I've also attended the New Year's day poetry marathon. (Unfortunately can't do it this year as I'm working that day)
I still need advice about the Rocky Horror Show....should I go?
I love this "Forgotten NYC" website:
They run walking tours fairly often (I recently did their GreenWood cemetary tour) but you need to check the website from time to time to see if they have anything scheduled. Their book is a really good read.
I went to a wine tasting at the Chelsea Wine Vault last year (because I had "attend a wine tasting" on my bucket list):
The Wine Vault is in the Chelsea Market, which has some nice shops - and several bakeries
We were in NYC a few years back and saw TONS of Santas walking around. That must have been during SantaCon. lol
No clue about the Rocky Horror Picture show but another thing to check off my list is to have a sandwich at Bower Kitchen Supplies: http://blogs.villagevoice.com/forkintheroad/2011/04/our_10_best_thi_3.php?page=4
I highly recommend Fat Witch brownies http://www.fatwitch.com/index.html#replay while in Chelsea Market. And Dickson farmstands has some good sandwiches, as well --or just go for their hot dog with kimchi. http://www.dicksonsfarmstand.com/
As long as you mentioned sandwiches..........
I found this place, near Union Square, by accident. There was a line out on the sidewalk, and being of a nosy persuasian, I went to see what everyone was lining up to buy. It's a hole-in-the-wall place that does Cambodian sandwiches. They are GOOD.
I also like Tiny's Giant Sandwiches on the LES. I recommened the Big Mack Daddy.
NYC trivia: We have a Venetian gondola in Central Park. The gondolier even has a blog:
Everyone knows about our Lenin statue, right? He can be found on the roof of a building called "Red Square"
I was off tonight and went to a free talk at the NYPL, which has tons of events and classes. Info can be found here:
The talk I heard was an author flogging his book, "Up On the Roof". He was a good speaker and showed dozens of photos from the book. Quite interesting! I didn't buy a copy there because they only had one display copy and some old hag was hogging it and not letting anyone else get a peek. When I got home I checked if Amazon had it and promptly put it on my wish list. (maybe it will turn up under my Christmas tree)
When I came out of the library I stopped off in Bryant Park to buy a "throwdown wafel" (link in a previous post) and was approached by several men, asking if I was Jewish. Which could only mean the "Mitzvah Tank" was parked nearby. I'm sure most New Yorkers have come across it at one time or another. I'm not Jewish, and I certainly wouldn't pretend I was so that I could get inside their truck.
But does anyone know exactly what's in there? And what goes on inside? Inquiring minds want to know!
A former favorite place of mine, the Forbes Gallery:
Why "former"? Well, they used to have the largest collection of Faberge Easter eggs, and I came here many times to ogle them. But several years ago they sent them back to Russia.
However, entrance is free and they change the exhibits all the time. So if they have something that catches your eye, you may as well stop in and have a look.
If you're in that area, I suggest stopping in for a bite at Max Brenner:
They serve regular food, which is perfectly tasty, but I'd scratch that and just get dessert. I am a big fan of the Mexican hot chocolate.
One of my many fantasies is to go here with a large group and order ALL the desserts.
Marge - I've always wanted to see NYC at Christmas and specifically the creations in the shop windows. Is there any you like or is that too "touristy?"
Yes, it's seriously touristy.
I try to avoid midtown at all costs this time of year, because of all the slow-moving tourists that ogle the windows and clog up the sidewalks.
In fact, I think this was a great idea:
OTOH, I think anyone who lives or works in NYC and claims they don't look at the windows is lying through their teeth. We just do it during the week and early in the day when they aren't so mobbed. And I've always been partial to Lord & Taylor's window displays.
I am still waiting for someone to enlighten me about what goes on in a Mitzvah Tank. And since no one has advised me if I should go to see Rocky Horror, well, I'm just going to take the plunge and do it. If some twenty-something hipsters think I am a virgin and try to initiate me I will sneer and tell them I was attending the show before they were even born.
BTW, I was in Williamsburg earlier in the day and came across the Mast Chocolate shop:
There is a diabetic coma in my immediate future.
Twelve miles an hour? Great video! I actually think that is a good idea as I like to stroll.
I found something truly off-beat happening later today: a live ice-sculpture demonstration:
As I'm off tonight I just may go see this for myself.
BTW, the Unsilent Night was really cool.
We passed tons of Santas, many of whom joined our procession. By the time we got to Thompkins Square Park our original group had more than doubled. It was strangely hypnotic being in the middle of all the music.
Edited to add: Guys, the demo was fascinating and they are going to be there Tuesday, so go have a look if you are in the area.
I had no idea how ice sculptures were made and had the idea that people would be chipping away at blocks of ice with hammers and chisels. Mais non! Their equipment looked like props for "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" I hadn't meant to spend much time here as it had gotten rather nippy out but I got so absorbed I was there over an hour. There was a polar bear, a sea lion, a whole flock of penguins and an incredible sea dragon that was about 12 feet long. Check out this video:
We are in NYC! Today we wandered around the Financial District since we had to go down there for our marriage license. We ended up eating at a great restaurant in Chinatown called The Great New York Noodle. Excellent and very affordable. We also went and saw the 9/11 tribute. No idea what's on the agenda tonight or tomorrow but I'm taking notes from this thread!
Marge, if you happen to be reading this, any recommendations for a place to eat tonight? We are staying right near Rockefeller so it is very touristy and hard to find the good local spots.
Have you ever eaten at a place called Tree? It's in the lower east side I believe. We ate there last trip and I remember it fondly. You should add it to your list.
i just got back from nyc- and i loved all the windows and decor in the city! macy's bloomies- the tree at rocerkfeller center is fabulous- as are all the buildings done up on 5th ave- 34 street also had a buch done up and byrant park- i can go on and on..... you really have to see it!
We tried a place tonight called Fresco and it was just ok. I did have an amazing drink called a Green Jacket that was vodka, lime and basil! Yes, basil! Delicious. I wouldn't recommend for the food, though.
The RC area is full of horrid restuarants that cater to tourists. Walk over to 9th avenue instead, where there are more locals, fewer tourists, and much better food. Some favorites of mine:
Cara Mia, on 9th and 45th, has delicious pastas, reasonable prices, and very good service:
Nizza, on 9th and 44th, is a bit trendier and service is a bit slower. But the pizzas are nice and their socca is divine:
Balkanika, on 8th and 48th, has yummy Balkan food, very reasonable prices, and a great selection of wines. They also do take-out:
If you just want dessert, try Holey Cream on 9th and 52nd. Their homemade ice cream is delicious and their specialty is an ice cream sandwich made with a doughnut.:
A short walk from RC, but in the opposite direction, La Bonne Soupe is a cute place with good food at good prices. The service can be a little slow, but the crepes are yummy:
Don't forget to visit Magnolia Bakery! There's one right near RC, on 6th Ave and 49th:
If you need a nice place for dinner on the LES, try Kuma Inn, at 113 Ludlow (between Delancey and Rivington, not far from San Marzano)
The food is fabulous - Asian tapas dishes. make a reservation before you head down there, as the place is rather small.
I was in the vicinity of the Joyce Theatre (I saw the Trocks, who I mentioned in a previous post, and if you are in need of a good laugh you should get a ticket ASAP) and was scouting for a new place to eat dinner. I came across this terrific little place, Tea and Sympathy:
It's cute and cozy and the food was nice - but the desserts are even better. It was hard to choose, but I went with a banana cake with Nutella filling. Afterwards I checked out the food shop next door. The prices are much too high - if you are really craving any of that stuff, take the train up to Woodlawn, where you can get most of the same stuff right in C-Town at much lower prices. However, I did see something in the shop that C-Town does not carry, so I HAD to buy it. I will send a genuine NYC souvenier to the first person who guesses what I purchased.
The same people also own A Salt and Battery, on the same block:
I wouldn't eat fish on a bet, but the place was packed with people getting takeout, so they must be doing something right. I'll have to stop by another time and try the deep-fried Mars Bar, though.
Anyone who lives here and hasn't checked out the High Line should be ashamed to call themselves a New Yorker.
I am cursing you for sending me to this place.
I was completely bamboozled by the chocolate selection and could not decide which ones to buy. The owner, who, btw, is quite friendly and charming suggested a cookie instead....as there was not such a huge selection. Fine, I asked for a chocolate chip, which was large and looked full of chips and quite delicious. But wait! What was that lucious looking cookie next to it? Why, a chocolate covered chocolate chip cookie. I bought one. It was incredible. I will need Weight Watchers before the year is up.
Incidentally, if you are a licorice freak, this is the place for you. They've got about 50 varieties in there. Personally I think licorice is gross and I don't understand why anyone would want to eat it. But my dad adores the stuff, so I got him a nice selection. We can join Weight Watchers together.
If you'd like to join the loons, err, the people, who inaugurate the new year by taking a dip in the ocean, information is here:
Fantastic museum on W 107th St that you've probably never heard of:
I'd never heard of Roerich myself, and was shamed into checking this out by my Russian coworker, who was shocked at my ignorance. The museum is fantastic, and they often have free concerts, check their events schedule.
If you are in that neck of the woods, you really should visit the Cathedral of St John the Divine:
I am Catholic, but have been known to attend Evensong here because they have a lovely choir. The "Vertical Tour" is not to be missed.
And, since I have trouble posting about an attraction without mentioning a place to eat nearby, check out the Hungarian Pastry Shop, right across the street from the church:
If you want a real meal, Turkuaz is in the same area. The food is really nice and they have belly dancing on the weekends
We ate at an amazing place called Diablo Royale. It is Mexican. I can't remember exactly where it was located but I think it was more the lower west side near Greenwhich? The grilled fish taco was amazing. I never eat fish but they brought me one by accident instead of steak so I tried it. I highly suggest it. Very loud place but good food and margaritas.
It's the West Village. I'm putting it on my bucket list.
The Big Onion has the best walking tours in NYC, and I recommend them for tourists and natives alike. I've taken about a dozen, and usually I'm the only native, which is kind of sad. I always learn new stuff on their tours. My favorites are the Chinatown tour, Immigrant NYC, and the best - the multi-ethnic eating tour.
Doesn't anyone want to venture a guess as to what British food item I purchased?
Yesterday I went to the Guggenheim Museum. I go to events AT the Guggenheim often, I hadn't actually been IN the Guggenheim in around 10 years. So a visit was overdue. Unfortunately the place was mobbed, half of NYC had the same idea I did: go to a museum on a snowy day.
The Guggenheim is a must-see if you enjoy modern art (alas, I really don't) and the building itself is amazing. However, the best reason to visit is for Works & Process.
These are performances/discussions, usually by dance companies, but also opera and theatre. The auditorium is tiny, so you really get "up close and personal" with the performers. The performances sell out quickly, so you usually need to buy tickets the day they go on sale. The website doesn't tell you this, but after the performances there is a free buffet (wine, finger sandwiches, cookies) and the performers usually mingle with the guests.
2013 schedule is here:
I recently discovered this tiny but delicious place, which is within walking distance:
2 years ago when I was in Obertsdorf, I ate this amazing thing called flammenkuchen, and was highly peeved that I could not find it in NYC. But then I discovered that it goes by another name, tarte flambee. So I had to investigate this place. Yum, yum.
Hey, now I feel like I got robbed at the Guggenheim! We went into the some of the Works and Process rooms but it was just art being displayed by other people. No performers and certainly no food! Were they still doing the Black and White Picasso? I was happy to see real Picasso's but I was very disappointed that the entire museum was all his work (minus those extra rooms) and even worse it was all in black and white. After about 10 minutes I was done and ready to race to the bottom. At least I was smart enough to know to start at the top and work our way down. I learned that modern art is not for me. Next time we are going to the Museum of Natural History. Our friends went and said they liked it and they said they could have easily spent an entire day in there and not seen it all, much more bang for your buck. We were in and out of the Guggenheim within 30 minutes, easy.
The Picasso black and white is still there. While I think Picasso was a genius, I would never hang any of his paintings on my walls; they would give me nightmares.
I'm not sure what else you saw (the Kandinsky thing?) but W&P's take place in the downstairs auditorium, there weren't any scheduled yesterday.
I used to adore the Natural History museum when I was a kid; I remember taking lots of school trips there. About 2 years ago I decided to re-visit and see if it was as good as I remembered, but it wasn't. It was boring and fusty and in need of a facelift. The planetarium is pretty cool, though, and they usually have good films in the IMAX theatre. Info here:
I'd find space for this one.
If you've never seen the 3 Kings Parade, you should! Info here:
And don't forget the Chinese New Year parade next month:
This website has great info about NYC's Chinatown:
Do you like cream puffs? Then you MUST visit Beard Papa's (no, not a typo!) when you're on the Upper West Side:
Schnipper's, near Port Authority, has pretty decent food, considering they are basically a fast-food joint. But the real reason to check them out: they make purple cows. If you don't know what a purple cow is, you must be much younger than I am.