Hi. Just want to share my trip to interested readers and foodies.
I've been to the city a million times and go as often as possible, so I tend to visit the same places I know and love and incorporate a few new places each time. There are some ritualistic "musts" for me though.
Stayed in Chinatown as I usually prefer, in a hotel (Best Mayor) this time instead of renting a private apt or room (Craigslist or airbnb.com to do this). Loved the location deep down Chinatown on Division under the Manhattan Bridge. Great spot for midnight walks and photos. Very nice staff. Uncomfortable beds, place was NOT sterile. Saw a pube in the shower, stared at it the entire time I showered while trying not to vom.
First snack on way to lunch (all musts): Espresso from Gimme on Mott, Tai Pan Bakery on Canal (green tea sweethearts and walnut bars). Ferrara's (cannoli- it is the best cannoli in the city even tho the place down the street was voted #1, we tried theirs too, no good). Then lunch at my fave cheapo place, House of Vegetarian on Mott (steak kew, steamed dumplings, fried spring rolls, three of us ate for like $13 total). I love chinatown! Now to Washington Square Park.
This year, for the first time, I watched the 20th annual Dyke March which heads south down 5th ave and ends at WSP. We were at the end by the park. It was amazing and every dyke should see this at least once.
Romped around. Ate a quick slice for dinner, nothing worth mentioning. Headed to Amsterdam Billiards so my pool loving friend could ck it out.
Day of pride: Tai Pan breakfast again. Stopped at Henrietta Hudson then stood at the corner of Christopher and Hudson for about 6 hours for the pride parade which was spectacular. NYC turned it out!!! A must for any LGBTQ, trust me. Later that night Cubby Hole, I love this place and always meet such nice people there. The place is always packed. Great lady watching. Love walking around this hood too. Soooo old New York.
Sunday Breakfast: My love, Russ & Daughters on East Houston. Everything bagel, caviar cream cheese, Gaspe salmon, capers, onion, tomato. Also tried a seasonal smoked smelt. Dried fruit. Several additional slices of pastrami salmon. I call this place the mothership..Mecca... Bought a huge chunk of chocolate babka for later (was the best, super moist).
Without going through my day by day for all the vaca, here's some other stuff I do, did and are musts:
Stayed a few days at a friends in Chelsea half a block from the highline. The highline is so beautiful, so urban, it is a magical escape. The smell of wild grass mixed with that distinct NYC air. Perfection. Great to walk in the morning or to photo after dark. Coffee and espresso at the cart at the end under the tunnel portion is excellent.
Union Square Market is great for veggies, talk to the guy who sells honey. The bee hives are set up all over the city on rooftops in various areas. Cool.
I'm a huge Batalli fan and had an insane 3 hour lunch at Esca several years ago. However I always go to Casa Mono (on E17) a bottle of Botoni (again, trust me here) the Mojama with duck egg and truffled potatoes, pulpo, crudo, various sides. Ended with olive oil ice cream, beyond amazing and still talked about daily) and a gift of melon sorbetto with kumquats (I died).
The olive oil ice cream was so insanely good (I duplicated it the day I got home from NY-served with drizzle of salt and strawberries with balsamic reduction) that we went to Otto (5th by WSP) the next night for it AND got the lemon pound cake with lavender gelato. The ooic at Otto is served with passion fruit granita, lime curd, and strawberries. WOW!
New discovery: Three of Cups (1st Ave & 5th) so good we went twice (arugula salad with lemon olive oil & puttanesca had enough wonderful thick sauce for a whole other meal). Stop at the Dual specialty store at 91 1st ave to stock up on packaged foodie things to take home (made papadam from there at midnight last night). Try the dried mango coated in chili. Buy more than 1 bag. Also the dried papaya was the best I ever had and the candied ginger was super hot.
Another new and really great restaurant we tried was on 1st and 6th (forgot the name but it's on the corner) great great great Indian. Garlic nan was light and really tasty, Palak paneer was best I ever had.
Garden of Eden on W23 I always like to stop at, once there you will immediately see why. Buy the truffled Brie to take back to where your staying for a snack. Pairs well with a light rice cracker and a crisp white wine as you discuss what you will do when you head out again.
Now for sightseeing: I love cemeteries so I typically always go to St.Pauls Chapel right across from WTC. I read that it's the oldest building in continuous public use in the city. The tombstones are breathtaking as is the inside.
Trinity Church (Bway & Wall) again, amazing architecture and tombstones. My grandfather had taken me a few days earlier to Weehawken, NJ to Hamilton Park to see where the infamous duel between Hamilton and Burr took place, so I now got to see where Hamilton was buried (and his wife). He lost the duel in case you aren't familiar, it's a very interesting story. And if you are not familiar with Hamilton Park, you can see the whole West coast of the island from this park from Uptiwn to Downtown. It's world class photography taking on NYC and stunning to watch at sundown. I will def go back.
The oldest Jewish cemetary, Shearith Israel, it's so tiny now but still worth a look, it dates from about 1650ish if I'm not mistaken. In Chinatown heading towards the Seaport.
Google the 2 marble cemeteries.
Financial District/seaport area has a lot of great old red brick buildings and history so it's a great place to wander around. Went to Fraunces Tavern for the first time this trip. Touristy I know but I'm a total sucker for history. The snack of truffled fries sucked. Not hot and not really truffly. Beautiful inside though. Loved the lights over the back bar and the nooks n crannies of each room were really nice.
I have a lot of historical NY books so I like to walk and see the architecture and compare how things looks in the past to now so I usually spend my days walking to look at each street and stopping to snack on the amazing food the city offers. Loved the E17& E18 streets this trip.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention a new discovery. So I'm in love with mojama, which I told you I always order at Casa Mono. The server told me where they get it, right downtown!!! So there was no way I was leaving without taking some home. It's an amazing little Spanish shop at 408 Broome in Soho called de Espania. Eat lunch there and taken some goodies home. I took home a pound (thick uncut chunk sealed in airtight package) of mojama and a great Spanish blue cheese that my 7 year old loves. We ate a veggie sandwich and a great little cod cake with a bechemel sauce and red peppers. Melted in my mouth. Also took home a sweet vinegar. There are samples of everything, meats, cheeses, olives, oils, vinegars, sweets, fruit pastes. I will be back. Am saving a lunch for this place. They have a wine store immediately next door (super helpful staff) so we took home a recommended bottle which we are saving until next month, just because.
I tend to spend a significant amount of time in the West Village and love to see historical homes such as Grove Court and the Twin Peaks. Commerce Street is a quiet favorite of mine. I'm dying to live in those homes in the interior corner just next to the Cherry Lane Theater. Had drinks at 50 Commerce last year. Yummy. Pricey tho. Great vintage drinks menu.
I'll be exploring Hester Street a bit more next trip, building by building, and also where my great great grandparents lived when they arrived from Europe (sadly I forgot to bring the address with me this trip so I didn't get to see that space). I'm also planning to ck out Brooklyn Heights architecture and walk the promenade. I have just done Crown Heights in the past to go to Shul (loved it).
Hope you enjoyed my tour. I know I can't fit everything I do or did this trip into this post because the city is just so freaking amazing and I'm in love with it. Every inch of it. Saving my wampum to buy there and die there.