Archive for March, 2015

Nanook of the North – NYC Day 10

Posted: March 3, 2015 in Travel

Last full day in NYC dawned fine but the forecast was a bit grim with snow coming back in after lunch. And these guys are never wrong. So out for a hearty breakfast. All these mornings I have been walking 8 blocks to Little Collins and there is a very fine Lexington Brass next door! After the 17 egg omelette I now know why I opt for the smaller breakfast and good walk usually. But you know when in NYC – have a heart attack and die early. The clouds were starting to roll in already and thought I heard thunder but to be fair could have been my stomach. Couple of final gifts to purchase and a general walk around with not much planned as such. Last days can be a bit of a wasteland if not well planned and this was shaping up likely. Still am sure something unique will happen. I may not have a drink for example.

Walked rather aimlessly for a couple of hours, saw Empire State yada yada yada , got a few forgettable souvenirs but it wasn’t a total waste of time. As pulled out camera to take a picture of Grand Central realized the image looked odd and then remembered I had set White Balance to “tungsten light” to take shot inside McGee’s Pub yesterday. And left that setting on. Kinda explains why the subsequent Central Park shots had a bluish hue. I may have discovered something here.(The first two photos demonstrate effect) Of course walking home with an “I Love NYC” plastic bag bearing gifts also means you are going to be accosted by hustlers and beggars – even more than usual. At least the hot women still appear totally indifferent. My metro card expired yesterday and if need arises will simply buy a single fare later but its looking like a quiet day all round. The other thing I learnt yesterday about the Subway is you cant enter twice within 18 minutes. (Isn’t that why they created Viagra?). So with smaller stations there may be only one entrance for the uptown or downtown – make sure you know where you are going before swiping. You may end up going down when you didn’t want to and we all know that can leave a bitter taste in your mouth.

The snow was a bit late arriving, not showing up until around 3 pm. This could mean only one thing – time for one last trip to laundary. Then catch up on some TV shows. This Time Warner Cable is great but right about now would swap for Netflix so could watch me some House of Cards. That should just leave one last venture out into the snow for some dinner and that last beer in NYC. Or last couple…..

Off to Philly tomorrow late morning on Amtrak. Its been an amazing 10 days especially with the weather changes being everything I had hoped for. As have found out previously travelling solo does limit some activities especially at night. No, not what you are thinking but rather meals and shows! I will have to get a bit more motivated in Philly and venture out for a nice meal if the weather picks up a few degrees. Very easy to slip into the pub meal culture. I was also a bit slack and didn’t get out to Queens or explore Brooklyn more as I had planned.

Not that there is anything wrong with that Jerry. As someone near and dear once said “You are on holidays ya clown, you can do whatever you want”. Actually she may have said it three times before it sank in and the clip around the ear helped enormously.

Highlights? In no particular order

1. Daily Show live taping. A long and rewarding bonding experience shared with many but especially one odd little Pom.

2. Central Park on a clear blue day after snow. Or during snow. Its a stunning place

3. Standing in middle of Brooklyn Bridge on a freezing cold morning taking in the wonderful vista

4. The two Soprano locations – Holstens and Bada Bing

5. Discovering beer tastes good anywhere and Pubs are always warm and welcoming. And that I can walk on ice half cut at night.

Its only been 10 days but feel like I have aged a year.

Oh that’s right, I did.

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Nanook of the North – NYC Day 9

Posted: March 2, 2015 in Travel

Well the snow stopped overnight which just left the sludge. The walking boots were not really doing the trick as a tad tight for prolonged walking. Would have to rely on the ever reliable Dunlop Volleys OC and try to avoid potholes. When in NYC always like to experience something uniquely New York each day if possible. Today was vegemite. Yuck! You Aussies. The forecast was for the cloud to clear later in day so decided to head down to Wall Street first and try not to fall ass over tit in the financial district. That would be ironic actually given how Q Super is going gangbusters. Off to Battery Park first and look at the Old Lady just standing there. She was obstructing my view of the Statue of Liberty so eventually I had to ask her to fuck off. Politely in a NY way. Briefly tempted for a trip on the Staten Island Ferry but it looked cold out there and hey it was plenty cold right here. By now the bladder was calling and saw me old mate Gregorys Coffee across the road so wandered up to counter and asked for my now standard small Cortado. “Where are the restrooms my good fellow?” “We don’t have restrooms Sir” Say what! Ok to plan B, now with slightly fuller bladder. Cosi café was a street away so went in there when confirmed they had a restroom but didn’t want any more coffee so ended up with a small bowl of oatmeal of all things! On a side note from the Sopranos Tour it was interesting to track my need to find a toilet compared to about 10 people on the bus and their nicotine craving. Lots of wasted cigarettes around NJ that day. So then sauntered up to a few regular sites like The Bull and Stock Exchange before thinking it was time to take the 4 ‘Express” home for a rest as I had indeed found some potholes. Now I did get an actual true NYC experience. The 75 minutes express subway over 4 stations. Stuck in a stationary carriage with a large group of people and dressed up like NotN was not fun trust me. Apparently there was a Police incident further ahead on the uptown track – thinks some donuts had fallen on to the track or something. So finally made it home and time to watch some premiere Good Wife at last from last night. Jules Magilla reminded me it was time to step up my stalking of one Ms Fey. The sun was peeking through. Some lunch, a nanna nap and then off to CP and upper West side to see if Strawberry Fields still exists and look longingly up at a certain someone’s apartment.

First up then a stop off at McGees Pub which was…. wait for it….ok. Expensive, warmish beer really. Walk past the Soup Nazi. Now not sure how I missed it the other 47 times but I IMAGINE it was snow blindness. Strawberry Fields is alive and well – when not invaded by Japanese tourists. Once again a simply glorious afternoon and hard to stop taking pictures of Central Park. A quick squiz at The Dakota and then onto Tina territory. I should have phoned ahead of course and she would have met me at the door but phone had frozen again. Finally a quick subway up to Tom’s Restaurant for a perfectly ordinary coffee but rather fetching blueberry muffin. And some photos. Couldn’t look away from The Kramer.

One full day to go and nothing planned really. Snow may return later, only time will tell

Now to find a new Pub for this evening’s drinkies. No rest for the thirsty.

toast

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Nanook of the North – NYC Day 8

Posted: March 1, 2015 in Travel

After a somewhat disturbed night’s sleep for other reasons I limped out of bed early but not so bright and checked the weather forecast. Around here you only have to wait 5 minutes for a weather update. In general these folk have a better set of darts than our boys back home and are generally accurate and were still sticking to their forecast of snow this afternoon after a cool cloudy morning. So kicked off with a bit of TV on demand first to catch up – this time it was Justified. A lot of people say I remind them of Raylan because of my laid back easy going charm. I think its because I have always Givens so much to others.

Its fair to say big cities and me don’t really mix time wise. I am ready to go early but they are still sleeping in. Given that the afternoon was looming as a possible “seek out dark paneled rooms and take a seat” type of day I decided to head down to where the Hipster Dufi congregate and do some walking. This would JUSTIFY the inevitable drinking later. See what I did there? So first stop was Chelsea to pack my meat and get High on the Line. Very quiet indeed so having gone from one end to other time for some breakfast and first actual sit down big breakfast of trip at Bubby’s. Standard fare, good service. Then check out the Chelsea Markets – which of course were not open yet. No matter. Oddly enough in such a big city I bumped into two ladies from the Brooklyn foodies tour. To say they were thrilled would be a major understatement. Not much else to do after that though so back to 23rd Street Station and into Greenwich Village. It was still a bit early for any really life yet and from Foodie tour knew Katz Deli was only about 3 k away thought I would walk it. In keeping with the bleak weather forecast for later on I headed off down BLEECKER Street. Have you folk caught on it? At least a good 40 minute walk but no matter as all part of the plan. KD was very quiet and wanting to sit at the famous table but feeling still as full as a state school hat rack I opted for the only real but knowingly poor option of a ‘cappuccino”. The paper cup was kinda indicative of the whole brief experience but I did get requisite photo and a chance to look at all the framed photos on walls. Then the walk back to GW which was still rather dead so hopped on subway for trip home. By now the ankle needed a rest anyway.

Right on cue it started snowing at midday. Ok no biggie , a quick lunch than a nanna nap. By 2:30 pm still coming down quite well and this was starting to cramp my drinking plans. When apartment Keurio coffee machine largely comes with “Starbucks Breakfast Blend Strength 4” Pods you knew there was not going to be a lot of joy there either. There was refuge out there but one still had to get there if only two streets away. Lets not rush this though so sat down and watched some Honda Classic Golf

At least after 4 pm it would be Happy Hour

So headed out about 4:30 pm with suitable attire and really was rather amazing the difference. After two beautiful clear days have to say this afternoon’s snow was just icing on the cake for the whole NYC Winter experience I was seeking. I had done my research and nearest Pub was only a short sleigh ride away. A few beers, a hamburger and watch the NBA game Cavs V Rockets. Perfect. Stopped at 3 beers as still had to negotiate the walk home on ice and sludge. Mind you that is 3 full strength Pints ! Liking Brooklyn Lager and Samuel Adams Cold Snap .Gotta say I love the NYC bar scene – always warm and welcoming with a good selection of beers on Tap and cheap meals. My waist line is less enamoured but that is a problem to deal with back in Maryhole. After all when am I likely to return to NYC by myself

Seriously I want to know 🙂

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