Destination: New York
Mode of Transport: Local’s guide to food and travel in NYC – Part 2
“M” is for Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Perched up on the 5th Avenue and 82nd Street is New York’s answer to Paris’ Louvre, Florence’s Uffizi, St. Petersburg’s Hermitage, Madrid’s Prado and London’s National Gallery. Grand stairs take you to the large doors that bring you to the Great Hall, from there you can choose to start at any of the three wings of the museum. As a New Yorker who has visited many times, I can’t help but feel in awe of the range and depth of great art I was fortunate enough to appreciate; as will you.
Also recently opened, a few blocks east is an off-shoot named the Met Breuer, which specializes in modern installations. One of the best, if you are lucky to catch it is the work of Diane Arbus, American photographer, known for her capture of the peculiar side of humanity, such as her photos of circus performers and the seedier side of New York.
Open 7 Days a Week
Sunday–Thursday: 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.*
Friday and Saturday: 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.*
Closed Thanksgiving Day, December 25, January 1, and the first Monday in May
“N” is for NoLita.
Our neighborhood. Our daughter has lived in this neighborhood all her life. The name of the neighborhood is an acronym for North of Little Italy, but it’s really just Old Little Italy and Northern Chinatown. I think it’s a cool name, and it seems that everyone else feels the same because everyone wants to live here now and the rents have skyrocketed. The vibe, however, hasn’t changed much. It’s still a nice hybrid of gritty and sophisticated. Apropos, considering that the neighborhood sits between the Bowery and SoHo. If there was one personality that can best embody this neighborhood, I guess it would be Lou Reed. Like the neighborhood, he was polished and didn’t give a shit all at the same time. Where there are people, businesses are sure to follow. There is no shortage of great eateries, there seems to be one popping up every day, and they are all good. Do a little boutique shopping, or do a bit of a pub crawl, or just hang out at one of the cafes, like “Sant Ambroeus” on Lafayette St. and laze the day away. If there is such a thing as a “Left Bank” in New York, it would be here.”
“O” is for One World Trade.
Recently, we were fortunate enough to have been invited by a tour group named Walks of New York to preview a new tour their launching on the new One World Trade Center. We have never been tourists in our own town, so we thought it was a good opportunity. We met on the humble grounds of St. Paul’s Chapel, the oldest commercial building in New York. It sits just a few yards from where the original Twin Towers once stood. On that one day in September, this little chapel held it’s ground, with all it’s walls and stained glass miraculously unblemished while everything else, literally and figuratively was crashing down around it. It’s been a beacon of faith and hope since 1764, played that same role on 9/11/01, and continues to do so until this day. It doesn’t mind being in the shadows of the new colossal figure behind it. In fact, I think it’s preferred. Akin to a father deferring accolade to his son. The new One World Trade Center is simply spectacular. On that one day in September, this little chapel held it’s ground, with all it’s walls and stained glass miraculously unblemished while everything else, literally and figuratively was crashing down around it. It’s been a beacon of faith and hope since 1764, played that same role on 9/11/01, and continues to do so until this day. It doesn’t mind being in the shadows of the new colossal figure behind it. In fact, I think it’s preferred. Akin to a father deferring accolade to his son. The new One World Trade Center is simply spectacular.
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Everything about it is done to perfection. Every moment we spent there was purely enjoyable. It boasts the best views of New York City and its boroughs, there are also iPads that you can rent and use as a guide during your stay. The iPad’s know exactly where you are in the building and what you might be viewing. Interested in something you see, just point your iPad in that direction and you’ll get all the information you need on that site. It’s a place that focuses in on forward movement versus looking back into the past. One World Trade is quite possibly the greatest structure ever built, and as New Yorkers we were brought to tears and adulation upon visiting it.
We were proud to have such a symbol of resilience. There is so much more to talk about, but I don’t want to spoil it for you. You will have to see it yourself. If you start feeling a little peckish, there’s the cafe on the observation deck, where you can enjoy the panoramic views, or you can head down 102 flights and walk over to the nearby Wall Street area where you’ll find gems like Fraunces Tavern, where George Washington supposedly liked hanging out and Delmonico’s Steakhouse, where one can have a steak and a scotch, just like J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie did. One World Trade is the City’s newest landmark, set on the City’s oldest streets. Visiting this site and the area around it, is the city’s history in a nutshell.
“P” is for Pastrami Queen.
With the closing of Carnegie Deli, New York and it’s food culture landscape is forever hanged. However, New York, of all places, will never be short of great Jewish Delis. One of the best and overlooked is the Pastrami Queen, located on Lexington Avenue and 78th. In our book, it’s the most authentic of the offerings (sorry Katz’s). This 6 table establishment serves up, what we think, the best pastrami in the city. If you are fortunate enough to get a seat, it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to be seated next to a Nobel Prize recipient, a comedian, or a fashion icon. At the end, who cares, they’ll all be looking as ungracious as you will be while trying to devour a great New York Jewish delicacy.
Have you been to any of these spots in NYC? Do you have anything to add to our list? Do tell us in the comments, we’d love to know your experiences!
We were guests of Walks of New York. Words and thoughts all ours.
Local’s Travel TIP: Right before leaving on our Long-Term travels, we decided to treat ourselves to a few staycations in NYC because we had been staying at Brenda’s parents’ house for 6 months, in NJ. There were nights that we were just too tired to trek our way home. The hotel we enjoyed the most was the Grand Hyatt in Midtown, which is so close to everything and conveniently located next to Grand Central.