I went to NY to visit N!! It was my second time in NY city but my first time as an adult. What an energizing trip! I wanted to share everything I saw with Mr. Siren so i snapped, snapped away with the camera, returning with 186 photos. I rode up on the bus which went straight from Dupont Circle to Penn Station, no stops, and it was only $42 round trip. N came to meet me at the stop and I waited for her for about 30 minutes. It was 11:30 p.m. on a Friday night and the city was ALIVE, people out walking in big crowds, lights flashing, traffic buzzing around- I was activated and ready to go after the 5 hour bus ride . . . whoo hoo!
We had so much fun, walking around all weekend nonstop. N lives in Harlem and she taught me how to ride around on the subway although I don't really understand it yet. But I do have a level of comfort with it, at least. On Day 1 we went to Chinatown. There are lots of things to see in Chinatown, such as:
1) TONS OF FOOD ON THE SIDEWALK, Like fresh produce (weird stuff, too), and FISH of all kinds
2) CHEAP KNOCKOFF sunglasses, handbags, jewelry, etc. etc. (I got a $5 pair of sunglasses, a new purse for $20, and some nice gold leaf earrings for $5. See how much you can afford in NY when your bus ticket was only $42?)
3) BUCKETS OF FROGS
Then we went to Little Italy! I had heard about this great place for pizza from a coworker and was looking forward to a slice and a glass of wine all day. We thought to confirm with a shop owner that the recommended place was not a tourist trap and he sent us to a spot called Sal's pizza instead. It was like something out of a Billy Joel song- not touristy at all, no cafe street-side tables, just a hole in the wall joint with red-checked table cloths and a buncha photos on the wall. 2 slices each, a salad to share, and a carafe of house wine = $40 total. Can't beat it! We made friends with Enzo the baker and I think I have to go back there every time I visit NYC.
But before we ever got to rest our weary feet and get tipsy on wine and sated by slices, we took a nice little tour around the neighborhood. Little Italy has all kinds of shops with meat hanging up and cheese hanging up.
One window even had a little display with ships made out of cheese wheels and rinds. In one of the shops I got some amazing 12 y/o authentic balsamic vinegar- not the fake stuff- for under $20, imported direct from "the boot." We also got some little rice balls with meat in the center for a snack. Mmm.
And then we were off to see a Broadway show. A Chorus Line, starring Mario Lopez! You will not be able to see it, as it was the final week of performances and it is never to return. How lucky we were! We had great seats up in the balcony. On the way we passed the usual policewoman on horseback and stopped into the Mariott for a $15.00 MARTINI! I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT.
Next day was lounging around in Central Park. Now, Central Park is strange. To me. It is really a "grass beach." No, i did not hear anyone there call it a grass beach, i thought of that myself. I'm sure someone else has called it that, though. Because everyone in the section we were in was stripped down to their bathing suit, laid out on a towel, and had a friend or loved one rubbing suntan oil all over them. There were groups of scantily-clad folks engaged in athletic activities. And there were plenty of perverts to go around, delighting in the opportunities to pretend to read books while staring up every available crotch in sight.
Then in the evening we both experienced something wonderful: DIM SUM! A little place in Chinatown called Nice Green Bo restaurant. We walked past all of the same stuff from yesterday, except this time, the shopowners were tossing fish juice on our feet as we passed and we had to wipe them off once or twice. Ick! At Nice Green Bo we had tea, chow fun with cabbage and pork, some incredible sauteed or fried green beans, pork soup dumplings, and scallion pancakes and guess how much it all was? Guess? $20.00 TOTAL!!! I love NYC!!!
The soup dumplings were just ok, in N and my opinions. According to reviews when the restaurant used to be New Green Bo they were incredible and they have changed, and I think that fried dumplings would have been better, but you can't really pass up soup dumplings when offered. Still, next time I would pass at this place. Everything else was truly, truly amazing. The best scallion pancake I have ever had in my life. The chow fun we got was not on the menu. The green beans were out of this world if maybe a tiny bit too salty. Made ya thirsty for that tea!
The next morning we hit the Museum of Natural History before I boarded the bus back to D.C., but I'll post that in awhile since this post has taken forever!!