Wednesday, 11 November 2015

New York New York!

Room with a view!

My first introduction to New York was through watching old movies on TV when I was a kid.  I was hooked.
I still think of New York in the same way.  Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Bette Davis, Jimmy Cagney....Broadway, Tiffany's and Audrey Hepburn...these things stay with us.  Of course New York isn't a fairy tale city, but you see what you want to see and I want to see 'The Great White Way', the Rockettes, and Radio City Music Hall. (I'm not totally stuck in the era before I was born - I also love Manhattan and Annie Hall.  I know I know....they're not new either but I have trouble with anything post-Impressionist so I think this is pretty good).

Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night!
The sheer size of New York is enough to make most people gawk. The doormen have doormen, the shops have bouncers, and the taxi drivers are terrifying.  As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure the cabbies are the main reason Coney Island isn't more successful. Why go to Brooklyn for a roller-coaster when you can hail a Yellow Taxi and have a stomach-turning ride without leaving  Manhattan?

There are the guys on the street corners selling hats, scarves and bags. I love that. I appreciate a bit of entrepreneurial effort even if the sellers do look like they're ready to fold up shop and make a run for it. Less bricks and mortar more wheels and cover if you know what I mean. I was up for buying a tote bag - you can never have too many and shopping on the corner at night has a certain 'je ne sais quoi'.  However, the $15.00 cheap bags are now $55.00 cheap bags so I passed. They're forcing me to buy at legit stores and there's no thrill in that.

Macy's escalators.  Cool!
The city has a wonderful mix of old and new. Wood and brass, metal and glass. A good example is Macy's, a gorgeous department store but they keep the wooden escalators.  There's something special about that. This is also where the real Santa goes when not at the North Pole.  If you doubt me just watch 'Miracle on 34th Street' or 'Elf'.

Our main purpose for visiting NY this time was to attend the annual Print Fair at the Park Avenue Armory where we spent our entire day.  If you love prints this is the event to catch  international dealers and publishers displaying the best of the best.  Heaven.

The following day we managed to squeeze in:

The Morgan Library and Museum

Having little time for museums this time we had to be selective on what to see. Although you can't go wrong with The Met, MOMA, Guggenheim etc., the Morgan Library and Museum is stunning and less crowded. We saw two exhibitions - 'Matisse and the Book Arts' and 'Hemingway Between Two Wars'. Both excellent. We also visited  Pierpont Morgan's study and the original library.

Morgan Library
Argosy Book Store
116 E. 59th

The  oldest independent book shop in NY.  Stacks and stacks of books.  And stacks.

Times Square

Excess to beat all excess and it's amazing. There's a buzz from the crowds and the brightest lights you'll ever experience. You really don't have to do anything other than just be there!

We had no plans for restaurants but here's where we ended up:

Applejack  Diner
1725 Broadway at the corner of 55th Street

Who goes to New York and doesn't eat at a diner?  This one is family owned and serves breakfast all day for those of you who sleep in (and I wish I fell into that category)!

Ceci Italian Bar and Restaurant
46 W. 46th

Great food, service and atmosphere.  On top of that, they have a gluten free menu and the GF tastes like real food! Even warm bread! We'll go back.

Ellen's Stardust Diner
1650 Broadway (51st Street)

We just stumbled on this restaurant and stopped in for breakfast.  Who knew you could have live entertainment with bacon and eggs?  The singing waiters and waitresses (waitstaff sounds too weird) are super talented.

Like Paris, New York is a great walking city.  Just walk, look, discover.  I can hardly wait for next time!

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