CUWAM : The Big Apple…Biting off more than I can chew

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I have returned from an epic day, 11 hours of hitting the NYC pavement, walking from 1st Street to 57th Street  and then some, getting lost numerous times, pacing the same streets twice, some three times, guide book in hand…an momentous day, and one I will look back on with fond memories…right now I am just tired, my back is sore and I am slightly sunburnt.

 My thoughts my first return to last nights meal of Dumplings….outstanding….No need for gimmicks at this Dumpling house, there was no Chinese Andre Rieu like at my fav dumpling house from Sydney, just good food, plain and simple…I went for the mixed vegetarian dumpling plate….And a colourful assortment of steamed goodies were presented, ranging from pink, green, orange and pale white dumplings. Reminiscent of a Cadbury Box of Roses…they were a delight.

The waiter at Dim Sum Go Go  provided lessons on how to eat them…They were NOT to be doused in soy sauce, Sydney style, rather dipped in a sweet / sour sauce that tasted Vietnamese in origin, then you were to dress each dumpling with a mix of pickled ginger and pop it in your mouth…Pure Dumpling heaven…I would recommend anyone who is a fan of dumpling goodness to go go to Dim Sum Go Go….

And now to day three in the Big Apple, and a conscious decision was made to stay on Manhattan Island today, there would be no side tripping to Brooklyn ( though the desire was strong) First stop breakfast, and after my guide book, the Time Out Shortlist guide to NYC proved so successful last night, I followed its advice again for breakfast in the Lower East Side.

Clinton Street Baking Company…I went there for the buttermilk pancakes….it was what my guide suggested ….but I was still rather full from last nights feast and knew that it would be a stretch to get through a pancake stack….But I could not be reasoned with…One serve of banana and walnut buttermilk pancakes with maple butter syrup please…..

With a strong black coffee in tow, the mission to complete my plate of food was aborted at the half way mark…Despite this, I was rather pleased with my efforts….Not only was the meal good, but so was the café company, I got talking to fellow breakfast buddy Gary, about the abundance of good eating options available in NYC, the pace of life in the city and the overwhelming site seeing opportunities available to visitors….

With enough fuel in by body to see me through till Christmas ( and calories and fat no doubt) I took to the streets, determined to find my first site seeing attractions for the day: the High Line.

The High Line is essentially a high rise park, an abandoned freight train track providing the framework for a modern day oasis for the NY citizens and tourist alike. With the sun shining, it was the perfect day to get amongst its splendour. Doing what I do best, listening into conversations, I heard one local remark with such passion, it almost bordered on aggression ‘ This is simple ingenious’

And the High line is…taking was essentially a large portion of a disused raised railway track, that no longer had a purpose, and turning it into living, breathing green recreational area for a city and its people that live their lives in what can best be described as a concrete jungle.

I walked through the tree line railway tracks, which are now walking paths…floating above the NY street pavement, giving me a new perspective on the city skyline and making me feel like I was part of it …creating ample photo opportunities and allowing for playful camera work….To put it simply…I loved it and would recommend it.

So thank you to my godfather Greg for suggesting this attraction to me, and to the New Yorker on the subway, who when I asked her for directions on day one, suggested if I only do one this in New York, the High Line should be it.

On leaving this floating paradise, I rejoined the throngs of people who had come out for the day….And perhaps I should have stayed sky high, because my decent to earth was underwhelming or rather was overdone….

I headed on foot to midtown, Time Square, Madison Square Gardens, shopped on Fifth Avenue, visited the Theatre District, Hells Kitchen….And not only was I there…but 1000’s of other people as well….It was too much for this girl who had spent the last two days wondering in aimlessly through the streets of Brooklyn, with probably another 500 people ( a manageable number!!)

But don’t get me wrong, there were highlights, but my trek simply confirmed, that for me, Time Square and the like are not the NY I now love, rather the NY I would be happier to admire from afar.

Highlights- eating a key lime pie in the 1950’s inspired bakery,Bills in Chelsea….Devine….Window shopping two other bakeries with similar themes American home made treats, Amy’s Bread in Hells Kitchen and Crumb found between 8th Ave and Broadway.

Shopping in Tiffany’s on Fifth Ave…for my friend, JK, who asked me to replace her lost 30th b’day gift, a sterling silver infinity chain…Why not!! A chance to get enter this iconic jewellery store and actually by something was an offer I could not refuse….It was there that I used the bathroom, see photo I could no resist ( bathroom 3 times as big as Bowery Accommodation!!)

More shopping at my favourite store, Urban Outfitters and eating a packet of corn chips from the ever present drug store, Duane Reed…a pharmacy that sells so much junk food it should be illegal!!

Dinner was enjoyed, rather devoured and the Time Out recommended, Baoguette, a small restaurant at St Marks Place, 2nd Ave. Specialising in baguettes, it was hard to choose….eventually I decided on one of there signature sandwiches, Sloppy Bao, spicy red curry beef, green mango, basil, lemongrass with spicy chilli and coriander sauce…And there is no denying, I could have had seconds!!

Instead I walked home via Whole Food Markets, for that little something extra…I ate a small portion of warm broccoli salad, complete with 6 whole clovers of garlic ( I counted), finishing the evenings feast in my room, demolishing the remaining half of my Key Lime pie from Bills….

A day of highs and lows….

A day of food glorious food

A day for an 11 hour walking marathon that left this entrant, on crossing the Bowery House finishing line, both exhausted, overwhelmed, content, curious and eager to compete again, in tomorrows event

And there will be a NYC blogging break for a couple of days now…I am to immerse myself in birthday behaviour…a day or two off…see you soon!!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Andrew
    Sep 21, 2011 @ 21:27:42

    The high line is fantastic. It is a great place to wander around and look at the city from a different perspective. We went to a restaurant in the meat packing district, think it was called the spotted pig or something pig – best burgers! That is if you have finished with those pancakes…


  2. Mixed Gems
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 05:49:39

    I, too, probably walked 11 hour days when I first visited but I never saw that amazing raised park. Is it new? I recall the walking but 1st to 57th? You must’ve been game! I love each of your photos in this set and that key-lime tart really looks divine! I think you could explore that little island of Manhattan forever and always find something new. It’s a treasure trove.


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