CUWAM: Seeing the sunny side of life on a day of NYC drizzle

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At the conclusion of yet another fun filled day, thinking about the characters I met, the sites I saw, the food I ate, brings with it a feeling of happiness, of time well spent…

The day got off to an amusing start, I caught the train to 42st street, for I was meeting a friend for a free yoga class in Bryant park ( more on that shortly) With time to kill, and the urge to something that typifies the NY experience, I went in search of a Starbucks Coffee Store….This coffee giant gives the impression of being on every NY street…but I was forced to walk 5 blocks….can you imagine…a whole 5 blocks for my coffee…an outrage in American standards!!Upon locating a store, I joined the queue and was greeted by a hostess, who took my order, and conveyed it back to the barista via a microphone headpiece….

It was a site to behold…Although the barista was a mere 2 metres from the Starbucks ‘ hostess’, with all the seriousness of someone performing open heart surgery, my order was placed : ‘ Coffee order for Kate, a small Cappuccino to go, I repeat, Coffee order for Kate, that was a small Cappuccino to go’….Wow wee, today was going to be a great day, and I left the store with coffee in hand to the sound of the next order being placed ‘ Coffee order for Joe, Grande Americano tornado double twist mocha with regular chill beans and maple syrup’ or something to that effect!!

Back in Bryant Park I was honoured to be catching up with a friend I meet whilst working at the 2010 Ubud Writers Festival in Bali…Magda, home country Czech Republic, now self proclaimed global citizen of no fixed address…who happens to be staying in NY for the next couple of months.

A true creative spirit, it was so lovely to see Magda again, and with Yoga cancelled due a slight drizzle, we decided to have breakfast together.

Applebee’s in Time Square…what can I say…A true American chain, a once in a lifetime dining experience ( I hope!!) , providing us with a breakfast spread consisting of pancakes, bacon, eggs, potato grits and syrup, French toast with blue berries and more syrup and unlimited coffee / juice.

Over the Applebee’s feast, Magda and I chatted and chatted, and caught up on a years worth of gossip…It was quality time with a great girl, in a less than quality establishment, but when the company is good it does not matter where you are…

Parting with Magda ( who I will see at my b’day celebrations tomorrow night…stay tuned for that update!!), I proceeded in the direction of the Modern of Modern Art…which…was closed on Tuesday!! Oh well, I picked myself up from this slight hiccup and went and spent some time in one of the only internet cafes in the Theatre District.

Some hours later I emerged, and strange but true, I was once again hungry….Junk food is not sustaining!! I headed back to a store I had visited the previous day, Amy’s Breads, and had a small snack of soup and bread…

And it is here that I will reflect that yesterday’s epic journey on foot began to pay off, I knew my way around the city just that little bit better, I could recall where places on interest were…I revisited apet shop I had seen on 48th street, this time stopping to photograph the cat that sat in the shop window…this cat had ‘tude…NY style ‘tude…respect.

I then took the subway to Soho, and perused the back streets, stopping for a peanut butter cookie at Vesuvio Bakery, a cooking so rich I was left feeling parched!!

I took solace in a lovely Soho bookshop, the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe.Selling second hand books, this café is staffed entirely by volunteers, with the profits from all book sales providing monetary support for the homeless and people living with HIV. Books were purchased whilst sipping on an ice tea…la de dah!!

Getting in the bookstore vibe, I spent more time in a bookstore in Little Italy…reading up on books I did not intend to buy, but that were very interesting….finally purchasing a book from the American Fiction section….The History of Love…fingers crossed that it is good.

By this stage it was nearing 7pm….As I was ever so close the Bowery House, I decided to drop off my yoga gear and books before venturing out for dinner.

And I had clear ideas of were I was going….to Porchetta, a small take out joint in the East Village,specialising in central Italy’s classic boneless roasted pork. To say that this meal was heavenly is an understatement…words cannot do justice to the salty, crispy, succulent pork goodness that was housed between a cibatta roll….

 As a young girl I had formed a club with my brother Michael, and family friend, sisters Miriam and Claire Delaney. The club was called Pigsnorters…and as a collective, we did what kids do best…pig out on food….I am putting it out there, right here, right now….a Pigsnorter reunion at Porchetta, East Village…the four us, together again, partners welcome, pigging out on the best pig dish perhaps on planet earth…Who is in??

It took great strength no to devour a second helping of pig roll, but having earlier discovered that the charms of Princes Street, just off Bowery, I strolled along the footpath, staring into quaint bars, retro eating housing and came across another Bills Bakery…Though I could have eaten yet another Key Lime pie, I was strong and parted with $3 for a Red Velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting….

On my return to Australia, I do believe I could be some kilo’s heavier…and that gym membership that I have on hold whilst I travel with need to be put to use when I land in Oz…But if I am fatter, I am happier for it…..The NY food scene has been thoroughly impressive

Tomorrow….is a day of blogging rest…it is my b’day and I will be out and about enjoying myself…..The tales that will follow are sure to amuse and inspire for I am meeting up with Magda, and two others…friends of friends , two people I have never meet but come highly recommended!!…for a birthday meal in Union Square, Midtown NY….a Mexican restaurant which specialises in frozen pomegranate margaritas….watch this space!!


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