Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The one with NYC!

Christ this has been lazy week on the blog with pics and videos of monkeys. I’ve been throwing a far bit of time in the the Movie Bit blog so make sure to drop by that!!! It feels like months since I was in NYC. In fairness, it was just what the doctor ordered. Get away from Cork and all the madness of Christmas and work!!!
We had an absolute amazing time there in December. I've been there a good few times now and it was Ger’s second time, so there was no need to take in any of the tourist shite!

We stayed well downtown, in Tribeca, not too far away from the famous Tribeca film center. The days were spent relaxing, wandering and staying away from midtown! That said we wandered through Times Square once, as the wife wanted to go to Toys R Us. While its a great place to see, once is enough for anybody in Times Square, in my book! Carrie Fisher was on Broadway so we trundled off to see Princess Leia do her thing and she was absolutely fantastic. That said, 2 ghoul bags a few rows in front nearly had a UFC style match and security had to be called. The Museum of Modern Art was amazing. My main reason for convincing the wife that we needed to go was the Tim Burton exhibition. Tickets were booked on the iTouch and picked up at the MOMA. So efficient. The Burton exhibition was simply astounding. A gigantic selection of his lifes work was on display and you could easily lose a whole day there in one exhibition. We took in the rest of the MOMA as well, so plenty of Picasso, Monet and of course Andy Warhol. Speaking of museums, we also took in the Natural History museum which was pretty incredible. Being a big child, the dinosaur exhibit got the most love. The place, like the MOMA is huge and about 3-4 hours later we emerged back into the daylight with a nice –10 temperature. As I’m sure some of you know, old Romance here got engaged in Central Park, not to far away from the Bow Bridge. So we made a pilgrimage back to it and had an incredibly long, cold and relaxed stroll through Central Park and we eventually made it back to our engagement rock!

The bullshit surrounding Times Square on New Years Eve is nothing short of surreal! I know its all in the name of security and so on, but it wasn’t for us. Instead we had dinner in the upper west side and strolled into Central Park for the New York runners club midnight run, which is tied in with a huge fireworks display from the same people who do the 4th of July fireworks. So we mingled with a couple of thousand locals and runners and froze our bits off, but the fireworks at midnight went on for nearly half an hour! Madison Square Garden was on the cards next for a NY Rangers Ice hockey game which was absolutely brilliant. At times I thought the roof was gonna blow off the Garden, the atmosphere was nothing short of spectacular! An hour and half trip on the Subway and we ended up in Coney Island, which is quite run down but of course its the home of Nathans Hot Dogs, the place where they have the hot dog eating contest! So a bunch of hot dogs later and a long stroll on the beach and the boardwalk we headed back to Manhattan. We took in plenty of bars, which were so far removed from tourism it was a refreshing change! Talking shit to the locals and eating some tasty food is the real way to do this city. And ate we did! Crawling into a diner in the morning surrounded by NYPD, FDNY and even the department of sanitation is probably the best breakfast experience anywhere in the world! And cheap too! On the expensive side of things, eating out every night does have its impact on the cash, but its gotta be done! We spent a small fortune in De Niro’s restaurant, the Tribeca Grill but it was worth every penny and in hindsight it wasn’t too expensive compared to Cork.

On the famous people front, I did spot De Niro leaving his restaurant and to be honest, he looked like he had just spent about 12 hours washing pots. Head down and made a bee line out the door. Having Brunch on the Sunday I spotted Tobey Maguire who looked incredibly homeless! I also spied myself in the mirror a few times too!

Now a few places I thought were pretty daycent for food and drink and would go back in a heartbeat! Great service and great food!

Square Diner – 33 Leonard St,

Gee Whiz Diner – 295 Greenwich St

Kitchenette – 156 Chambers St

Wichcraft – 397 Greenwich St

Bubbys – 120 Hudson St

Ducale – 392 Columbus Ave (at 79th St)

Tribeca Grill – 375 Greenwich St

Reade Street Pub & Kitchen – 135 Reade St

Mudville 9 – 126 Chambers St

Columbine – 229 W. Broadway

If anyone has any particular questions, fire a comment or a mail!!!

For anyone going to the big apple, stay way downtown in places like Tribeca or the Villiage (East or West) or uptown in the Upper West Side and get a proper feel for New York. If its your first time, do the tourist shite, but any subsequent visits should avoid the tourists traps! The city and its neighbourhoods are far removed from the melting pot of madness that is Times Square!

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