Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New York

Prior to this past weekend I had only been to New York city one time, nearly two years ago for Thanksgiving. Being that it was my first trip to NYC, the trip leaned heavily on the main attractions. Our first goal was to catch part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, so my traveling companion and I left DC very early in the morning and found ourselves dropped off in the middle of Manhatten craziness, blocks from the parade route. We spent the three days immersing ourselves in the most authentic of NYC tourist experiences: Santa at Macy's, the Staten Island Ferry, Wall Street, Times Square, Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, pizza and deli sandwiches. It was a great weekend and a wonderful way to first experience New York.

This past weekend was a much different, but no less amazing, NYC experience. I didn't do any of the things that I did on my first trip to New York, yet my experience was no more or no less authentic. The city is like that, all of the big tourist spots are important to the fabric of the city, but there is so much more, so no matter what you end up doing, you are experiencing the place. This time I had the benefit of a Brooklyn native friend as a tour guide and a brownstone in Park Slope as a resting place (complete with home-cooked meals and shopping tips). One thing that is new to both tourists and locals alike is The Highline, an amazing urban park and example of excellent urban planning. Suspended above the city streets on an old rail line, you can stroll for miles along the lower West side, eating popsicles and people watching.

At the end of the Highline we landed at Chelsea market, where we sampled a lovely WA state oyster to fuel our afternoon stroll through lower Manhattan. From there we wandered through the Union Square farmers market, sampling various homemade ice-teas and other local products. Our ultimate destination was Pomme Frites, a Belgian fry mecca with dozens of delicious dipping sauces, but on the way we took a detour through a fair-midway-like street event where I was introduced to the glory that is a "mozzarepa." Combine a sweet Mexican-corn arepa with Italian mozzarella and you have a mozzarepa - amazing. So after splitting the cheesy corn-cake snack and an order of Belgian fries over the course of about 5-6 miles, we were pretty well done with Manhattan. An evening spent drinking beer in Brooklyn and a Sunday adventure in thrift store shopping capped off a perfect NY weekend.

Everything goes in New York

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