Tuesday, November 29, 2011
ALL OVER THE MAP -
A THANKSGIVING TRAVELOGUE IN THREE PARTS
PART THE FIRST: NEW YORK
Manhattan, seen from across the Hudson River.
Thanksgiving week had us all over the map. It was a map of the northeastern United States, true, but nevertheless we covered a lot of ground.
Our first stop was New York. Upon arriving at La Guardia, we caught a cab for midtown Manhattan and were, happily, able to check into our hotel room immediately despite the early hour. We weren’t there long, though: Within minutes we were on the subway, hurtling through the tunnel under the East River, headed toward Williamsburg, Brooklyn... and our rendezvous with the Mistress of Sarcasm and her friend Aaron.
And to think that I saw it on Lorimer Street: Nobody does Subway Signage quite like Little Olde New York.
Williamsburg is a pretty happening place these days. The streets are a-bustle with urban hipsters; the cafés and restaurants pack them in. We wandered the length of Bedford Avenue, where I made several happy discoveries. Not only was there a place where I could get big time lost in the cheese aisle, it was that very day when the Wafels & Dinges food truck put in an appearance.
De Wafel-Truck. Thomas DeGeest dishes out a Liège waffle to the Mistress from his Wafels & Dinges food truck.
The Bedford Cheese Shop is worth a post on its own. I’m not sure what I enjoyed more - looking at the amazing array of fine fromage and charcuterie, or reading the florid, sex-crammed descriptions that adorned the merchandise. As for the Wafel-Truck, its offerings, which included both crisp Brussels- and the chewier Liège-style waffles, brought back pleasant memories of long-ago visits to Belgium.
After lunch, we wandered in the direction of East River Park, where we stumbled into Smorgasburg, a sort of Saturday foodie flea market where local vendors and Grub-Artisans were showing off (and selling) their various wares. As fortune would have it, the day we were there was the last one of the season... and we were lucky enough to arrive not too long before the vendors began packing up to leave. That gave us enough time to browse and sample but not enough to do serious damage.
An assortment of tasty macaroons awaits the author’s slavering jaws.
The setting sun told us that it was Head Back Into Manhattan o’Clock. We freshened up at the hotel, then strolled downtown in the direction of Union Square. Time to meet Eli (hizzownself), Toni, and the other Elisson for dinner at Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill.
View of the setting sun from our hotel room.
Deciding where to eat in New York is an almost impossible task, with so many world-class options from which to choose. We wanted a place with excellent food, but one that was reasonably casual: no jacket and tie for this boy. The Southwestern fare at Mesa Grill looked like just the ticket. We were not disappointed.
Afterwards, we stopped in to call on Joyce, a friend of the Mistress whose pied-à-terre was conveniently located just a few blocks away near Gramercy Park. Cookies, conversation, coffee, and a fine Port awaited us there. After a very pleasant visit, a brisk walk along Park Avenue took us back to the hotel.
The next morning found us navigating the PATH train to New Jersey, where we picked up the Mistress’s car and headed off towards Connecticut. And that is a story for another post.
The Empire State Building, in all its towering Art Deco glory.
Posted by Elisson at 10:38 AM
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Well, a most excellent start to your trip. I really need to get out to NYC in the spring. It's been years and it's not at all far from me. Oh the food. A long weekend is all I'll be able to do or I'll gain 100lbs! ha.
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