The first full day and going all the way

New York Travel Blog

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The flags

I woke up way too early; I had really hoped that I could sleep until at least 8.30 am but at 6 am I was all awake. I had agreed with Maxime that he would come to my hotel at 9 or 9.30 so we could join each other for brunch. Since I woke up that early I turned on the TV and watched the morning TV from a couple of channels.

I was quite amazed by all the people who were standing in the streets in front of the TV studios in order to have a chance to wave at the TV camera while they were screaming as American teenage girls. I found it quite ridiculous but I am just a boring cold Scandinavian I guess.  One thing that really got my attention was the numerous weathermen and women who all were telling the good news of fantastic weather heading towards NYC the following week and even the same day. I had been really pleased with the weather that had met me the day before as I landed; it was truly amazing just arriving from Stockholm and 5 degrees Celsius just a day earlier.

Spring on its way

I zapped for a while and then called Maxime to say that he might as well get up because I was ready to hit the town and the whole Manhattan.  He turned up at 9 am; my hotel phone suddenly rang and then I knew it was him, I only wonder why he didn’t call my cell phone. I went down and met him in a glorious mood even though it was his last day in NYC for this time.

We went down to the nearest subway station and I had to buy my first metro card which seems to be a great system much more than the Card Orange in the Metro for instance. We took the metro to 8th Ave - 14th St Stationbecause Maxime wanted to bring me to the Pastis, for a brunch.

Beautiful white
I had no knowledge to the place but my friend Maxime had already been there a couple of times in the little week he had stayed in New York.

Pastis turned out bee a great French bistro located in Manhattan's meatpacking district. Seen from outside the place looked rather large covering a whole corner; there were many empty chairs outside but as soon as we entered we could see that it was almost full and people were queuing up in order to get a seat. As soon as we entered I was sure that I would like the place.

We probably looked like a couple of strangers so one of the waitresses helped us to a table out of number; I never understood why and so didn’t the head waiter that thought we had benched ourselves.

Nice to watch
After having cleared that mistake we placed our orders to another sweet waitress that seemed quite stressed due to all the people that was out this wonderful morning.

After having looked at the menu I decided to go for Eggs Benedict which had not eaten for a long time. We almost started to laugh one waiter came with the knife and fork and shortly after yet another one arrive without coffee. I got my eggs Benedict from a third male waiter and there were still probably 20 waiters that had not been in contact with us yet. The dish turned out to be wonderful and so did the croissant and the Latte that I got.

The place was cosy and absolutely a place that could do with some more visits. We enjoyed a slow brunch and decided that it was time to walk in the sun and enjoy the streets.

We headed for the High Line Elevated Park; the High Line was built in the 1930s, as part of a massive public-private infrastructure project called the West Side Improvement.

Street art
It lifted freight traffic 30 feet in the air, removing dangerous trains from the streets of Manhattan's largest industrial district.

No trains have run on the High Line since 1980 and Friends of the High Line, a community-based non-profit group, was formed in 1999 when the historic structure was under threat of demolition. Friends of the High Line have been working in partnership with the City of New York to preserve and maintain the structure as an elevated public park.

The project gained the City's support in 2002 and the High Line south of 30th Street was donated to the City by CSX Transportation Inc. in 2005. The design team of landscape architects James Corner Field Operations, with architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, created the High Line's public landscape with guidance from a diverse community of High Line supporters.

Construction on the park began in 2006.

Inside Pastis
The first section, from Gansevoort Street to 20th Street, is projected to open in June 2009. It was truly a wonderful and different place to walk; we were not the first this morning but there were not that many out yet.

I was taken by The Meatpacking District which runs roughly from West 14th Street south to Gansevoort Street and from the Hudson River east to Hudson Street, although it has extended to the north to West 16th Street and east beyond Hudson Street in recent years. It was obviously a very trendy area because fashion shops were mixed with industrial looks of the 30’s. There were loads of modern architecture in the newly constructed houses and the area looked like it was only becoming better with the renovating of all the old industrial houses.

After having walked the park and enjoyed the view towards New Jersey and the Hudson River we stepped down from the park at 502 W 20th Street.

Inside Pastis
It was just next one of the many parking lots where cars are stacked on top of each other in steel construction.

We continued out of the 20th street and I liked the houses and the environment; it was truly a pleasure to walk in the sunshine and the blossom of all the threes in both white and pink. We turned at 9th Avenue and followed it calm while visiting some of the shops. We walked around for a couple of ours more and ended up in Bedford Street where we suddenly both felt like another cup of coffee.  It had not been so long since the last one but coffee and walks are not bad.

We decided to enter a small place called Cafe 'ino situated in 21st Bedford Street. The café was in a retro style with dark wooden furniture and an old fashion bar to the right from when you entered the small place.

Cute corner
The colour inside the place was in general yellow except brick walls kept in the original red; it was a nice cozy place.

It was lunch time but we were still full from the breakfast that we had some hours earlier, so we only went for coffee even though they had some good nice dishes that looked very tempting on the other tables. I stayed with a Latte that was just as I want them; not too warm and tasty.

The café was full of regulars and there was constantly people trying to get in and get a seat. We had obviously taken one of the good tables and not eating so they wanted to get rid of us fast; we were handed the bill just after they had given us the coffee which I found quite annoying. We left after ½ hour and continued our walk in the area.

We ended up in the area around Bleecker Street and MacDougal Street which is a nice party area but we decided it was too early to put down the tent poles this day so we flagged down a taxi and told him to head for PS1 in order to get some culture.

The Pastis Corner

The cab driver did not know PS1 and not the crossing of Jackson Avenue and 46th Road on Long Island so Maxime had to guide him with his Google map from his mobile phone.

After having spent most of the afternoon and the early evening in Long Island City we wanted to return to Bleecker Street and MacDougal in order to find something to eat.

We had taken a taxi from Borden Avenue via the Brooklyn Bridge; we had actually been very specific to the driver saying that we wanted to end up in Bleecker Street but via Brooklyn Bridge. The cab driver had looked at us for just one moment longer than normal; probably thinking if these crazy guys want to have a long ride I give them one.

Ready for night time
So we did; we entered Manhattan via Brooklyn Bridge. They guy started to open up after a while and started to give us a guided tour telling stories about the building we passed.

We finally arrived in Bleecker Street and after our nice Italian meal at Manducatis, we were both fresh on continuing with Italian food. Not far from the crossing with MacDougal Street we found an Italian restaurant in the basement. It turned out to be Monte's Trattoria which is a romantic Italian restaurant MacDougal Street between West 3rd and Bleecker.

It was an old traditional Italian restaurant that apparently had existed since 1918. The basement restaurant was cozy and almost full when we entered but they managed to give us a table close to the kitchen way in the back of the place.

The waiters turned out to be friendly; our waiter, (I unfortunately forgot his name) spoke English with an accent like Marlon Brando from Godfather.

Old steel
It was almost funny; so funny that we hardly could stop talking back to him in the same way. It turned out that he didn’t even come from Italy; he came from Croatia and actually from Zader where I had been two years earlier.

We headed both for today’s special which was wild boar with gnocchi. We started with a cold beer each just to kill our thirst after the long walk and drive since PS1. We took an Italian red wine to accompany the boar. Both the wine and the boar were good even Maxime was still hungry after his meal. He therefore ordered a cheese plate with 4 different Italian cheeses to follow while I concentrated on emptying the bottle of wine.

We left Monte’s after almost two hours and wanted to head down to the Blue Note which was just around the corner in order to listen to some great jazz music. We went down to the Blue Note but they were just ending their session and the doorman recommended us to come back an hour and a half later, so we decided to go back to the corner on MacDougal Street and enter the Groove, which we just had passed.

Steel shadow

The Groove was also a music place which we didn’t know; we were asked 5 dollars to enter and so we did. It was a nice place, loads of noise and screens everywhere showing baseball or other sports. We got a table close to the large screen that covered a small stage where there was going to be a concert later we were told.

The place some beers, food and cocktails and since we just had eaten we concentrated on drinks. I ordered a cocktail of some sort but it was horrible sweet; they had probably filled loads of powder sugar in it, and to my taste it was a catastrophe, truly a hopeless drink. I quickly put it aside and concentrated on beers afterwards; these they could not mess up.

After 1½ hour the band came on and I truly liked them but Maxime wanted to visit the Blue Note and it was his last night in town so his will was worth hunting.

In New York??

We entered Blue Note and they asked 45$ for a table seat or 30$ for the bar, we chose the bar because we didn’t know the artists; they were called Take 6. It turned out to be an acapella group; very good and very skilled but something I absolutely don’t appreciate enough. It is something that my parents would have loved together with the rest of the Saturday TV watchers.

I later learned that Take 6 and their jazz harmonies, original songs and vocal pyrotechnics represent some of the best a cappella ever recorded, but I could hear that they were good but not for me. We stayed for 4 or 5 numbers and decided to go to the City Winery where there also was a chance for some music.

At the Winery the music had just stopped when we arrived so we diced just to hang in the bar and talk.

Speedy Gonsalez
It turned out to be a great place, but closing just an hour after we arrived. We decided after one beer to call it a night and grab a cab back the hotels where we stayed. It turned out that the cab driver was from Benin and we both remembered our friend Patrick from Benin, who had gone to Singapore to study on INSEAD early this January and we both hoped that he was well. We listened to the cabdrivers happy and welcoming Hi-Life music on the way back and agreed upon that it had been a great day in New York.  

RyanCorrea says:
Nice...wow that was some day. But the food was worth it I say. Always a sucker for good food......& beer :)
Posted on: Aug 05, 2010
Chokk says:
Thx for having the time to read my blog. Glad that I am not just another cold Scandinavian;) I might be normal!!
Yeah - It is nice when you can sit and relax and often you end up spending money there anyway - and you will probably return as well:))
Posted on: Apr 11, 2010
binky says:
No, it isn't just you. We find those people who try to get on camera annoying, as well! Ha! Yeah, the restaurants will try to rush you out so they can flip tables for more tips. Which stinks because in Europe you can take your time and enjoy yourself. We could learn something from that...
Posted on: Apr 11, 2010
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The flags
The flags
Spring on its way
Spring on its way
Beautiful white
Beautiful white
Nice to watch
Nice to watch
Street art
Street art
Inside Pastis
Inside Pastis
Inside Pastis
Inside Pastis
Cute corner
Cute corner
The Pastis Corner
The Pastis Corner
Ready for night time
Ready for night time
Old steel
Old steel
Steel shadow
Steel shadow
In New York??
In New York??
Speedy Gonsalez
Speedy Gonsalez
Eggs Bennedict - love it!!
Eggs Bennedict - love it!!
Walking in the park above ground
Walking in the park above ground
Walking in the first sun
Walking in the first sun
Beware where you walk!
Beware where you walk!
Spring is on the way
Spring is on the way
Enjoying the warmth of the summer
Enjoying the warmth of the summer
In the sun!
In the sun!
Studying the Japanese way
Studying the Japanese way
Nice design
Nice design
Lake view
Lake view
Street look
Street look
Roller benched!
Roller benched!
I just loved them!
I just loved them!
Ready for the sun
Ready for the sun
Nice relaxing place
Nice relaxing place
All the way
All the way
Building a bridge
Building a bridge
Nice for later
Nice for later
Nice numbers
Nice numbers
Walking above the streets
Walking above the streets
Everybody likes the park
Everybody likes the park
A bridge too far
A bridge too far
A long walk
A long walk
Nice design
Nice design
Great building
Great building
Loving the sun
Loving the sun
There it is; Empire State Building
There it is; Empire State Building
Building a building
Building a building
Over looking the street
Over looking the street
Nice to know where we are; between…
Nice to know where we are; betwee…
Maxime in the sun
Maxime in the sun
Tall and alone
Tall and alone
Parking hights
Parking hights
Getting beautiful
Getting beautiful
Wonderful colours
Wonderful colours
Nice neighbourhood
Nice neighbourhood
Yellow Cab Road
Yellow Cab Road
Sun and the church
Sun and the church
Coka Cola on the way
Coka Cola on the way
Inside a shop
Inside a shop
Global Heads
Global Heads
Is it a COW!!
Is it a COW!!
Whereever you walk!
Whereever you walk!
The real peep show
The real peep show
Been there for years
Been there for years
SHOEGASM - Loved the name
SHOEGASM - Loved the name
Nice corner house
Nice corner house
Almost 24/7
Almost 24/7
White and wonderful
White and wonderful
Heavy duty!
Heavy duty!
Nice café is getting ready
Nice café is getting ready
One of the few old ones
One of the few old ones
Street corner
Street corner
Maxime in the sun
Maxime in the sun
DEMO HALL ???
DEMO HALL ???
ino!
ino!
Inside ino!
Inside ino!
Maxime having coffee
Maxime having coffee
Inside ino
Inside ino
Inside ino
Inside ino
Outnside ino
Outnside ino
Flowers
Flowers
Street view
Street view
Ready; GO
Ready; GO
A bike in New York
A bike in New York
Lovely streets
Lovely streets
Nice street view
Nice street view
Summer is in town
Summer is in town
Local traffic
Local traffic
Walk the walk
Walk the walk
Time Flies When Youre Having Rum
Time Flies When You're Having Rum
More penalty signs
More penalty signs
Nice b...!!
Nice b...!!
Inside a yellow cab
Inside a yellow cab
Maxime guiding the cab driver with…
Maxime guiding the cab driver wit…
Wall decoration
Wall decoration
Happy walkers
Happy walkers
Gives Flashdance a new meaning
Gives Flashdance a new meaning
Billboards
Billboards
Nice colours
Nice colours
Spring
Spring
Heading for Brooklyn Bridge
Heading for Brooklyn Bridge
On Brooklyn Bridge
On Brooklyn Bridge
On the bridge tested by elefants
On the bridge tested by elefants
Going towards Manhattan
Going towards Manhattan
Maxime happy
Maxime happy
Maxime even more happy
Maxime even more happy
Inside Blue Note
Inside Blue Note
Inside Blue Note
Inside Blue Note
Beware - we are!
Beware - we are!
Hi. My Name is Keiran and I have …
"Hi. My Name is Keiran and I have…
Inside City Winery
Inside City Winery
Another new beer
Another new beer
Maxime and I in City Winery
Maxime and I in City Winery
Inside City Winery
Inside City Winery
Inside City Winery
Inside City Winery
Inside City Winery
Inside City Winery
New York Nightlife & Entertainment review
Great fun and wonderful music
We missed a set at Blue Note so we decided to go the Groove which was situated on the corner of MacDougal Street in the same street. It turned out tha… read entire review
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An Italian Basement
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photo by: herman_munster