Monday, June 24, 2013

NYC 2013: Day 4

The Smith ... a gorgeous eatery at 
1900 Broadway near Lincoln Centre

I'm going to show you the real New York - witty, smart, and international - like any metropolis. Tell me this: where in Europe can you find old Hungary, old Russia, old France, old Italy? In Europe you're trying to copy America, you're almost American. But here you'll find Europeans who immigrated a hundred years ago - and we haven't spoiled them. Oh, Gio! You must see why I love New York. Because the whole world's in New York …  ~ Oriana Fallaci

A late start ... the hotel suite is so comfortable. It's so quiet and comfy. And I am sooo lazy
Vanilla Bean French Toast
but we don't want to waste our second last day in NYC.

R found another terrific place for breakfast called The Smith (1900 Broadway Ave. at 63rd St.) with excellent food and service. R ordered Vanilla Bean French toast and I had buttermilk waffles ... amazing! It has a sort of upgraded retro diner feel to it. 

Another blazing hot day ... perfect for a long visit to the Museum of Modern Art (11 W 53rd St.) - all six floors of it - but I was distracted, hot, it was so crowded for a Monday. And R's assessment at the end of our visit was accurate. The collection feels stagnant. I feel that I have stared at Gertrude Stein's lonely visage one too many times at the MOMA. But R seemed intrigued by the exhibit of the American sculptor's Claes Oldenburg work ... burger et al.

Slip into the subway at 53rd and Fifth ... easily the worst one we have been in during our trip. My least favourite thing about NYC - the smell (and feel) of the subway on a hot day. How quickly we move from that (dirt, grime, intense humidity) to the ultra expensive and nicely appointed market in Grand Central Station where we buy fresh fruit and drinks for our hotel room.

Gertrude Stein by Picasso ...
We wanted to take some pics of Grand Central Station. It is still beautiful even after multiple visits and viewings ... and I love to think of F. Scott Fitzgerald passing through its portals on the way to some glamorous locale or the final scene of the mid-Westerners traveling back to their homes at Christmas in the last pages of The Great Gatsby as told by Nick Carraway.

For dinner R found a great little place for Cajun food in the Bowery district called Great Jones Cafe (50 Great Jones St.) that served enormous amounts of Cajun-inspired food. It's a bit dodgy looking from the outside (R said, "Don't be afraid" as we entered); it could easily be a tire shack or a small grocery retailer. Inside it has, as R said, a slightly bordello-ish atmosphere with brightly coloured walls and Christmas lights strewn about. R ordered gumbo - smallish in size but quite plentiful as well as lemon pie. I ordered an enormous BBQ pulled chicken sandwich which was virtually unfinishable at one sitting.

We walked down to Washington Square (bordered by 5 Ave., Waverly Place, W. 4 St. and Macdougal St.). We have not been there for years, perhaps decades. We were entertained by three breakdancers and the performance was marred only by one of them calling up an Asian-American observer and then speaking to him in fake Chinese even though he pointedly said he was from Queens. Ack ... not funny.

We searched for Caffe Reggio. We couldn't remember where it was exactly but I knew it was near the Square. We'll be back tomorrow for breakfast on our last day.

Washington Square by night ...

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