Friday, July 1, 2011

NYC: Hot Canuck in the City

Last full day in NYC ... J not feeling well - perhaps it is the heat. I hang out with her at the hotel and let the husband explore. The places he went, the things he saw: an exhibit at the Impossible Project, 425 Broadway 5th Floor; the Morrison Hotel Gallery (rock & roll photography), 124 Prince Street; Kidrobot (limited edition art toys and apparel), 118 Prince Street; and Muji (home decor), 455 Broadway.

In the afternoon we spend time exploring Tribeca, NoLita and Soho with our amici. We meet at Yellow Rat Bastard, 483 Broadway, a clothing/shoe store which sells cool Ts and teenage-ish, inexpensive clothing, where J buys some Ts, Vans and some souvenirs for the family. The offspring are happy; ergo, we, the old people, are happy despite the very loud techno pop which is driving some of us mad.

We wander into "NoLIta" or "North of Little Italy", Mott Street specifically. Where are all my paesans? Gone to more prosperous neighborhoods? Inevitable but still sad I think. Mott Street north of Canal Street was historically part of Little Italy, now predominantly Chinese.

Our friends take us to a great restaurant called Emporio, 231 Mott St. We sit in the back courtyard and order pasta, piadine (which I had never heard of but is a sort of flatbread from Romagna), pizza ... excellent meal! Everyone full, we roll on to Mott then Spring Street.

We wander the streets. I search for Spring Street Books, a small independent bookstore but, alas, it is now gone. I did a little research - is it possible it disappeared in the 90s? I don't think I was able to find it three years ago either when I looked for it.

Allsaints' decor: a series of sewing machines
I did rediscover Pylones, 69 Spring St., which is a odd little shop full of bizarre sort of kitsch and home decor. That can survive but not an independent bookstore in this area? And, oddly, Rice to Riches, 37 Spring St., a shop which sells just rice pudding, yes, just rice pudding. Everyone had rice pudding - although how they could after we stuffed ourselves at Emporio, I have no idea.

Up Broadway and into another fab clothing store called Allsaints Spitalfields, 512 Broadway. Beautiful clothes in a gorgeous environment but, alas, due to the humidity and my lack of sleep I felt like an older man I saw sacked out in a chair awaiting his wife. He had fallen asleep and was holding his wife's faux designer bag in his arms ... was there ever a sadder sight to be found in a retail store?

Home to rest before we head out to the High Line in the Meatpacking District in the evening. How to describe this lovely space? I want to mention it in detail as it is so beautiful:

The High Line was originally constructed in the 1930s, to lift dangerous freight trains off Manhattan's streets. Section 1 of the High Line is open as a public park, owned by the City ...When all sections are complete, the High Line will be a mile-and-a-half-long elevated park, running through the West Side neighborhoods of the Meatpacking District, West Chelsea and Clinton/Hell's Kitchen. It features an integrated landscape ... combining meandering concrete pathways with naturalistic plantings. Fixed and movable seating, lighting, and special features are also included in the park.

The High Line by night ...
This is a beautiful path lined with flowers, grasses and shrubs and which is clearly inspiring a sense of amour based on the not so furtive canoodling couples we pass on our walk. The view of the city is spectacular; the air is scented with flowers and herbs. I'm glad our friends recommended it.

Time for a late night meal and we spot a pub just below us: Half King Cafe, 505 W 23rd St. The Canucks are hungry so we descend for some pub food.

This is our last night and we've  had a great time. I am conflicted between feeling there was much more that we wanted to do and longing to go home and sleep in my own bed. The kid is trying to convince us to come back in November for her birthday. It's tempting kid, it's tempting!


Christine said...

Sounds like a very lovely time! I also like All Saints but the store in Vegas only had tiny tiny sizes. There's one here in Chicago (where I am as I post) but It was closed when I walked by.

Like J I also want to back to NY in the fall!

Michelle said...

Great trip but incredibly hot! It elicited memories of baking in Italy at this time last year ...