Monday, April 30, 2007

More New York Stuff

Just a few more random items about our trip to New York City.

First: the subway. This was one of those things I had some kind of irrational fear of (well, maybe it was rational). I must have seen too many movies and TV shows about bad experiences on the subway. Dirty, noisy, scary. I dunno.

Truth is, it's great! It goes all over town, it's easy to figure out, and it costs $2 to go anywhere. Um, it was also kind of dirty and noisy, but not scary. In fact, I'm really impressed that a system that old is in as good shape as it is. We managed to ride the subway every day, I think, and we only made two mistakes that I'm aware of. The first was catching the wrong train (in the right direction), but we caught that after only one station, and were able to get right back on the right track (so to speak). We also got caught on a local train that "went express" just before our destination, so we ended up taking a quick ride up to Harlem. Not a problem: just got off and took a local train back. Just lost a little time.

I'm a big fan of transit systems, and the New York City subway was great. I wish we had something like it here in the Bay Area. Even the combination of BART (which is really a commuter system) and the San Francisco Muni Metro, which is useful, but not nearly as comprehensive.

Second: Bagels! Right around the block from our hotel was a terrific little bagel shop and deli called Ess-A-Bagel. Terrific place for breakfast: quick and tasty. Very dense bagels in lots of flavors. We particularly enjoyed the pumpernickel and the 9-grain. The chicken curry salad was very good. They also had more flavors of cream cheese (chocolate chip??? cinnamon apple!!!) than I had ever seen. And I had my first potato knish.

Third: tasty food (of the non-bagel variety). After our first night at the theater, we randomly picked a restaurant across the street from Lincoln Center called P.J. Clarke's. That worked out well, as we got a nice Maryland crab salad and a tasty New York strip steak with a nice pinot noir, followed by an apple cobbler for dessert.

One other night we met friends after the show at Mas (Farmhouse) Restaurant in Greenwich Village. Really nice place with good food and wine, and a fine staff. That was a genuinely good meal.

One other night after the show, we strolled down Broadway through Times Square, enjoying the lights and sights. Ended up having a post-midnight light dinner at a bar called Tonic. Good drinks, and tasty bar food (barbecue pulled pork shoulder sandwiches, potstickers).

And on our last evening in town, we took the family to a French restaurant focused on cheese called Artisanal Bistro. Awesome onion soup, and even the split order of mussels was HUGE. We had meant to finish with a cheese course, but we were all too full. We all love cheese, so this is definitely a place we'd go again.

And we finished that last evening at Times Square with a chocolate snack at the Hershey's store (across the street from M&Ms World...really). We discovered several chocolate items we had not anticipated: a mix of little Hershey bars, all made with Special Dark chocolate, either plain or with peanuts or crisped rice; dark chocolate Kissables (basically candy-coated chocolate chips); and chocolate Bubble Yum.

It's late, so I'll have to save the toy store visits for another post.

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