The great thing about Gotham City is that you are guaranteed to experience something new even if you’re revisiting a familiar spot. Fortunately on this trip, I had the chance to retrace some steps as well as draw upon local friends (1 & 2) for new experiences. Of course, there are so many different things to do in this grand city, so I’m not going to detail the whole excursion. You know how to get to the Empire State Building, right? But here are few highlights:
First off, if you get a chance to see the Tim Burton exhibit at the MoMA you will be amazed at his mastery over multiple mediums. His artistic ability is more diverse than you would ever guess. It is not only wonderful to see the progression in Tim Burton’s career, but also peek inside his pernicious imagination. There is always something new to absorb at the MoMA, so it is worth a trip, every trip. And take the time to do the audio guide. If you are looking to conserve that cash then consider Target Free Friday Nights sponsored by Target.
Speaking of free, a trip to New York is not complete without a stroll through the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and if you hit it on the first weekend of the month – AND you are a Bank of America customer – you save $20. That’s money you can spend on lunch at E.A.T. If you’ve never seen a grilled cheese that cost $14 then here is the place. But you guessed it, the food is good.
If you want some free cheese and find yourself near Bryant Park, you might want to drop down to the Cellar Bar in the bottom of The Bryant Park Hotel. Whether your order the Passion, Orgasm, or some other less scintillating drink, you’ll get some small appetizers gratis. The Cellar is a pretty cool space for drinking and getting served by scantily clad gothic waitresses.
Sex isn’t only used to sling drinks in New York. The Standard Hotel, Polshek’s new creation located in the old Meatpacking District, took a rather interesting approach, not only in its design, but the marketing of its decidedly nonstandard rooms. Here’s one advertisement before they fully completed the building:
If you find yourself in the Meatpacking District, check out the The High Line, which is an elevated walkway running through the West Side neighborhoods. The path used to act as a rail line bringing meat and supplies to the local warehouses and stores. Now it serves as a park with stunning views of the city juxtaposed to an integrated landscape featuring natural plants and grasses. The design was a collaborative effort between landscape architecture and urban design firm James Corner Field Operations, and architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro. There is much to see and you just never know what might leap out at you.
I must admit I’ve never really checked out Brooklyn, but this time was different, and to say I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement. With beautiful brownstone neighborhoods like Park Slope, entertainment venues such as the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), and even Prospect Park where, believe it or not, more than one tree co-habits, there is no wonder why so many young professionals call it home. There’s even good surfing at Rockaway Beach just 15 minutes away, and getting to and from Manhattan on the subway is generally smooth sailing. Oh, and then there are the restaurants.
Unlike New York, chefs in Brooklyn can literally afford to go out on their own and be more experimental. There are many fabulous eateries to choose from, but on this trip we followed up on a tip from a local “foodie” who sent us to No. 7. Everything was delicious. I had the Grilled Wagyu Bavette Steak, which was out-of-control good. Who would have thought blueberries and steak go together so well?
Walking off all these consumptive habits is an absolute requirement. I tromped and tromped, and Brooklyn was no exception. Starting from Park Slope, a great stroll unfolded through Carroll Gardens, out on to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, and down to DUMBO (down under manhattan bridge overpass) for a Bloody at Bubby’s. All along the way are beautiful vistas of the Manhattan skyline, Governor’s Island, and the East River. New York’s green initiatives are being seen and felt all around, and it will be great to return when the new park out on the piers below the Promenade is completed.
So all is good in Gotham. The most intimidating and liberating city around still serves up the most beautiful and inspiring architecture, art, food, people, and places that could capitalize a lifetime. Sort of like this book, which is definitely on my reading list. There should be a few more discoveries to be had in New York by the time I am done reading it. At the very least I should take a paddle.