|An Orange Excursion||
I thought, why not? After seeing the Big Apple a few years back as a travel hungry junior in high school, and seeing the city all dressed up for Christmas, I thought it was about time for a redeemer. I'd go for a self-interested reason of course--looking at Seton Hall, eating a few dreams foods, and seeing if I could coexist with this eclectic place. Plus seeing it at a pretty unremarkable time of the year--the second week of September (what happens then? nothing...simply no extraordinary things anywhere in the world happens then, at least in my book). So I hopped on a bus, went through Frank Sinatra's home tunnels, and arrived in another big city, only in less awe then some Amish people.
Let's just say that I still cannot fathom why Brooklyn Lager, brewed on a subway line not 30mins away is $7. I mean, I can get it in Pittsburgh for $3, but let's not get into particulars. What is completely worth the bus ride is Ferrara's in the heart of Chinese owned Little Italy. Years ago I remember the thriving Italian culture, but now it seems as though East Asia is rising up, taking over parts of Little Italy, and I think we can expect a war here soon---Manicotti vs. General Tsao's. Anyways, I had heard of Ferrara's on the FoodNetwork's "The Best Thing I Ever Ate: My Last Day on Earth." The Guaraschelli or whatever her name is said to go there, and get a sfogliatti (spelled horribly incorrectly) and a lobster tail, which is a phyllo dough double filled Bavarian cream that is about the size of a small baby. The horribly spelled one is a double baked phyllo dough clam shaped delicious thing that is filled with a spongy lemon ricotta. Walking down the street covered in powdered sugar with yellow Bavarian cream all over one's face is quite the experience. Don't look at me New Yorkers as I sweep finger fulls of Bavarian cream into my mouth...just let it happen.
That is the one nice thing about NYC, if you are hungry, you can get anything and everything at any time. Want pizza at 5am? It is there, want grungy, health-rule violating Indian for lunch? Any street corner, want cappy bara? , it's out there somewhere, you just need to look. The main problem though, is everytime I watch the FoodNetwork (most likely Chopped) there are these great chefs who have cool restaurants....all in NYC. It is culinary overload, and I couldn't even begin to put together a comprehensive list. Pretty much once I find my one really good Middle Eastern spot, that list will get fulfilled at a snail's pace. (At left are three mini sandwiches of shrimp, crab, and lobster from "Luke's Lobster"--a highly recommended spot)
The one thing that I really enjoyed, and was a nice respite from the hustle and bustle of the streets is walking two stories above everyone while enveloped by bushes, trees, flowers, and shrubs. The Highline, a reconstituted traintrack that is now a weaving terrarium in downtown (if NYC can have an defined downtown). Its a peaceful, quiet, and nice smelling spot that I would walk everyday just to keep my sanity. Seeing green things that aren't billboards, vehicles, or advertisements are very nice. Especially when it is above everything else, so you can get a nice view, nice walk, and see these things called trees, which sometimes inhabit cities around the globe, but in NYC, are few and far between.
Could I live in this city? That is very contentious. It would have to be the right room in the right community with the right people around me, so the probabilities are narrow. I will not argue that it is a happening town, or that there is a dearth of things to do. It may be precisely that which puts me off, no one person can be on top of everything or be fully conscious of what is going on. In DC, I would occasionally be able to see the same people doing something similar day in and day out, whereas in NYC it is a new adventure pretty much everyday. One main point reason that it would be difficult for me to be an NYCer is the pizza. I like it, I have a new affinity for thin crust, but why, WHY must they fold it? If you wanted a calzone, then order a calzone. Why not enjoy it, not eat the entire thing in about 3 bites?? That whole thought of folding pizza....gives me the shivers...(Though I did find poffertjes, those beautiful little Dutch pancakes that I haven't had a nice walk with in some time!!)