Monday, December 19, 2011

New York, Day 2

The first real day exploring New York is like walking into Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory - so many things to explore and sights to see yet so little time. We thought about taking the subway from Long Island City to Manhattan but considering we didn't even know how the subway system here works, we decided to hail a cab instead (which is a hard task itself...)
  • Brooklyn Bridge - we didn't actually get to walk the Brooklyn Bridge but we did stand on the sidelines admiring its structure.
  • Grimaldi's Pizzeria (19 Old Fulton St., Brooklyn, NY) - the restaurant was closed for renovation, so we decided to try out Lombardi's instead.

  • Lombardi's Pizza (32 Spring St, New York, NY) - according to our friends, this is Grimaldi's competitor pizzeria. We ordered a pizza with garlic spinach, meatball, and mushrooms. While the pizza was good, I don't understand the whole "New England pizza is holier-than-thou" idea. What makes a pizza "good"? Pizza is just pizza, right?

  • Rice to Riches (37 Spring St., New York, NY) - it's similar to an ice cream parlor but serves rice pudding instead. Very expensive rice pudding. Though I really like their mascarpone and cherry flavored rice pudding.

  • Walking down the street, we found a cute little leather craft store selling leather brooches, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings. They even gave us flowers as we walked into the store.
  • The MoMA Store contained a fun collection of items inspired by the museum. I found a collection of really cool items - kangaroo pouch desk organizers, the classic sky umbrella, and this bowl made from pebbles (which seems like it would be a lot of fun to make).

  • Just as it started to sprinkle, we took cover in Muji - a cute little Japanese store that carries everything useful. I fell in love with their pen collection, notebooks, and aroma diffuser.

  • Along the way, we stopped by Harney & Sons Tea Tasting Room in SoHo.

  • Ippudo Ramen was recommended by my friend living in New York and by our friend from school who was touring New York with us. Though I'm not a fan of ramen in general, I did enjoy the broth at Ippudo. In fact, if you can ignore the $15 price tag on ramen, I'd say that Ippudo is a lot better than Daikokuya.

  • Since we were planning to take the Uptown 6 line and transfer to the E or M train back to Long Island City, our friends suggested that we stop by The Strand Bookstore. It is known for its 18 miles of books and harboring a large collection of rare books.
  • The weather in New York was interesting. I walked out of the hotel dressed in a peacoat and thick scarves, only to realize that it wasn't even cold. Ironically, it was warmer in New York (57 degrees @ 9:04pm) than it was in Los Angeles (52 degrees @ 6:05pm).

I didn't quite learn how to use the subway system in New York but I did learn how to hail a taxi. After minutes of waving my arms madly with no luck, I flagged down a local to help me with the art of hailing a taxi - how to tell when they are available, when they are occupied, and when they are off duty.

Song of the Day
New York, New York - Ryan Adams

(Fun fact: the music video for this song was filmed in New York four days before the September 11 attack. The scenic backdrop for this song is the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center)

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