We joined J and M on their last day off of the holiday weekend (Monday) and headed to Madison Square Park via taxi. While on the ride we saw the only street accident (a cab rear ended) of our entire trip. Something quite significant considering how fast the cabs drive around. Half a block later we saw a podium facing the street with Chuck Schumer waiting to speak in front of the cameras. Just a regular morning in Manhattan.
We quickly arrived at our final destination: Eataly. When M had described Eataly to me the day before I had said “oh, like Mitsuwa marketplace?” “No, no t exactly.” Eataly is one store, but takes up an entire ground floor of an office building next to Madison Square Park. There are different sections showcasing all the fresh made Italian food, groceries and ingredients (a restaurant sized area just devoted to cheese, for example).
We joined M’s friends N and D and bought ingredients for a picnic that included (but were not limited to):
- Two different kinds of prosciutto
- Two different kinds of fresh baked breads
- Two (giant) slices of onion pizza (I wish I could find this in LA)
- Cold octopus salad (can’t say I tried this one)
- Spinach salad
- Fresh ricotta cheese
- Fresh mozzarella cheese
- Fresh olives
- Some kind of tomato based salad
- Pecorino (we actually had so much food we forgot to open this and it currently is sitting in M’s fridge)
- Orange juice
- Blueberry juice
- Fried risotto (this was perhaps the best thing, I could easily eat a meal consisting solely of those little guys)
We sat in the park under the trees at mid day in the slight breeze for a few hours before splitting.
It turned out that D and N were planning to meet N’s mother to see the military boats, which is something we had pondered, so we walked west with them for a quick stop at their apartment before hopping in a cab. The boats are docked at a few different piers around the city, but the free tour was at Pier 88, on the upper west side. As our taxi continued further south, passing High Line park, I wondered where we were going. We ended up jumping out at Southside Seaport where the local clipper tour boats were docked.
The previous night J received text photos from his friends that were down on this “artificial beach party.” Not as happening in the afternoon I guess.
It turned out there had been a miscommunication and N’s mother had already seen the boats at Pier 88 and had walked all the way down from there (which, trust me, is quite a walk). When we all figured out what happened N, her mother and D suggested Sam and I walk across the Brooklyn Bridge instead. We thought that was a good idea and did so.
On the way, at the entrance to the bridge I saw a Sol Lewitt sculpture that looked exacly like the one at Ohio State.
I scoured the internet trying to find a photo of the same sculpture at OSU, with no luck for a while. I remember passing it every day, so I got on google maps and found it with the streetview feature. Google suggested I look at some tagged photos of the location – and there it was – a photo called “tower.” When I searched for “Sol Lewitt Tower” I came up with this. Below is the flickr user bmkorte‘s photo… showing that the sculpture is identical. Apparently the one in NYC is new – so it is quite funny to think that Lewitt is just giving Manhattan his left-overs.
Once on the Brooklyn Bridge we noticed these Xs in the sky- presumably marketing for the new X-men movie.
Unfortunately, the last third of the bridge is literally wrapped up for renovations. You can walk through – but they have barricades up so you can’t see out.
After reaching Brooklyn we walked down to the park by the water and had ice cream.
Afterwards we got on the subway and took it all the way up to central park west by the reservoir. We originally planned to walk around the reservoir and down to Columbus Circle. Our feet quickly gave out on us and we decided to walk through the west side of the park, exit past strawberry fields and hope on the subway to Columbus Circle where we’d eat dinner at Whole Foods.
There were lots of performers in the park. The band below was called moon hooch and I thought they had an interesting “jazz fusion” sound like Jaga Jazzist. I actually liked it a lot and wish we could have stayed – but were both hungry.
here is a video someone shot only a few hours before we arrived on the same scene:
Unlike Cartman, we love whole foods, and apparently NYC does too. Unfortunately, in a city of ten million people, trying to eat or buy (or both) at Whole Foods is more like shopping at Costco than the Whole Foods Californians are used to. The stores are packed (we visited the 4 story Union Square location to pick up food for our flight on our last night) and navigation is hard. The check out queue is an enormous ten lane freeway. Unlike in Los Angeles all hot and cold salad bar purchases have to go through this same line. Before Sam and I left for the airport on Thursday we ate at the newly renovated whole foods in West Los Angeles. Although the Columbus Circle Whole Foods had more food, it didn’t seem to cater to me as much. In fact, I couldn’t find macaroni and cheese or cold pasta salad with capers at either of the NYC whole foods. Regardless, the food was still good. We just used to always go to Whole Foods for a “quick, healthy and easy” eating experience in Los Angeles and in NYC we were frustrated to find the “quick” and “easy” parts of the equation removed (and the price increased by a few dollars per pound as well).
Photos from Columbus Circle:
On our walk back to M’s apartment we checked out Rockefeller Center. “30 Rock” was much smaller than I thought it would be.
While I was taking the photo below a shudder ran up my spine. The air turned hot and stale. I looked to my right and discovered I was standing next to one of this realms’ portals to hell.
I got caught up in the spin and reality distortion field and we got lost for a bit, but we finally found Rockefeller.
M’s apartment is only six blocks south of Times Square. I decided to stick my camera out on the ledge of her apartment’s bathroom window (the living room window doesn’t open) and take a photo looking back that direction.