New York -Fall 2008
Trip Start May 03, 2008
6Trip End May 09, 2008
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In one of my previous New York trips I met a wonderful girl and we really hit it off so now I come to New York as much as I can. If had not been burnt out and decided to go to New York, I would never have met my girlfriend. Out of something bad came something good.
Because of the time difference, I always wake up very early the first few days in New York and we went to a Chinese place (Canal Seafood Restaurant Inc) to have Pork Buns. They were great and we were the only non-Chinese in the place. Later on we discovered some of Brooklyn, which is getting more popular to live in and is not (yet) so super expensive. Checked out Greenpoint Av and Williamsburg and there was a nice vibe to it. On the way back to Manhattan I took some great pics with my cell phone riding in the car.
Being in New York so much, it is not possible to party and eat well all the time, so I had to train and take care of me some. I started to train at Equinox on Manhattan and it is a very nice "softcore" gym, complete with loads of personal trainers and swimming pool. An interesting note was the odd personal training methods they used with their clients (often weird exercises with own body weight), and also noting when the personal trainers trained their own bodies, they used traditional bodybuilding/weightlifting exercises. Hmmm. The shower rooms are complete with towels, soap, shampoo, body lotion, deo and shaving gear. In Belleville, NJ, there is the best "hardcore" gym I have been to and I have been to Gold's gym in Venice, CA. Signature Fitness is totally complete and a lot of serious trainers. There are all kinds of machines and free weights. Dumbbells go up to 200 pounds. The gym also has a great "fighting area". This gym is a must for any serious trainer in proximity. Good prices tooJ.
I decided to explore more than the normal tourist places. One day while I was walking about 150 blocks (crazy, I know). During my walks I checked out Washington Heights uptown and Clinton street (down town). I especially liked Clinton Street and I plan to go back another day to explore more. With my girlfriend, I also visited North Bergen (NJ), Newark (NJ), Union City (NJ), Bronx and Spanish Harlem. In Union City I found the coolest bar, which I do not remember the name of. The bar was all Latin and it was like going back in time to Spain 1975. The Cuba Libre was super strong with only a dash of Coca-Cola. Spanish Harlem has a nice feel to it and we discovered a great Guacamole and Margarita place (probably a lot of other good stuff too, but we only had Margarita and hot Guacamole). The place is called El Paso Taqueria. We had super hot and very good Guacamole. Great taste and funJ. In North Bergen, we and a couple of friends tried Tapas de España for tapas. Good atmosphere and good Sangría. In Newark we had food at the Soul Food Restaurant Je's. The ribs there were just perfect and wonderful and Jamaican beer with that. Just perfect... I will start going there when going to the airport in Newark in the future.
We tried a couple of French Restaurants out. I did not want the "French Nouveaux" cuisine, since most good restaurants in my country serve that kind of food. I wanted real and genuine French Restaurants. First, we tried Le Bateau Ivre in mid-town. Great wine list, knowledgeable waitress and home made foix gras. Good lunch place. Chez Naploéon was the place I was just looking for. Good and well cooked traditional French food in a friendly atmosphere. I will sure go here again.
Further downtown I will mention a few places. Bamboleo at Bleeker Street had good and cheap Margaritas. Sala at Bowery was OK for a drink but not much more. Pad Thai did good drinks and the bartenders were so friendly I kept drinking and texting my girlfriend to come for drinks. Mr West is a club at 22 Street and it is all hype. I do not recommend the club at all. It is "wanna-be" luxury. For example, A magnum bottle of Moët & Chandon for 30 000 dollars! How retarded and vulgar with over-pricing like that.
I start to have a few favourites by now and I and my girlfriend went to dancing at Pacha, Karaoke at Japas 55 and Korean BBQ at Gyu-Kaku. At Gyu-Kaku I tried colon. Sounds gross but tasted good. It was a rarity that I had to try.
The Emery Bar is a stylish place with good drinks and friendly bartenders. Great place for "post-work drinks". Rosie O'Grady's bar was way overpriced. I did not try the dining. Amma is an almost "hidden" Indian Restaurant with good food. Typically VERY polite and friendly waiters. Stack Pancake and Steak House in North Arlington (NJ) is as good as it gets when coming to an American breakfast. Good and basic stuff. Very good "hangover" food. The Shops at Columbus Circle is like a small luxury mall. Nice design and art at the place. There are some very good restaurants in the mall which I did not try out (maybe another time). Pueblo is a Spanish food market in Belleville (NJ) and it was with great pleasure to check out all the veggies, meats and imported Latin products. Great inspiration for cooking.
I will finish off with some thoughts about the traffic. New York has to limit the car traffic into Manhattan. Even though the environment is important, my main argument to limit traffic into Manhattan is to make transports and living more easy, comfortable and less stressful (I wonder how many heart attacks and strokes have been triggered by the traffic). The traffic will be limited sooner or later whether people like it or not. I find it is better to limit the traffic sooner with a well planned increase in public transport between Manhattan and the boroughs and also between Manhattan and New Jersey (the 2 states have to work together on that). I would like to see great increase in Public transport and when that is done, no allowance of any private car traffic (except for those with significant handicap). The vehicles allowed should be buses, taxis and delivery transport to shops etc. Can you imaging how much better the traffic would flow.
That is all folks...
Amma - 246 E 51 St (btw 2 and 3 Av), New York, NY 10022, (212)644-8330, www.ammanyc.com
Bamboleo - 170 Bleeker St, New York, NY 10012, (212)253-8226
Canal Seafood Restaurant Inc - 266 Canal St, New York, NY, (212)274-1535
Chez Napoléon - 365 W 50 St btw 8 and 9 Av, New York, NY, (212)265-6980, www.cheznapoleon.com
El Paso Taqueria - 1642 Lexington Av, New York, NY 10029, (212)831-9831, www.elpasotaqueria.com
Equinox - 250 E 54 St, New York, NY 10022, (212)277-5400, www.equinoxfitness.com
The Emery Bar - 125 E 50 St at Lexington, New York, NY 10022, (212)715-2500, www.emerybar.com
Gyu-Kaku - 805 3 Av, 2 floor, btw 55 and 56 St, (212)702-8816
Japas 55 - 253 W 56 St btw 8 and Broadway, New York, NY 10019, (212)765-1210
Je's Restaurant - 260 Halsey St, Newark, NJ 07102, (973)623-8848
Le Bateau Ivre - 230 E 51 St btw 2 and 3 Av, New York, NY 10022, (212)583-0579, www.lebateauivrenyc.com
Mr. West - 559 W 22 St, New York, NY 10079, (212)414-8700
Pacha - 618 W 46 St (at 12 Av), New York, NY 10036, (212)209-7500, www.pachanyc.com
Pad Thai - 114 8 Av Frnt, New York, NY, (212)691-6226, www.padthaibox.com
Rosie O'Grady's - 800 7 Av (corner of 52 St), New York, NY 10019, http://rosieogradys.com
Sala - 344 Bowery, New York, NY 10012. At Great Jones St, (212)979-6606, http://salanyc.com
Signature Fitness - 471 Cortlandt St, Belleville, NJ 07109, (973)751-6999, http://signaturefitness.net/belleville/home
The Shops at Columbus Circle - www.shopsatcolumbuscircle.com
Stack Pancake and Steak House - 205 River Rd, North Arlington, NJ 07041, (201)991-1023
Tapas de España - 7909 Bergenlin Av, North Bergen, NJ