Dining, New York City
Fondest memory: It was getting late and though we had only sampled a small portion of what we had come looking for, we opted for a quick savory pancake and some hot soy milk at a street stand up restaurant before seeking out another van back to NYC's Chinatown. We didn't want to get stranded in Flushing for the night no matter how good the Chinese breakfast sounded. No, that would have to wait for another day and to be sure, it would be an early visit to fully take in all the tastes and smells of what surely is one of the US most alluring ethnic eating experiences. It was a crazy thing to do with such little time but when it comes to food, my wife will tell you I am a little crazy. But even she has to admit one of her greatest memories of NYC is not only watching our fellow diners bite off the top of those soup dumplings but sucking one of those bad boys dry in person. Some things are just better in person than reading about them. And this was one of those times.
Although there's no glaring sign in NY saying not to drink the tap water, we still just use bottled water.
But apparently the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) rigorously tests the city's tap water and gives annual reports - DEP's water quality page at http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/drinking_water/index.shtml
Major things you have to worry about with water:
1. lead - NY water found to be generally lead-free
2. bacteria - think Giardia and Cryptosporidium (Giardia has been problem in some places - I think I saw warning at Egypt about it. Also had a friend who got it while in Africa)
3. disinfectants or disinfectant byproducts. All NYC drinking water is treated with chlorine, fluoride (to help prevent tooth decay) and orthophosphate (to help prevent metals, including lead, from being released from plumbing). Chlorine reported to possibly cause cancer...
So, there you go. Try to see the report and see what the latest is (2008 report has several pages).
Best tap water I've had in my trips: Iceland and Norway...better tasting than bottled water!
Favorite thing: I don't know what it is about NYC, but the food here looks better than any place I've ever seen. It must have to do with the diversity of the culture. Just walking by a bakery case will get your mouth watering.
Nothing is perfect and dining at New York City's best restaurants is no exception. Over the years, we have learned a few things which may be of help.
Dining when there are no reservations - many middle tier and some better restaurants ( Centolire, Bella Blu) allow dining at the bar, which we have done many times. The bartender is thrilled because the number of drinks ordered will not decrease but the extra tip from your meal will go right into his or her pocket. Just ask - you will be surprised how often the answer is yes.
Pick your night for a special upscale meal - avoid Saturday nights. Many excellent midtier restaurants (Lusardi, Portofino Grille) can offer excellent food and attentive service during the week but have a hard time with the full house that Saturday night usually brings. Service becomes ragged and hurried, food quality may not always be the best. This malady can even afflict some of the top restaurants in NYC occasionally ( including our beloved Coco Pazzo). If you are only going to have one top flight meal, aim for Tuesday Thursday and Sunday nights.
Eat well without breaking your bankroll - many of New York's finest have lunch menus which are much cheaper than dinner menus, but prepared with the same quality and delivered with the same service. You get an opportunity to eat 4 star for a 2 or 3 star price.
Dress appropriately - in New York, as anywhere in the world, a better dressed diner will get a table when "none are available" and the service will improve as well. Having done it both ways, we have no question as to the reliability of this paragraph.
For those of you who are huge SEIFELD show fans, NYC is like a big museum. One item mentioned in the show is a "black & white" cookie, which is old-time comfort food for city kids. Black and whites are a simple yellow-cakish type base with half chocolate and half vanilla icing. And, they're big.
I enjoyed the one in this photo at a deli called Harries, on Broadway. But, they're everywhere.
BTW, do any of you remember the significance and circumstance of a black and white cookie on SEINFELD? Here's a hint, it led to the end of a personal "record" for Jerry.
Favorite thing: The Winter Garden is a vast glass place for the public with 4 restaurants and shops. It opens out to a piazza and marina on the Hudson River. It's a very popular meeting place, particularly in the colder months...
Favorite thing: Whether you prefer to sit down and dine for ninety minutes or like to eat on the run, you will not go hungry in the Big Apple. Eateries to every taste and pocketbook appear here and in great numbers. Tourists pounding the pavement will find cheap and agreeable sustenance by eating pretzels, fruit or hot dogs from street vendors (pictured below), or others can find delis and other outlets that serve quick sandwiches and grills. You can eat quick fixes as you explore before settling on a restaurant for your "real meal." Keeping hydrated while walking downtown is no problem either. Sodas and bottled water are available from most carts. Tipping is appreciated but seldom solicited.
Favorite thing: One of the most wonderful things to do in New York is wander the streets in the cold, looking in windows and popping in to shops, craning one's neck looking up at the tall buildings and stopping briefly, not to linger at a cafe but to grab a quick latte with a shake of cinnamon or in my case this day, a chocolatey wonderful Chantico....Starbucks cafes are located ALL over the city and are usually a welcome & predictable friend. Most NYers hate to love it, I have learned to simply love it.
Favorite thing: Whenever you're hungry in New York, remember that there are a huge variety of restaurants that provide food from all over the world. Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Thai, Brazillian, Indian - be sure to try out at least a few different culturally unique meals when in New York!
the rumour about how handsome the firemen in NYC is true. i stayed at my friends apartment, somewhere near NYU and bleeker street during my stay in NY. i got this free map on how to explore the area around my friend's apartment. i was looking for a way to SoHo, try to find shortcut and found myself lost between small streets around the area. i stopped for a while and try to read my map to locate myself in it. i heard someone yelled to a crowd, which eventually distract my conctreation and lured me to find the source of the yell. that is the time when i saw bunch of handsome man hangin' out in a building in front of me. so i stood there, for 10 minutes and watched them. it's true, they are all very handsome!
Fondest memory: having to meet this NYU college student whom i met in washington dc. i never know his name, btw.
Go to Dean and Deluca's for pastries. It's really an upscale grocery store, but their bakery is the best!
New York, NY 10012-3938
Phone: (212) 226-6800
Cross Streets: Prince Street
Fondest memory: I miss all the crazy people. Seriously, where else can you find a guy who thinks he's Batman running through the streets and the next minute see a guy dressed as Little Bo Peep riding a bicycle? And the drag queen dressed head to toe in a shiny silver body suit with flashing lights on it? Ha! I love this city.
Bodeagas are spanish owned and operated corner delis. They are in almost every neighborhood and happen to be the peak of efficiency. They are usually opened real late or 24 hours. Pictured isn't the usual decoration of a bodega I just liked their overhang. A bodega usually has a stock yellow and red sign that all suppossedly purchased from the same supplier.
Fondest memory: The Beer! I guess Cigs.
Pete's Tavern first opened its doors in 1864. From that date to today it has remained open. This achievement makes Pete's Tavern both an official historical landmark and the longest continuously operating bar and restaurant in New York City.
129 East 18th Street
New York City
New York has some of the best food anywhere. Don't go on a diet when you're in New York, it's just not worth it. From soft pretzels, to hot dog vendors, to neighborhood specialties, you don't want to miss any of it. The restaurants in New York serve some of the best ethnic cuisine in the states. Ask for recommendations, and you won't go wrong. Be adventurous, you won't regret it. One tip, be wary of Mexican restaurants in the city. My sister who used to live in Manhattan, told me that they were very pricey and not nearly as good as California Mexican restaurants.
Fondest memory: New York restaurants have a wonderful charm and ambiance that will add to your experience.
check out these sites for restaurant dining in NYC
I love the roof of my building in new york city. it overlooks the hudson river. the parapet wall that borders the roof has several perches ideal for sitting upon. many a night have i gone up to the roof to let out some steam, talk with a friend, play guitar or to have a beer or meal. roof culture you just dont get in the suburbs!
Fondest memory: I was on 58 Street and 9 Avenue. About 4am. me and this cute girl were kissing on the corner when this real jittery guy comes up and starts talking very rapidly. "you two married? you should be. man, you are cute together. sure your not married? hey, i love that dress on you. it looks beautiful. you got any change?" i give him a quarter. he says, "you smoke crack?" our jaws drop. he says, "no? mind if i do?" and pulls out a crack pipe, takes a big drag and bounces on down the street. this part is NOT in your tour brochure! ahhhh new york.