Another cherished post-Thanksgiving adventure with Myra during which two old friends from college catch up while wandering around a great American city, noshing, window-shopping, people-watching, architecture-admiring, restaurant-searching, laughing, lamenting, reminiscing, dreaming and occasionally searching for a decent public bathroom (Penn Station had to do this time). Among the highlights (beyond the great company):
– Gansevoort Market, a “rustic industrial” food court on 14th street, small, manageable, calm, excellent poke at Gotham Pike.
– The High Line, which never disappoints, especially on a beautiful afternoon. There are always new art installations when I return, even after just a few months. And more work has been completed since my last visit in September on the retro-looking building with wide oval windows designed by the late Zaha Hadid. This time we found the attractive, European-feeling new 34 St-Hudson Yards Station, with its cool mosaic tile domed ceiling underground. (Opened in 2015, the station is the first new one in NY in 26 years.)
– The crafts at the holiday fair at Bryant Park were generally less impressive than those at the holiday fair at Grand Central Station, but what a lovely scene with the pretty ice skating rink, holiday lights and wreath-festooned stone lions at the foot of the New York Public Library. Also appreciated the inventiveness of the food vendors including one cooking unlikely creations with matzoh. Yes matzoh.
– Sakagura, a remarkably authentic Japanese restaurant (including classic interactive, water-spraying Japanese toilets) in the basement of a drab building just east of Grand Central. Who knew? Apparently a lot of people, including many people of Japanese descent. The place was packed. I almost felt like I was back in Kyoto, without the around-the-world flight. Instead, we walked down two flights of steps akin to the kind found in an aging middle school basement.
Earlier in the day, my cousin took us on a fascinating tour of the production “commissary” of Juice Press, in a cool Long Island City marketplace.