Daily Archives: June 22, 2015

Summer in the City – Part 1 – New York, NY

I have recently embarked on a project that is very exciting and daunting at the same time.  It is, perhaps, my biggest undertaking ever – ok maybe having a child was a bit bigger. For the past several years I have been planning to finally put in the kitchen of my dreams in my house.  What started out as just a kitchen renovation, quickly turned into something that involved excavation and gutting most of my home which meant that I had to dial down some of my kitchen dreams to shift the budget to other necessities like bathrooms. I moved out of my home several weeks ago and construction began two weeks ago.

My old kitchen

How it looks today

Given the extent (and expense) of this project, there are no major travel plans in my immediate future and most certainly not for this summer.  So I’ve decided to take the time to go on some adventures in and around New York City and take you along with me. The plan is to try and find some new things to do that I have not done before.  The City is always changing with new neighborhoods, restaurants and things to do cropping up all the time and so I thought it would be fun to do a little exploring.

Despite the gloomy weather yesterday, my son and I decided to head to NYC right after his morning tennis lesson.  We headed in just around lunch time and took the PATH train from Jersey City to Christopher Street.  We walked up Hudson St trying to decide where to eat.  There are many well known restaurants in that area like The Spotted Pig or Barbutos, but I like to go to some of the more neighborhood type places instead of what’s rated on Zagat as many of the popular places tend to also be touristy.

Merguez with Hummus & Salad

Our walk led us to Meme (pronounced May May), a small Mediterranean restaurant with outdoor seating on Hudson Street just north of 11th.  The menu had brunch items like Shakshuka, Melawach along with some small plates and salads also.  Everything looked and sounded delicious and we had some trouble deciding.  My son opted for the spiced lamb burger and I ordered the merguez which came with hummus and a salad.  The lamb burger was flavorful & juicy and served on a firm baguette instead of roll.  It came with grilled onions & tomato, a small side salad & fries and was topped with feta cheese.  My son said it was so good that he didn’t even need to add ketchup.  My merguez was equally delicious with great flavor and just the right amount of heat.  With the crisp salad, dressed only with lemon juice, and the smooth hummus, it more than satisfied my hungry stomach.

Lamb Burger w/ Fries

With our stomachs full and the sky starting to throw down a little drizzle, we started walking towards our one planned destination for the day – The Whitney Museum of American Art.  The Whitney, as it’s often called, has recently moved back downtown to the Meatpacking district on Gansevoort St.  The building, designed by Renzo Piano, is quite interesting and certainly depicts the theme of this museum which is contemporary art.  I had acquired passes for us in advance which allowed us to skip the rather long line in front to get tickets.  Honestly, I’m not sure I would have bothered otherwise. 

Outdoor Space at The Whitney

We perused through all the floors of art work, each devoted to different periods throughout the twentienth century.  I can’t say I understood or appreciated much of it, but we certainly found it entertaining.  Like the artist who had cut a square of old wallpaper and framed it to look nice, or another who had stuck a whole bunch of “VIA AIR MAIL” stickers on a canvas board.  I’m not sure how either is art but hey I subscribe more to the notion of “Art for art’s sake” than “Art is in the eye of the beholder”.  Maybe I just don’t get it.  Either way, we enjoyed the outdoor sculptures and making up stories about them, and taking photos from the outdoor areas on the upper floors which has some great vistas around NYC.

A View of the High Line from The Whitney

After the museum, my son devoured a crepe with Nutella & bananas from a street cart before we headed off to walk on the High Line for a little bit in the still drizzly weather.  How that kid can eat so much and yet remain so thin is a mystery to me.  From the High Line we made our way to Chelsea Market on 9th Ave to see what we could scramble up for dinner.  The market has gotten far too popular now and I’m not sure I like it as a tourist attraction.  There are great food options and one can find some wonderful fish and meat there, but the prices now reflect the tourist trap feel and the crowds are unmanageble and off putting.

The sky threatened stronger storms and so we decided to make our way back to the PATH station and head home to hunker down in our temporary home with some bread, cheese and a movie.  But not before stopping at Eleni’s for some Butterscotch Cookies – my child was hungry again!!
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