Around the world in August and September 2011

Whilst on my latest travel adventure I will endeavour to keep a visual and written record of what I'm up to by posting daily - including three photos taken (roughly) at morning, noon and night!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

New York - An introduction to dirty money, pretty parks and pizza Vanilla Ice style

A run south along the river was my first real introduction to the borough of Manhattan (there are after all four other distinct areas that make up New York as a city). Everything was where it should be, the statue of liberty standing out on her island, her appearance offering no element of surprise due to my saturation of NY film and television. The diversity of the small riverside parks I passed through I found surprising as well as the intense humidity in the air.

Morning image 1
Morning image 2

With two stages complete and new sections still to come, the highline is a great example of how things can be done differently. A disused above street level railway previously used to transport goods from the ports on the river, a handful of individuals fought to save the structure from demolition and turn it into a narrow park set above the street. It is very cool and New Yorkers are embracing it as their own garden, the plantings are such that as the seasons change so does the high line. I also checked out the Chelsea Market, more of a place to go for a meal than fresh produce it is in another well preserved/thoughtfully renovated old building.


Noon image here

Call me a restaurant/chef groupie (I am proudly so) I had my third meal in a restaurant that has at least one published cookbook - the Momofuku Ssam Bar (pork buns = yum!) then walked off the gluttonous feast watching break dancers in Washington Square and admiring the weird and wonderful that make up the city, including this guy dressed as a Venetian (mask included) on stilts who was just walking down the street talking to his friend. With a wallet already full of filthy one dollar bills and feet sore from pounding the pavement, I'm getting into the swing of this big vibrant city.


Night image here

A real New Yorker! Well not for life but a real American and resident of Brooklyn for twelve years, Craig, a musician I met in Ireland a couple of years ago took me down Greenwich Village's famous Bleecker Street for pizza at one of the top five contenders for NY's best pizza places - John's Pizza. He showed me how to eat gigantic slices with one hand, a skill I didn't know I needed but am now glad I have. Amongst the pictures of celebrities on the wall was Vanilla Ice, if it's good enough for him then it's good enough for me!

Craig took me for a tour through Soho and Little Italy where things were shut or very quiet, it seems the city does sleep sometimes or more likely everyone was out of town (last gasp of summer in the Hamptons) for the Labour Day holiday weekend. My host was very apologetic and seemed somewhat embarrassed about the lack of action, like it is a local's responsibility to make sure that NY is happening 24/7 for visitors. I was just happy for a quieter introduction, I am a small town girl after all.

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