New York Again

I don’t know what it is with this city but I just can’t get enough. Maybe it’s the mix between global, cosmopolitan and local that I love. The fact that although New York is so big and has everything, including people and their cultures from everywhere, and the center of fashion, art, finance, and business, it still has a local feel in the different neighborhoods. Just a block off 5th or Broadway, there are the small neighborhoods where friends and neighbors run into each other in the street corners or chitchat with a local store owner. The Boroughs are even better of course. And then it’s like everyone can find their own favorite spot in the city, that seems to be there just for them. I actually have a few, including Bryant Park and a special spot in Central Park, and I love spending time at the New York City Library on 5th Avenue.

This time, I also headed out to Coney Island and Brighton Beach, where my host and I had a long lunch at one of the Russian restaurants out in Little Odessa – another of my by favorite spots in New York. I spent most part of Sunday in Central Park with a book and bagel and coffee from Zabar’s. So as always, I had a great weekend in New York!

Here are a few pics from Coney Island and Brighton Beach:








Pre-Holiday Weekend in New York

So it seems like the more I worked on setting up my new blog and other social media, the less time I had to actually write posts. Sorry for that, will try to better (though I can add that when my personal social media advisor, i.e. my friend Anna, reduced the target I set for post per week from four to three. So although it is probably more realistic, there is apparently little hope for me improving!)

Admittedly, not much has happened anyway in this period. At least not that much that is worth blogging about. I have worked a lot and prepared for the holidays. To really get into the spirit, Anna and I decided to take the bus up to New York last weekend, to see the Christmas decorations, buy Christmas gifts, and go ice-skating in Central Park. It was a wonderful weekend! Unfortunately, it was a little too warm for us to be in ice-skating mood (it hit 17 °C, i.e. over 70 °F our last day) but we did see the Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center and all the Christmas decorations on 5th Avenue (my favorite were definitely inside Saks and at Bryant Park and the New York City Library), we went to no less than three Christmas markets (at Columbus Circle, Bryant Park, and Union Square), took a walk in Central Park, and had long lunches and dinners. Perfect New York weekend in other words! Since my favorite Brooklynite wasn’t in town this time, we stayed on Manhattan this time, which meant that I got to try a bunch of new restaurants and bars. Worth mentioning were:

The Bar Room (Upper East Side) – low-key, bistro style with comfy environment and good food, and with gorgeous art deco interiors. We went there for lunch, which was perfect!

Perla (Greenwich Village) – Italian inspired restaurant with good food and nice atmosphere! I had amazing fettuccine with black trumpet mushrooms.

Acme (East Village) – New American food with Nordic influences and also with kind of a bistro-style interior but less art deco and more functionalistic from what I remember. We ordered a bunch of small, tapas-like dishes to share and they were all delicious!

Little Branch (West Village) – Speak Easy with an almost hidden entrance and with a very small bar. Only a few people are let in at the time and the bartenders really take the time to provide you with the perfect cocktail.

Café Kava (Hells Kitchen) – a coffee shop close to our hotel that turned out to have the best muffins I’ve had so far in the U.S. They actually tasted like they had been in a real oven for a while. My favorite? Pear and pecan! And the people who worked there were very nice!

Actually, in all these places, the people who worked there were really nice and friendly, which makes such a difference. We stayed at the Yotel in Hells Kitchen, and although nice for the price, I think it targeted a younger audience. Perhaps most interesting was their bathroom set-up which didn’t include a proper door. A little odd! But other than that, the room was quite nice and at least we had a good view of the city from the 15th floor. And as always, I wish I could have stayed longer than the three days we were there.








// The view from our hotel room // Central Park in snow // The Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center // Tiffany & Co. // The Christmas market at Columbus Circle // Christmas decorations outside a private townhouse on the Upper East Side //  Acme //

In New York At Last!

Finally a New Yorker! Well, at least for a month. Therese and I decided a while back that if we can’t live here permanently, we can at least pretend to do so for the summer. I came up Thursday afternoon to attend a conference on Global Obesity yesterday, and am since just enjoying the atmosphere. I have no real plans for the next weeks except to work on my M.Sc. dissertation, write on my book, and try to acquire some of the New York attitude (though add a nice touch to it). However, after only two days here, I have already managed to tick off quite a few of the NY experience musts:

• Asian manicure at 9 pm – CHECK!
• Conference at the now infamous Sofitel Hotel – CHECK!
• Getting lost in the subway, adding 30 min to the trip – CHECK!
• Keys to a brownstone apartment in brooklyn – CHECK!
• Party at roof terrace in East Village – CHECK!
• Seeing a humongous rat in the subway – CHECK!
• Having lox bagel and coffee breakfast in Central Park – CHECK!

Therese will be here on Monday – can’t wait to see her!