Tuesday, 23 July 2013

{Eat, Drink, Do New York}


Last month, on the way to a family reunion in Oregon (think Parent Trap + red wine), I stopped by NYC for a few days at my Uncle's. While he was hard at work in the sweltering urban jungle, I spent my days pottering around the city. Eight hours of walking each day punctuated only by refreshment breaks left me a broken (but very happy) girl. The problem with New York is that for every place recommended to you, there are ten others that you stumble upon on the way. Or rather, I'd say, that is the beauty of the city that never sleeps..

Eat: The Standard Grill, 848 Washington St  

My first day in New York, I was rudely awakened by jet lag at 5 in the morning. Not one to miss an opportunity to explore the city before it was hit with heat & tourists alike, I jumped straight on a ferry (I was staying in Weehawken, NJ) & sailed across the Hudson to Manhattan. The best commute I've ever experienced! To work up an appetite I took a walk along the High Line. I won't lecture you with its history because just about everyone now knows that the Highline is a disused train track turned park/walkway. You can jump on at various different points at street level and walk up and down the 3 mile length, taking in various art installations and beautiful flowers along the way.




My insomnia paid off because the High Line had just opened for the day so I avoided the many tourists who visit this now must-see destination (yes I know I am one myself). Instead, I shared this little serene gem with commuters looking for a change of pace & a little peace. Off to the sides, on wooden decking, were early morning stretchers and sun worshippers. I can imagine it would be the ideal setting for a little AM yoga - very zen.



Eventually I made it to one end of the High Line, in the trendy Meatpacking district (be sure to check it out). My expensive taste & I serendipitously wandered into The Standard Grill, not knowing that it's part of one of the trendiest (and probably most expensive) hotels in the areas, complete with a beer garden and exclusive rooftop club called Le Bain.


I got out of the heat and settled into a table for one inside the stylish conservatory restaurant. First day of a holiday in NY, I had to order the pancakes or else bring shame upon my country! Of course, I went for a little extra Nutella on top, as if the maple syrup wasn't already sweet enough. Representing England, I ordered a pot of English breakfast, sat back & took in my surroundings! An absolutely perfect order if I say so myself), it hit the spot and was the perfect accompaniment to people watching. I definitely rated my breakfast better than the SALAD that a business man opposite me ordered - at 9 in the morning! Oh, New Yorkers.


The waiters are closet hipsters dressed up in eccentric uniforms, whilst the hostesses look like they have stepped straight off the runway. No Nutella pancakes for them! The XX played out the speakers whilst tattooed beards charmed their breakfast dates. Do go there if you're in the area (and even if you aren't)!


Drink: The Frying Pan, Pier 66 Maritime, W. 26th St


Everyone I met in NY was buzzing about The Frying Pan. It's a historic boat which, rumour has it, was salvaged from the ocean floor after 3 years 'under da sea.' It's rough and ready exterior combined with cheerful (but not cheap) burger & beer menu means there's a whole mix of people there - from preppy city boys to older boat-lovers and tourists alike. I met an old friend (a drinking partner from Zanzibar) & we dove straight in and ordered a bucket of coronas. The perfect way to wile away a sunny NY afternoon if you ask me!

                                               

One issue: seating. Everyone has cottoned on to this waterfront gem with great views of New Jersey, so it is PACKED! The swelteringly heat and it being a weekend certainly didn't help. We parked up in over-sized flower planters which was fine, but i'm sure if you time it correctly you can nab a table before the locals arrive. If you're extra lucky, you'll get a seat on the observatory deck upstairs.


Ps. One bucket of beers later, we escaped the crowd and headed (wobbled) to the Meatpacking district for this little rooftop sanctuary. The Gansevoort (above) even has its own pool, a rarity in NY. Come evening, though, it opens up to the public (or those who will pay for the crazy expensive drinks) with a pool-side DJ party. I'd recommend it for one drink with a killer view, but any longer and you'll be sleeping on the sidewalk & eating out of trashcans! 

Do: The Circle Line, Pier 83, W. 42nd St

I'll let the photos do the talking on this one, suffice it to say that The Circle Line boat tour is a must for any visitor to NY. Saying that, my native uncle takes everyone who stays with him and he's still not bored! Tips? 1. Get there early to avoid queues 2. Go in the early evening so the sun sets as you go past The Statue of Liberty (plus her flame is all lit up) 3. Grab a spot on the deck upstairs on the right side so you have the best views on the boat's return 4. Make sure you order (copious) hotdogs & coronas in true NY style! Without further ado...















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