New York City – Lower Manhattan!

Robin Boyle North American, Travel

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This continues on from New York – The Big Cheesecake!

With the jet lag under control, we would spend our second full day sightseeing in Lower Manhattan. We would do a lot of walking and we would also experience two of Brandon’s restaurant suggestions (see first NYC blog post).

High Line Walk

This was a new experience for us – a reclaimed disused elevated rail line. We started at the northern end, at West 34th Street. As you skirt around the Hudson rail yards you wonder what the fuss is all about. However, you soon reach some impressive new developments. The walk eventually takes you into the Meatpacking District with its massive warehouses, many of which have been converted into apartments, shops, offices and restaurants.

 

Our barman from our first night, Brandon, had recommended stopping at a restaurant called Bubby’s, largely because of the restaurant’s philosophy. The restaurant website says:

“Renowned for its simple and fresh comfort food, Bubby’s is dedicated to defending the American table and its traditions with thoughtful ingredient sourcing and an ‘off the commercial food grid’ philosophy.”

It is right at the southern end of the High Line walk.  You enter into a colourful, welcoming, diner-style ambience. Brandon had said to just try the devilled eggs if we only wanted a quick snack. And the waiter convinced us to accompany them with the house ‘biscuits’ (scone-like but more buttery and crisper). Exactly what we felt like after walking for several kilometres.

Chelsea Market

A short walk back north takes you to Chelsea Market, a very sophisticated and popular foodie centre built into an old factory site.

Nearby is Buddakan, an extraordinary restaurant complex that Brandon said we should see because of its massiveness and decor. At that time of the day there were no diners but we were still able to enter and wander around the various rooms and levels and marvel at what it must be like when it is in full swing. We didn’t take any photos – these two are from their website.

World Trade Centre – 9/11

We caught the subway to visit the 9/11 memorials, a marvellous mix of old and new, with old-skyscrapers contrasting with the memorial buildings and the springtime blossoms.

Katz’s Delicatessen

We first visited Katz’s in the 1980s, and each of has revisited every trip to New York. It was our next stop via another subway ride. Our aim wasn’t to have one of their giant sandwiches, but to try something small and just re-experience the ambience. In 2002 I returned and waited in the queue for 30 minutes to get a seat, and did what some others in the queue did – order a chilli dog to eat standing up while waiting. I recall it as a wonderful frankfurter-style sausage in a small bread roll, topped with chilli con carne that seemed to be made from minced cooked meats. Just delicious! That was all we ordered today and it was just as yummy. However, watching the crowd of diners made it difficult to hold back from ordering something else.

Walking the streets

One of the great pleasures of New York is simply walking. The landscape changes quickly: village-like here, dilapidated there, smart shops and rundown ones, a gallery or museum or park for peace and quiet, and captivating architecture everywhere. Even the fire escapes on the sides of the buildings are fascinating. Via subway and on foot, we made it back to our accommodation.  Having walked about 12 kilometres during the day, that night we would eat just across the road from the hotel.

New York – Fire escapes a

New York – Fire escapes b

New York – Fire escapes c

New York – Fire escapes d

Chrysler Building

New York – Old and New

New York – Reflections

New York – Public Library

Bryant Park

Continued:

For a continuation of our visit to NYC, see: New York – Central Park & Environs!