Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

New York City Boy, 2

Saturday. GO!

19 W 46th
New York, NY 10036

Akdeniz is a region in Turkey, so guess what kind of restaurant this is. More pricey than neighboring Bread & Olive but this is sit down with more atmosphere and frankly, better quality ingredients rolled in impressive presentation. Greek salad satifies with thick ribbons of creamy-firm Feta, tomato, lettuce all lounging in a lemony extra-virgin dressing.

Being a falafel whore is hard work; you try more and more falafel until you give up in disgust because noone can do it right. Well, until, that is, you land here, its excellent.

Galina had lamb kabobs. I subtly distracted her attention to the drop-dead gorgeous Turkish server, then snuck a piece. Next time, I eat lamb. Screw vegetarianism, I've decided that meat-no meat rules do not apply while in Manhattan.

Fueled with Turkish, Galina and I took the 6 up to the Guggenheim. For me, coming to NYC without visiting this museum is like coming to NYC without visiting my friends.

The big exhibit was Dave Smith. It was installed all the way up the ramp as well as several side galleries. Interesting sculpture, all welded metals, either entirely vertical or horizontal with liberal use of open space in the architecture. I lack the necessary art lingo to describe his work in any detail but I would see it again if the opportunity presented itself.

A couple of Dave Smith pieces

5th Ave
Galina wanted to shoe shop after the Gugg, so we snaked around 5th avenue in search of the perfect pair of shoes. Women and their shoes is an interesting phenomenon. Not only the heavy amount of judgement and criticism applied to each overpriced work of art but also the pain they are willing to endure to be attached to such; Galina walked 55 blocks in 5-inch strappy heels. My feet hurt, in my comfy Sketcher sneakers, just watching her.

21 Club
21 W 52nd St.
New York, NY

I think the 21 is a fine example of old New York. When I walked into the heavily dark paneled interior I could feel Sammie, Dean and Frank sitting back in their booths, smoking their cigars after a big steak dinner. Speakeasy past, the hidden cellars during prohibition give the 21 a undeniable mystique.

Paula, Joe & Galina - 21 NYC (in special orange vision :)

This is where Dutch decided to hold his graduation party. I thought it was a very generous touch that he dedicated the party itself to the other 5 Stern MBAs in the room, taking a back seat to their accomplishments while picking up the tab for all.

Paula - 21 NYC

Cliquot and seared tuna apps circled the room in a 5-star tornado while we, all of Dutch's friends, all 75 of us, were finally able to place faces to long-aquainted names and stories.

Magic, thank-you Dutch.

Room With A View
After the party we went to the apt. of one of Dutch's friends. The building was on 48th and 1st Ave, right along the East River. Her apt., some 50 floors up, had the most kick-ass view of the city I have ever seen. Her balcony wrapped around 3 sides of the building. From the south - Empire State and Chrysler around to the river and around again to midtown and upper east. I spent most of my time here walking around and around her balcony in utter disbelief.

As we took the elevator down my anaytical mind was calculating the cost of this apt. -- 2000 sf, wrap around balcony, 50 floors up -- I'd say 10 to 20 million, maybe more. Funny, I don't think I've ever actually been in a 20 million dollar apartment before. Makes coming back to my shack seem a little like drinking Mountain Dew after Dom Perignon.

Still in my view haze, someone pushed me into a cab and poof we're on the Lower East Side. Go ahead, snarl your lips back and growl but I love LES. Its gritty and unassuming, you can almost hear the struggle, the creak of the waitressing treadmill that most stage hopefulls hop on while waiting for their one big break.

We had more drinks and a wee bit of food at Charbon LES, a psuedo-bistro bar combo on Orchard @ Stanton. One thing you should know about this place - the service is horrendously bad; slow, forgetful and just plain rude. I was, however, more than thrilled with my salmon tartar with avocado citrus dressing. I would go back for this but with drastically altered expectations.

With a cab ride back to midtown, so ends another day in the city.



Blogger Jim said...

What an exciting journey! Obviously not about R&R!! Sounds like a fabo time. :)

3:40 PM

Blogger Jim said...

Like my NYC friends tell me

"You'll have plenty of time to rest when you're dead."

LOL, harsh but it sums up the NYC experience.

7:54 AM

Blogger Daniel, the Guy in the Desert said...

Wow, It's good for me to be reminded that a place like that still exists. And people actually live there, every day.
And, like you, I think the perfect falafel has yet to be prepared and served. It's more a state of mind, don't you think?

1:11 PM

Blogger Jim said...

It is a state of mind, Daniel, also a state of crispy on the outside and please, use enough garlic for me to taste :)

7:32 AM


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