Monday, October 31, 2011

Future millions

I'm convinced.

Totally convinced that this is how I shall make my millions.

I am going to do it through PINKBERRY!
This delicious frozen yoghurt is sadly missing from Australia.

I must be the first to bring it back home. It will make me millions!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Growing fatness

I have been surprised by a lot of things in New York. Never did I expect to find a city that so completely enthralled me.

One of the biggest surprises has been the food.

America gets a pretty bad wrap about it's food overseas. The view of America is that the food consists of fast food and not much else.

This is so far from the truth.

In New York at the very least, I found a range of food truly astounding and the quality to be far higher than other places I had been.

This was a place where you could find anything from food out of a cart on the side of the street to fine dining at some of the most expensive restaurants in the world.

I found myself eating tacos from Mexican bodegas, chicken and rice from carts on the street, hot dogs at baseball games, amazing sandwiches from delis as well as some incredible meals from fancier establishments.
Food like cheesecake from Carnegies that was enough to give me a heart attack.
Or a Ruben from Katz's that was enough to give me a heart attack!

My definitive favourite food in my entire stay in New York were the bagels, cream cheese and smoked salmon out of the Jewish delis.

In particular, I grew to love the smoked salmon and sturgeon in scrambled eggs served with a bialy and cream cheese from Barney Greengrass'. The combination of the smokiness of the fish with the cream cheese was a lethal combination. Topped off on a crispy and chewy bialy, is there anything better?
I'm not quite sure how I'm going to handle life without them being readily available to me anymore.
Even the burgers in New York were pretty special. Sitting in a diner, the burgers are served promptly and taste far better than any burger I've ever had. They take them seriously in this country and use good meat for their mince ("ground meat") unlike back at home where only the poorer cuts are used.

Even the process of ordering food seems more fun!
Surprises never stop in this city.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Famous things

Wandering through the sites of New York is like taking a journey through my own personal television and movie watching history.

It feels as though every street I turn down brings me onto the scene of some movie/series/sitcom that I watched at some point in my life.

Even sitting on the subway, I get the distinct recollection of old episodes of Seinfeld.

As I walked around the Downtown part of Manhattan, I found myself in Wall St was pretty amazing.
It was far smaller than I expected, and due to the "Occupy Wall St" movement, there were lots of pennies on the ground.

At night, nothing changes either. The skyline of New York is so familiar. I almost feel more at home wandering through these streets than I do back in my actual home.
It helps that this is a rather pretty skyline as well. The Chysler Building really must be one of the most beautiful buildings ever made, whilst the Empire State Building stands as a monument to America and its achievements.

It almost felt cliched, turning the corners to see more monuments so engrained in popular culture.

I have to say that I liked it though.

It was fun seeing them all. I was even tempted to buy some of the tacky souvenirs for tourists like the Statute of Liberty headwear or some of the terrible photos. Thankfully, I thought better of it and decided against it.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Met

This is a big museum.

I always thought that the British Museum was big, but I was clearly mistaken.

You can definitely tell that a museum is truly enormous when you encounter a sizable section dedicated solely to Chinese ink blocks.
And that is before you consider that Chinese garden that has been completely recreated within the building.
Or the old Indian temple that has been relocated into one of the halls.
It seems as though the Met has attempted to take a slice of every single period of humanity's artistic history and present it for the public view.
Literally any time period.
Any style of art as well.
It is a strangely disjointed museum, full of so much incredible sights and displays, but without any real coherence or theme.

It just seems to be an attempt to show the public EVERYTHING.
There are of course, amazing items of display.

I found my Mondrian, which made me happy.
However, what struck me the most was still the sheer size of the place.
It overwhelms and it is almost overbearing.

I found myself spending almost the entire day in this museum, and it required a fairly quick pace (with little to no breaks) to cover the majority of it.
It is impressive, but I am not sure I like it. There is something lacking in subtlety and in clarity. The approach of having so much on display may please some, but for me, I prefer the more considered approach of the British Museum.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Waxing lyrical

You do some stupid things when you're travelling sometimes.

I shall tick this off as one of those stupid things.

As Pete, Ros and I were picking up some bus tickets as part of our New York explorer pass, we found ourselves next to Madam Tussaud's.

Why not go in we thought.
It really wasn't great.

Not great at all.
This became abundantly clear to us when we found that one of the best exhibits was probably the Sponge Bob Square Pants.

However, there are always a few gems to be discovered in the filth, no matter how much filth there is.
So it was nice for me to sit and have a chat with Woody Allen.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Play ball!

I am unsure how or why, but I managed to become a huge fan of baseball while I was at university. There is something about the game that captures my imagination and intrigues me with every at bat and with every pitch.

This is odd considering there isn't really any baseball in Australia and I have never been to a baseball game in Australia.

However, now that I was in New York, that would change!

I found myself with Andy, Pete and Ros at Citi Field for a game between the Phillies and the Mets!
This was fantastic for me on many levels.

Firstly, I'm a Phillies fan.

Secondly, the mighty ace of the Phillies, Roy Halladay was pitching.

And thirdly, the Mets are very very bad, making the chances of a Phillies win high.
It was great fun.

Sitting at the game, in good seats, eating hot dogs and cracker jacks.
It's clear how this became the great American past time. It is a relaxing and enjoyable day out.
At the seventh inning, we even got up to sing "Take me out to the ballgame". The fanfare, the pageantry, the food, all of it combines to create something that just doesn't seem to be there in a cricket game.

It also helps when the Phillies win!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Drinks on the skyline

I'm finding it hard to control my growing obsession with New York. Every extra moment I spend in the ciy seems to present me with more to be marvelled at.
After Andy finished work one night, we wandered down to a bar that had opened up not too long ago.
Even this was something that was amazing. As we got to the roof and ordered our drinks, it was clear that this place had a view that was to be marvelled at.
As well as I could with my camera, I tried to capture the view.
We quietly enjoyed our drinks, looking into the distance at the skyline that seems have more to do than any place I have ever set foot into.

Monday, October 03, 2011

The Bodega

Having wandered gawking and gasping at the sights of New York, I was hungry. Andy had come home from work and decided he knew just what was needed.

He told me to get my wallet and to make sure I was cashed up.

Not being completely sure about whether he was joking or being honest, I grabbed my money clip and stuffed it full of cash.

As we walked down 10th avenue, I still wasn't sure whether Andy was telling the truth or not.

Suddenly, he turned abruptly into a fairly non-descript little Mexican bodega. I only assumed that he wanted to buy something quickly. However, instead he continued to move into its depths and I soon found myself in a Mexican restaurant.
This clearly wasn't going to be the expensive dinner I had been cautiously prepared for.

Three soft tacos cost me effectively the change in my pockets.
And it was good!

It was so good! Better than any of the faux Mexican food that I've eaten back at home! Packed with flavour and perfectly encased in a couple of pieces of the soft bread.