Empire State of Mind- A couple of days in NYC.
NYC brought me much pleasure while I was there last week. It always do. (yes, that was on purpose.)
The food, the buildings, the people. I love it all. I try to do something new every time I have the chance to visit this amazing city. This time, I tried a few. Allow me to share where I went and what I did while I was in the concrete jungle.
When I arrived in NYC, I was pretty tired from my early early morning flight. Here’s my post on how I got to NYC using my miles and points. And here’s my post with a little insight on why I was so tired.
Anyway, after checking into my hotel (Grand Hyatt Review), I “yelped” local eateries for a place to grab a quick bite to eat. I settled on Cambodian influenced sandwich shop “Num Pang“. It was only a couple of blocks away and its “pulled duroc pork” sandwich had over 200 positive reviews. Done. It was a quaint looking joint, kinda hidden away from all the foot traffic. Of course, it was crowded inside and there was no seating at all indoor or out, but the pork sandwich was delicious. No lie. It was so good (or I was too hungry) that I forgot to take a pic of it. Not sure how I feel about pics of food anyway.
After going back to the hotel on a very full stomach, it was recoup time. Before going out for the night, I decided to grab a quick bite to eat at “Burger Joint” Burger Joint is what it says, but what makes it unusual is it’s nestled away in a corner of the Le Parker Meridien Hotel. Pretty cool. It did feel a tad bit awkward walking through a pretty nice hotel to get to a hole in the wall burger place. The burger itself was pretty good (not overwhelmingly awesome- but a good burger for it’s price point). It was definitely worth the visit for the whole experience. Once again, I failed and forgot to take a pic of the burger. I was ravenous.
When I was done killing the burger, I was off to “Smoke“, the legendary jazz club. Yes, I did more than eat in NYC. Smoke is located in the southern edge of Harlem and was formerly known as Augie’s Jazz Bar. Augie’s had a rich jazz history and many legends have had residency there in the previous 30 years it was open. On this night, I was lucky because Al Foster and his quartet were playing. Al Foster was the drummer for the man, Miles Davis! He was the only musician who was in both of Miles Davis’ bands. I’m not going to lie- I had to wikipedia Al Foster when I was there, but he was nothing short of amazing. The price was a little steep ($35) to just sit at the bar and listen to jazz music, but it was well worth it.
This concluded a killer day in NYC.
Next up, I had never been to the Brooklyn Bridge (I know, shocker), and that had to change. I made it happen this trip. After a light b-fast in the club lounge, I was off to the Brooklyn Bridge humming the Avett Brothers song “I and Love and You (Brooklyn, Brooklyn, take me in…)”. I’m sure the people on the subway thought I was a little off. I am, it’s ok. Anyway, I love bridges and I’m always amazed at their size and how someone had an idea and many more people carried out that idea to create such a huge piece of industrial genius.
After the Brooklyn Bridge, I was on my way to my fav breakfast place, “Clinton Street Baking Co. & Restaurant“. Ummmm, this place is killer. Clinton’s is located in the lower east side of Manhattan and although the wait was 45 minutes, it was a no brainer. They even have a cool waiting system where they will text you 10 minutes before your table is ready, so you can walk around a little, building up a Noob like appetite. I did take pics of the food here. Win. I went with the famous pancakes with chocolate chunks. I’m a sucka for chocolate. They were excellent as expected.
Walking back to the subway, I stopped by Katz’s deli. No, not to eat. I’m not that big of a glutton. I stopped in to take a pic of the sign above the table from the famous “Where Harry Met Sally” scene. You know, the “I’ll have what she is having” after Meg Ryan goes all O. This is one of my wife’s favorites movies, so I was thinking she would enjoy the pic.
After letting my brunch digest for a few hours, it was off to the “Subway Series”. The Yankees were playing the Mets! I have never been to a Yankees game either, so I was all in. Unfortunately, they were playing at Citi Field. I was hoping for Yankee stadium, but it was still a blast. I went hoping to buy tickets outside the stadium but the prices ended up being super steep, so Luke and I went over to the sports bar McFaddens that was connected to the stadium. We were having a couple drinks and met a couple down from Michigan. After hanging with them for about 30 minutes, they offered us their tickets for free. Apparently he had a small case of vertigo. We were very grateful and after smooth talking the gate rep to let us in (no re-enters are allowed), we were inside Citi Field for free for a Yanks-Mets game. Respect. I instantly got a hot dog and a beer and was in heaven.
This concluded my 2 days in NYC. I had a great time eating, walking the streets, and seeing a few sites. I always love getting away from the 9-5. It helps keep me sane. And my wife appreciates a sane husband. I highly recommend all the spots I went to on this trip, especially Smoke if you like jazz and Clintons if you like to eat.
I hope this gives you a couple of new options for your next trip to NYC. Let me know if you have any recommendations of your own from a recent trip. I always love hearing reader feedback!
— Noob Master