Thursday, July 28, 2011

More of The Big Apple!!

New York is such a beehive of activity that it is difficult to take in all the flavors on one trip.  We've decided to post some photos of other visits to try and place the City in perspective.  Where else can you find a Dale Chihuly glass exhibit juxtaposed against the beautiful floral displays of the New York Botanical Garden?  What about a night of jazz in the club at the Time Warner Center with a view of Central Park?  One evening, we cabbed across the Brooklyn Bridge to the River Cafe, noted both for its exceptional food and staggering views of Manhattan.  Another, we feasted on Italian food at Pete's Tavern near Gramercy Park, soaking in the ambiance of a tavern where O. Henry once wrote, the weathered brick walls now covered with photos of celebrities who've visited.  Pete's bills itself as the oldest continuously operating bar and restaurant in the City.
Chihuly Chandelier



Jazz @ Time Warner

View from the windows of the River Cafe under the Brooklyn Bridge

Door to the River Cafe

Pete's Tavern

Gramercy Park is one of the few private parks remaining in the City, and we were fortunate to stay on one visit at the Gramercy Park Hotel--which has a key to the gate.  It was pretty neat one Saturday morning to stroll the flower-bordered sidewalks within the Park, enjoying the tranquil setting with a few of the nearby residents who also have access.  On our last trip, we strolled from the Chatwal to Bryant Park, behind the mammoth public library, and rested a while to watch the world go by.  Our visit was on a sunny Saturday, and the park was full of walkers, joggers, and many who simply sat or reclined on the lush lawn.  A Buddhist group was performing a ceremony in one corner of the park, and their chants and music lent an otherworldly charm to the moment. 

Grammercy Square Park

Lobby of the the Gramercy Park Hotel

It's very eclectic

Performing in Bryant Park

Bryant Park

We saw three shows on our last trip--the ebullient Anything Goes, the thought-provoking War Horse, which is sure to jerk a tear from anyone breathing, and the astounding Zarkana, a Cirque de Soleil production at Radio City Music Hall.  To combine the surrealism of a Cirque production with the immense Radio City art deco theater was quite a spectacle.  Before Anything Goes, we enjoyed cocktails at Sardi's upstairs bar and eyed the caricatures of the many performers, producers, and directors which line the walls.  Post-theater, it is hard to beat Carmine's for a healthy fix of Italian food in portions as large as anything I've ever witnessed. 

Radio City Music Hall Marque



On our final day of the trip, we visited the Oak Bar at the Plaza Hotel.  The huge and beautiful murals on opposite sides of the bar evoke another time and place--particularly after the second drink.  We found another bar, with a similar atmosphere, in the Pierre Hotel nearly kitty-corner from the Plaza.  The bar had a terrific 'feel' and one of the most innovative cocktail menus we've seen--which is saying something in New York City. 

One of the murals in the Oak Room @ The Plaza

Oak Room

Another mural in the Oak Room Bar, my favorite place

Plaza Lobby 

Ceiling of the grill at the Plaza

Chinese zodiac sculptures on display in the circle outside the Plaza, by artist Ai Weiwei.

Plaza front door

From past trips, here are some other recommendations: Katz's Deli in the lower East side (where the famous scene from 'Where Harry Met Sally' was filmed); a Circle tour through New York harbor--yes, I know it is touristy, but it gives a completely different perspective to the City; The Natural History Museum--if the exhibits here don't impress, don't bother visiting other museums; the fountains, at night, at Columbus Circle and the Plaza Hotel which seem magical when bathed in soft light. 

Katz's Deli

The sandwiches are enormous!

Waiting fir the Harbor tour

The fountains At Columbus Circle at night

Time Warner and the fountains

As you've concluded by now, we are New York City aficionados and I could write several more posts on the City--the High Line elevated park (built on an abandoned rail line), the captivating art collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the Frick Collection, housed in the Frick mansion, itself a work of art.  But the joy of New York is discovering what you like, to turn down a street you've not been on before and discover the hidden museum, the amazing restaurant, a man strolling along with a cat perched on his head.  At some point, you're bound to find yourself muttering, "Only in New York..."

5th Ave. at night

Typical corner

Hold you're horses, Pat La Frieda Black Label Burgers!!!  Doesn't get any better!

National Arts Club on Gramercy Square

Cat going for a walk on it's owner's head

Little Italy

The lobby of the Met

An entire Egyptian Temple in the Met

The skirt is fabric!

China Town and Dim Sum, Yum!

Times Square

Times Square

More of Times Square

NYC, beautiful in the morning mist

Columbus Circle and The Park

And just as beautiful at sunset

Bryant Park

And the best French Bistro next to the Chatwal, great surprise find, but that's the Big Apple

And you'll be right.