Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Even though it is not quite midnight here in NYC we already rang in 2009...UK style. An early evening party in a stunning apartment on the 40th floor overlooking the harbor was the setting for the ringing of the bells. We celebrated the New Year at 7 pm EST while the bells of Big Ben rang out in London at midnight. The company was perfect, the setting was gorgeous. The chiming of the bells was a new experience and hopefully a more regular occurrence.

We are honored and blessed to ring in the New Year surrounded by our lovely friends and their families. In typical NYC style the entire world was represented. The champagne flowed, laughter of children filled the air and the conversation was fun and bright.

In less than a half hour that famous crystal ball will drop in Times Square. Since we are Downtown dwellers we will settle for the sight on the television. Instead we will look out our windows towards Miss Liberty and take in some colorful and spectacular fireworks. It is a cold night and a good one to be cozy. That being said we have been lucky enough to celebrate in Times Square...definitely something to put on your list.

Welcome to 2009. May your year be filled with love, friends and health. Enjoy all of it. Take care of yourself and your neighbors.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

May your Christmas be bright.

From my neighborhood to yours...Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tradition of Revelations

December not only holds the holiday season but the home season of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Of the many performances of dance/theater/music I am lucky enough to attend the AAADT always wins my heart. For eight consecutive years we have found our way to 55th Street. My year would honestly not be complete without an evening on spectacular dance capped off with Revelations.

This year the AAADT is celebrating 50 years. In honor of the achievement Mr Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra held court for one week of special perfomances with live music. It was fantastic and added an entirely new dimension to the evening.

Revelations is Ailey's masterpiece. It leaves me speechless and breathless every time. I find myself holding my breath the entire time not wanting to move a muscle in fear of missing a millisecond of perfection. From its premiere in 1960 this piece has moved countless people across the world.

If you ever find yourself in NYC in December Alvin Ailey is a must. If not check out their tour. Maybe if you are lucky enough it will be coming to your hometown. Click here to find out.

Alvin Ailey was brillant and ahead of his time.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Oh Martha!

The day started off in Chelsea at the Martha Stewart compound. We had lucked into tickets to a taping of the Martha Stewart Show. Having never watched a single episode prior I had no clue what I was in for. The entire process was smooth and simple. Guest of the show was Rufus Wainwright who apparently has never set foot in a kitchen before. The mood was light and the laughs were many. We completely scored with the audience giveaway of the ultra cool vacuum packaging system Foodsaver. Word has it these babies retail for $175 so we felt the morning was worth it. Martha is very becoming and funny in person. Plus I gave her an extra ten points for wearing heels. Love heels!

It's a good thing.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving NYC style

Does living in NYC get any better?

Wednesday before Thanksgiving meant Radio City. The Christmas Spectacular is everything it promises to be. Radio City is one of the most awe inspiring performance halls in the world. From the hanging crystal tree in the lobby to the spun gold curtain on the stage, no matter how many times I set foot in Radio City it simply takes my breath away. And what better way to introduce the holiday season other than the beautiful high kicking Rockettes? Love them.

Battling the other three million spectators Thanksgiving morning is the only way to start the day. The parade was a bright and beautiful as ever this year. The 2.5 mile route travels from 77th Street down to Herald Square.

The crowds were thick but the battle was worth it. Our favorite new balloon...Horton. Our favorite float...always Santa Claus.

Thanksgiving dinner was held in Lower Manhattan. Ulysess is the place to be. The food was so delicious we couldn't pinpoint one favorite dish! All perfect and the company was even better. Twenty one friends representing five different families from all corners of the earth. United Kingdom, Columbia, Germany, Zimbabwe, Texas and Illinois were in the house. Nine lovely children devoured their dinner and followed it up with a wonderful game of freeze tag on the cobblestone of Stone Street.

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world not possibly born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."
Anais Nin

Each family comes from a different walk of life and have taken many a varied path to call NYC home. We are firm believers it takes a village and I am so thankful they are all part of my village.

Our Thanks are many.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Street Pageant.

"There's the Born Again Losers and the Lavender Boozers
and some crack team from Washington Heights
The boys from Avenue B and the girls from Avenue D
a Tinkerbell in tights..."
Halloween Parade by Lou Reed

Imagine 50,000 costume crazy New Yorkers all in one place at one time. Mix up Mardi Gras with some uninhibited city folk and you have the annual Village Halloween Parade. For the last evening in October it really doesn't get any better. Two million spectators line Sixth Avenue from Spring St to 21st Street to watch. The lines are blurred as most of the spectators are costumed up.

This year provided the 35th time this colorful procession has taken place. It did not disappoint. Costumes utilized every bit of the imagination. Floats provided shirtless dancers, dancing pirates and disco queens galore. Want the Muppets? Check. Ferris Bueller? Check. A man in drag as Sarah Palin? Check And that is only the tip of the iceberg.

Loud and proud this characters march in all their glory. The spirit is great and the streets are packed. And who can forget the puppets? The giant sized puppets are breathtaking and a signature of this night.

Each and every parade has its on flavor. The flavor of this one is definitely carnival. It embodies every spirit past and present that have called this little place home.

The Village Halloween Parade is listed in the book "100 Things to Do Before You Die." Might want to put it on your list!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Queen of Pop

Madonna, Madison Square Garden, twice. How lucky am I?

Incredible. Favorite part...hard decision but I will go with the rocked out Borderline.

One night with my favorite husband and another night with two favorite friends. Saturday night Pharrell joined her for Give It To Me.

Really, life is good.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

59 Grove Street

A little bit divy, a dash of eccentric and mix it up with a big whooping serving of Broadway and you have Marie's Crisis. If one is in the need of expressing their inner Broadway diva this is the place for you. A basement bar with an upright piano as its centerpiece is a must on any show lovers list. The room originated as a prostitute's den in the 1800s. Eventually it was where Thomas Paine met his maker in 1809. (Hence the crisis from The Crisis Papers.)

Dark paneling and a low ceiling only add the ambiance to this tiny place. The sheer energy and delight make it a true "only in NYC" experience. The pianoman is absolutely brilliant and the depth of patron talent is endless. If you are lucky enough your waiter might bust into a solo that makes the entire room go silent.

Nothing fancy here. The crowd is as diverse as it gets...Broadway aficionados, queens, silver hairs, shocked tourists, you name it. A few patrons may have even hoofed it on the great white way before.

If you find yourself in the heart of the Village and you are a little bit daring and want to live your dream of singing in the big city step on down to Marie's Crisis.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Friday, August 8, 2008

All the world'll flyin a flurry

When I take you out in the surrey....Oklahoma

A mere 800 yards from Lower Manhattan sits a small secretive wonderland. Governors Island has a bright and important history. (Check out What a blessing that it has been reopened for public use!

This morning we headed out on the first quick ferry jaunt available. The ferry ride is literally moments long. Two moms and three kids we were and ready for a morning of some fun finds. We lucked out and were able to rent a bicycle surrey through the new bike share program in NYC.

The surrey was a blast! Not only were we able to cover a ton of terrority but able to do it in fine fine style. Our model was very similar to this one.

We ventured around with the two big kids riding up front in first class style and with the little tyke helping to copilot between us. Loaded in and wheeling around we took the island by storm.

For nearly two centuries Governors Island served as a military base. Since September 1996 it has sat as a virtual ghost town. Perfect homes with parklike surroundings are everywhere. In the later years the island even house a motel, a YMCA, a theatre and a bowling alley. Throw in the schools and churches and there you have the entire community. Not to mention the military buildings...Fort Jay, Castle Williams....all very important to the history of the island.

Zipping around in our surrey one could almost feel some of the buildings come to life. Many a military brat had probably ridden their bikes through the same paths. Growing up in this oasis with the Statue of Liberty out your front door and Manhattan out the side door must have provided for quite the childhood. Reading up on some of the "brats" prior had their stories running through my head.

After our surrey tour we reluctantly returned it! We had bonded with that surrey and loved it. It was quite the workout though. We found a breezy shady spot on the eastside of the island overlooking my favorite little island in the world Manhattan. Enjoying a picnic lunch while watching the children play riverside with in my opinion the most breathtaking backdrop in the world is priceless. These kids are city through and through.

On the return ferry home we enjoyed an upclose view of Olafur Eliasson Waterfall on the island. The city is home to four waterfalls this season as a public art project. www. can give you a little background on the art . We are fortunate in our neighborhood due to proximity that we have gotten to enjoy them regularly.

Stepping back onto Manhattan and the Battery Maritime Building we went to check out Playing the Building, a sound installation by Former Talking Head David Byrne. An old church organ is placed in the center and made to literally "play the building." The organ controls well placed devices (on the pillars, old radiators, beams, pipes, etc). The sounds are spooky and soothing and crazy! It is an incredible interactive art exhibit.

It was a beautiful and educational morning. Summer will soon be over and it was great to take advantage of wonderful things right in our own little neighborhood.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Subterranean smart cocktails and many kisses

“Most human beings are driven to seek security and comfort. But there is another group that can only thrive on change and the unexpected of New York.” -- Cathleen Nesbit

We hopped on the 1 train without a destination and ended up getting off at Houston St. We had previously eyeballed an intriguing door on the corner of Seventh Ave and Leroy we decided to take the plunge. The nearly unmarked door led to a dark staircase to the basement. Once inside this quaint speakeasy we allowed our eyes to adjust to the nearly complete darkness. Cozy little booths awaited and jazz tunes were in the air. It was a grand experience. The drinks are from another era. Little Branch is fun, relaxing and a little bit swank.

A lovely apres cocktail walk led us to dine at Tanti Baci. It is a "flower room" setting. It is mainly composed of few wooden tables in chairs tucked in nook of Seventh Avenue. The menu is simple and divine. There is more than enough pasta and sauce combinations to please any palate. The location is in the heart of Greenwich Village. The setting is so pleasing it is as if you are dining among friends in a quaint atmosphere. Loved it. Will definitely be back. Rumor has it the desserts are perfect.

Friday, July 11, 2008

un giorno d'estate

How does one stay cool in Gotham when the temps start rising?

Fontana of course.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Every Building has a Story

Who knew in this building...

one could find this.

A Sunday morning walk through Little Italy or more specifically the area known as Nolita added some visual pleasures to the day. St. Michael's Russian Catholic Church has a building that is relatively unassuming in this great city. The small structure is planted between St. Patrick's Old Cathedral (more on that in a future post.) and the St. Patrick's Youth Center. St. Michael's was originally the Chancery for Old St. Pats.

Walking into St. Michael's and peering through an interior glass window held incredible sights. This Catholic community follows the Russian tradition of the Byzantine Church. Even with 12 plus years of formal Catholic education behind me this was something completely new. I happened upon this sacred place during the Divine Liturgy. The spectacle was tiny but brillant.

This particular Church was established in the 1930's at 266 Mulberry to provide for Russian Catholic immigrants who had fled their homeland. The most striking difference noticed in a my few minutes of spying in was the congregation constantly standing and the iconostasis separating the sancutuary from the rest of the Church.

Very interesting indeed. I will definitely be doing a bit of internet research on the Byzantine Rite.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Hot dogs and a speakeasy

While entertaining friends from the 817 we discovered another fascinating NY treat. PDT (Please Don't Tell) is a hidden gem of a cocktail lounge. Located on St. Mark's Place in the bosom of the East Village no sign is necessary. PDT is day of reservations only. Luck was on our side and we scored a pre-dinner reservation at this lovely little lounge.

To go to this subterranean one must go into the hot dog dive. Once inside make your way to the phone booth and after that you are on your own. Yes, go to the phone booth. Check it out.

I won't write anymore. Go and enjoy.

PDT is a sweet secret in Gotham. Maybe I shouldn't tell? No, it's okay. We are friends.

Coney Island, USA

Summer has arrived and in celebration we headed out to Coney Island. Today was the 25th Mermaid Parade and what a spectacle it was. Men, women, children, and in betweens all enjoyed the parade of thousands on the boardwalk. The backdrop with the historical Coney Island amusement parks on one side and the beach on the other added up for one memorable day.

The Mermaid Parade pays homage to Coney Island's forgotten Mardi Gras which lasted from 1903 to 1954. NYC boldest and brightest show up dressed to thrill. Costumes range from mermaids to neptunes to subway cars. It is a bawdy display of colorful people waving their freak flag proudly.

If you aren't familiar with the history and controversy surrounding Coney Island you should treat yourself and do a bit of internet research on the subject. It is quite fascinating. Personally I hope the developers pull back and let this one of a kind all American seaside piece of history continue to bless the shores of Brooklyn.

"It is blatant, it is cheap, it is the apotheosis of the ridiculous. But it is something more; it is like Niagara Falls or the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone Park; it is a national playground, and not to have seen it is not to have seen your own country,"
said Reginald Wright Kauffman in 1909 of Coney Island.

This seashore playground offers everything from sideshow school to the best in burlesque to the wonderful New York Aquarium. In some ways it is as though time stood still. Coney Island is the epitome of things we wish we could do and not look back.

Time has taken its toll on Coney Island. The beach is not the cleanest. In the amusement areas there is a charge to use the restrooms. The area is not the safest but there is just something about it. The mind wanders to years gone by. I always think of those gritty city kids of the Depression that waited all winter long for one life changing day at Coney Island.

Coney Island is shocking, breathtaking and a relief all at once. The richness of the people of Coney Island shines through. The aficionados of this incredible land truly make it great. They are passionate and eccentric. We all need a bit of Coney Island in us.

*Random fact...the first American hot dog was introduced in Coney Island around 1870 by German immigrant Charles Feltman.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Another Village journey

Today we set out with one thing on our minds...lunch. Intitally we had anticipated enjoying some Peruvian chicken at Pardo's. Imagine our surprise when we walked up to find a "closed" sign on the door? Pardo's closes for one week a year to do some heavy maintenance and it happened to be this week. Fortunately the Village provides more than just a couple of options for dining excursions. We wandered across Bleecker with a left turn onto Cornelia. We considered Po and Cornelia St Cafe but decided to keep walking. The weather was simply amazing and it was perfect for taking our time and selection the perfect lunch spot. We crossed Sixth Ave and finally ended up at Cafe Espanol on Bleecker between MacDougal and Sullivan. The sign offering three courses plus sangria for $11.95 caught our eye. We enjoyed a lovely lunch of arroz con pollo and took in the enjoyments of sidewalk dining. Life doesn't get much better than a great table on a great street in the heart of the Village with great eats. The parade of people offers the greatest in entertainment.

I had to completely twist Lori's arm to follow me to a fantastic hole in the wall cupcake joint. Tonnie's is not one of the big recognized cupcake places that NYC has gained recognition on. The critics don't know what they are missing. Tonnie's offerings are out of this world! We each grabbed four cupcakes to go to give the girls a nice Friday after school treat. My personal indulgence of red velvet was crazy good. Lori's were so good she could not quit texting and leaving me messages of the delicious qualities. The best part of Tonnie's is the atmosphere.

Where else but in this little city we call home can one get a cupcake, a cheesesteak sammie, reflexology and a palm reading all within the same place? That is what I call living.

Friday, April 25, 2008


With Passover break now almost complete we hope to get back on track with some fun adventures around the 212 and slightly beyond.

March and April proved to be busy. Lori went off on a jetsetting tour. She claims it was to visit "friends" but I honestly think she might be moonlighting as a rock star. Her travels took her to the Mayan Riviera, Chicago and Miami.

April provided me with the chance to explore the amazing island of Vieques. Enough great things about this place cannot be written. If you find yourself in Vieques definitely stay at the EvaMer. Marc loves the island with his soul and happily shares any information one might need and is a gracious host. The grounds are amazing and the view is priceless. Vieques is friendly, gorgeous and just a great place. The Bio Bay is quite possibly the coolest experience ever. Jumping into that black black water was life changing. Feeling like a fairy swimming through the glitter is breathtaking. Captain Mark and Ricky pretty much rule. Put it on your list of things to do in life. You won't regret it and you will never forget it.

Thank you Marc and the EvaMer for being our home base. Thank you Vieques for being one of the most beautiful places on earth. More importantly thank to the people of Vieques who guard this perfect place.

With May around the corner our urban adventures look to be on track.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Life has been crazy with schedules and travels. For lack of explorations I offer you some goodness recently seen in NYC.

#1 Aloe. This lovely little gem of a restaurant in the East Village can be found at 406 E. 9th St. A quaint intimate setting with "a little bit of everything" on their menu that changes seasonally. Tasty, amazing service and perfect setting. Put it on your list.

#2 Battery Park City Conservancy. Bless the park staff who work year round to give us truly some of the most beautiful space and visions in the world. Spring has been long in coming but now we are surrounded with beautiful color. The grass is open and filled with neighbors and visitors soaking it all in.

#3 M9 anonymous bus driver. When you drop me directly in front of my building instead of the other side of West St you make my day/evening.

#4 Havana Alma de Cuba at 94 Christopher St. Another recent find of delicious eats, great atmosphere, outstanding live music and just an overall fantastic experience. If Cuban is what you are looking for this is the place.

#5 Neighbors. The beautiful weather is bringing out the best in people. In this town we live on top of each other...literally. We share hallways, laundry rooms, mail rooms, elevators and basic personal space daily. Spring has finally arrived after a long winter and everyone seems in lovely spirits.

On a completely different note. If you find yourself in Mountain Home, Arkansas (yes Arkansas) check out Angler's Coffee Cafe and tell them the NYC crowd sent you. My fabulous and longtime friend Missy has started a new adventure. Best of luck Missy!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

"On the Avenue, Fifth Avenue, the photographers will snap us and you'll find that you're in the rotogravure." Easter Parade

Fancy threads

Anybody got a light?

Great tophat

Hey I know that bunny getting her picture snapped.

Happy Easter. Today I wandered with family in tow to the "Easter Parade" on 5th Avenue. This is not a traditional parade....but rather a display of people mingling wearing crazy hats and beautiful finery. It is a wonderful gathering of all sorts of folks. This spectacle dates back to the mid-1800s when the social uppities would leave their respective Easter Church services and parade up and down 5th Avenue showing off their gorgeous threads.

"In your Easter bonnet,
with all the frills upon it,
You'll be the grandest lady
in the Easter parade!"
- Irving Berlin

This extravaganza now is fantastic. The headgear is unbelievable and offers a true glimpse at the eccentric and creative brains that roam this little island. The crowd encompasses all walks of life from adorable families decked out in garb from years past to dazzling drag queens showing off the finest in feathers and rhinestones.

Street entertainers often gather a crowd but everyone has really made the journey to see the Easter bonnets. Today was a cold and early Easter calendar wise. Regardless the crowds were thick and the spirit merry. The lines for Mass at the famed St. Patrick's Cathedral were blocks long.

There were bonnets in the shape of the Empire State Building made of Metrocards and painted poodles being pushed in carriages. There were elaborate Easter baskets worn a top the head. Some hats were so large they required a wingman to hold them up from behind. This crowd does not disappoint. Cameras snapped rapidly at it all. People happily stop, pose and chat while celebrating the beauty of the day. Some of my personal favorites were the 80something dame in her bathing suit holding a sign for peace, a blissful sleeping toddler in a chicken costume and the lovely man wearing dice on his head and a fabulous pair of red patent heels at the end of his long gams.

Two dramatically different parades within in six days.

Here's to the people that come out and make the city great. Cheers!

Monday, March 17, 2008

St. Patty's Day

My Irish eyes were smiling as Lori and I headed out on a cold morning up to Fifth Avenue to enjoy the heritage of the Irish. The St. Patrick's Day Parade is very different as it is marching bands, a ton of bagpipe and drum corps and different groups floats or balloons at this extravaganza. Needless to say we thought it was worth a journey. Tens of thousands of NYers participate in the parade following the famous green stripe up Fifth Avenue with about two million onlookers lining the route. This was the 247th marching of the NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade.

We got off the train at Columbus Circle and as we cut across just south of Central Park we were in dire need of some direct sunglight to warm up. We found a good spectactor spot at 59th and Fifth Ave. I have to admit it was a rather quiet parade this year compared to years past. Maybe it was due to the fact that it was the workday of Monday and all of the politicians were absent. Hizzoner Bloomberg and fellow politicians were all in Albany this morning for the swearing in of our newest Governor...Mr David Paterson. Spitzer is out, Paterson is in.

The FDNY won our vote for favorites of the day. They are certainly an impressive bunch. It is always awe inspiring yet heart wrenching to see the 343 American flags being held high and proud coming up Fifth Avenue...each one representing the 343 FDNY members lost on September 11th. The crowd gave the men and ladies of the FDNY a very warm response.

After battling the cold and the wind we decided our celebration of the Irish had come to an end. Lori and I headed to 51st to do a little shopping at the flagship store for Capezio. It is an amazing store of everything dance. Just walking in the store makes you want to star on Broadway. Lori tried a few moves but was not stretched out enough to land any jobs on the Great White Way. Needless to say between Lori's girls and my girl they scored some adorable threads.

Happy St. Patrick's Day. The Easter Parade is next Sunday....we need to do some serious bonnet designs to stand out in that crowd.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Village adventures.

It was another amazing day in Manhattan! Lori and I decided to start our journey at Hudson and Grove in the West Village. This part of the city stands in stark contrast to the our neighborhood where every building is an average of 40 stories. The lovely four and five story brownstones are absolutely beautiful. Walking on Grove we stopped and peered into the enchanting (and private!) Grove Court. It is one of the most exclusive (oh la la) streets in the Village with only residents having a key to the irongate. This quaint courtyard was constructed between 1848 and 1852. The row of mews houses are storybook and makes one wonder about all the actual stories that have happened within that court. Ahh, to be so lucky.

We meandered down many breathtaking streets taking in the sights. Lori and I both agreed we would like to try out brownstone living in the future. (Of course with her Chicago years she has had a taste of this luxury.) Each home offers fun and unique characteristics. We envisioned hanging out on the stoops while the kids played hopscotch. One home had lion statues guarding the door although one was missing half a face and looked oddly like the mask in the horror flick Scream.

Lori and I felt heavy obligation and a sense of duty to partake in a visit to the famed Magnolia Bakery on Bleecker. While not my absolute favorite cupcake place(I honestly don't have one single favorite...I love them all) in the city they are certainly great. The smells and visions offered here are a delight! With four cupcakes each in hand it was time to venture on.

Up and down the streets we discovered fun and great conversation at every turn. We tried to persuade a "songwriter/producer" that Lori was indeed a famous rapper but he didnt' fall for it. It was completely and totally worth a try. As Lori pointed out that yes, most famous songwriters do drive Toyota Camrys. Further down Bleecker we stood amazed at the eats offered at both Faicco's Sausages and Murray's Cheese Shop. Murray's is a long time favorite of mine and Faicco's was a first but certainly not a last for both of us.

Enjoying the sights and sounds of Greenwich Village is always a treat even early in the morning. The young lad relieving himself on the steps of St. Joseph's Church most definitely enjoys the wee hours of the Village. Such is NYC! We checked out several restaurant menus and put them on our list of places to go.

We ended up at Broadway and started heading south towards our homeland. After crossing Canal we decided to venture into Ricky's. This place is the ultimate drugstore for moms and drag queens alike. By the time we loaded up and left we were both "Looking Good, Feeling Good" as the sign stated. At Broadway and Duane we parted ways with Lori heading West while I headed all the way south.

Today's adventures were rather tame and quiet. It is not everyday that one can enjoy birds singing their morning songs in Manhattan. Today we had that....and much more.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Adventure du jour

Which way to the Fung Wah?

Lori looks so full of surprise and emotion with her new coiffure.

Yummy, we love bakeries.

Love thy neighbor, especially on the Bowery
This morning Lori and I set out on the M9. Our eyes perked up on East Broadway and we hopped off the bus at East Broadway and Market Slip. Lori had never been to this part of town and was excited to see we had literally landed in a different country. This part of Chinatown encompasses wild open air markets, stores with every item imaginable and restaurants that we had no clue what they were offering since we couldn't read the menus. When we turned the corner underneath the Manhattan Bridge we enjoyed the sights and sounds of the kind ladies trying to sell us a seat on the infamous Fung Wah bus. Since we didn't have a need to score a ride to Boston we kept on walking. As luck would have it we discovered Pell Street. This short little road was filled with the finest in Chinese hair salons/massage parlors. Looking for a Japanese Straight Perm? Sold. Looking for a little reflexology to make sure your uretha is functioning? Done.

I introduced Lori to the popular Hong Kong chain Aji Ichiban. This is little candy store runs the range from delicious chewy ginger to dried cuttlefish. Instead of indulging in the squid crackers we opted to stroll up Mulberry Street to the heart of Little Italy.

*Random fact. In the 1930s, one-sixth of NY's population was from Southern Italy.

The delicious smells from my long time favorite La Bella Ferrara called us in. There we enjoyed amazing butter biscuits and took some to go. From Little Italy we walked over to the Bowery and window shopped the restaurant supplies and lighting. Never know when one might need a mixer the size of a bathtub.

From Bowery we went east on Houston. We passed by the infamous Yonah Schimmel Knishery and definitely plan to lunch there in the future. After crossing the street and enjoying the nexus of the Universe...1st Ave and 1st Street, we wandered up 1st Avenue. Heading towards Tompkins Square Park I shared with Lori that it was the land of many police encounters and raids including the dismantling of Tent City in the late 80s. She was ultra impressed with that tidbit.

By this point hunger was calling and we dined at Hummus Place on St. Mark's Place. Needless to say hummus was on the menu. Lori scored with her order of fava hummus. A little more tasty than my order of hummus masabacha. Definitely a place to return to.

After a delicious lunch and loads of new insight on dreary old Manhattan it was time to return to the reality that we call Battery Park City and the Financial District. Walking St. Mark's Place to Astor Place to catch a train home we considered a tattoo to commerate the lovely day. Fortunately we were distracted by groovy sunglasses and the ink was just a fleeting thought.

Stay to be added in the very near future.

Urban Adventures

We are so lucky to live life in New York City. Life is sweet and so is this city. The time is definitely right to learn more about this lovely little island we call home.