NYC

Spent the weekend visiting my sister in Manhattan. I had never been to New York City before and it was my first time back on the East Coast since 2007. NYC is the definition of controlled chaos, in the best possible way. The whirlwind trip was a dash from one end of the city, to the other. My sister made sure I saw just about everything and she couldn’t have been a better tour guide.

I haven’t replaced my D80 yet so I was relying heavily on my iPhone, to pick up the slack on photo duties. I must say it held it’s own.

Started on Friday morning in the Upper West Side. There’s a great bagel shop there called H&H Bagels.

After breakfast, we headed over to Central Park, which ended up being somewhat of an amazement. Even if you’ve seen ariel views, it’s difficult to quantify just how big it really is. It’s a clearing in the urban jungle and a really nice spot to get away from the throngs of people.

Times Square. I guess go see it, to say you’ve been there. Then leave and don’t go back. I expected it to remind me of Tokyo’s Shibuya Crossing. It ended up being a tourist nightmare and somewhere the locals avoid.

Wall Street was also a bit of a shock. It’s like a ghost town. I’ve never visited a place with such an eerie way about it. Unless work is out, the streets are nearly desolate. Most of the streets are closed for vehicles and there are cops everywhere. I saw groups of 20 or more cops, just waiting for something to go down. The architecture is pretty imposing, with the Stock Exchange at the center of it all.

SoHo is cool. It reminds me a lot of the Melrose/Fairfax area of LA. There’s a lot of good shopping and a younger crowd (also a lot of tourists).

As reluctant as I was to go there, Grand Central Station is pretty epic. I think everyone should see it once if they’re in NYC. It’s like walking back in time.

The Meatpacking District was another one of the surprises on the trip. Contrary to the name, it was one of the best spots in the whole city. If I had to move to NYC, it would definitely be on my list of places to consider living.

On Sunday we were walking Park Ave and came across Les Halles. For those of you who read Kitchen Confidential or watch No Reservations, then you’ll already recognize this as the former home of Tony Bourdain. I’m a huge fan of the guy, so I was really excited to see his former restaurant in person.

NYC is a great place. I’m not really sure how it ranks in my top cities. Hong Kong, Tokyo, even Chicago are very tough competition. Would I live there? I’m not sure about that, but the pizza is certainly worth the trip alone.

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