Great Food, Old and New Memories, Plus a Little Romance – A Weekend in NYC
When I was 13, my father had me selling the New York Post in front of the subway stop in front of the then Irving Trust building on Broadway. I spent the 80s in that spot every summer, and back then (I feel old, yet it was not that long ago) the afternoon edition of the Post was the life blood of the Wall Street crew who were looking for the closing bell numbers, and the very latest news for their trip home.
I had not been back to that area in about 20 years, and my girlfriend gave me quite the recent birthday gift: an Amtrak trip into NYC to visit the area once again, stay in a new hotel, have dinner in the village, view the city from one of the best spots in town, then brunch the next morning.
The Eventi is a wonderful hotel, about 3 blocks from Penn Station, on 6th Avenue. The room we had a great view of the city being in a corner section of the hotel, with a king size bed that was one of the most comfortable beds ever, a style influenced from the orient, a bathroom that is considered large by NYC standards, and incredibly friendly staff opening every door the whole weekend.
We went next door to the hotel for lunch. The Foodparc has 5 different eatery joints under one roof, and you can order from all 5 places if you want. We chose Fornetti for Penne Vodka served on some of the best flatbread I ever tasted, plus loaded fries with 3 cheeses and bacon from 3B's. We loved the place so much, we stopped back in the next morning for coffee at The Press before Sunday brunch.
Returning to the Wall Street area brought great memories. I thought I had the best summer job, being I could be in NYC and make my father proud. I also had some sad memories because this was my first trip down to the World Trade Center site. The new building is a wonderful looking structure, but the area is so different from what I remembered. Forever changed from what happened 10 years ago. The center of business is now more of a tourist trap, but I tell you that you have go down there to see it all.
The "We Are The 99%" were still camped out at Zuccotti Park across from the former Ground Zero (I remember the park as Liberty Park Plaza). Thousands were camped out - lots of angry, and some downright scary people (how can you not love NYC).
Dinner was in the village at a place called Home. Their same says it all - operating out of a home style kitchen, with the interior looking like someones den and dining room, with an outdoor patio area that has lights and heaters. We ate outside - turned out to be one of the warmest October nights ever! Home's Clam Chowder had whole clams in a white cream wine broth along with large chunks of potatoes and bacon - that was to die for! My girlfriend had a Short Rib that was like butter! All of their produce and wines are local, their treatment of customers is the best, and the atmosphere reeks of romance.
We walked off dinner visiting my grandmothers old apartment building on the corner of Bleeker and 6th, then caught a cab to go to The Top of The Rock. The view from their roof may be the best in NYC! That lead us to Times Square - lots of people, blinding lights, and great people watching!
The next morning involved brunch at Bobby Flay's joint - Mesa. The hash brown quesadilla starter was off the hook, the egg dishes we had were eye popping, and the prices were not bad by NYC standards (and worth every penny).
The train ride going in and coming home was such a relief, knowing that we did not have to drive (let's face it - you don't need your car in NYC). For what you pay in gas, tolls, and parking for the drive, it's so worth taking the train.
We are already planning to return back up there next year. NYC is a true foodie's paradise, and so many places to go and experience outside of dining. Make it a must for you life at least once a year!