And I suppose that if such effusive energy attracts manic crowds,then que sera sera.
I say that sometimes, mountains make me feel tiny and insignificant.
New York City makes me feel invisible.
This may sound absurd, but absent of accessible conversations with a tremendous
number of people with radical and thoughtful ideas in my immediate orbit, I turn
to writers who happen to be New Yorkers. A recent guilty pleasure is poring over
paper subscriptions of The New Yorker or the weekend WSJ. These pages
provide insight about the seemingly boundless creative and intellectual
inertia swirling in places like New York, only borne out of centuries of
cultural and social diversity (I'm convinced) - rare to find in, well, the
suburbs of Northern Nevada, for example. Art. Theater. Dance. Politics.
In this world of soundbites and 140-character news briefs, I am refreshed by
immersing into in-depth storytelling and news reporting about fascinating
people, captivating places, and more often than not, stunning photography,
and seeing it through the end, many, many pages later.
So if there's an opportunity to go, I go. It's difficult not to see New York City
with fresh each time. Walking its busy streets, it will be a failure not to notice
the layered history of this city evident in its architecture.
And since good food is always part of the travel agenda,
NYC will never ever fall short.
Stumptown (at the Ace Hotel in NoMad) 18 W 29th ($$)
Next door to the renowned Masa ($$$$) is Bar Masa ($$$), and while still
a splurge, the lunch menu is easier to justify. Their sashimi is perfection.
I harbor a fondness for Daniel Boulud and I have amazing memories of
weekend brunch food at Bar Boulud ($$$). For a quick bite, I'm glad
he has Epicerie Boulud next door - quality, fuss-free French food,
at a friendlier price ($$)
Mercato (352 W 39th, $$) is a hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant in
Hell's Kitchen. We've been coming here for a long time and the dark,
tiny space lined with brick walls is a place to spend all night with friends
at a table with excellent Italian food and wine.
Dominique Ansel Bakery (189 Spring Street, $) in Soho is where
cronuts began. They're also wildly popular for cookie shots (i.e. shots
of milk served in a cookie formed like a shot glass). We came here
for none of those but for lunch, and it was delicately prepared and delicious.
I've had the best Korean BBQ experience of my life at Gaonnuri
(Koreatown, 1250 Broadway, $$$). It's on the 39th floor of a building
overlooking the city and the food is outstanding. Unlike the Korean BBQ's
I'm used to, Gaonnuri has someone at your table grilling for you so you
don't overdo it. I will go here again and again.
And of course, the New York museums are world class.
For under 36 hours in the City, there is a dizzying plethora of
options from Broadway to theater to ballet and everything in
between. I opted for an afternoon at the Museum of Modern Art,
and if you're as crazy as me for Post Impressionist European art,
grab an audio guide from the main floor then head straight to the
5th floor. The Henri Rousseau painting on the right called
"The Dream"was so striking to me, with its textures, colors.
But don't miss the art from Andy Warhol (I know you won't),
and Picasso. Van Gogh's "The Starry Night" is also on
display at this museum, but it is mobbed by hordes of
(annoying) selfie-stick toting tourists taking MANY
selfies here (why?!?!?).
The lines to buy a ticket on a Saturday afternoon are atrocious,
but what the people who are in line don't realize is that
instead of tooling around on their social media pages
while standing in queue, you could actually go to the
MoMa website to purchase your ticket and skip the line.
To get the most out of the experience, grab an audioguide
or download one ahead of time here.
A little more obscure than the bigger museums in the City,
The Frick Collection has a surprising array of Dutch and Flemish
art. This museum has a couple of jaw-dropping Vermeers I have
never seen or heard of before. This is a home-turned-museum once owned
business tycoon Henri Fricke in the 1900's. Some of the art is displayed on its
walls the way it would have been when it was occupied.