Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Yoick, New Yoick, it's a helluva town

Apologies gentle reader for the retro blogging, truth is it's been a busy month or two work-wise, (no bad thing by the way) and I've neglected my bloggerly duties in order to pay the bills. Now I do know, deep down, that's not acceptable and indeed I feel guilty that I've also failed to get around to launching my oft-requested recipe blog. Well it is on one of my many to-do lists and it will happen, maybe soon, I promise.

So, anyway, a quick update and a few pithy thoughts on the big Apple. Every couple of years the lovely Mrs Stuffy finds some (teeny,tiny) gaps in her wardrobe and the urge to spend a weekend traipsing the shops becomes compelling, coincidentally, at about the same time I get to the stage where I become concerned that I may well be the rudest person in the world and need some proof that's not the case so we organise a trip to the city that allegedly never sleeps, (hard for us to argue with that as we're now getting to the cocoa and slippers stage of our lives).

There are some aspects of this trip that are writ into family tradition now, we prebook a table at my favourite restaurant, (in the world) the River Cafe in Brooklyn, a delightful Michelin starred place with great food, an awesome night-time view of Manhattan, a lovely piano bar, and crucially, (and in New York this is the real treat), the most relaxed and amiable yet professional staff. We booked a table for our anniversary dinner, 4 years of marital bliss, not bad from a total of 11 years of marriage, (just kidding). As ever the place and people didn't fail to impress, I'm normally nervous of returning to a great experience, the opportunity to be disappointed is so prevalent but this is obviously the exception, and one we'll keep on enjoying.

Our hotel, the Muse was very adjacent to the madness that is Times Square and apparently quite "happening" (translation=expensive bar). Our room was surprisingly spacious for NY where broom cupboards are the norm. It was quite acceptable for a couple of day's stay but it would have benefitted from a view of something other than a brick wall 18 inches away.

We visited Ground Zero and were surprised, (after experiencing the hushed, respectful and spooky quietness of the area a couple of years ago), to find it effectively just a busy, buzzing, building site, it's probably a good thing to move on but it was odd, nevertheless, to us. We enjoyed a leisurely amble from the Financial sector up through the Village and TriBeCa, enjoyed morning coffee in SoHo at Spring Street Natural restaurant, recommended by Sophie and a very pleasant place.

Lunch, again following a recommendation from Sophie, was at Dos Caminos where your correspondent indulged his passion for Mexican food and newfound but profound affection for Tequila, thus ensuring an afternoon of gentle acquiescence to the random, repetitive and recursive process that is the Mrs Stuffy shopping technique.

A word about diners, we tried two for breakfast, it seems really wrong in NY to eat in the hotel and I do like to try new stuff, we went to Cafe Edison which is old school, and reminded me of so many movies, the service was authentic (brusque) and the food, not that special, indeed, not that good at all.

We also tried a more touristy version, the relatively well known Brooklyn Diner, which was a bit smarter, a bit slicker, busy as heck and with exceptionally good food and obscenely huge portions.

On the subject of food another tradition of ours has developed around taking an occasional luncheon on the 5th floor of Saks.For her Ladyship, the entrance is through the designer shoe floor which is like shoe-nirvana (apparently), for me it's really good food, most excellent people watching and an excuse to step out of the fray for a well earned glass or two.

This was only a two day trip, brief but practical, the flights, BA on the way out, (we were spoilt rotten, an upgrade is always a joy) and we flew back with American Airlines on a daytime flight, unusually, and more enjoyably, noticeably reducing the effect of lag and making it a very pleasant couple of days.

On this trip we really enjoyed spending more time away from the Fifth Avenue and Times Square heaving-tourist-throng-end-of-the-city and next time (2013 I guess) I think we'll look for a hotel in the Village or Meatpackers and go for a less frantic, more laid-back trip.

Be aware that in early preparation for the next trip Mrs Stuffy is keen to engage any of our chums who consist of a lady shopper and gentlemen drinker who'd be prepared to join us and reduce (for her) the (alleged) plethora of "you've already got one of those, you don't need another" type of comment.

New York? "Fageddaboutit"


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At 9:34 am, Blogger Alex Martin said...

That's so sad about the bees but well done you for introducing a new colony. I'm doing my bit by planting tons of bee friendly flowers and badgering the council to do the same. Good luck with the new little ladies.


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