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Slow Traveler
Picture of colleenk
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I just returned from a delightful NYC weekend and thought some of my "finds" might be helpful. After spending too much on Christmas we wanted to try to do a NYC weekend on the "cheap". We were fortunate to be able to stay at a relative's SoHo loft with grand sunset views of the Hudson River which helped keep the cost down and allowed us to eat breakast and snacks there.

Other inexpensive highlights:

Booking tickets for "I Am My Own Wife" on Broadway (a terrific one man play about a transvestite surviving Hitler and Communism-I know it sounds weird but it was really well done and has made some critics top 10 lists) through www.theatremania.com. Saved us $36 per ticket!

Took in the El Greco Exhibit at the Met which we enjoyed.

Strolled through the Frick collection which we had never seen- very beautiful and peaceful museum.

Hit the Saks 5th Avenue post Christmas sales and bought a lovely sweater for 60% off.

Had a good (not spectacular),inexpensive bowl of pasta and a nice bottle of Chianti Classico at Mezzogiorno on 195 Spring Street.

Had a tasty panni and salad at ino cafe on 21 Bedford Street with a great glass of house red wine.

The culinary high point was an after theatre bite to eat at bar pitti on 268 6th Avenue. The eggplant was out of this world, wine selection very good and all very reasonable-would go back here anytime!

On Sunday we took a 3 hour food and culture walking tour (really more about food) with Foods of NY Excursions www.foodsofny.com. For $36,you stroll the Village and stop in 7 different establishments for food tastings. These included a bread shop, cheese shop, pizza, chocolate shop, middle eastern take-out, Italian specialty market, and a pastry shop. It was more than enough food for lunch and a lot of fun.

Best of all, now I have a list of terrific restaurants in the neighborhood I can't wait to go back and try! Big Grin

[This message was edited by colleenk on 06 January 2004 at 02:52 PM.]
 
Posts: 3797 | Location: Cambridge, MA | Registered: 18 August 2001Report This Post

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Picture of Amy
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Hee. Larry and I were also in NYC this weekend, Colleen!

Our highlights:

Downtown:
Wandering the Lower East Side, over to Soho and the Village.
Went to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, which has wonderful tours. (Caution-- book ahead!).
Got a few quarts of half-sours across the street at Guss's Pickles, marveled at the new shops and restaurants popping up, haggled for a new jacket for Dan, ate a nice lunch at Inoteca on Rivington.
Soho--Dodged throngs of people, looked in galleries, bought junk jewelry at GirlStuff; sampled some rice pudding at the rather odd new rice pudding shop called Rice to Riches.
Wandered through the Village, fantasized about what streets we'd like to live on, went to a good bakery to reward the boys for minimal whining.

Uptown:
The Petra exhibit at the Museum of Natural History. Also revisited the Planetarium and space exhibits, and of course the dinosaur rooms. Happy to say that the cafeteria food has improved tremendously-- got a very nice salad from the salad bar.

Visited my favorite antique jewelry dealer at the 78th street Sunday flea market. (Her name is Rosemary, and she's inside the school) Bought a pair of 1930-era jet and marcasite earrings.

Amy in MA
"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not." --Ralph Waldo Emerson
 
Posts: 11695 | Location: Newton (outside Boston), MA | Registered: 17 June 2001Report This Post

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quote:
Originally posted by Amy:
Visited my favorite antique jewelry dealer at the 78th street Sunday flea market. (Her name is Rosemary, and she's inside the school) Bought a pair of 1930-era jet and marcasite earrings.

Is there also a Sunday flea market on the East Side or you are referring to the one on Columbus Avenue, between 76th and 77th Streets (West Side)? Reason I ask is because I like antique jewelry too.

"Canto alla vita alla sua bellezza ad ogni sua ferita ogni sua carezza..."

"I sing to life, to its beauty, to each of its wounds and each of its caresses..."
 
Posts: 1831 | Location: New York, New York | Registered: 21 December 2002Report This Post

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Picture of MarionP
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Amy, what are half-sours?

Was just thinking yesterday that I need a little NYC museum, shopping, walking around weekend. How nice to read not one -- but two trip reviews this morning!
 
Posts: 1378 | Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada | Registered: 05 September 2002Report This Post

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Picture of Kim
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Half-Sours are pickles. I'm a full sour person myself Smile.

I keep saying I'm going to head down to the LES to get some pickles and visit the tenament museum but it still hasn't happened - think I'll just have to pick a day and go!

Kim
Check Out My Italy Planning/Trip Blog
 
Posts: 23889 | Location: NJ USA | Registered: 16 June 2001Report This Post

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quote:
Originally posted by Kim:
Half-Sours are pickles.


Yeah and Michaelangelo was just a cieling painter. These are Guss' pickles we are talking about! Made in the lower East Side, south of Delancy. Hence the name of the movie featuring a pcikle maker, "Crossing Delancy".

In the olden days, when the neighborhood was full of pickle makers and bagel factories, the Lower East Side was a mecca for food manufacturing. Today there are still many a fine establishment- Katz's, Yonnah Shimmel (I don't see the charm of their Knish's but they are considered by many to be the non plus ultra of Knish's), and the wonderful smoked fish emporium Russ and Daughters. But my favorite stop is Gus's Pickles on Essex Street, south of Houston and acriss Delancy.

Guss' are truly hand crafted remnants of days gone by. Cukes, packed in plastic barrels (the only sop to modernism, forced on by the health department) layered with salt and spices. They are eft to ferment slowly in old fashioned walk ins with wood paneling which resuults in a wonderful home for all the bacteria which make these pickles so falvorful.

When the fermentation has reached thru the pickle but it is still crunchy, they are new pickles. This is for those scared of salt and flavor. The aging time here is a matter of days.

Half Sours are fermented until the fermentation slows down to a trickle. They have more translucent color with a bit of crispness to the texture. By now, the garlic and spice flavor have worked their way into the pickle. The aging time is measured in weeks for half sours (shorter in the summer or when the cukes are smaller).

Full sours are left to stew in their own juices until the fermentation actually stops. This can take as long as a year to accomplish. They are soft thru and thru and can take your head off with the spice and garlic. One of the world's rarities... an artisan product that you can buy for less than $5.00 a pound!

And I can find no cross cultural treat as fun as watching a Jamaican immigrant with a full accent selling Guss' pickles from the barrels out front to every one from old Jewish Bubbies (Grandmothers) to hipsters staggering back home early in the morning after a night of clubbing to the well dressed denizens fromt he upper East Side out slumming of the Sunday morning. And be warned, don't stumble with your order or ask what's the difference between a new and a full sour unless you want the full, withering sarcasm of the LES heaped on you!

Wine Notes*Tuscan Restaurant List* Wine, Opera & Food* Trip

words of wisdom to live by from Stephen Sondheim's The Frogs
{The chorus is singing a prayer to Dionysus...}
Dionysius "A hymm to me, the god of wine..."
Xanthius (His slave) "I thought you were the god of drama?"
Dionysius "I am the god of wine and the god of drama. A little wine will get you thru a lot of drama"
 
Posts: 4646 | Location: Casa del Fenicottero Rosa, Silver Spring, MD USA | Registered: 06 August 2002Report This Post

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Picture of MarionP
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Dean, thank you so much for the detailed description of the half-sour and full-sour making process. Must put Guss's Pickles on my list of things to do in New York!
 
Posts: 1378 | Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada | Registered: 05 September 2002Report This Post

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Okay but they're still pickles Big Grin

Kim
Check Out My Italy Planning/Trip Blog

 
Posts: 23889 | Location: NJ USA | Registered: 16 June 2001Report This Post

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Oh and here's a link to the tenament museum's write up on the pickles:

Tenament Museum

Kim
Check Out My Italy Planning/Trip Blog
 
Posts: 23889 | Location: NJ USA | Registered: 16 June 2001Report This Post
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Colleen - Just posted on another thread about heading into New York for the weekend. We won't be there til the first week of April so maybe the weather will be better for walking than it has been lately.
 
Posts: 286 | Location: Massachusetts | Registered: 09 June 2002Report This Post
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Dean, I've taken this walk from Yonah Shimmel (I agree with your assessment) to Russ and Daughters and on to Katz's for a pastrami sandwich. A missed step and pulled muscle caused us to miss the Lower East Site part of the trip, but it's still on the wish list. We won't miss Guss. The description of the full sours made my mouth water!
 
Posts: 406 | Location: Wisconsin | Registered: 26 April 2002Report This Post
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