Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Sunday, Feb. 4 in New York

I woke up early Sunday morning, a habit having kids tends to force on you, so took my time getting ready. Once I got cleaned up, though, I decided to go to the Met, since it’d been years. As Fred reminded me, it’s amazing to experience the breadth and diversity of that museum, and while I’m not sure it totally cleans the floor with the Art Institute of Chicago, it’s pretty remarkable all the same. I saw a great exhibit of Weimar Republic era portraits of prostitutes and drug addicts, then coasted through the modern art collection and all of the European masters. When I get home I’ll post a funny picture of a group of little kids sprawled out on the floor in front of Renoir’s water lilies, doodling with crayons.

On the way back I spun by Dean & Deluca for a sandwich. I also got a perfect glimpse of the Upper East Side/NYC mentality, watching a couple announce to the guy behind the counter at D&D (which is, of course, monumentally expensive enough to make Whole Foods seem like a food stamp destination) that they were not American but were throwing a Super Bowl party and needed advice on what to bring. So I stood buy and watched them stock up on overpriced artesian fried chicken, dip and buffalo wings. No joke.

Walking further east I went to Two Little Red Hens, a Brooklyn bakery with an Upper East Side outpost. I bought two big cupcakes, a red velvet and a Brooklyn Blackout (essentially a gooey chocolate pudding filled treat). It was still cold as hell, but I decided to walk the mile down to where I’ve been staying, working up an appetite along the way. I also passed dozens of the great food options New York has to offer, from Burmese food to BBQ to Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Italian, Greek, diners, coffee shops, and so on. Nearly every one of them looked awesome, and a couple (like the Pinkberry no-fat yogurt chain) looked primed to make the leap to cities like Chicago, assuming they hadn’t already.

I scarfed down my food and decided to hang out for a while to watch a bit of the Super Bowl (hey, great first quarter!). Then I hopped on the train to Union Square to meet Fred again for burgers at the Old School Tavern, so old it felt just a touch warmer than it was outside, which was around, oh, 10 degrees or so, and gusty. With the perfect storm of cold weather, Sunday night and Super Bowl in effect, New York was like a ghost town (or, as my friend Brandon put it, looked like everyone was at church).

The burgers were good, nice hand-formed patties that reminded me of Goldyburger back home. Good football food, even if the Bears got their butts kicked. I hear people back in Chicago don’t have too many nice things to say about Grossman, but the guy did sort of choke in the bad weather. Half of his throws came closer to me in New York than they did to their intended receiver.

(P.S. I'll add links and pictures to all these posts later)


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