Hot!This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) - UPDATED ON 09/03/16

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2015/07/01 14:32:54 (permalink)

This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) - UPDATED ON 09/03/16

UPDATE AS OF 09/03/16: Rather than start a new trip report I thought that I would continue to add on to this one, featuring excursions into the different boroughs and neighborhoods of New York City that I have the pleasure of taking with family, friends and fellow Roadfooders.  Enjoy!!
 
The title for this report came from having read the wonderful children's book, "This is New York", by Miroslav Sasek.  In it, visitors to the Big Apple take in the sights, both big and small and find the joys in the everyday things that New Yorkers sometimes overlook.  It's a lovely, colorful book and one of my favorites about New York City.
Link: http://www.miroslavsasek....ks/thisis/newyork.html
 
Sunday June 28th, 2015 - Fellow Roadfooders Ralph Melton and his wife, Lori (aka icecreamchick) included a visit to the Big Apple as part of their summer road trip.  My girlfriend Dayna and I were very happy to be able to show them around the city (especially as we had not seen them since we last met up in New Mexico in July 2013 for the Ayersians' wedding) as we took in some of our favorite sights and indulged in some classic NYC eats.  I started out at the Brooklyn Bridge subway station (the station logo is pictured below) and experienced a long delay getting to Grand Central Terminal to meet them which wasn't too bad as the parking at the New Rochelle Metro North station wasn't great and they had a small delay getting into the city.

 
We agreed to meet up at the Information booth at the center of the Main Concourse.  

 
It's a pretty well-known point in the station and the globe-shaped, four-faced clock atop really makes it stand out.

 
After catching up for a few minutes and watching the throngs of rainbow bedecked people pass through on their way to the Pride Parade, we made our way to the Whispering Corridor in the lower level just outside of the RF-reviewed Oyster Bar.  Ralph is standing in their left corner facing the wall and Lori is on the far right.  Because of the way the ceiling is curved, when one whispers into the wall, the sound travels to the opposite corner and a couple can have a conversation without anyone else hearing it.  Pretty cool!

 
Next, we were off to the subway and a one stop on the 6 train along the Lexington Avenue one to 51st Street and a short walk to Ess-A-Bagel on 51st Street & 3rd Avenue, a perennial favorite to get a good bagel in NYC.  

 
The forecast said the rain was supposed to have let up by now but it was still drizzling a bit.  This is the biggest line I have ever seen here and it was twice as packed inside!

 
Luckily for us, the staff had developed a good system whereby customers who were only getting bagels (unsliced) with cream cheese (on the side only) could move to another, much shorter line.  Pretty straightforward bagel choices and I love that bagel "suit" being modeled by the headless mannequin on the left.  I'd sashay down the runway sporting that any day!

 
We sent Lori to scope out a place to sit but no tables were available so I went to my Plan B.  We walked up a couple of blocks until I realized I had forgotten where Greenacre Park is located, just one block north of Ess-A-Bagel.  My friend, Brooke, had told me about this place and today there was hardly anyone in here.  We found a small table underneath the canopy barely visible on the left and the waterfall truly does provide a welcome relief from the noise of the city and the crowded scene at the bagel shop.  It also has a small cafe where they sell snacks and drinks.  FYI: I'm sure many of you noticed the NO PHOTOGRAPHS PLEASE sign and perhaps it is splitting hairs but I took this shot after we left the park and used my zoom function.  

 
Ralph and Lori, ready for their first bite.  I'm not sure which bagels and cream cheese flavors they chose but I do remember that they liked them very much.

 
I went with my old standby, an everything bagel with cinnamon-raisin walnut cream cheese.  These bagels were still very warm to the touch and just perfect.  It was really nice to relax in this tiny oasis and spend some time chatting with Ralph and Lori.  A great start to the day.  

 
We walked back to the subway and along the way I was able to get a nice shot of the Chrysler Building and its lovely art deco top, partially obscured by the misty skies.

 
Our subway ride was again on the 6 train, all the way to the last stop at Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall.  However, we stayed on the train despite the automated announcement telling everyone to exit the train. You see, there is an old abandoned subway station at City Hall that has some really cool architecture and when the downtown train leaves the Brooklyn Bridge station it passes through the old City Hall station and turns around to head back on the uptown track.  We weren't able to get a great view as the lights were off but here is how it looks lit up: 

 
We met up with Dayna outside of the Brooklyn Bridge station and began our walk over the Brooklyn Bridge (BB).  I'm still trying to figure out what the wraparound banner on this water tower is supposed to mean.  I may never know.
 
 
The Brooklyn Bridge is a VERY popular destination for pedestrians, cyclists and tourists just about every day and the weekends are especially crowded.  You may notice in the center of the picture a pair of oval-shapes and a rectangular one on the right.  We had all tried to figure it out and I think Dayna had the answer.  They are to keep non-official people from climbing to the top of the bridge.  Ralph is at the lower right of the photo, taking in the bridge.  

 
No matter how many times I walk over this bridge, I am in awe.  It was constructed the pre-mechanized era.  How much manpower is must have taken to build this.  Blows my mind every time.

 
A recent trend I have noticed is that of people securing padlocks all over the bridge along the pedestrian walkway and the increasing amount of graffitti on the rails.  I'm all for public art (the Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia comes to mind) but not a fan of people tagging public spaces.  I get the sentiment but I figure since Paris cracked down and recently began cutting the "love locks" off of their bridges due to structural issues brought on by the increasing weight, it's only a matter of time before they are removed here too.

 
It's really these ones that make me nervous.  What if someone placing a lock slipped on fell onto the lower deck roadway or the dropped a lock onto a car while trying to secure it in place?  Doesn't seem worth it to me.  I can understand locks on a fence, just not on one that is part of a bridge.

 
This wooden number is a cute one though.

 
A short distance after we passed the second set of pillars we were just feet away from the DUMBO (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass) section of Brooklyn.  

 
(Not quite) private eyes...they're watching you!  They see your every move, baby!  The placement of this almost makes it possible to imagine the head around these eyes.  Love random street art.

 
Our first food stop in Brooklyn was for lunch at Grimaldi's Pizzeria.  They had been reviewed on Roadfood but have since moved into this new location right next door to the previous one.

 
And in this picture you can see the old location which is now a coal oven pizzeria named Juliana's (opened in 2011), which is run by Patsy Grimaldi (nephew of the original founder of Patsy's in East Harlem) and his wife, Carol.  They ran Grimaldi's for many years when it was at this smaller location until they sold it and the rights to the Grimaldi's name to a longtime customer.  It'll be interesting to see how these next door coal oven pizza shops stack up against one another.  I think a trip to Juliana's is mandatory in the near future.

 
One of the pie guys slinging dough.

 
And the obligatory homages to Frank Sinatra and Don Corleone.

 
Our lovely pie.  Since we had a number of other stops to make we figured splitting a large (8 slice) pie would be a good idea.  This is a tomato sauce, basil and fresh mozzarella with coal oven roasted sweet red peppers on half.  This was some serious pizza.  The sauce was sweet, the mutz was creamy and that crust had lots of flavor (I could have used more basil), a good char and a nice crackle to it at the edges.  I could have eaten a bowl of those roasted red peppers with just a crust or two of bread.  And despite arriving about an hour after they opened the line was very short and were walked in after less than 5 minutes.  The space is much bigger than the previous one with seating on the ground level and the second floor.  

 
When we walked out the skies had cleared and it was very warm and sunny.  Time for dessert, which meant ice cream sandwiches at Jacques Torres Chocolate just a few blocks from Grimaldi's.  

 
And the picture of Roadfooders taking pictures.  Ralph, Lori and yours truly, reflected in the glass.

 
Love those copper pots.  I think that watching chocolate cooking and being mixed in one of those would just be the most hypnotic thing ever.

 
I picked up a peanut butter cookie with dark chocolate chunks to share.  This had some serious peanut butter flavor but would crumble whenever we tried to break off pieces, yet it wasn't dry.  It would be perfect broken up into a bowl of ice cream. 

 
That dark chocolate was no joke!

 
I also picked up a "Wicked" chocolate ice cream sandwich.  Those cookies with dark chocolate chunks were chewy and intense but that ice cream was fantastic; chocolate, flavored with ancho and chipotle chiles.  The heat didn't pop at first but every so often I would get a little "hello" from the chiles and the very last bite had a creeping, lingering heat to it which I loved.  Ralph likened it more to a Mexican chocolate with notes of cinnamon.  Lori had the sandwich with strawberry ice cream which I've had before and it is some of the best and freshest I've ever tasted.  Mr. Chocolate, as he is known, definitely makes quality a top priority. 

 
Walking back down towards the East River waterfront, we discovered that there is an outpost of Shake Shack, Luke's Lobster and No. 7 Sub all within a block of each other.  Sounds like a great way to spend a day: kayak in the East River, grab lunch from each place and split it among friends, hang out on a large blanket in Brooklyn Bridge Park catching some rays and then walk home across the Brooklyn Bridge.  However, our stop today was at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.  

 
The line was a bit long but we picked up a dish of Strawberry and Ralph & Lori had the Peaches & Cream.  I'm not as fond of the Peaches & Cream as I once was as the peaches seem to have a somewhat chewy texture that is off-putting to me.

 
The strawberry was totally on point.  I'd say this and the one at Jacques Torres would be neck and neck.  Just really fresh strawberry flavor bursting through in each spoonful.

 
Another shot of the Brooklyn Bridge.  

 
And the Lower Manhattan skyline with the new Freedom Tower (with the spire on top) near the right.

 
An old building that is now high-priced apartments.  Love the entryway.

 
A bit of history on the building...

 
...and one of its more well-known employees.

 
Another old building now converted for residential use.  Peaks was the original maker of Dots and Crows candies which is now owned by Tootsie Roll.  We passed these buildings on our way to the "A" train...  

 
...which took us to Greenwich Village and then after a transfer to the "F" train we found ourselves standing at Houston & 2nd Avenue and a block away was Russ & Daughters.  Having not grown up with "appetizing" I've never found the aroma, well, appetizing.  However, I did want to go in to check things out and to provide some "food porn" shots for my fellow Roadfooders who dig this stuff.  Last year, a documentary came about about the daughters of Joel Russ called "The Sturgeon Queens".  Check out the preview in the link and if you can find it on PBS (where I saw it) or get a copy of the DVD, check it out.  It was very sweet.  Link: http://thesturgeonqueens.com

 
Here you go!!

 
It's a pretty busy place and most people seem to know exactly what they want when they hit the counter.  

 
Smoked Whitefish or Kippered Salmon, anyone?

 
I love that they have kept the old signs.

 
Dayna's favorite: herring, cream sauce and onions.

 
Say what now?  HOUSEMADE BAGEL PUDDING WITH DARK CHOCOLATE?!?!  NOW, you have my attention!!  

 
Where are we going next?  What could possibly draw in all of these celebrities?  

 
Katz's.  That's all.  

 
127 years strong.  They must be doing something right.

 
While we were exchanging emails about this trip, Ralph had mentioned that Katz's Delicatessen was on his list so could I say no?  I don't remember these signs being up during my last visit here with Poverty Pete in May of 2014.  Very glad I had the chance to meet and share a meal with him.  

 
Throwback to a different era.

 
It was busy but not slammed and I tipped the counter guy a few greenbacks for a taste of corned beef, brisket and pastrami.  The gang let me take the lead so I ordered us a corned beef on rye, pastrami on rye and brisket on a club roll (and a side of brown gravy) with a plate of sour pickles, half sours and picked green tomatoes.  I washed it down with a Dr. Brown's Black Cherry soda, natch.  I also picked up bottled waters for everyone, not realizing that they have free water and glasses at the back of the deli.  Note to self: survey the layout better next time!

 
We cut the sandwiches into quarters, which worked out just fine.  While I liked the corned beef, it just didn't do it for me.

 
The brisket was fattier than the last time I tried it with The Travelin' Man but it was still excellent and that fat was meltingly tender.  I took one bite au natural and then it was time to get all up in there with that gravy.  Truly a combo that can't be beat!

 
Now, this is MY sandwich!  Their pastrami is always juicy, tender and surrounded by a veil of peppery goodness.  A squirt of mustard from the bottle on the table and I was good to go.  While there certainly are other menu items I am curious to try (the knoblewurst, matzo ball soup and knishes come to mind) it is very hard to resist their pastrami every time I go there.  

 
Love those full sours!

 
Ralph and I went to the back and behind the beverage cooler to find the restrooms and lo and behold, there was a whole other dining area I didn't know existed and it was fairly empty.  Wanderingjew and The Travelin' Man, did you know about this seating area?  Is it waiter service only?  I feel like I want to sit there next time as it looks so much more roomy and comfortable.  Happy Anniversary, Katz's!  To 125 more!

 
We were pretty stuffed after Katz's but while walking west on Houston Street we passed Yonah Shimmel Knish Bakery and couldn't resist going in.  

 
There really isn't any place like this.

 
Savory or sweet?

 
It really is like traveling back in time here and they have so many news clippings from decades ago.  I feel as though every time I come here I learn something new.  

 
Going really old school with the art!

 
Such a tiny place but sometimes that's all you need.

 
A collection of old timey soda siphons.

 
This just great.  Charlie Chaplin?  The Marx Brothers?  I wonder if they came here in their heyday?

 
While none of us could bring ourselves to order a knish, even just to share, we did get a chocolate egg cream and it was Ralph & Lori's first ever.  I think the jury may still be out.  I liked it very much but there are better ones around the city.  They did a good job mixing it but the foamy head died rather quickly.

 
On our way to the last stop of the day we passed a very interesting "pile" in a local park.  Ralph wondered if it was art and I could see how it was.  

 
Surprise!  It was indeed an art installation.  I had thought it was materials that a construction crew had piled there for an upcoming job.  Art takes on many forms.

 
 And a bit further west on Houston, someone spied this art and I begged to cross the street and get a closer look.  

 
Like a very subversive version of Garbage Pal Kids, I'm sure this piece is meant to provoke, agitate and get discussions going.  

 
Definitely not a Christmas gift for the kids!

 
Sad, but true.

 
Walking south on Mulberry Street, we noticed this red brick Victorian house and Ralph saw the letters C.A.S. on it and deduced that it was a Children's Aid Society building.  After some online sleuthing, I found a New York Times article that touched upon this and other buildings that were built in the middle and late 19th century to help street kids, newsies, urchins and left them out of poverty in hopes for a better life.  Here's the article: http://www.nytimes.com/20...f-the-street.html?_r=0

 
Our last stop of the day (and one that Lori was really looking forward to trying) was Rice To Riches on Spring Street.  

 
We all managed to sample a few flavors (Yes, Tony Bad, I know you must be utterly shocked!) and while there was no seating inside as it was packed, we opted to dine alfresco once again, at a park across the street.  There were some stone chess tables available.  Dayna is a big fan of fruit and most things fruit flavored so we went with a two flavor bowl of Key Lime Love Letters (left) and It Takes Two To Peach Mango (right).  The peach mango was definitely my favorite and both of those fruits really shone through.  While I did like the key lime and there was a strong key lime flavor, there was also a bitterness that made me think they made have used some of the pith as well.  Very intense.

 
Ralph & Lori split a "Category 5" Caramel with burst roasted cherries.  This was excellent.  A strong caramel flavor that wasn't sugary and those cherries really brought something extra in terms of taste and texture.

 
On the way to the subway we spied this little guy with his backpack, ready to take long walks through the city!

 
It was truly a wonderful day.  The skies started out dark and rainy but it ended up sunny, warm and eventually breezy by the end.  I am so glad Ralph & Lori decided to come to NYC and let us show them around the city we call home.  It was a pleasure and we really enjoyed spending time with you getting to know you even better.  Safe travels and hoping you have many more great days ahead on your summer journey!
 
That all for now, folks.
 
"Eating is an adventure, enjoy the ride" - billyboy, 2015
 
 
The 411:
 
1.)  Grand Central Terminal
      89 East 42nd Street
      New York, NY 10017
      Ph# Check the website for relevant phone numbers (trains, shops, events, etc...)
      Website: http://www.grandcentralterminal.com
      
2.)  Ess-A-Bagel
      831 3rd Avenue @ 51st Street
      New York, NY 10022
      Ph# 212-980-1010
      Website: http://www.ess-a-bagel.com
 
3.)  Greenacre Park
      217 East 51st Street 
      New York, NY 10022
      No phone number
      No website
 
4.)  Brooklyn Bridge
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooklyn_Bridge
 
5.)  Grimaldi's Pizzeria
      1 Front Street
      Brooklyn, NY 11201
      Website: http://www.grimaldis-pizza.com/home
 
6.)  Jacques Torres Chocolate
      66 Water Street
      Brooklyn, NY 11201
      Ph# 718-875-1269
      Website: http://www.mrchocolate.com
      RF Review: http://www.roadfood.com/R...cques-torres-chocolate
 
7.)  Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory
      1 Water Street
      Brooklyn, NY 11201
      Ph# 718-246-3963
      Website: http://www.brooklynicecreamfactory.com/contact.html
      RF Review: http://www.roadfood.com/R...klyn-ice-cream-factory
 
8.)  Russ & Daughters
      179 East Houston Street
      New York, NY 10002
      Ph# 212-475-4880
      Website: http://www.russanddaughters.com
 
9.)  Katz's Delicatessen
      205 East Houston Street
      New York, NY 10002
      Ph# 212-254-2246
      Website: http://katzsdelicatessen.com
      RF Review: http://www.roadfood.com/R..urant/Reviews/243/katzs
 
10.)  Yonah Shimmel Knish Bakery
        137 East Houston Street
        New York, NY 10002
        Ph# 212-477-2858
        Website: http://knishery.com
 
11.)  Rice To Riches
        37 Spring Street
        New York, NY 10012
        Ph# 212-274-0008
        Website: https://www.ricetoriches.com
        RF Review: http://www.roadfood.com/R...05-5397/rice-to-riches
 
post edited by billyboy - 2016/09/03 20:56:34
#1

68 Replies Related Threads

    leethebard
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    Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/01 14:54:51 (permalink)
    Wow..what a great report about my favorite city. Comprehensive,informative, and fun.Love that food ....great bagels, and a hell of a pizza....thanks so much for taking the time to post this. Enjoyed it emensely!!!
    #2
    TnTinCT
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    Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/01 15:25:23 (permalink)
    Ah so many of my favorite places (Katz's - and like you, I can't seem to order anything except pastrami). We haven't done DUMBO yet, that is on the list one of these days....what a great day! I love New York, it's such a great walking city, and there is something new and different around every corner. Thanks as always for sharing the adventure.
    #3
    MetroplexJim
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    Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/01 15:27:41 (permalink)
    Thank you so very much.
     
    In many ways your report captured the true flavor of The City!
    #4
    Twinwillow
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    Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/01 15:31:20 (permalink)
    Wow, loved this report! It sure brought back a lot of fond memories for this old ex-New Yawka. Thanks.
    #5
    Tony Bad
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    Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/01 15:44:38 (permalink)
    Bill, I think we discussed that we are both prone to sticking to things we like, so yes, I am shocked you strayed from your usual. Nice report Bill. Hope we can get together some time soon.
    #6
    ann peeples
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    Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/01 16:39:03 (permalink)
    Awesome, awesome, awesome report!!
    #7
    mar52
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    Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/01 16:52:13 (permalink)
    Wonderful!  I love how you take pictures.  You put a different slant on things!
     
    Always a great report and fun to read.
     
    Katz's pastrami looks better than Langer's here in Los Angeles and Langer's is fabulous.  I now have Katz's on my list but I doubt I'll ever get to New York, unfortunately.
     
    I love your reports!
    #8
    ChrisOC
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    Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/01 17:27:29 (permalink)
    Fantastic report, thank you!  
    #9
    wingmanBBF
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    Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/01 18:36:04 (permalink)
    Thank you both so very much for being the bridge-builders of  this very complete report. I'll be following in your footsteps soon.....
     
    Wingmanusn
    post edited by wingmanBBF - 2015/07/01 21:15:24
    #10
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/01 19:39:02 (permalink)
    Very nice. And great shots, as usual.
    #11
    lleechef
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    Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/01 19:49:27 (permalink)
    Beautiful report!  Ralph and Lori couldn't have had a better guide!
    #12
    Stitches
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    Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/01 20:51:47 (permalink)
    Loved all the pics being a native NYer (65 years).  Ate bag lunch 2-3 times a week at Greenacre Park on 51st St. (before kids) in the 70's having worked at Shell Chemical (6th Ave.) and Lever Brothers (Park).  Have a great sketch of the park purchased in the 70's - unfortunately could not figure out how to post it!
     
    So happy Ralph & Lori had such a wonderful food tour of NY!
     
    #13
    joerogo
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    Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/01 21:24:49 (permalink)
    That Brooklyn tour looked familiar! :)
    #14
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/01 21:56:06 (permalink)
    billyboy - Great, Great report...loved the descriptions and the photos.  The trip report lives on in the hearts, minds and souls of true Roadfooders!!!!
    #15
    bigbear
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    Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/01 21:56:35 (permalink)
    Thanks. Great photos. I miss Katz's.
    #16
    CajunKing
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    Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/01 23:50:49 (permalink)
    BB - A fantastic adventure with some great adventurers  
    Hmmmm I think I do remember something about you and rice pudding a time or four before.  If it aint broke dont fix it.
    #17
    JB-ME
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    Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/02 02:07:38 (permalink)
    Great report as always. I don't know which I enjoy more--the ones you do in your hometown turf in central New York, or the ones you do in your adopted home of NYC.
    #18
    jaylhorner
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    Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/02 07:21:07 (permalink)
    Great report and pics!
    #19
    wanderingjew
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    Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/02 08:36:36 (permalink)
    Billyboy
     
    Great trip report (even though you went to those  out of date tourist traps Katz's, Yonnah S himmel's and Russ & Daughters)
     
    Sandra, Karilyn, the Amy half of Ayersian and myself hosted Ralph Melton and Ice Cream Chick here in Rhode Island at the Bocce Club and then at Ice Cream Machine afterwards. I understand they will be meeting Bethgrd sometime today for a meal before heading to Bar Harbor for July 4th weekend
    #20
    Davebassman
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    Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/02 09:30:46 (permalink)
    mar52
    Wonderful!  I love how you take pictures.  You put a different slant on things!
     
    Always a great report and fun to read.
     
    Katz's pastrami looks better than Langer's here in Los Angeles and Langer's is fabulous.  I now have Katz's on my list but I doubt I'll ever get to New York, unfortunately.
     
    I love your reports!




    I also would love to make it to Katz's, but don't see a trip to NY in my near future. On the Katz site, however, you can order their products to be shipped. Probably wouldn't be as good as being there in person, but might be an option.
    #21
    kozel
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    Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/02 10:20:17 (permalink)
    Stitches
    Loved all the pics being a native NYer (65 years).  Ate bag lunch 2-3 times a week at Greenacre Park on 51st St. (before kids) in the 70's having worked at Shell Chemical (6th Ave.) and Lever Brothers (Park).  Have a great sketch of the park purchased in the 70's - unfortunately could not figure out how to post it!
     
    So happy Ralph & Lori had such a wonderful food tour of NY!
     

    Here is the sketch of Greenacre Park Stitches has from the pre-photography days.

    post edited by kozel - 2015/07/02 10:24:58
    #22
    The Travelin Man
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    Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/02 11:40:41 (permalink)
    The seating area in the back of Katz's is one of the better kept secrets, in a world where no secret is all that safe any more. It is open seating - no wait service. The downside is the proximity to the rest rooms, but often the only place to get a seat when the front of the room is packed. 
    #23
    billyboy
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    Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/02 23:37:16 (permalink)
    Thank you all so much for the wonderful and kind comments!  I really do enjoy writing these and hope to do many more.  I have a another installment in my Central NY series coming up soon, so watch for it in the "I say Fretta, You Say Frittata and the Passion of the Pusty" thread update.
     
    I had mentioned that those oval barriers on the Brooklyn Bridge were to keep people from climbing the bridge, right? Well, apparently some teenager didn't get the memo.  He went onto the outer portion of the bridge, walking on a beam over the traffic-filled lower deck ands snapped a shot with a selfie stick.  He's lucky he didn't become a "Darwin Award" winner!  Link: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/students-selfie-on-brooklyn-bridge-railing-prompts-nypd-response/
     
    TnTinCT, DUMBO has really undergone a facelift in recent years and it's a great place to hang out and lots of food options too.
     
    Tony Bad, hope to meet up soon too.  I knew you'd appreciate me sampling a number of rice pudding flavors before settling on one!
     
    mar52, that's very kind of you.  If you do make it to NYC, I'd love to show you around!
     
    wingmanBBF, are you making a trip up north to our fair city?
     
    Stitches, yeah, it really is a great park and one of the few places that I can just "switch off" from the sounds of the city.  Many of my city "born and bred" friends don't really see or hear it but for someone who didn't grow up here, the noise and constant energy can be a bit much.
     
    joerogo, that WAS a good day, started out of course, by some excellent pie at the old Grimaldi's.
     
    CajunKing, I've been there so many times WITHOUT taking photos!  Dayna and I actually have a HUGE stack of those rice pudding bowls that we now use as dishes to feed our lovely kitties!
     
    JB-ME, I do love showing off what CNY has to offer as they don't get a lot of press outside of that region and many of the places and regional foods I love from my childhood are almost unknown to those who didn't grow up there.
     
    Wanderingjew, good one!  That sounds like a great start to a great weekend!
     
    Kozel, that's a great sketch!
     
     

     

     
    #24
    kozel
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    Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/03 10:45:56 (permalink)
    billyboy
     
    Kozel, that's a great sketch!


    It's not much of a secret, I sleep with stitches (wife of almost 45 years), and it is her sketch. We both grew up and lived in Queens till 1982, and from 1982 to 2013 we were in suffolk county. Today we are in Virginia.
    #25
    mar52
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    Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/03 11:41:25 (permalink)
    Davebassman, what a great idea!  I just might have to try that.
     
    Billyboy, I would be honored!  The thought of New York is very intimidating to me.
     
    Tourist trap or not I'd like to try Katz's.  Who knows... I might like it as much as the Big Texan. 
     
    I sent my brother and his wife to the rice pudding shop.  Rice pudding is a favorite dessert of mine.  Thought it would be a fun business to get into here but also though...  why would we ever want to work again?
     
     
    #26
    JB-ME
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    Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/05 19:31:03 (permalink)
    billyboy
    JB-ME, I do love showing off what CNY has to offer as they don't get a lot of press outside of that region and many of the places and regional foods I love from my childhood are almost unknown to those who didn't grow up there.

    One of the several places/states I've lived is upstate/western NY. It was a little town about 20 miles west of Rochester and right on Lake Ontario. When I lived there its one 'industry' was a Mott's applesauce factory. Even a mile or so away you could tell when they were making applesauce, if the wind was blowing in the right direction--especially cinnamon-flavored! This was apple country. The town also had a 2-pump gas station as part of the little IGA grocery store and a tiny post office. That was about it.
    Most people, when you say you lived in NY, think NYC and have no clue that tbe Adirondacks exist or the grape/wine area in the Finger Lakes or the farm lands growing all sorts of fruits and vegetables. There is so much more to NY than NYC. And then there is Long Island.
    I had never heard of most of the CNY foods you've written about. That is one of the great things about Roadfood.com. You read and learn about a lot of food and places you may never visit or you get to revisit them through trip reports. I did most of my traveling long before this website existed. Or how about Kaszeta's trip report about Reunion? Definitely a place most of us will never visit, but still interesting to read about. I appreciate the trip report work you do, as well as BB, WJ, Mar52, Ayersian, and many others. I remember some of Mayor Al's trips from years ago--southern UT comes to mind and a TX hunting trip more recently. Reports are a lot of work to edit photos and write the narrative (not to mention plan and make the trip), and I really appreciate them!
    #27
    Foodbme
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    Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/06 03:24:28 (permalink)
    I can't believe you were "That Close" to the Grand Central Station Oyster Bar and didn't have a bowl of oyster stew for Breakfast. That would have given you stamina for the rest of the day!
     
    #28
    Ralph Melton
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    Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/08 08:22:54 (permalink)
    Thank you very much for hosting us. We would not have had nearly as good a taste of New York without you.
    #29
    billyboy
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    Re: This is New York (with Ralph & Lori!!) 2015/07/09 04:20:47 (permalink)
     
    kozel, city-born and bred, eh?  I need to make time to explore Queens.  I used to work in Astoria and Long Island City but I don't get over there much these days.  Hope you're enjoying the new chapter of your life in Virginia.
     
    JB-ME, having that applesauce-cinnamon aroma wafting through the air sounds great!  I used to live near Griffiss AFB in Rome, NY.  We were right along the flight path and when we would have picnics at my grandmother's house, planes would always be flying by and we'd just stop talking and then resume when the sound subsided.  It used to freak out our out-of-town guests who weren't used to it!
    There really is so much more to NYS than just the city.  Growing up we had to remind people from NYC that they have an entire state attached to their fair city.  For years, my perspective on California was just from what I saw on TV and that pretty much consisted of Los Angeles and San Francisco until I spent three months driving from La Jolla to Eureka.  I saw so many little towns and met many interesting people along the way and it really opened my eyes to how diverse a state it is. 
    So many of the regional specialties I try to highlight from CNY don't get much press outside of the area but I do so love sharing the foods I grew up eating with the RF community at large.  Riggies, spiedies, half moons, greens, hot ham/bbq ham sandwiches, Frettas, Giambotta, upside down pizza, tomato pie, headlights & taillights, salt potatoes, pusties, tunnel sandwiches, hats & broccoli and so much more trigger happy memories for me!  Kaszeta's trip to Reunion WAS pretty amazing.  I'd never heard of it before and he really captured the culture, topography and flavor of the region.  Thanks for the kind words.  I really do love putting these reports together, though I love experiencing them and chowing down even more!
     
    Foodbme, not a huge fan of the oyster.  Given its gray color and jiggly nature, I find myself a student of the school of thought that asks the question, "Who was the first person to eat an oyster?"  Answer?  Someone who was probably VERY hungry!
     
    Ralph Melton, Dayna and I had so much fun with you and Lori.  Anytime you want to explore the Big Apple, just let us know.
     
    #30
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