Sauntering Around Manhattan in May with Bethgrd and Karilyn

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2011/06/18 02:24:19 (permalink)

Sauntering Around Manhattan in May with Bethgrd and Karilyn

Earlier this year fellow RFers Karilyn and Bethgrd asked me to join them in The Great Saunter, a 32-mile walk around Manhattan Island on May 7, 2011.  I was up for it but not sure how far I would walk altogether though I did look forward to spending the day with these two wonderful ladies!  Plus, I was hoping to do some reconnaissance on the footpaths of Northern Manhattan as part of some very early prep for a run around the island in a year or two!  We were to meet up at Pier 84, just south of the U.S.S. Intrepid see below but I was running late so they started walking and I met up with them later in the saunter.  

I run by this ship quite a bit on my nightly route downtown and if you think it looks great here just take a gander at it lit up at night!

My walker's bib.  This wasn't a timed or scored event, just a casual walk to promote being active and a way to see parts of Manhattan that many people do not.  Walkers could deviate from the mapped course at any time and get back on whenever they liked, which we did.

While walking north along the Westside Highway, I came across this art installation and just HAD to take a picture!!  Through the top of the wine bottle you could see inside and it was outfitted like a small studio apartment or an RV.  It reminded me of the first time I saw the inside of Woodstock's birdhouse.

One of the other Saunterers and myself tried to take shots showing the inside but ended up with this cool pic instead.  If you look between my hands you can see the image of a woman.  It's actually the photographer's friend looking into the bottle through a window on the other end.

I always think of asparagus when I see these in the Hudson River.

Some of the walkway heading north along the west side of Manhattan.  Those tall buildings on the right are some of Trump's gaudy monstrosities.  

I often wonder what the backstory is to some of the structures half submerged in the Hudson.  I'd love to know the history of them and the people who may have worked with them.

Finally meeting up with Karilyn and Beth near Riverside Park.  They took their time and were relaxing on a bench when I came by.

Yes, there is actually FOOD in this report!  After about 4-5 miles, we decided to veer off of the path and head towards the subway to go further north and check out the Cloisters.  What I realized (totally by chance) is that our detour would take us right past the new location of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Harlem.  I suggested we pop in for a quick bite.  Being that they had just opened for the day we were seated right away.  

Love the new booths.  They didn't have these in the former location.

Being the nerd that I am I took my camera into the bathroom (honestly between the graffiti and the artwork on the walls who wouldn't?) and snapped a shot of this flying pig.

A cold Saranac root beer hit the spot.

We all split a Swag Sampler Platter of Wango Tango wings, fried green tomatoes, boiled shrimp and deviled eggs.  Very tasty as usual.

I spied this sausage, pimento cheese and black pepper crackers app and felt the need to try it.  Very good.  I think they may have made the crackers in-house and the sausage and cheese paired up quite nicely.  The ladies each ordered a pulled pork and a brisket slider and enjoyed them.  Beth really loved the brisket slider.

We walked east on 125th Street towards the A train.  Walking through Harlem is very different than riding the train.  Not a neighborhood in which I spend much time but I feel I should as It is so different than my own.  We exited the train at 190th Street in Fort Tryon Park and walked north to the Cloisters.  I really do enjoy coming here as it's so easy to forget you are in a huge urban area and the inside is so cool on a hot day, the sculptures, tapestries and other artwork is just incredible and the views of the Hudson are spectacular!

The courtyard at the Cloisters.



This guy looks like he should have turned down that last drink!

Now this is a coat of arms of which I whole-heartedly approve!



I love this old subway sign.

We walked back to the train and after about 6 miles of sauntering in total we were somewhat tuckered out.  Our plan was to take the train to 116th Street and walk to Amy Ruth's for some rib-sticking soul food (think chicken & waffles, mac & cheese, collards, red velvet cake and Kool-Aid of the day).  Unfortunately I had forgotten that the A train goes express to 59th Street from 125th Street so we missed our stop.  Yes, I had Travelin' Manned us!!  We got off of the train at 14th Street, transferred to the L train and came upon these guys beatboxing in the Union Square station.

Part of my plan was to head over to STAND anyway so we just made it there earlier.  We started out with a plate of tempura battered and fried bread & butter (read: sweet) pickles.  The mustard sauce was okay but to me, totally unnecessary.  I grew up on sweet pickles and while after 8 years in the city I do love dills and all kinds of sours, sweet pickles will always be a taste of home to me.  We loved these.  They had a light sprinkling of salt on the outside that paired with the beverages to come...!

The Fab Five shakes from left to right:  Toasted Marshmallow, Toasted Marshmallow, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, Toasted Marshmallow and Chocolate Malt.  I know, this seems more like a Buffetbuster/Cousin Johnny breakfast picture but the three of us managed to polish these off in spectacular fashion and we all agreed that the Toasted Marshmallow was the favorite.  



After our sugar rush we hopped in a cab and headed to 26th Street to sample some Texas style barbecue at Hill Country Barbecue * Market.  Karilyn had a Coke in the bottle and I gave Big Red a second try after having tasted it for the first time during my dinner with Ellen4641 and not being crazy about it. I see the appeal though it is very sweet.  Definitely an occasional indulgence.

Sweet Potato Bourbon Mash.  A great complement to the rich smoked meats.

White Shoepeg Corn Pudding.  Creamy and a bit spicy.  One of my favorites.

The beef rib.  Sometimes it's very tender and other times it can be chewy.  This one fell somewhere in the middle.  Not chewy but I had hoped it would be more tender.

A smoked pork chop.  This had a hammy taste that Beth and I both loved. The smoke penetration, peppery rub and tender meat put it over the top for me

And a group shot.  Karilyn did order some of the moist (read: fatty) brisket while I picked up some of the lean.  I still prefer the lean as I think it as plenty moist but I do see the appeal of the moist.  Very decadent.

Some saltines to balance out the meat or to make little meat canapes with my brisket!  After this meal the ladies were stuffed and had to make their way back to Boston.  

About 5 minutes after we parted way, I came across this Eat At Madison Square Park outdoor food fair going on throughout the month of May and early June.  Well, I couldn't pass THIS up, now could I?

This looks interesting...

Wait!  What?  Girl Scout Cookie?  Samoa?  Oh, I'm on it!

A caramel-mascarpone cheese inside of dark chocolate covered cannoli shell garnished with toasted coconut.  I liked it but didn't love it.  I have a great affinity for the Samoa cookie and this just didn't seem like the right application.  Not that it stopped me from eating the whole thing!  Stuffed Artisan Cannolis does have a storefront on the Lower East Side and features inventive flavors such as:  French Toast, Peppermint Bark, Candy Corn, Red Licorice and Bacon & Chocolate.  More research may be required.

My next stop was People's Pops.  I have seen them at other markets and have been hearing about them for months.  

Love the creative signage!


I went for the Blackberry & Sour Cherry pop.  (Quick note: it's my understanding that the Unilever company owns the trademark to the name "popsicle" and had sent a "cease & desist" letter and that is why these are now called People's Pops and not "popsicles.  For more info, read here:  http://blog.peoplespops.c...ease-and-desist.html).  The blackberry flavor really came through in this.  I didn't find any whole blackberries so I think they pureed and strained them to eliminate any seeds in the final product.  The sour cherry flavor was there as well but they had left them whole and as a result the texture was similar to that of a wet paper towel.  I think they would have been better served had they been pureed as well.  Some fruits don't work out in the freezing process.  Nonetheless, I'll be trying more of their inventive flavors in what promises to be a hot summer.

They also offer different flavors of shave ices.

The Flatiron Building at 23rd Street & Broadway.

The fountain in City Hall Park between Broadway & Park Row in Lower Manhattan.  I love walking in here at night when the gas lamps are lit!

Thanks for reading!
"Eating is an adventure, enjoy the ride!" - Billyboy, 2011
The 411
1.)  The Great Saunter
2.)  Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
3.)  The Cloisters
4.)  STAND
5.)  Hill Country Barbecue * Market
6.)  Eat At Madison Square Park  (Sorry, this has already closed.  I should have posted this back in May!)
7.)  People's Pops
8.)  Stuffed Artisan Cannolis

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