New York, New York

Posted on September 2, 2008


I am in New York City this week for training in preparation for my departure to Uruguay the first week of October (more about that when I get around to it).New York is a fun place and I fall in love with it each time I come here. It always leave me wondering how I would feel if I actually lived here. It is one thing to come, see the sights, enjoy the food, then leave and go home to the house with yard and multiple rooms. As fun as New York is, I have trouble imagining living in a cramped studio apartment that cost many times more than my four bedroom house. On the other hand it could be a good way to clear out all the stuff I am surrounded with. If you need to fit two people and a dog in a one room apartment you better believe that stuffed animals from your childhood become somewhat less sentimentally important.

This time around I am staying in the Hilton Times Square. I am so close to being a gold member with them I have switched my loyalty from Marriott to Hilton. It is a nice place in a great location. It is always nice when they pull up my history and see that I have been living in Hiltons over the last couple months. Usually, that means that they give me a nice room, and this time is no exception. I am in a huge room for NYC with a bay window and a flat screen television. Score!

Tonight I headed over to my favorite New York neighborhood – Hells Kitchen. It is funky, cheap, and has an awesome collection of international food places that can not be beat. It is one of the moments of pure joy in my life to walk down the street past one hundred restaurants and taking my time to select the “perfect” one. There are so many options, something to satisfy every hunger. Irish, steak, zen vegetarian, chinese, afghan, indonesian, russian, fish, indian….

I started out in a place appropriately named Valhalla. It was a bar that served no food as far as I could tell. Instead, they had 33 beers on tap and 45 bottled beers. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I was in heaven. The best part was that the beers on tap were truely awesome. I was very sorry that I am such a light-weight and could only stand to try two of them. I started with a Gaffel Kolsch, which is a beer that I enjoyed in Koln, Germany, and is impossible to find in the US on tap. Kolsch is an awesome beer that goes so well with the warm weather we have been having – it is light like a pilsner but with a sour, tangy taste. While drinking it, I had brief visions of the waiters in Koln with their blue aprons serving the beer from freshly tapped casks. After the Gaffel, I decided to try something local. I ordered a Blue Point Toasted Lager. I expected a somewhat smoky flavor, but instead I was pleasantly surprised with a gentle, deep tasting smooth amber. It was good and gently pushed me out the door.

As described above, dinner was a hard choice, but that struggle was entirely full of pleasure. Trying to closely follow my vegan diet of the last eight months (knowing it would likely be temporarily on hold when I go to Uruguay), I searched out various veggie options. I happily ended up in Bali nusa Indah at 651 Ninth Avenue. This Indonesian restaurant had a veggie special that came with about ten different dishes starting with a salad with peanut sauce and ending with a dessert called Banana surprise. It even came with a glass of wine. All for $21.95, not bad at all considering the food was great.

Posted in: Cooking, E&Y, NYC, Travel, Uruguay