Took breakfast with Mike in the morning at a restaurant Jon and Patricia's godson works at, The Cookshop, just 5 minutes from the house on 10th Av. I settled for the 'Cookshop Breakfast' - two poached eggs, 'Anson Mills grits' (a bizarre Southern porridge-type sludge, for want of a better description), crispy bacon, pork sausages, and a 'buttermilk biscuit' (which, essentially, turned out to be a glorified scone).
Eggs, bacon, 'grits' and scone - NYC breakfast
Fuel-tank filled, I set off on a day of building hunting (separate post to follow).
I returned just before supper and bade my goodbyes to Jon, Patricia and Mike and made my way to my second host of my New York visit, Simon Day. Soon after unpacking Simon and I headed out for some supper to a classic NY burger house - take your own beer; medium/rare cheese-burgers; topped off with New York fries. Perfect. Afterwards we visited a favourite Japanese cocktail bar of Simon's for a quick drink before heading over to a local patisserie to grab some late-night desert. Suitably exhausted from my day of building-hunting and evening of fodder-scoffing we called it a night.
Thursday, 14th July 2011
Taking advantage of having the apartment to myself for the morning, I took the liberty of having a lie-in followed by a lazy morning. I wandered down south of Simon's apartment onto Avenue A to a breakfast diner where I indulged myself on waffles with blueberries, strawberries and a solid dousing of maple syrup. Just before lunch I hopped onto the subway and made my way over to Williamsburg, a rather eclectic part of New York just over the water from East Manhattan into Brooklyn. There I explored the quirky bookshops, record-stores, and lounged on the re-developed water-front in between wandering around the industrial areas and hunting down some abandonment.
A lunch of sushi, and a nice glass of Chablis later, I returned to Manhattan to meet Simon at the UN Buildings for an exclusive tour. Amongst the perks of staying with a Diplomat included being allowed to sit in the Ambassador's chair:
Th. Hon. G J Lamont - Ambassador of the World
And ascending the stage to address the counties of the world:
Addressing the masses; setting the world to right
Tour having overrun, we rushed back to the apartment where Simon's two friends, Melissa and her boyfriend Alex, were waiting for us. We had a few drinks in a rather quirky speakeasy bar in the East Village which to access you had to enter a phone-box in a hotdog restaurant and ring the secret code which caused the wall of the phone-box to slide away revealing a secret little world, brimming with atmosphere, pricey cocktails, and (of course) stuffed animals. Pre-lash NYC-style done we moved on to dinner: grilled striped sea bass with potato shavings and lemon grilled asparagus, and a decent slosh of white wine to boot. We returned to Simon's apartment with some desert and mixed some pungent beverages which we consumed outside on his balcony with the record player (yes, record player) humming some jazz, gently, in the background. The hour struck one, signalling bedtime - never mind that I had to be up at 6.30am to catch my flight to Detroit - Simon had work.
Staying with Simon was a brilliant end to the first leg of my visit to New York. I was made to feel so welcome by both Jon & Patricia and Simon which transformed what may have been an otherwise over-whelming visit to the great city into a lovely, homely experience.