Date of Last Visit: Monday, May 7, 2007
The Victims: Jen, Kim
The Damage: Less than $30 per person
The Song In My Head: Burning, Whitest Boy Alive
It is my last day in NYC. I would say that Jen and Kim and I stayed up late and chatted about all of life’s possibilities, but the fact of the matter is that Kim and I fell asleep around 9:30 p.m. This is okay though because Kim had to get up very, very early to go to work. And as the international visitor, I can always plead jet lag. Plus, Kim’s singing in the shower roused Jen and me at the ungodly hour of 6 a.m. so it was time for MY LAST NYC BAGEL.
I checked in with the concierge. I wanted a NY bagel. Not a tourist bagel. (I’m not even going to write about the disasterous bagel in Times Square on Saturday morning.) He noted that I was within a few blocks of the world famous H&H. And so we set off, picking up Feathers–the bachelorette herself–along the way.
Now the H&H on 11th is not H&H’s friendly storefront. Maybe it was when the Intrepid was still around, but even I know that the Intrepid is in dry dock. But I was not prepared for the sparseness of H&H. This was not a schmear sort of place. They did not toast your bagel for you. They did not put the cream cheese on for you. This was like the factory outlet.
And that was fine. Because I just wanted a salt bagel. And I got one. Actually, I got three. Plus two Garlic and two Everything. I put them all in my suitcase and they are now in my London freezer. I am blessed. Now, I’m a little worried about my blood pressure–the H&H Salt Bagel was a lot saltier than the one at Tal on Friday morning. I had to do a lot of scraping. But it was still good.
639 West 46th Street
New York, New York 10036
After bagels, Jen and I went down to Ground Zero. I cried and I’ll leave it at that.
From there, we wandered up through Wall Street and then over to the Fulton Fish Market (which sadly no longer exists in Manhattan and has relocated to the Bronx) and then under the Brooklyn Bridge. From there, we walked over to Chinatown, which I LOVE because everything is so FRESH. And then we walked and we walked and we walked some more. I had this hankering…a very touristy hankering…to go to Little Italy. I had this feeling that this would be a mistake, and that I would leave unsatisfied. So I forced Jen to wander up and down the street as we searched for the perfect venue.
And we found it. I had such low low low expectations. I expected to pay a lot, and I did.
But then…I expected to think the service was crap, and it wasn’t. I expected that the food would be crap, and it wasn’t. I expected that the bathrooms would be filthy and they weren’t. In short, we had a very nice meal in a very nice courtyard on a very nice day. The wines by the glass were a TOTAL RIPOFF at $10.95 a glass, but the bread and the sun and the pasta and the sandwich more than made up for all of that.
My chicken and spinach and pasta was perfect. I’m serious. I had such terribly, terribly low expecations and the pasta and the chicken were both cooked perfectly. And my $10.95 glass of Valpolicella wasn’t bad either. But I imagine what their business would be like if they served $4 glasses of Valpolicella and $5 bowls of pasta. They’d be packed. And happy. If I were an entrepreneur, I’d open a restaurant here that served cheap food and inexpensive wine with great service.
151 Mulberry St
New York, NY 10013
After lunch, Jen and I wandered up to Spring Street and then took the Subway up to Central Park. Kim left work early to come back into the city and hang out with us and we took some pictures. This one is from below, close to Columbus Circle. Seriously, could this day be any more perfect?
My flight left at 9:15 p.m.