Daily Archives: October 5, 2010

NYC Pics

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Some very random photos from my brief visit ….

Every trip to New York, my first meal is here – it’s the closest kosher deli to my mom’s place.  And inside, it’s exactly the same as the delis I went to as a kid half a century ago.

Hot dogs and knishes on the grill up front.

Stuffed cabbage.

I think they have enough chopped liver  to feed the entire borough.

All beef hot dogs – my dad used to refer to the fat ones on the right as “specials.”

Matzoh ball soup.

My pastrami on rye.

Kosher all beef salami.  I used to live on this stuff as a kid but truthfully I stopped liking it about 30 years ago.

Probably no sign here to mark the importance of this place, but for a short time, from around 1968 to 1971, this was the Fillmore East, the east coast mecca of all things rock.  Acts I saw here – Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, The Who, Frank Zappa (with the original Mothers of Invention and a year later with the Flo & Eddie line-up), Chuck Berry, Albert King, Taj Mahal, Boz Scaggs, Buddy Guy & Junior Wells and lots more.

St. Marks Sounds is still there.  For at least 20 years I was there every Saturday and they got a huge chunk of my paycheck.

Trash and Vaudeville was THE shop for punk fashion.

Search & Destroy came along later but has also lasted for decades.  (The sun was shining strong from behind me so I couldn’t see the LCD screen on the camera – the perils of the EVIL format.)  Note they are having an “Anachist (sic) is shit” sale.

Behind this gleaming renovated facade once lurked the Electric Circus, where you could see Hendrix and the Velvet Underground.

A bit of street art outside a tattoo parlor.

I don’t think that bicycle lanes were set up like this the last time I was there but it makes sense – the row of parked cars protects people on bikes from the lunatic NYC drivers.

No more parking meters in New York – now just one of these gizmos on every block.  Put in money or a credit card, get a slip of paper showing how long you’ve paid for and stick that on the dashboard of your car.  Note that these boxes are solar powered.

McSorley’s Old Ale House, established 1854.  “This is our 156 year and Ale is well.”  “We were here before you were born.”  I can’t remember how many afternoons and evenings were spent here – for obvious reasons.  Forget about it on the weekends, tourists line up down the block to check the place out. \

Down the street stands relative new-comer Burp Castle; I think it’s been there for 30 or 40 years.

20 or so years ago, this was my favorite restaurant – I didn’t expect them to still be around and happy to know that they are.  The best chicken-fried steak, walls lined with dozens of different hot sauces, and for a few years a bar and music venue in the basement called Under Acme.

Cupcake cart along Broadway in Soho.

Just a few blocks further down – a cupcake truck.

For decades, this stretch of Broadway in Soho was filthy and all but deserted.  Today it’s the hottest shopping district in Manhattan, with global brands from Banana Republic to Zara.  You have to appreciate the way they preserved the old factory buildings rather than tear things down and build generic shopping malls.

I really liked this place – All Saints Spitalfields.  Look at all the antique sewing machines.  And if you look on the left, you’ll note they have iPads all over the store for displays and stock-checking.

This was once Tower Records’ first shop in NYC.  Broadway was dead and they opened here and were so popular that everyone else wanted to be there.  It was the start of the revitalization of Broadway.   Special bonus – Keith Richards and Patti Hansen lived in a condo just upstairs, you could see them walking their dogs here every day.

A couple of blocks up from Tower, actually pre-dating Tower, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where I went to school for two years.  I actually don’t remember too much of those two years, which proves I was really there.

And a little bit further up is Grace Church.  Built from 1843-46, I used to have this fantasy that one day I would own this church – I’d put on concerts and screen films in the church itself, live next door in the parish house and convert the school into condos.  I think I really used to believe that one day I’d be rich enough to be able to afford to do that – we had really good drugs back in those days.

Lunch that day was a slice of quintessential New York pizza.  Along with the requisite autographed photos of celebrities who they say ate there.

A panoramic view from my mother’s terrace in Da Bronx – Lehman College athletic fields off to the left, Bronx High School of Science straight in front, DeWitt Clinton off to the right (hidden by trees).  De Witt C!  One and one is t’ree!

On my last day, back to Riverdale because the Jewish holiday was over and I could visit the old-style kosher bakery and get some of my childhood faves.  I bought some rainbow cookies and rugalech back to HK for my gf to try (along with some real bagels and bialys).

This place in Riverdale made me laugh – a Glatt Kosher deli, grill and Middle Eastern restaurant – their Tuesday special is sushi.  Not sure I’d want to try it there.

Oh, my flight home seriously sucked and in ways I couldn’t possibly have predicted.

But I’m home now and glad to be home.  I’ve managed to stay up till 10 PM; hopefully I can sleep through the night and get to the office tomorrow.

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