Shamefully, I cannot believe that it has taken me over two years to visit the Bronx. This time last year, I was training for a foot race in Van Cortlandt Park before I sprained my ankle. Ever since, the Bronx has been a non-priority, that is, until I ventured to the New York Botanical Gardens today. And what a perfect spring day! When coupled with a warm breeze and crystal cloudless skies, the gardens were a veritable fortress of solitude.
Luckily, while wandering the grounds of the property, I spontaneously remembered that the Bronx is known for its Italian neighborhoods – specifically its restaurants. All it took was a quick search on Yelp and (poof) I was suddenly at Zero Otto Nove, one of the highest rated Italian restaurants on Arthur Avenue. And what is a good Italian meal without an even better dessert? I can thank Egidio Pastry for the chocolate-dipped cannoli and cappuccino.
I can also thank NYC roads for the chug-holed, stop-and-go, and smoggy ride home. Ten miles (if even) took over one hour!!
If Day #1 of my last week in NYC was all about Williamsburg, then Day #2 was largely Lower East Side… and a one-off trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
First order of business was the Tenement Museum, where my roommate Sanaz and I jumped on a 4pm tour called “Hard Times” At this point, it was around 11:30am, so we had some time to kill. Sanaz wanted bubble tea and, after I mentioned a good dumpling place I’d visited a couple of years ago, she was suddenly very hungry. Then we were off, on a mission to find these Chinatown culinary all-stars, zig-zagging through cramped streets and past tiny stores with funny names (ahem, Mei Dick).
After we’d accomplished everything we came for around the Canal/Mott Street area, Sanaz and I made a split-second decision to hop on an Uptown train and spend a couple hours at the Met. What a great idea – especially considering that the museum recently updated its Art of the Arab Lands collection. It might help to know that Sanaz is from Iran and quite knowledgeable regarding the traditional regional designs of Persia.
By 4pm, we were back in the LES and on our tenement tour. By 5pm, we were at Essex Street Market buying produce for the night. By 6pm, we were (literally) limping home. Not sure how I’m going to run and go to the NY Botanical Gardens tomorrow.
RIP Dick Whitman.
For the Iranian New Year, my roommate Sanaz purchased two goldfish. Although I truly love all living creatures, I’ve always felt conflicted about keeping birds and fish as pets. To me, there’s something a bit wrong about keeping wild things caged (or in poor Dick Whitman‘s case, bowled). Even with a proper set-up – an aquarium, heater, filtration system, the nines – keeping a fish just seems kind of… selfish.
At any rate, Dick Whitman (alias Leonardo Da Vinchi) is present in apartment one and it doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere. That is, unless he suffers the same fate as his ex-wife who, unfortunately, is no longer with us.
She’s the first one to go.
Of the 2o-somethings in our group of friends, Sara is the first one of us to cross the threshold of a new decade. My milestone comes later this year. Whereas Sara celebrated her 30th in Brooklyn at a small bar called Good Company, I think I’d prefer a more natural surrounding.
After many months of thought, I’ve decided that I would most like to spend my next birthday in the Redwood National Forest or at Yosemite National Park. When I was a kid, I had a tremendous fascination with the natural world, an awe that’s followed me into adulthood. It makes perfect sense.
But this post isn’t about my birthday (it kinda is), it’s about Sara… and a creepy bus in the courtyard of that bar. Valerie actually said that she wants to get married on it. Let this post stand as the living proof of that statement.
I don’t know who was more surprised: Me, catching sight of a potbelly pig walking up Metropolitan Ave., or the pig’s owner, when I asked to take his picture.
He looked at me confused like, “You wanna take a picture of my pig?” He must get that a lot in Williamsburg. So I said the first thing that came to mind – “It’s not for publication, it’s just for personal use.” Pretty creepy, Shan.
But how often do you see a pig walking down the street in New York City? In these parts, around those bars, on a typical Friday night? You’d be surprised.