Bangs Guide to….New Yawk New Yawk
As you know, I spent last week in New York to celebrate my 30th birthday. I lived there for a year and a half when I was 22/23 and have spent most of my birthdays there since. It always felt like a bit of a homecoming whenever I went, but this time felt different, for reasons I’ll get in another blog post, but firstly, I thought I’d tell you about what I got up to while I was there.
Where I ate
El Faro (823 Greenwich St)
This came as a recommendation from a friend of a friend and native New Yorker. It’s a very small Spanish restaurant in the West Village. Has an old school ‘mom and pop’ type feel about it. It really doesn’t look like anything special from the outside (or inside for that matter) but don’t let that fool you. The food was amazeballs. The tapas portions, this being New York, were ridiculously large, but heck, if you’re hungry, eat there. Also, best ribs I’ve ever tasted. Hands down.
Katz Deli (205 E Houston St)
The home of that famous scene in ‘When Harry Met Sally’ this deli is quite an experience. It has a ridiculously complicated ordering system and truthfully the food was unimpressive and stupidly overpriced (I paid $15 for a cheeseburger and a rootbeer – and I didn’t even get fries!), but it was fun just to see the cast of characters in there.
Peter Lugers Steakhouse (178 Broadway, Brooklyn)
This place, just across the Williamsburg Bridge in Brooklyn, has been rated the number one steakhouse in New York for the past 26 years running. I can’t believe I didn’t know about it when I lived there – though it’s probably a good thing I didn’t as by now I’d be so obese they’d have to knock down walls and use a forklift truck to get me out of my house. I had the best cheeseburger ever, followed by strawberries with homemade whipped cream that put me in a coma. They practically had to roll me out of there. It was amazing.
What I did
Junk Shopping in Williamsburg
Was told about a junk shop in Brooklyn that I can’t remember the name of but think may have actually been called ‘The Junk Shop’ and decided it’d be worth a trip over the bridge to check it out. What a weird and wonderful assortment of randomness they have there. Had mucho fun mooching through boxes of old photos and slides, checking out cool old furniture and contraptions that seemed to serve no real purpose. It’s a big warehouse type space that’s just chock full of stuff. I could’ve spent the whole day getting lost in there.
Ran with Bridge Runners
You didn’t think I’d go on holiday and not take my running gear with me, did you? Bridge Runners are a cool running crew whose base is a cool concept space on The Bowery. They start there and run the bridges (hence the name) on Wednesday nights. The experience is worthy of a blog post all its own (which I shall do at some point this week). I joined them for a run on my birthday. We ran over the Williamsburg Bridge into Brooklyn and back over the Manhattan Bridge into the City. Running over those iconic bridges at night, seeing the lights of the city was a truly breathtaking experience. What a way to turn 30! Definitely something I’ll never forget.
Walked The High Line
The High Line is a park on an old disused train line. The first section of it runs from the Meatpacking District up to about 20th St. It’s a really innovative use of space, a nice walk and a pretty calming place to go in that city of craziness.
Where I stayed
The Hudson Hotel (356 W58th St between 8th & 9th Avenues)
Very nice indeed. Designed by Phillipe Starck, it is super stylish, from the very grand lobby area (seen in the top left of the collage above) to the minimalism of the rooms. It has really nice touches throughout. I will say, I stayed on the 19th floor in a corner room so I had a pretty awesome view of the city and the river, which just got better at night when you see the skyline all lit up – but I imagine if you’re staying on one of the lower floors, frankly the hotel might not be quite as impressive. The one thing I didn’t like is that they charged $10 a day for wifi – not very blogger friendly at all! Other than that, it’s a great location making it easy to get around the city and you’re less than one city block from Central Park.
To see more of my pics, head on over to my Facebook page.