Aug 20 2010

A look back at my summer in The Big Apple

Bittersweet. That’s the word that would describe my departure from New York and my arrival back in the West. While it’s nice to be back in my hometown, with familiar surroundings and people, I thoroughly miss the excitement and energy of New York City.

When I look back at what I have dubbed “the best summer ever,” I don’t know where to begin. I ate. And ate. And ate. The food was amazing. During my last few weeks, I enjoyed Greek cuisine, Belgian fries, tasty falafel, renowned frozen yogurt (from 16 Handles), first-class South Indian cuisine and more. I don’t think I ever got sick of trying new restaurants in the city. What a culinary experience!

Working and living in the city was exciting, as well. With a teeny-tiny studio, I think I have a newfound appreciation for space–but I found that you really don’t need that much space to live. Taking public transit everywhere was so convenient too. I thought I would miss driving my gas-guzzling SUV, but I didn’t.

But I think the best part about living somewhere new was the people. It was fascinating to simply people-watch the millions that call New York City home or the others who are just visiting. From the fruit vendor down the street to the laundromat downstairs, it was a great experience to get to know people in the neighborhood. Making friends and connections at work was an amazing experience as well–people from all kinds of backgrounds and all over the country coming together in one place.

So after my summer, am I still the ‘suburbanite in The Big Apple’ or the ‘urbanite in the Suburbs’? Whatever the case, I have a newfound appreciation for the comforts and fresh air of Colorado, but also an appreciation for the urban excitement of New York. Thank you for joining me along the ride, through this blog. So while I am back in my hometown territory for the time being, I hope to someday return to The Big Apple, and once again trade in my car keys for a subway pass.


Aug 20 2010

Pics from the last few weeks in NY

Madras Filter Coffee (Saravana Bhavan - 81 Lexington Ave.)

Times Square sights and sounds

Little Italy

Little Italy

Gramercy Park - A Hidden Gem

Columbia University Campus

Columbia University Campus

Aug 1 2010

Capturing Everyday Sights in NY

Columbia University's Low Library

Chrysler Building in the distance

Empire State Building in the distance

Lawn in Manhattan?! (I was amused)

Grand Central Station at Night

Random buildings

Jul 11 2010

Burgers, fries and shakes, oh my!

You know I couldn’t go a weekend without blogging about food. So here it is this time:

A group of friends and I met up at Madison Square Park’s Shake Shack. It’s a popular “roadside” burger shack where you can get burgers, hot dogs, fries, shakes, etc. This one on the corner of Madison Square Park is the original one and is quite busy. Lines, I heard, can go all the way around the street. Being a Sunday I suppose, it wasn’t too bad and went pretty fast.

Food was really good. I got the vegetarian Shroom Burger and fries. The fried mushroom burger was actually really tasty.

A fun place to check out, and sure to satisfy your hunger pangs. Although, you might want to check out the “Shack Cam” on their website to see how long the lines are first. :-)

Jul 11 2010

Next stop: Grand Central Station

The main terminal of Grand Central Station is a setting in countless movies. In real life, it was pretty amazing to see as well, buzzing with activity.

(Also, check out a flash mob from a few years ago in Grand Central: “Frozen Grand Central” on YouTube. Pretty entertaining.)

Jul 11 2010

Dazzling display: 4th of July in NYC

Check out these pics from last week’s Macy’s Fireworks Display–the largest fireworks show in the United States.

We arrived hours before the 9:20ish show, claimed some spots on the concrete and it soon became packed! It was an amazing fireworks display along the Hudson River that lasted almost an entire half an hour!

Jul 10 2010

Pianos on the street

I had heard or seen on the news that pianos, yes pianos, would be installed throughout the streets of New York City outside. It is all part of an “art installation” throughout the city (See CNN article/video).

We walked by one of the 60 pianos last weekend. Fascinating when people randomly start playing!

Jul 5 2010

Exploring “The Village”

No, I’m not referring to director M. Night Shyamalan’s 2004 movie. I’ve heard people refer to the “Village” neighborhoods in new york as the “trendiest” and fun for the young crowds. So my brother and I decided to check out the NYU-Greenwich Village area and the West Village.

It’s amazing how different New York City neighborhoods are so different, and have different vibes. The Village, in lower Manhattan, felt a bit more ‘homey’ to me: smaller buildings, quaint streets and quieter (but still so alive). We enjoyed walking for hours across the streets of Greenwich Village and the West Village, despite the hot, sticky air. (It reached upwards of 90s during the weekend! — on the brink of a Northeast U.S. heat wave). We absolutely loved the area, eating and quenching our thirst in a few different places as we explored the streets.

The NYU campus is nearby and enjoys easy access to the hippest bars, restau

rants and shops.

Another day we even checked out the East Village neighborhood, which ma

ny argue is not totally associated with the village. I’veheard locals call it “gritier” as it seems a little bit more up-and-coming. Whatever the case, it was another exiting neighborhood–complete with a collection of unique stores and restaurants. We cooled off in a cafe, where I enjoyed a mint-lemonade–perfect for a hot, humid day.

Now that we’ve discovered the Village, I’m bound to return often.

Jul 5 2010

A Broadway Experience

Growing up in the U.S., we always hear about theatre on “Broadway” — referring, of course, to plays, musicals, etc. in the Theatre/Broadway district of New York.

My brother and I decided we must have the experience of seeing a play on Broadway. We made our way to the TKTS booth, smackdab in the middle of Times Square. TKTS offers discounted same-day tickets for Broadway shows. Waiting with dozens of other eager tourists, we got tickets to “Promises, Promises.” The musical-comedy stars Sean Hayes (“Will & Grace”) and Kristin Chenoweth (“Pushing Daisies”). The musical is based on “The Apartment,” for those who may be familiar with the story.

Hilarious and entertaining would describe our reaction to themusical-comedy. Hayes’ and Chenoweth’s performances were stellar. We definitely enjoyed the Broadway experience in New York!

Jul 5 2010

Gastronomical Pleasures: More culinary finds

Okay, okay…I admit: I had yet another weekend full of culinary adventures in New York.

Armed with a credit card, my older brother who was visiting for the weekend, and an empty stomach, we both explored the diverse tastes of the Big Apple.

One of our top picks of the weekend: The Kati Roll Company. We were exploring Greenwich Village and the West Village, andstumbled into the restaurant (one of two NYC locations I must mention). We absolutely enjoyed the Indian-inspired “rolls” they offer: basically delicious curries/ingredients rolled into a chapatti/paratha (like a rolled pita). This is honestly the type of food my brother and I grew up eating on long road trips or summer picnics. What a great concept for a restaurant!

We weren’t done there. Literally across the street was the West Village location of Creperie NYC. We enjoyed excellent fresh filled crepes, made right in front of us. The restaurant was apparently a participant in the Food Network show, “Throwdown with Bobby Flay.” Creperie won the challenge against Flay, and I can certainly see and taste why.

And of course, we had to have one of our favorite South Indian dishes: a masala dosa. I mean, who can resist the delicious crispiness and flavors of a dosa with chutney. (For those not familiar, a dosa is similar to a crepe actually.) Whenever we visit India our family favorite is Saravanaa Bhavan–a restaurant that now has multiple locations worldwide–including here in New York. Hands down, the best South Indian food from a restaurant I’ve eaten in the United States.

After a weekend of gastronomical pleasures, I’m being sensible and sticking to the basics for today. Although I do see a stack of tempting takeout menus right in front of me…