2007-03-16

These vagabond shoes...

I'm in NY right now. It's pretty amazing. As I've contemplated how to chronicle this trip, I was thinking that it should be a culinary journey. Eating is one of those things that all humans do, and it's a very important, if not essential, part of many cultures. (It's really too bad that we invented fast food here in the US.) Anyway, here is a view of my travels, as seen from my stomach....

2 am, Wednesday: A bag of Blue chips (from "real blue potatoes", as the bag proclaims) and two bottles of water, I'm on the JetBlue red-eye from SLC to JFK. The guy to my right was snoring, and the girl on my left kept fidgeting.

6 am, Wednesday: A banana and bottle of water, in the JFK airport near the baggage carousel. I grabbed this quick bite before catching my shuttle. The shuttle itself was a real trip and this 2 dollar banana kept me awake on the hour and half trip through Queens and uptown.

10 am, Wednesday: Not having slept for 10 hours, I was really out of it, so I did something I almost never do, which is to eat at McDonald's. (Yeah, I know, stop booing.) What can I say, McGriddles are strangely good. They are also loaded with carbs, because afterwards, I was able to fall asleep in a very uncomfortable chair in the hotel lobby while lots of people came out of the elevator on their way out.

1 pm, Wednesday: Bagel w/cream cheese and a bottle of Coke, Natural History Museum. I was really enjoying the museum, but I knew I needed to eat. I also knew that I didn't want to waste money on museum cafeteria food. It also had to be quick, because I had a 1:30 showing in the planetarium. I love planetariums. I'll bet the invention of planetariums and LSD were coincidental.

6 p, Wednesday: pepperoni slice at Perfecto Pizzeria, 1 block from our dingy hotel. You can't go to New York with an authentic slice that's so big you have have to fold it in half lengthwise. This would be the first time I noted something quite common in New York: that there is no relation between the ethnicity of the food and the ethnicity of the people serving the food. I know I shouldn't be surprised by this, but it kind of shatters the illusion of a "pizan" flinging dough in the air in the back.

Later Wednesday night: having been awake for 24 hours straight, I pretty much collapsed in a heap in bed, so no dessert tonight

10 am, Thursday: western omelet on a roll, fresh squeezed orange juice at the Sunrise Deli in Times square. I was behind three ladies that ordered "egg white omelets with spinach and tomatoes, but no cheese". These omelets are not the neatly folded things I'm used to at Denny's. Still, not bad. I also found it very interesting that the cashier new immediately that I was out of town, and in contrast to the three ladies, needed him to slow down and lay off the accent a little.

2 pm, Thursday: pizza pretzel, Battery Park. We were on our way back to the subway from taking the ferry out to Liberty and Ellis islands. Both sites were amazing, especially for someone whose family immigrated to the US shortly after WWII. But the pretzel was less impressive ... thankfully I only had a bite of the pretzel. We thought about eating on the island, but the sloshing on the ferry ride back was a little bit of a concern.

4 pm, Thursday: roast beef and roasted peppers on a roll. This was a great sandwich from another deli in times square. I just love that the thinly sliced roast beef is still nice and pink while being piled an inch thick.

8 pm, Thursday: Reese's pieces and half a bag of Twizzler's, the Marquise Theatre in Times Square, before the show. It seemed a little low class to eat something as pedestrian as candy at a Broadway show, but so does drinking wine out of a plastic glass.

11 pm, Thursday: buffalo chicken wings and French onion soup, Junior's at times square. After a great show, I enjoyed a great bowl of soup, with a really potent sourdough/rye crouton on the top. (I'm always on the lookout for a good bowl of onion soup.) The chicken wings were also good, and we had some great NY-style cheesecake to finish things off. At this point, I would like to make a point for all those in Utah. Cheesecake is a relatively SOLID dessert; not a semi-sour pudding-like substance poured into a graham-cracker crust pie tin.

11 am, Friday: Greek omelet, hash-browns and white toast from a bakery down the street. The thought of feta cheese in a breakfast foot was a little disconcerting, but this omelet was actually quite good. Ironically, they didn't have any sourdough toast in the bakery, only white toast. About this time, sleet started to fall, and got more ferocious as we wandered to the natural history museum and then to the Met.

3 pm, Friday: kosher hot dog with mustard and sauerkraut, and a salted pretzel with cheese dip, in Grand Central station. Even mundane state fair food seems more exotic several stories below ground. This high calorie, high fat food was perfect to get us to Rockefeller center through the sleet that now layered the sidewalks.

8 pm, Friday: Crab-cakes, braised lamp shank, and chocolate tort. This was just amazing Italian in the Sicilian style, and only a block from our place. This time the great Italian cuisine was served by very gracious and courteous Indian gentlemen, which is just another example of the food idiosyncrasies in NY. This meal was a great end to another amazing day. We seriously debated ordering into our hotel room to avoid the sleet, but it was completely worth it.