(Aka Betting on everything)
No, I didn’t go to Las Vegas this weekend, I just tried to find a song that could be the right blend of retro style and give the idea of today’s topic: sport. You may say that Viva Las Vegas is nothing about sport, but wait to see where this is going before judging. Today I want to talk to my friends that play sports other than soccer, but still outside and in company. Although I recognize darts as a noble sport and I admire the perseverance of chess players, I will focus on real sport, not bar stuff.
In my long quest for the sport I was talented into when I was I kid I practiced almost every kind of activity involved movement and some kind of athletic preparation. As I writing on a blog about this, you can recognize how this didn’t go in the predicted direction. I was talented in nothing. I could barely walk on a straight line and I was just too lazy. I hated my father for bringing me to soccer games, for throwing me in the water, for making me wear a ridiculous karate outfit. I share a wall of my house with a tennis field inItaly, and I basically grew up between red clay and bouncing yellow balls that every day invade my garden. Kids hit balls too hard and they fly into my garden, I think I would have something like one million balls if I didn’t bring them back every day by now.
Anyway I couldn’t play tennis either, and finally my father gave up, he allowed me to go down my way. I regretted so much this decision, sometimes I think how good I could have become if I had trained hard when I was a kid. Probably I would have been no better than how I am now, and I do suck, believe me. Maybe not very much at soccer, but still one of the lowest levels. During a discussion in a bar with a dear friend of mine, where I was showing all my misogyny and my unmotivated willingness to start an argument not really meaning it, I have been challenged by this girl to play tennis. I bragged about the fact that when I was eight I had thirteen classes of tennis and, since I am a man, I clearly had the victory in my hands.
Later that day I found out she was something like an NCAA champion and I had difficulties to even move my arms. Not a good sign for the challenge. The bet was not just about the glory that would have come after the victory, not about the infinite glory and respect that the winner would have earned by slapping the opponent, but something extremely tangible. If I lose the bet, I will have to dress up like Super Mario (stereotypes at go-go) and run acting like him (so jumping, breaking bricks, sliding into pipes where possible) from central park to 42nd street and Broadway,Times Square. That is actually full of weirdos, so I don’t care so much, but the stain of the lost bet will remain forever. If I win, which everyday seems a less likely scenario, she would have to prepare lunch, clean, dinner, clean again the whole house for twenty-four hours. My house is hyper clean but I will figure out something.
InNew Yorkto play outdoor sports you basically need a permit. You can obtain permits in three ways: by visiting the website of NYC Parks and Recreation, and submit you request through their forms (fifteen bucks for an hour); in this way you can sit on your ass as most of New Yorkers like to do and wait around twenty days to receive it. I totally don’t recommend you this solution, you will wait forever to get it and probably you won’t be in the right mood after waiting more than three weeks. The second way is to go to their offices in Upper West and take the permit right away and the last one is order them by mail which in 2012 is the equivalent of sending the request through smoke signals or leave your message attached to a pigeon.
I give you a tip they don’t give you in the site: inCentral Parkfield they have a stand that sells the permits, just go there with your stuff and ask for a permit, this will save you time and you will probably have the chance to play right away. And another tip, if you live next to Chelsea neighbourhood go next to Pier 40, the tennis fields next to that are free of charge and don’t require a permit to play, they work on a first come first served basis. There are just three fields and they are unbelievably crowdie during the weekends, but it’s worth a try, especially if you go after work.
The bet was on in April, and yesterday it was the day. The appointment was at noon at the fields, and she got there with a half an hour delay on the schedule, clearly trying to make me nervous, she got scared of me, I am sure. When she came there was a long line and doing our calculation we saw we would have needed to stay more than two hours there before the first field, and we decided, sadly as I was ready to smash some feminists, to move the bet another day, probably tomorrow after work.
Ah check out the article a friend of mine wrote about the (apparently) existing permits business. I have seen how this is happening, and i don’t appreciate it not even a bit. (click)
Anyway if you want to play tennis go here and you will find all the fields and the permits informations, same thing if you want to play soccer go here. I will keep you posted on my future and on the bet, which is disturbing my nights: what will I ask her to prepare me?
(Permits management it’s too complicated, I want to go back to the origins, the old fashioned and traditional grass field with no borders)
(Aka it’s never too late for some culture)
I just sent an email to some friends of mine to summarize all my plans for 2012/2013, I am publishing them right here in order to help some of you that may have my same ideas about it. Tell me your opinion if you want.
I want to highlight here my plans for the summer 2012 / fall 2012 / spring 2013 I made.
- Summer 2012 (Jun-Aug)
To start I have been admitted and I will participate to the summer school program of Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. The course works like this: you can attend two classes, for 4 credits each, or three classes, for 8 credits in total (like the two classes, but just two of these three are worth credits).
It’s easy to participate, they give you credits, a certification and transcripts. These transcripts will be asked by Harvard if in a future you will apply to ANY other Harvard school. At least in Harvard this is considered serious business.
Price: 5400 USD, let’s convert them to 6000 with all the hassle. My opinion: a lot, but may be a start to understand a bit how it works there. It’s still two courses in two months, and it’s Harvard with their real professor. Don’t take their accomodation, it’s 4800 USD for a SHARED room with no toilet.
- Fall 2012 (Sep-Dec)
From September to December I want to participate to the Business Certificate Post-baccalaureate in Columbia University, NY. My goal is to attend this post graduate course, and on the Columbia site they have these course other than this:
You can click on that if you are interested. During the summer they offer
Which are not bad in a UN optic.
The way they works it’s easy. You can attend 4 course for a Certificate in 6 months, or 8 courses for an advanced certificate in 12 months. It’s your choice, they give you a list of courses and you choose what you prefer. Piece of cake.
For this it’s 8494 USD for 6 months, 16992 USD for one year. Imma take 6 months. My opinion: worth it, it’s Columbia and it’s heavy on the curriculum. If you say goodbye after 6 months you still have the certificate, even if you applied for the one year solution. Cool story bro.
- Spring 2013 (Jan - May)
The final monster, Harvard Special Student Status. It’s hard, and you are respected for this, as there are a lot of people that want to enter Harvard without a GRE, WHICH YOU DON’T NEED FOR THIS STATUS. If you did all of the course I said before, you must be good, you just need 3 more recommendations and the job is yours. They enroll you in the University like a Graduate Freshman (I have no idea if it’s the correct greek definition) and you attend the university like everyone else, a Master or a Phd student. In this case shit gets serious as they assume you know all their Phd know, so it’s tough but extremely important.
For one more reason it’s important: after this six months, which can be extended for one year, you can take these exams and then if you want take the GRE that you need while there. If you have a good GRE, not even superawesome, you can apply for the course you are doing for the regular status without losing the credits for the exams you did while in the special status. It means that if you passed all the exams of the first semester or the first year, and you are admitted into the Master or Phd course, you start with the regular status from the second year. Easy, uh?
Check them and choose, the prices are 9394 USD for 6 months and 20334 for one year. My opinion? If you are admitted, then go. Straight, quickly. It’s a very important occasion and you can also have their Placement services, the Alumni network, you know tons of people and you can rely on the campus presentation of many companies that fights to have Harvard students.
So, what do you think?
(I still don’t know how much do this courses count, but if you have the money or your parents blessed you with some help, why don’t you try?)
(Aka Midtown meal guide)
It has also been a long time since the last time I contributed to spread into the net my personal reviews and food guides. And during this time I had many new places that I have tried and that I can’t wait you to go. First of all I want to split the city in three main parts, and today I will take care of the one I have, both because I work there and it offers the widest range of lunchtime restaurants, visited the most: MidtownNew York.
At lunch we always move in groups of like six or seven people, but in these days most of my friend already left (I am preparing an homage for them and some article about it) so we are becoming less and less but our hunger is not any lower than when we started. The midtown lunch world is a more than a world, it’s a universe of single cuisine galaxies, and I have no problems to say that maybe some of the best and tasty food the world may be found in this part of the city (speaking of lunch and meals below fifteen bucks, obviously).
Let’s start with my classification and review then; we can easily divide the lunchtime spots into some categories:
- Street food
- Food Truck
- Fast food and Chains
- Restaurants/Random spots
It’s a lot of categories but I will go quickly on some of them and spend more time on some others. For example the smallest category is Street Food; these kind of spots can be found all around the city, with a percentage that increase even more next to the hot spots of the city like big offices, street corners and touristic attractions. In midtown there are just a few of touristic places where they are but you can still find them at basically every corner of the street. Street food (or Halal) is technically basic meals worth as low as five dollars, which most of the times is even too much. Although I would recommend them when you are coming back home after drinking with your friends or after clubbing, I sincerely have never eaten into one of those places at lunch, and I recommend you not to do it either.
Food Truck are my second category, and in midtown you can see a lot of them. You can find there some of the best food in the world, always on four wheels. To track their position the only valid instrument is Twitter, and you should follow their tweets aas they don’t have fixed positions for all the days of the week. The one I recommend are Urban Lobster, Luke’s Lobster (yeah, I know, I am so predictable), Taim Mobile for Felafel, the Jamaican Dutchy (you can guess the kind of place) and Bob and Joe for chicken. These are mostly in the East side but check on Twitter their location to be sure you can find them. Food Truck are a little bit expensive (especially for the lobster, can reach sixteen bucks just for the sandwich) but sometimes can be worth to try it.
Fast food and other food chain (which I mean all those who are maybe smaller than Mc Donalds but are still part of some franchise, like for example ShakeShack, JointBurger or FiveGuys) are the third category and they represent absolutely the tastiest choice for lunch. But as all the good things in life are illegal or they turn you into a beautiful fat swan, these restaurants can be enjoyed once a month, in my opinion. I fall asleep after I eat a lot, and even thou I love this thing after dinner, after lunch could represent some problems with the three o clock meeting. Another level is insteadDevonand Blackely as it is without any doubt the best deal to eat at lunch (a multigrain bagel with lox cream cheese, salmon for non English speakers, and a small chicken noodle soup for just six dollars).
Restaurants and other random spots includes all those restaurant with are not affiliated to a chain of restaurants, and sell basically any kind of food in the earth. Among these there are the “food by the pound” restaurants, which I don’t like very much but can be used wisely in case you are not very hungry or picky. Another restaurant is called 4food and permits you to perfectly calculate the amounts of all nutritional elements in food, you could have fun while you learn. Last kinds of restaurants are single food restaurants, like burger spots, Japanese places with bento boxes and sandwich places. These represent a good eighty percent of the total restaurant population.
After the lunch I recommend a coffee at Filicori Zecchini Caffe, next to Madison Avenue, with the kindest and friendly bartenders I have ever seen, and great coffee by the way. And now, why don’t you come back to work?
(Street or home food, no burger beats my home made ones)
(Aka A place where I don’t belong)
After a month of complete inactivity, due to lack of soccer matches in the whole great New York Metro area, I decided that it was finally time to start again doing something and to remove the shape of my ass from my couch. I am not really an “individual” sports person, I like to talk and to team up with other people in order to bundle and share the success (or the failure). At first I was trying to convince a dear friend of mine to play tennis with me, and I am really poor at tennis, the last time I played I was eight years old and I made one of the biggest athlete in Italian tennis history cry.
It’s basically just to do something, whatever it is. Move, sweat, eat red clay in my case, but still doing something. My friend promised me she (yes, I challenge girls) (yes, I will probably lose with a girl) would have asked for a permit, thing that she didn’t do yet so we still have no possibility to show our skills on the field. So what now?
I decided to sign up for a gym. I am not really a gym guy, I am one of those who start working out just when he feels he ate too much on the weekend and make a couple of incomplete push ups to just have the “pump” effect and stop bothering for one day. But this time I was in theUS, the capital of protein diets, and around here it’s full ofJerseyShorepuppets that show abs off around the city with five Celsius degrees. I was thinking about something cheap, just to try, as I had my doubts about this kind of activity.
Through an Internet site I am using more and more in the latter days I bought an offer for thirty days of gym for thirty bucks at New York Sport Centre, the one close to my place in Upper West. The morning I prepared my bag like I had to go to war, with any kind of clothes suitable for any situation. As soon as I got there I asked for the manager as I subscribed that offer online and they had to give me a special card, like the one for the supermarket, to enter the gym; everybody seemed nice, from the manager to the reception girl to the trainers, I still don’t understand where is the scam.
They started talking me fast and in some kind of archaic English about how the exercises could make me become with twenty-two minutes the new Chuck Norris, beard included, and I felt sucked in a tunnel of subscription which was the exact thing I wanted to avoid. They proposed me spinning classes, yoga classes, abs classes, math classes, how to stand of my tongues and walk on the catwalk, tailor classes. I had started nothing yet and I already had the sensation that I was working out too much, I even though about stopping gym as I was afraid of becoming too big and don’t fit anymore in my clothes. I was trying to avoid all these convenient offers in order to just use my poor peasant thirty bucks basic gym subscription but thing went tough right after the first half an hour inside.
I realized just after the first look the machine that I had no idea about what to do. I had no gym routine with me except my phone which I used to look for a starting program involving all basic exercises in order to feel like a shit the morning after. A total mess, I swear, it was like seeing a donkey riding a Vespa. I asked a guy about some help and he told me that I could experience the circuit, which included a series of implausible exercises designed only to kill me. “And if you feel in shape you have to try the ultimate experience”. I still don’t know what the ultimate experience was, but I guess that in order to be worse than the regular exercise it could only be a male and straight kick in the nuts. That’s it.
At the end of the exercises I went back to the manager’s office and I asked for an important information I ignored until the end but that at a certain point I had to ask: “Why the hell don’t you use metric system??”. I had to sadly accept their offer to assign me a guy called David today to help me understanding what I have to do and give a meaning to my day at the gym, which lasted two and a half hour even if I am pretty sure I did nothing.
I also found out that American gyms have a series of comfort we can only dream about inItaly, like towels in the lockers, soap in the showers, tv on the treadmills and most of all girls in the leggings. InItalywe have rude sailors that never use machine (as real men use only weights) and avoid eye contact as the first one who stares is gay. It’s pretty funny to go to the gym in Italy as everybody prefer to bump into each other than watching in the eyes another man lifting a box of crackers.
Anyway today is the X day; I will keep you posted if David doesn’t kill me. Plase David, today just show me how does the sauna works.
(I was so ready for everything)
(Aka Well, it’s actually a cabs post)
From the vibrations of Lenny Kravitz today I am bringing you to the wonderful world of the most imitated, photographed, painted and yellow vehicles of the world: New York City yellow cabs. I want to destroy all the myths about cabs in the first paragraph of my post today, I am straight to the point oriented; cabs are not everywhere, cabs don’t usually stop when you wave at them, cabs run over you, cabs have a strange engine that reminds me of the wood fuelled 18 century trains and cabs are never driven by New Yorkers. That’s the juice.
New York City transportation represents for me the wheel for a caveman that has always been around with a square shaped wheels chariot. In Rome, back in my bellowed country, public transportation is a mirage, which foreigners like to ride as it reminds them of the Tower of Terror in Disneyland. It is so obsolete and inefficient people prefer to suffer getting stuck in their car under a forty-two degrees sun. And the price? They just set the price to one and a half euro, something around two dollars for two lines that goes across the same neighbourhoods.
In New York public transportation actually works, I mean the reason why we have only two lines is clear, but for the Americans reading my blog I will make it even clearer: right under Rome there are millions, maybe billions of artefact that represent the historical heritage of the city and they deserve to be handled properly for the historical importance and the value that they have. Technically, if you dig somewhere in Rome you could have good chance to find a Roman house or any pieces of some kind of vase or clay artefact. The other side of the medal is that whenever you find something like this the authorities have to stop the construction to take all this stuff out of the ground and isolate the area, stopping subways constructions for years. The solution is easy, they don’t dig at all.
Coming back to NY, here cab drivers are less patient than what they show in the movies and in the sitcoms, they won’t wait for you to say goodbye to your lover. I am not saying that they are not polite but it’s the spirit of the city that touched them too, the damn rush that seems to involve all New Yorkers. Do I really need to explain you how to catch a cab? I guess not, but maybe I can give you some advice I observed with cab drivers:
- Speak extremely slowly, try to say the number in a way that makes you feel like one of those damn recorded voice that calls you on Saturday morning telling you that you should spare a moment for Jesus. This is the shortest definition that came into my mind.
- There’s no need to tip a cab driver, but I do it anyway. Usually I round the number to the upper one.
- You can’t throw up on the Brooklyn Bridge. They won’t stop, and if you do, they will beat you up as soon as the bridge will be over.
Nothing else comes into my mind right now so the argument is really simple. Cab drivers are a human and pleasant way to travel around New York; I can say that it’s my third favourite one. The first one is the flying jetpack, but I haven’t found any of that yet, the second one is the bus, that wins against the taxi just because I can listen to my earphones and stop caring about the world (and end up three stations after mine all the times). On a cab I feel like anytime the driver may ask you something and I won’t be paying attention so I have to ask him to repeat, he would think I am not from the US, I will feel ashamed to feel like a tourist, he will take a strange route to the destination, I would notice he takes a strange and long and expensive route, I could do nothing as actually I am some kind of tourist and I don’t know any street below the forty-second and arrive to destination with a heavier soul and a lighter wallet.
(This didn’t stop)
Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuuuuuck FUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!! How on earth did I get so unbelievably high?! There is no way that that was just weed.. Holy shit they must’ve given me something.. I need to get the fuck out of here! No.. wait.. I have no idea where we are… GODDAMNIT!
Paranoid thoughts on…
(Aka Trip to North Manhattan)
While on my family calm and relaxed trip, I decided to spend the most sacred of the weekdays in a place that I never had the chance to visit and know properly: Harlem. See Harlem is right above Central Park and not really far from my place, so it would have been easy for me to go but I did never have the chance to. While my happy family was here I used this opportunity to go with them to visit this particular area of New York; I won’t go on and speak about all the history of the neighbourhood as we all have Wikipedia, and if you are reading this post you can just switch tab (but please do it after reading the whole post).
During the days my family was here we had a topic the periodically came up over and over again during discussion, and it was the Knicks match against the Chicago Bulls. Actually the situation is this, Chicago is doing pretty well and it’s leading the conference while the Knicks after a bad start found in Lin and in the enormous merchandise behind him a source of inspiration to recover some point they lost during the way. It was a headline match and me and my father were really looking forward to go there.
If you come in the US for the first time I guess that if you have a spare evening you can go to an NBA match as, as I said before, here in the US sport is a show before being a healthy activity. I enjoyed the first match I saw and I will come back to see some sports, maybe baseball or soccer now that both the seasons started. By the way I received the bracelets to attend a meet and greet with the New York Red Bulls, but this is another story. Me and all the family were discussing the opportunity to go, but tickets reached a normal and sky high price in the two weeks before they came here due to the good results of the Knicks and the fever for the big match against the Bulls.
Tickets were extremely expensive, but actually my parents don’t go all the Sundays to NBA match so for once it could be done. On the other side, my inflexible schedule was focused on finally going to Harlem and visit this part of the city, attend a Gospel mass and have lunch in a typical soul food restaurant. The problem was both the mass and the match were at the same time so we had to choose. And women are women. So we went to the mass.
We got to the church around 9:45, the name of the church was Mount Neboh Baptist Church and unlike the most famous one, the Abyssinian Church, it was less crowdie and smaller. I wouldn’t recommend you to go to the Abyssinian, it’s always full of people, tourists are everywhere and there is a big chance you can’t get in. These churches works by a (forced) money contribution that you have to give them and they make you sit above the local people to see that mass like you were watching a fish bowl. I didn’t like it at all, and despite all the people you see online getting crazy and excited about masses, I don’t think this is the right way to participate to such a solemn moment.
Moreover, the pastor was asking more and more times for donations, which is basically understandable, but right in the middle of the mass I think it’s not so appropriate. Anyway the show, because it’s a show and not a mass, was nice and we got out of there hungry of soul food. We went north on Lenox Ave to the most famous Sylvia’s restaurant, an institution of soul food in Harlem and probably the most well known. Although I only saw tourists in there, I have to say that the sensation was pretty genuine; maybe there were few locals as it was Easter Sunday and tourist invaded the streets.
I had fried chicken with two sides, mashed potatoes and mac and cheese, and I have to say that they were delicious, tender and crispy at the same time. I am writing this post and I got hungry while I write and remember the food! I also tasted the ribs which were too sweet for me but still remarkably tender and juicy. The bread on the table was the typical “biscuit”, the sweet bread (in my opinion a little bit fried but I don’t know) that is just so good.
Finished the lunch we aimed south, leaving Harlem without visiting institutions as the Apollo, shame on us, but we were on the rush as my parents wanted to go to see the Brooklyn Bridge as it was a wonderful sunny and non windy day. They liked the Central Park part of the neighbourhood but didn’t have the chance to visit it fully and understanding, and I have to say that too many things that you hear around of this place are definitely not true, or at least bigger than what you find. You should go to visit it, maybe on Sunday as many people are around and you will breathe a fully multicultural air in a colourful and picturesque neighbourhood.
(Aka The reunion)
Sorry if it has been such a long time since the last time I wrote on this blog, but many, really many things happened these days. The problem is that many things will still happens in the next ones so I pretty don’t know when I could start again writing periodically and with a certain stability. But I mean, I am not the New York Times so I don’t see who would get mad for this. As I was telling you before I have no idea of what I will be doing next and beside the Harvard stuff I told you these days tons of possibilities came out. Not all of them will bring me to a shiny offer but who knows.
Anyway coming back to my absence these days, I spent my time basically working slightly harder than usual and most important thing my parents and some friends came. My family and the family of a friend of my family came last week and I had the chance to see them after a period of three months I spent here. Seems yesterday that I came, but I can’t remember not even what I ate yesterday for dinner. (Actually I had sausages).
I am a planner, I am extremely rational and I am one of those like to have control on things. Even on object on tables, I panic if I don’t see that they are straight parallel to the edge of the table or the food I buy is not aligned when it comes close to supermarkets cash registers. That kind of paranoid. And I made a plan, a detailed useful plan I used to take my family around New York and make them see and taste every single attraction and interesting place the city has to offer, obviously with my New Yorkers eyes (I beg you pardon New Yorkers, but my family has never been in the States nor they speak English, so I look like the Queen of England to them) (not that I speak English so good as you can see).
My family came here on the fifth of April and stayed for six days, I had to prepare a plan that could split the city into different areas that could be visited by walking or at least by cab, as my family doesn’t like particularly to walk around, and New York is extremely windy these days, making outdoor excursion less enjoyable. I tried to put everything could be interesting inside, but as I told you and as I repeat you, it’s almost impossible even think to see the whole city in six days. I did my best, they enjoyed my efforts and left the city with that little bit of sadness that hits everyone that has to leave a friend you make during summer, or a bar with a two dollars happy hours.
I am posting my precious program to this post, hoping that someone of you reading this post could use my program to greet your family when they come to visit you, when they offer you the last money you need to survive or propose to buy you groceries at Trader Joe’s. The friend of my father coming to NY is tall and big, and loves to eat even more than I do so I had to focus my attention on places that could attract him and make him try the American and foreign cuisine that stole my heart when I came here. I am aware that maybe the best way to try everything and taste the best food in NY is street food and food trucks, but my parents wanted to sit in a comfortable place at least to eat.
We went from east to west, fromHarlemto South Ferry and I tried to show them everything, from Gospel to the superclassic Statue of Liberty. Check it below and if you like it or you want a pdf copy of it let me know so I can send it to you. I started to write again finally, I promise I will keep up a regular job from next week!
(The first evening, how could you not like it?)
(Aka Sunday brunch and Bloody Mary)
Around the city of New York, or at least in Manhattan as far as I know, there are billboards everywhere. They advertise events, clothes, alcohol and most of all asses. Yes, asses, asses everywhere. Not that I mind particularly about it, but these are not the only one you see. Some of them are smart and even brilliant sometimes, and except the ones in Times Square (which a real New Yorker doesn’t visit too often) you can even smile looking at them. For example, some days ago I saw some of them advertising the Knicks and the Madison Square Garden.
I already spoke about it but I like NBA so I just paid attention to them while I was in the subway; this is the catch phrase: “The MSG is the house of the Knicks like…” and typical New York stereotypes, some of them really funny. Like “New York is the house of the two hundred square meters apartments” or “The High Line is the house of New Yorkers with friends in town”. I can see myself in most of those, both because I live in a shoebox and I have friends that I plan to take to the High Line when they’ll come.
Among the other catch phrases today I want to discuss one in particular: “MSG is the house of the Knicks as Chelsea is the house of the brunch”. The brunch, a typical New York institution, that American look with envy and European cannot understand properly. The correct definition of brunch is: “a meal halfway between breakfast and lunch” (I lied, I didn’t check for the definition anywhere, this is the only definition I know and I am too lazy to go on Wikipedia).
Well here in New York it’s kind of different, as most of my friends believe the brunch is a meal that can be carried on from two pm to five, which have the role of turning you into sober after the weekend. Which is not wrong at all but here there is a different conception. Here they use this moment of the day to drink as many Bloody Marys and Mimosas (orange juice and sparkling wine) as they can, which technically bring you back to hangover mode.
I went to a place last week, it’s called Veselka Bowery (it’s famous among “brunchers”, it’s at 9 East 1st street). Very nice place, clean, big windows so the sun can come in and take you out from the solitude and the inner darkness that the rum and coke brought into you. And funny and nice waiters, which is one thing that basically make me choose if to come back or not in a place, sometimes more than food. Which was great by the way. I had corned beef on top of a certain kind of whole wheat bread and with poached egg on top, toasted bread aside and a separate dish with bacon. To drink I didn’t feel brave enough to the alcohol so I just took orange juice and coffee. All of this at three pm.
Which could even be considered as a brunch, but basically collide with the idea and the definition usually provided. I regret nothing by the way, I really loved the place and I think I will come back again. I like these places where the atmosphere is relaxed and you don’t have to scream to bartenders to obtain some sort of drink with more ice then ethanol in it. Sometimes I go in places where the waiter doesn’t even look you in the eyes and throw things at you with no love. They are not New Yorkers I guess, all the New Yorkers I met are nice people, starting from my landlord who was born in the Bronx, and he is a cool guy. Maybe a hippy and I hope he is not reading this otherwise he would raise the rent.
Coming back to the brunch stuff I would recommend Veselka for today, it’s my favourite Sunday pick so far and I hope to see you there not this Sunday (my family is visiting the US for the first time, yayyyyy) and I will be too busy carrying them around the High Line, over and over again all day.
(Sometimes you just wanna eat and sleep. And repeat)
(Aka Philly Cheese Steak Lovers on tour)
It is actually the first time we all travel together, my and my friends, as we planned to go to Boston for Saint Patrick’s Day but in the end we just stayed in NY and had fun anyway. I like this trips, I hope we’ll have more occasions to travel more and visit some other cities around NY, like Boston for example which apparently will be my home for like two months. In the beginning we were not sure that our final destination was Philadelphia itself, as the schedule and the program of the visit was really unclear just days before the departure.
At first we decided to go to Pennsylvania in order to help a friend of our who was going to be busy in some kind of political task, and we offered our mental support to his cause by taking the free bus he was offering to us in order to reach Philadelphia and then leave him. A few days later we found out that the bus was free, but we agreed in an implicit way to campaign for Obama for like five or six hours on Saturday. Almost all of us didn’t want to campaign for Obama, and not because it was Obama, mainly because it was pointless to go to Pennsylvania, work all day and then don’t have the chance to see the town (other than campaigning for someone who is running as president in another country, and I just don’t care).
A couple of days before leaving we all met in order to take a decision about the trip, and we all agreed that it should be up to every single person to decide if campaigning or not, but all of us was going to take the Megabus instead of the Obamabus, paying like 24 dollars round trip to Philly. It is convenient, the bus is nice and there is (according to them as I didn’t have the chance to really connect) free wifi and the seats are comfortable. We are planning to take it again to go to Boston, and some of us is going to DC this weekend.
So we are on the bus, a quarter to ten on the clock, and in two hours we reach the rainy and windy Philly (I hate to see cities for the first time with rain as I always have a bad impression on them even if they are nice).We all meet in the biggest food court I have ever seen and I don’t remember its name and we eat something light (me and theidealintern had some kind of middle eastern food cooked by a guy that looked like greek, but it was good in the end) as we are planning to eat a tremendous size cheese steak for dinner. I think that we started travelling to eat; it’s definitely the end for us if it’s so.
After lunch we decided to go around Philly, even if the bad weather was really challenging. We went from the food court to the Museum of Art (for the non Phillies the Museum that has the statue of Rocky nearby) and took awesome pictures of us posing like a raging bull (not same movie, but related and awesome). Then we climbed the stairs to the top and went on the back of the museum to take the bus that would have taken us to the Independence Mall, right next to the river that crosses Philly.
Two dollars, affordable and convenient, we took twenty minutes to the Liberty Bell and we also took pictures with it. It’s free and fast so it’s worth seeing even if you shouldn’t expect so much entertainment by it. After the cultural day (which lasted no more than half an hour) we decided it was time to go to Mc Gillin’s Pub, the fifth oldest bar in the US; we visited in New York Mc Sorleys Bar that is the third, if I’ll ever go to New Orleans I will definitely go to the oldest ever in the US.
The pub is really big and nice; we found spots in a second and started enjoying our time with a six beers choice for nine bucks, in order to try local beers (then we took PBR, to enjoy the drunkness). We took also the cheese steak there (instead of going to the most famous Geno’s that is world famous for the cheese steak) because we were tired and we were enjoying our time there. At the end of the evening we were noisy, we sang the songs in the jukebox and came back to the bus a little bit overexcited. Nice day, I appreciated.
We came back home around midnight but we slept on the way home so we didn’t feel like going around more, we were already tired enough. Anyway let’s sum up the article today: take buses, are the easiest way to travel and the cheapest, like Megabus or Boltbus, avoid the Chinatown buses as they may even be cheaper but you are risking overbooked trips and no space to breath. Then visit as much as you can, the US are awesome and probably I will go again around, I hope to visit my new home in Boston too.
(Mother of steak…)