New York Journals

Wishful Thinking in New York : An insider's guide

A travel journal to New York by GuyBrighton

Atlantic City Photo, New York, United States More Photos
Quote: New York from the point of view of an alien Englishman, Guy Brighton. Features extracts from my travel blog uknyc.blogspot.com.

Wishful Thinking in New York : An insider's guide

Overview

Quote:
Guides to bars, restaurants, walks, trips, places to see, and neighbourhoods.

Quick Tips:

Best Way To Get Around:

Use the subway when there's one or two of you; otherwise, always get a yellow cab.

Pastis

Restaurant

Quote:
The classic. The girlfriend recommends only going there for brunch and people-watching. But I'll go anytime for the hanger steak. Busy cosmo crowd/Brit pack.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 4, 2003

Pastis
9 Ninth Ave
New York, New York 10014
+1 212 929 4844

Red Cat

Restaurant

Quote:
Simply gorgeous food, every bite -- yummm!! And they gave us an extra starter as the girlfriend couldn't make up her mind about her order.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 4, 2003

Paris Commune

Restaurant

Quote:
I went here to have Sunday brunch with the girlfriend and two friends at the "Paris Commune" cafe at the West Village end of Bleecker Street. Aptly named, the place was crammed, attitude stank, and the food (eggs Florentine) was dull, plain and poor - when I told the manager chap at the end, he implied that it must be something to do with my taste buds, because "just look at the line" - the food must be good (I didn't tell him that the poached eggs looked scrambled, the spinach uncooked and the muffins untoasted). Maybe the line was something to do with getting in from the snow and cold outside.

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on December 15, 2003

Paris Commune
411 Bleecker St
New York, New York 10014
+1 212 929 0509

PM Lounge

Attraction | "PM Lounge / Bar PM"

Quote:
I booked a reservation in person a couple of nights before for a Friday for a group of 10 Brits in from London. We walked through the freezing night down to the latest trendy bar/restaurant called PM on Gansewoort for some food. A couple of the girls were late so when we turned up this arrogant French bloke refused to let us in - saying there had to be equal numbers. Then he saw one of the guys was wearing (a trendy pair of) sneakers and he freaked. Fking embarrassing. ... Looks like they only want mugs who can afford $300 bottles of champagne - it's a money-making scam.

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on December 15, 2003

PM Lounge
50 Gansevoort Street
New York, New York 10014
(212) 255-6676

Doma Cafe

Restaurant | "Cafe Doma"

Quote:
A coffee bar well worth checking out. A relaxed crowd of out-of-work actors and dreaming one-day entrepreneurs hang out over the iMac laptops making that coffee last an hour. Good art on the wall too. East end of Perry Street.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 6, 2004

Doma Cafe
17 Perry St.
New York, New York 10014
(212) 929-4339

Pedros

Restaurant

Quote:
We ended up in theoretically new trendy neighborhood that they have curiously called Dumbo. (i.e. derelict area beneath Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge squatted by 'artists' and could possibly be summed up by the graffiti at the only open restaurant, 'Welcome to scumbo'). The restaurant, Pedro's, was pretty local; imagine the sort of beach shack in Mexico where you buy sandwiches and drinks for lunch when on your hols, then transport that cafe to a low rise block in Brooklyn with two chaps sitting outside playing loud tunes from the stereo system in their very shiny cars. In fact, I LOVED IT and I ordered in Spanish! (The girlfriend was a little upset that I carried out twelve bott...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 4, 2003

Planet Thai

Restaurant

Quote:
This place in Williamsburg, Brooklyn serves great Thai food in the sort of well-designed bar only Americans can create. Well worth starting here before venturing around this great neighborhood. Check it out!!!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 5, 2003

Bar Tabac

Restaurant

Quote:
Bar Tabac in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn is a great neighborly French-ish bistro. You can't go wrong here and this is a great place to start at before exploring the bars of Smith Street. It's also a good place to stop off during the day - in the summer, it has outside benches - ideal to park your bike and have a Hoegarden and a M-Light

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 5, 2003

Bar Tabac
128 Smith Street
Brooklyn, New York 11201
718-923-0918

Delicia

Restaurant

Quote:
Delicia in the West Village served great, great Brazilian food in a family atmosphere. The menu isn't too varied, so don't go there the 30 times we have or you'll get bored of even the sausage starter!!

Whilst you wait try the great Brazilian cocktails and then draw with crayons on the table (yes, you too will think it's fun after a glass of that stuff)!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 4, 2003

Westville

Restaurant

Quote:
New simple food made in a nice restaurant. Great value. I must go more often. Try the turkey burger with the corn on the cob starter! The porkchopin apple-pearsauce looks a winner too. However, I can't promise you great food every time. 1 in 4 times I visit this place the food is dry (I had sliced steak, she had the turkey burger) and cold. I suspect this only happens when the owner in not in... PS:Expect to wait for a table

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 5, 2003

Westville
210 W 10th St.
New York, New York 10014
(212) 741-7971

Kin Khao

Restaurant

Quote:
A busy and cosy restaurant on the edge of Soho staffed by vibrant waitresses and filled with the lively set.

Like most places in NYC we had to wait 30 minutes to be seated, but it was worth every minute. The food was glorious, from the satay to the thai curry.

The Mojo drink is recommended too! I will return very often to this place.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 20, 2004

Kin Khao
171 Spring Street
New York, New York 10012
(212) 966-3939

Angel's Share

Attraction | "Angel Share"

Quote:
I've only been once, but this is a cool and quiet Japanese jazz bar tucked behind a crazy Asian fast food place in the East Village. It's worth an early evening drink and maybe a bite of Japanes fusion food too. But remember the rules - no speaking loudly and no standing. . .

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 4, 2003

Angel's Share
8 Stuyvestant St
New York, New York 10003
+1 212 777 5415

Passer By

Attraction

Quote:
This is a cool bar with a '70s lit-up style floor. The place really hits its peak about 4am on Fridays and Saturdays when they shut the doors and turn up the sound.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 4, 2003

APT

Attraction

Quote:
If you can find the anonymous doorway (there's no sign, but often a queue/line), you'll find a great looking two-level bar. Sometimes it has great nights, sometimes it's full of Japanese cool hunters, sometimes full of hipsters, and sometimes it's full of drunk, overpaid New Yorkers.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 4, 2003

Halcyon

Attraction

Quote:
I just discovered this bar/cafe/record shop/ vintage furniture store in this very happening part of Brooklyn. Do note that I think it plays some of the finest house music to the fewest people in New York. However, It's worth a visit day or night. If you visit at night, try Bar Tabac for food.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 4, 2003

Halcyon
227 Smith Street
Brooklyn

Old Town

Attraction

Quote:
Great 111-year-old boozer. This may be a great place for discerning tastes/people who like old Gothic bars. It's beautiful to me. Worth a pint just to see the place.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 4, 2003

VON

Attraction

Quote:
It's a hip and cool dark bar that plays urban beats with good range of beers on tap. It's well worth starting an adventure around East Village or even Lower East Side from here.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 4, 2003

VON
3 Bleeker Street (and Bowery), East Village
New York
(212) 473-3039

Bar and Books

Attraction

Quote:
It's a bit up its arse, but this small cubby hole looks like a gents club, still has a smoking license, and plays Bond films on the TV. Check it out on cigaraficionado.com.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 4, 2003

Bongo

Attraction

Quote:
Seemed to be a good bar to go to with great lobster rolls, especially when you can't get into the Coral nightclub around the corner at 2am. My memory of this place is a bit blurred but the girlfriend loves it.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 4, 2003

Bongo
299 10th Ave
New York, New York 10001
+1 212 947 3654

Century 21

Attraction

Quote:
It's just by Ground Zero and is one of those places where they sell last year's lines for cheap. Bloody hell, the place is like Little Britian. There were more British accents than Hispanic. The place is worse than a Debenhams in a northern provincial town, but it must be featured in all the books. It feels weird to see so many Brits at one time in New York.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on December 4, 2003

Century 21
22 Cortlandt St
New York, New York 10006
+1 212 227 9092

Halloween

Attraction

Quote:
I hesitated. I told the girlfriend no. I said we don't do it where I come from, but she still won. She first took me across town to see all the other freaks dressed up and then she convinced me to try myself. I had little to wear my gray shorts that didn't fit around my belly to let me do 'School of Rock'. The lady was a little less impressed when I found a white blazer and did Don Johnson -- she said I could get away with that in New York on a normal school night. I dragged her 'sorry gypsy arse' down to Thom where BIG magazine held a party. At 11pm, it rocked and we all laughed at each other's get up. At 1am, we were tired and weary of the cr*p we were wearing and wanted to be back in...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on December 4, 2003

Gramercy Park Hotel

Hotel | "Gramercy Park Hotel Roof Bar"

Quote:
We spent the evening here at the dismal and overpriced top floor bar at Gramercy Park Hotel celebrating the birthday of a friend of the girlfriends. Luckily, the service was poor and the lights were so bright that the 'tiki' wallpaper (and most of the furniture) would have fitted better in a children's bedroom, so we left.

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on December 4, 2003

Gramercy Park Hotel
TWO LEXINGTON AVE
New York 10010
(212) 475-4320

Whitney Museum of American Art

Attraction | "Whitney Museum"

Quote:
The day started smoothly enough with a trip to the Whitney Museum on Upper East side with my visiting sister. It was all very pleasant and nice to see some American artists' work (you get a feeling that they're a little censored in French and other European galleries). It was also nice to the froggies keeping the oar in -- who are key sponsors of the rather anti-American exhibition called 'The American Effect?' The French Embassy!! You've got to wonder where they got the staff from at Whitney. You'd think for entrance fee of $12 they may employ some pretty decent staff, staff who fit in with the calm and reverent atmosphere of the museum. Instead, I got barked at from across the room when I step...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on December 4, 2003

Whitney Museum of American Art
945 Madison Ave
New York, New York 10021
+1 212 570 3676

Atlantic City

Attraction

Atlantic City Photo, New York, United States
Quote:
The girlfriend's father and mother drove us via the gentle skyline of Philadelphia to the red and white glow of Atlantic City on Saturday afternoon in late November. It wasn't quite the triumph of Vegas, but I'm sure in the summer it would be quite a good-looking place. We checked out Trump's Taj Mahal and the new Bogarta. As the Lady's father scouted around the poker hall, I noticed no one was smoking. Guys in cowboy hats chewed tobacco, young Harvard types rolled unlit cigars from side-to-side, and nervous regular Joes took smoking breaks upstairs near the slot machines. It's amazing to think of the effect of the smoking ban in New York and how it's slowly being introduced elsewhere. ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 4, 2003

Rockaway Beach

Attraction | "Rockaways"

Rockaway Beach Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
I started the preparation for the interview today by going for a relaxing ride down to the end of the A subway line to Rockaway by the seaside. It's all part of my adventure to see every neighbourhood at the end of each subway line (no, not Merton or Brockhurst Hill). Of course, I chose the coldest and windiest day since May (it was now the 10th October) to amble up the beach on the south side of the peninsula. It was quiet and beautiful; I recommend it to anyone on a sunny fall day – it was just me and a few fishermen. I tried to reach the end and kept saying to myself, ‘It must be just round this bend, it would be silly not to go back now.’ Three miles up a lone police officer stopped me, shi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 4, 2003

Rockaway Beach
90-14 Rockaway Beach Blvd
Queens, New York 11694
+1 718 634 8058

Southpaw

Attraction

Quote:
This is a good gig venue in trendy part of Brooklyn. There are some great bands and acts that play here. Look out for what's going on there at their website. At times, expect a rather subdued crowd, as the New Yorkers like to appreciate their music sober.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 5, 2003

Southpaw
125 5th Ave.
Brooklyn, New York 11217
(718) 230-0236

Quote:
Perhaps this new multiplex doesn't have the charm of some of the older cinemas in the city, but I prefer their big, clean(?) seats and their wide selection of current films.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 5, 2003

Empire State Building

Attraction | "Empire State Building - a different view"

Empire State Building Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Don't go to the base and look up at this building. This emblem of New York is best seen from afar: from the piers on the Hudson River Park near West Village or the Brooklyn Bridge. For an even more stunning view and to realise the importance of the Empire State Building to the New York landscape, view it from the north side of the Rockaways or from the New Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel. Breathtaking.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 23, 2003

Empire State Building
350 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street
New York 10118
(212) 736-3100

Statue of Liberty

Attraction

Statue of Liberty Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Now that it is closed to visitors, view this beautiful monument (and donation from the French) from afar for the best effect. From Battery Park, Brooklyn Heights, and Brooklyn Bridge, the view is stunning!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 23, 2003

Statue of Liberty
Liberty Island
New York, New York 10004
(212) 363-3200

Soho Shops

Attraction | "Soho"

Quote:
To the south of Greenwich Village is SoHo. Originally built in the 19th century, it became a light industrial area for many years featuring my favorite buildings: the ‘American Industrial’ style of pre-fabricated cast-iron buildings. The buildings are amazing, particularly on Greene Street. The buildings in the 60s became artist studios then later became the fashion stores, high-priced restaurants, and hotels there are today. There are still shops to discover, cafes to sit in, buildings to admire. I found myself late one night in the second oldest pub in the city, Fanelli’s, or so they say on the wall (I think).

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 6, 2004

Soho Shops
SoHo
New York, New York

Quote:
Meatpacking is very different to the other districts close by. It is still a very commercial area where butchers ship in carcasses and chop them up to package meat for the shops and restaurants. Side by side are designer stores (Brits like Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney have shops there), trendy bars, classy restaurants, and even London’s Soho House opened a branch of its private members' club and included a swimming pool on its sixth-floor terrace. The area really is buzzing – until it gets too hot – and then the only things that buzz are the flies around the smelly pavements and gutters near where the meat trucks park. With the long-distance drivers, there also appear old age professi...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 6, 2004

Meatpacking District
833 Washington St. #12
New York, New York 10014
(212) 633-0185

Greenwich Village

Attraction

Quote:
Greenwich and West Village is full of leafy streets divided by wide commercial avenues. Bars, theatres, cinemas and bistro cafes hide in nooks and corners. There is also a British Fish & Chips shop (A Salt & Battery) and a British Tea Room (Tea & Sympathy) and a British shop (Myers of Keswick) – if you ever feel homesick/fancy a pack of Walkers crisps. You soon find that, even though everything is parallel, you walk certain streets because of their ambience and the styles of the 18th and 19th century buildings. In one part of Greenwich Village is Washington Park Square. Despite the historic buildings that surround it, the square is probably my least favorite open space that I have com...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 6, 2004

Greenwich Village
Houston To 14th Street
New York, New York 10014

Ear Inn

Attraction | "Ear Bar"

Quote:
I just got back from a really decent boozer called “Ear Bar” by the Hudson River on Spring St, another of the oldest pubs in New York (built in 1817). When it was built, it was only 5 feet from the river now it's 300, but it’s still dark and dingy, full of old sea dog-type characters and after the guy I was having a pint with left (I stayed to finish my third), I was approached by a carnivalesque French guy asking if I fancied a job doing some painting and decorating. For a moment, I felt like hanging and having a chat with a classic pub-freak, but as I heard about his life story and the 20 or so cities he had lived in (and he’s still only 30), he reminded me of that scallywag who guided me around the...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 13, 2004

Ear Inn
326 Spring Street
New York, New York 10013
(212) 226-9060

Economy Candy

Attraction

Quote:
Huge candy store full to the ceiling with sugary confections. Every sweet thing you have ever tasted is probably here, including all the favourites from when you were a child. There's a British sweets section and pick-and-mix.

Everything is sold at a bargain price. Check out the site here.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 20, 2004

Economy Candy
108 Rivington St.
New York, New York 10002
(800) 352-4544

Volume

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
The Lady's friend Lisa invited us to the launch party of a new Williamsburg venue called Volume at 99 N. 13th St and Whythe. We got there around 10.30pm to find a line -- not really a line, more like a crush -- to get in. At least it was warm. When we burst through the entrance, we found out why there had been a wait: everybody had to put on white protective suits. The effect was crazy – there were about 800 people walking around, dancing, queuing for the toilet all wearing the same thing. Was it art? Was it a 1989 warehouse rave? It seemed either a very clever idea, a statement about fashion, or just an up-its-arse prank. Come to think of it, there was a camera crew there, so up-its-arse prank...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 6, 2004

Volume
99 N. 13th St. (Wythe Ave.)
Brooklyn, New York 11211
(718) 388-3588

Brooklyn - Places to see

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Graffiti In Brooklyn Photo, New York, United States
Quote:
I always feel that Brooklyn Bridge is at the very south of the island but it is in fact west - at the same level as the World Trade Center area – close to the imposing City Hall. It’s a steep cycle ride up the marvelous bridge, but you finally get to reach quite a height and you first look over the financial district, then up the river and finally over to Brooklyn as you descend the other side. On the Brooklyn side between Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge you find the district of Dumbo (you may remember a small park that you see in many films that looks up at the Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan). This area is another industrial area that is gradually being taken over (supposedly) by artist...Read More
Quote:
Stuff to do with your girlfriend/boyfriend: Horse and buggy ride around the park, Revolving restaurant or tower Midtown shopping -- ha, Sky-lift to Roosevelt Island and back Walk along Brooklyn Bridge Checking out the Chelsea Hotel, Empire State, Grand Central (including looking up at the Chrysler Building next door), Century 21 (shop next to Ground Zero). Stuff to do with the people who live here already: Finding the old speakeasy boozers in Greenwich Village Doing the round of 'oldest pubs in New York' downtown Wander around Soho, Tribeca, NoLiTa, stopping off in cosy bars Jimmy's Bar off Times Square and maybe the revol...Read More

About the Writer

GuyBrighton

GuyBrighton
New York, New York