New York Journals

At home in NYC

A travel journal to New York by JLK100

Subway in Harlem Photo, New York, New York More Photos
Quote: I moved to NYC immediately after graduating from college and lived there for 6 1/2 years. Even though I'm now "serving time" in Washington, DC, my heart is very much in New York and I still spend a lot of time there. I very much enjoy creating walking tours for visiting friends that take them away from overdone tourist sites. If you like my journals, rate me! If you have other feedback, shoot me an e-mail.

At home in NYC

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Subway in Harlem Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
New York City is so much more than Times Square. Each time I have the opportunity to point this out and direct a visitor to more interesting off-the-beaten-path locations, I do so with gusto. My favorites... walking through the West Village with a quick stop for breakfast at the Grey Dog's Coffee on Carmine Street. Continuing on for some shopping along the west end of Bleecker Street with a stop for sweets and coffee at the Magnolia Bakery. Later, it might be frites at Pastis, cocktails at Lotus, a pint at Swift's... or any one of 1,000,000 fun options On the flip side, I was in NYC on 9/11. Memories from that day and those immediately following will never escape my memory. At t...Read More

Comfort Inn Central Park West

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "Comfort Inn"

Quote:
I recently spent a night at the Comfort Inn - Upper West Side. It was inexpensive, however unless budget is your primarily concern, I would NOT recommend this hotel. I found it to be dreary, cramped and overall depressing. The lobby is small, but reasonably attractive and the front desk person who checked me in was friendly, explaining where I could find my complimentary breakfast the next morning. Still, when I asked for a non-smoking room with a king size bed, she explained that the hotel didn't have any king rooms (period) and instead, she gave me a choice of one bed or two. I said one and headed upstairs. This Comfort Inn has only one elevator and it's both small and slow. W...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on February 24, 2002

Comfort Inn Central Park West
31 WEST 71ST ST
New York, New York 10023-4103
212-721-4770

ONE UN New York

Hotel | "Millenium UN Plaza"

Quote:
My parents frequently stay at this elegant hotel adjacent to the I. M. Pei designed United Nations and once in awhile, I stay there too. Rooms are all on high floors (27 and up, I believe) as lower floors consist of UN-controlled apartments. Views are incredible - most look at the Empire State Building. Sadly, you used to be able to see the World Trade Centers so now the view leaves me feeling a bit sad. Rooms were recently refurbished with a Danish modern twist. My mother misses the older, perhaps more elegant look, however this 20 something likes the blond wood furniture and colorful throw pillows just fine! Another unique feature of this hotel is that it has a swimming floor (an...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 24, 2002

ONE UN New York
One United Nations Plaza
New York, New York 10017
(212) 758-1234

Pellegrino's

Restaurant

Quote:
I've been frequenting Pellegrino's for at least five of my 6 1/2 years in NYC. This restaurant serves high quality meals made with the freshest ingredients and will cook whatever you wish (off the menu) as long as they have the necessary components. Favorites include a custom-selected antipasto (bufalo mozzarella, prosciutto, white bean salad, roasted peppers and provolone), chicken scapariello and either filet mignon entrees. Seafood specialities are also very popular. Service is friendly and attentive. Avoid other Little Italy tourist traps such as La Mela (dirty, disgusting and overpriced, yet always packed with tourists due to the "unique" family style service concept) and see...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 24, 2002

Pellegrino's
138 Mulberry St.
New York, New York
(212) 226-3177

Baluchi's Restaurant

Restaurant | "Baluchi's"

Baluchi's Restaurant Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Baluchi's is my favorite spot for Indian cuisine. It's a NYC mini-chain (go to www.baluchis.com for locations) that provides an enteraining dining experience complete with authentic Indian decor, beverages, entrees, dessert, music, etc.

Delivery is also available.

Great introduction to Indian food if it's new too you. Baluchi's will alter spice levels to suit your taste. Excellent samosas and pakoras.

Inexpensive and enjoyable.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 24, 2002

Baluchi's Restaurant
193 Spring St
New York, New York 10012
+1 212 226 2828

Grey Dog's Coffee Ltd

Restaurant | "Grey Dog's Coffee"

Quote:
Grey Dog's Coffee is an awesome little coffee shop on Carmine Street in Greenwich Village. For breakfast, choose from fresh muffins (my favorite: banana blueberry bran toasted and buttered) that taste nothing like the gross Starbucks super-processed kind to a full Grey Dogs breakfast with eggs, pancakes, hash brown potatoes and bacon or sausage. Grey Dog has the full range of espresso drinks, teas and smoothies. At other points in the day, choose from an eclectic array of sandwiches (everything from PB&J through veggie options like roasted peppers or portobello mushrooms, burgers too), soups, quiches, salads and more. Grey Dog is a great option for an evening social o...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 24, 2002

Grey Dog's Coffee Ltd
33 Carmine Street
New York, New York 10014
(212) 462-0041

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Po"

Quote:
I had a difficult time choosing between "fine dining" and "bang for your buck" because Po is a very unique restaurant. Food is inventive and delicious, but prices are entirely reasonable ($12-14 for pasta and less than $20 for meat entrees). Focusing on the cuisine of the Po River Valley in Italy, it's not a pasta and red sauce joint. Instead, you'll find interesting specialties ranging from white bean ravioli in a balsamic butter reduction (the signature menu item and my personal favorite) to grilled guinea hen served over couscous. Complimentary bruchetta goes beyond the traditional - Po's consists of delicious white beans, olive oil, a touch of red pepper... no tomatoes in sight. Trust me...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 24, 2002


31 Cornelia St
New York, New York 10014
+1 212 645 2189

Coffee Shop

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Coffee Shop Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Coffee Shop has been hip for ages now, but definitely do not go here for the food alone. Instead, come for the scene, check out some very attractive people while having cocktails and enjoy some (usually) good music. Some negatives: Occasionally the door staff gets a bit out of control. They will have a velvet rope out front and one or two security guards controlling access to the bar and restaurant. I was a frequent visitor during the summer of 2001 to see a bartender friend, yet every time, I was asked for identification at the rope and sometimes made to wait. The food. The menu focuses somewhat on South American cuisine. There is great variability in what comes out o...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on February 24, 2002

Coffee Shop
29 Union Square West
New York, New York 10003
+1 212 243 7969

Bar Pitti

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
As I write from DC, man, how I miss Bar Pitti! The rude service, the cramped dining area... ah. It probably sounds like I hate the place, but truthfully, I really enjoyed it each of the 100 times I ate there. Bar Pitti is an inexpensive Italian Greenwich Village joint with great food and entertaining people watching. It's tiny and yes, the staff can be incredibly rude, but give the food a try. I enjoy the fresh mozzarella appetizer, the spicy pasta arrabiata (yum!) and the pasta entree with peas, turkey sausage and a bit of cream. My dining companion friends have also raved about the panini. To get to Bar Pitti via the subway, take the Sixth or Eighth Avenue lines to Washington Sq...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 28, 2002

Bar Pitti
268 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10014
(212) 982 3300

Palma

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Living in the neighborhood (across the street at #25), I watched the renovation of 28 Cornelia for months and was excited to hear that the new business would be a restaurant named Palma. Some mornings, we'd see the owner and ask "How much longer?" The answer was always "Abbout another month." Once the restaurant finally opened, I eagerly checked out the posted menu. I thought it was small and overpriced for what was offered. A few (3 or 4) pasta selections, some meat, some seafood. Not enough to take me away from my Cornelia Street favorites, Po and Home. Last weekend, I finally had the opportunity to try Palma. The dining experience was a great example of the saying "go with you...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on March 26, 2002

Palma
28 Cornelia Street
New York, New York 10014
(212) 691-2223

Fresco

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
I have had many excellent meals at Fresco by Scotto on 52nd and Lexington. Due to its location near my old office building, it was a frequent choice for expense account lunches and I've also experienced more relaxed dinners and special events. Fresco is owned by the Scotto family, which is firmly entrenched in the NYC media scene. Rosanna Scotto is a local news anchor and you will frequently see her in the restaurant during her off hours. You'll also spot a celebrity here more often than not. My favorite sighting was Florence Henderson aka Mrs. Brady. When you first enter, you'll find a bar area with a few tables for those seeking a more casual environment (you still need reservati...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 7, 2002

Fresco
34 East 52nd Street
New York, New York 10022
(212) 935-3434

Bottino

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Bottino is so cool... Approximately two years ago, my friends and I were looking for something new. We were sick of our old favorites and somehow we found Bottino. It's quite out of the way in the far reaches of Chelsea, but absolutely worth the trip. Additionally, since our first visit, more bars and restaurants have opened in the vicinity making it more fun to travel to. The vibe in Bottino is cool, but unintimidating. The lights are a bit low and there's a great long metal bar for cocktailing, but it's also just right for meeting up with your friends. No stress. You have a few options as to where to dine within Bottino. They have a pretty dining room that is a bit fo...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 7, 2002

Bottino
248 10th Avenue
New York, New York 10001
(212) 206-6766

Swift Hibernian Lounge a/k/a Swift

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
Owner Danny McDonald has created a wonderful antidote to the typical "Irish" bar overrun with shamrocks and poorly poured Guinness. Swifts is a lot of fun. Choose from a huge selection of beers on tap (20+) or if none of those fits the bill, try a specialty bottled beer, glass of wine or a cocktail. The front room features a long bar with seating (one large sharable booth and several areas with bar stools). In the back, you'll find one huge communal table surrounded by six or so booths that will hold parties of six or seven. The music you'll hear varies - on the weekend, it's DJ-spun popular music. Other nights, you can listen in on a traditional Irish seisun with musicians of al...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 24, 2002

Swift Hibernian Lounge a/k/a Swift
34 East 4th St.
New York, New York 10003
(212) 260-3600

Yamak

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
Yamak is a Greenwich Village boutique owned and carefully attended to by a lovely couple. The wife is Asian and many of the items they choose to feature have an element of Asian cultures. Yamak also carries items by well-known designers. I purchased my favorite pair of jeans here - a pair of faded, low-rise Jill Stuart that lace up the front and have exactly the right amount of stretch. The purses you'll find here are incredible and unique. Something for a variety of price ranges. Names you'll recognize, but also up-and-comers you should check out. Yamak carries excellent accessories too - jewelry, hair ornaments, interesting shoes, etc. The store is tiny and ha...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 28, 2002

Yamak
321 Bleecker St
New York, New York 10014
+1 212 807 9100

Peculiar Pub

Attraction

Quote:
Let me say this up front: I hate this place.

To me, Peculier (for some reason it is spelled with an e, not an a) is a great big yuck within a strip of bars in the crowded part of Bleecker Street that range from "decent" to "horrendous". On the decent end is the Elbow Room which is a pretty good place to see a variety of live music acts for a low or no cover. Peculier Pub is at the other end of the spectrum.

Downright dirty with surly staff. Frequented by NYU students of the worst variety.

In its favor, I will say that they have a huge beer selection, but that's the nicest thing I can think of regarding this hell hole.

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on February 28, 2002

Peculiar Pub
145 Bleecker Street
New York, New York 10012
(212) 353-1327

Ginger Man

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "The Ginger Man"

Quote:
When it comes to rating bars, I'm not afraid to tell it like it is. Here comes another "not recommended" with more elaborate feedback. Gingerman's location makes it prime post-work real estate. Such a shame that the bar attracts a dull, homogenous crowd and that the stench of stale cigar smoke turns plenty a stomach. This is the kind of place where I'll go if a group of people I really like choose it, but I'd never choose it myself. Every guy is white-bread and wearing a tie. Girls still talk about sorority life. It's just not for me, but maybe you'll like it. In its favor: - They serve food. Most of it has an English pub slant. It seems over-priced to me....Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on February 28, 2002

Ginger Man
11 East 36th St
New York, New York 10016
+1 212 532 3740

Bar Bat

Attraction | "Le Bar Bat"

Quote:
Oooh, tacky! My first trip to Le Bar Bat was for a private function. I thought "hmm, interesting space; lots of nooks and crannies" and then I got hammered at the open bar and didn't have any deep thoughts that night. Another night, a friend suggested checking it out rather than heading to our usual spots. All I could remember was "hmm, interesting space; lots of nooks and crannies." What a mistake. Oh, regret. Cheese galore. Plenty of older singles macking on each other. Women from the 'burbs with big hair, wearing odd bits of black lace, gold lame and gobs of make-up. Men with gold chains nestled in their chest hair. Drinks, if you order them even after...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on February 28, 2002

Bar Bat
311 West 57th St
New York, New York 10019
(212) 307-7228

Manhattan Mall

Attraction

Quote:
When I was in NYC the weekend of 2/21, I heard some tourists from a Spanish speaking country hail a cab outside their hotel and ask to be taken to the Manhattan Mall. How I wanted to intervene... yet I figured it was none of my business if they wanted to go straight to hell. Nothing against chain retailers. I have my share of Banana Republic and BCBG in my closet. But why go to NYC and spend your time shopping in a mall (which is a strange thing to even have in NYC - we wish it would go away) when there are so many unique store to explore. There's nothing worth shopping for at the Manhattan Mall. Please believe me. Don't you have The Limited where you live? Sure you do. How abou...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on February 28, 2002

Manhattan Mall
6th Ave. and 33rd St.
New York, New York 10001
(212) 465-0500

Puck Fair

Attraction

Quote:
Similar to Swift (they share ownership), Puck Fair is a fine place to swill pints and eat hearty Irish and Irish-inspired fare. Puck Fair, though, offers more variety in atmosphere, libations and scene. How? This is a much larger bar with three distinct areas. On the main floor, it's very pub-by with several "snugs" (aka cozy semi-enclosed booths) on the right side and a very long bar on the left. Toward the back, you'll find stairs up and down. Go up and sit in the small balcony area for a bird's eye view and fun people-watching. This is where the DJ sits. Go down for a more intimate evening. It's a bit darker and quieter. Downstairs, it can get smoky, but in general, this is my favori...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 12, 2002

Puck Fair
298 Lafayette St
New York, New York 10012
+1 212 431 1200

Hogs & Heifers

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Hogs and Heifers"

Quote:
This used to be The Place back in the day... I was 21, 22 and although H&H was a popular joint, it wasn't as over-hyped as it tends to be now. It got crowded, but not insanely so. Back in 1995 or 1996, you'd go to H&H to drink beer in a bar filled with all kinds of people. Bikers, brawlers, students, actors... it didn't matter. You were there for a "one whiskey, one scotch and one beer" while the leather-clad bartenders clogged on the bar. Hollywood showed up and then so did everybody else. It all started long before I got there with JFK Jr. But when Julia Roberts came by, drank and then put her bra in with all of the others... the legend grew. Still, you should ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on March 1, 2002

Hogs & Heifers
859 Washington St
New York, New York 10014
+1 212 929 0655

Halo Restaurant & Lounge

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Halo"

Quote:
Halo is a spot I enjoy in Greenwich Village, however I recommend it with a bit of hesitation. My friends and I always have a good time here, but other reviews I've read have been mixed. First of all, the location. It's a little hard to find except for the doorman and velvet rope stationed outside during peak hours. This part of Greenwich Village is a little short on nightlife of this sort. Other bars in the area are either dives, aimed at the gay community of both. Halo usually has more of a hip hop mentality. You'll find people of many varieties all looking their ghetto fab best. I have seen the aforementioned doormen be exceptionally tough on people and also be sub...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 7, 2002

Halo Restaurant & Lounge
49 Grove Street
New York, New York 10014
(201) 896-1111

XVI (Sixteen)

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "XVI"

Quote:
XVI (aka Sixteen) has gone through a few personality shifts during my NYC years. When I first went there, I hated it. Everyone in attendance was 21-24 and very fratty. It was like "woo-hoo! body shots!" and that wasn't my scene. Although you'll still find nights like that at XVI, go for the music. My favorite is Jason Beverly (aka DJ Sorcerer) who usually spins a great variety of hip-hop (including some old school stuff), reggae and dancehall. Jason often handles Saturdays, however check local listings like Time Out for more info. XVI is unique for NYC in that it's a lounge with dancing. Due to the old cabaret laws, that's tough to find. Here you can hang at the bar, sit on cou...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on March 7, 2002

XVI (Sixteen)
16 First Avenue
New York, New York

Magnolia Bakery

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
As seen on Sex in the City... The best homestyle treats in all of NYC. This tiny bakery on the western end of Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village serves up awesome cakes, cookies, pies, etc. My favorites include the simple cupcakes with buttercream frosting, apple (or blueberry) crumble and banana cream pudding. You will also find an assortment that usually includes carrot cake, German chocolate cake, red velvet cake... the list goes on and on Have a latte or homemade lemonade while you're there, but be prepared to enjoy it outside on one of the neighborhood benches. The Magnolia Bakery offers only limited seating so as to accomodate the line that invariably snakes through the tin...Read More

Magnolia Bakery
401 Bleecker Street
New York, New York 10014
(212) 462-2572