Written by Constance on 17 Jul, 2000
We arrived at 7:00 a.m. armed with our large bag of unsalted peanuts. We knew they were out there, but they were cleverly hiding for now. They wanted to see if what we brought was worth climbing down from the treetops for.…Read More
We arrived at 7:00 a.m. armed with our large bag of unsalted peanuts. We knew they were out there, but they were cleverly hiding for now. They wanted to see if what we brought was worth climbing down from the treetops for.
These are tricky little animals. You have to actually find one and throw him a nut to get him interested. His crunching is a call out to all the other squirrels out there. At this point the fun begins.
They appear from EVERYWHERE! Out from around benches, down from the trees, out of the bushes. Soon you'll be in a 360 degree squirrel festival. Some are timid but many will come right up to you and take the nut out of your hand. Hold it carefully, (see photos). Don't put in in your palm and expect them to take it. Your finger tip looks a lot like a peanut to them and that's the first thing they reach when walking over to you.
They'll grab the nut and run into the trees or at least venture a safe distance from you to begin their meal. The treetop eaters will shower you with peanut shells and skins so don't look up unless you want a face full of squirrel trash.
These little animals are precious, although most are a bit worn and rough looking.
Where else can you have this much fun for an hour for a $1.99 worth of peanuts? Close
Written by GenghisJohn on 06 Jun, 2006
This is almost more important than the Korean BBQ experience. Drinking is very popular in Korea and among Korean expats. The first and most important thing to know is that you are never supposed to pour your own drink. When you finish your drink, someone…Read More
This is almost more important than the Korean BBQ experience. Drinking is very popular in Korea and among Korean expats. The first and most important thing to know is that you are never supposed to pour your own drink. When you finish your drink, someone will probably offer to pour you another one. Even if you don't want one, it's best just to take it and then not drink it, or just drink a bit of it. They probably won't "top you off".When pouring a drink, you pour with your right hand and put your left hand under your right elbow to support it—this is very polite. Even among close friends, you're still going to see this. If you're much higher "rank" than the other person (ie, older), you can just pour with your right hand and you don't have to worry about your left hand. When receiving a drink, it's best to hold your glass with both hands. If you see that someone's glass is empty, offer to pour them some more. Even if they say "no", pour them some anyway. Drinking customs are very polite among Koreans.Drinking to excess is also the norm. I've carried a number of friends out of restaurants in Korea, and if you drink too much yourself, it's no big deal to casually get up, walk to the bathroom, vomit, and then go back to the table and drink and eat more. The more casual you are about things, the more people respect you (especially if you're male). Women can get away with refusing drinks more easily than men can. Korean culture can be very macho at times, and drinking is an expression of that machismo.On to different types of drinks. The first is beer (mek-chu in Korean). In Korea, it's best to stick with Budweiser, which is pretty ubiquitous. Local Korean beers are OB and Hite, of which OB is the better of the two but still not really that good. You can get beer in sizes of up to 5 liters in most bars in Seoul. You read that right, 5 liters. Think of two-and-a-half 2 liter bottles of soda and imagine that being full of beer. If that sounds like a good idea to you, you'll fit right in in Seoul.The most common form of alcohol (called sul in Korean) in Korea is soju. It's basically a lower-powered vodka that tastes like what I imagine unprocessed window cleaner would taste like if mixed with industrial solvent. The trick is to drink a shot or two really fast and then you stop tasting it. In Seoul, you can get a bottle of this stuff for around 80 cents at most restaurants and convenience stores. It's commonly drunk while eating, and especially while eating pork. There are many types of flavored soju, with lemon soju being the most common. Actually, lemon soju seems better here in New York than in Seoul. The best places to get it are Temple Korean Cuisine on St. Mark's and Li Hua on Grand Street.There are two basic types of soju. Charm soju and Jinro soju. Charm is the more common and also the easier to deal with. Jinro is only for people who don't learn from negative reinforcement. I firmly believe that if I wouldn't have gone drink-for-drink of Jinro soju with my wife's mother, she never would have respected me enough to let us get married.Another drink that's becoming more popular in New York is bok-bun-ja, which is a berry wine. It allegedly doesn't give you a hangover, although one of my friends disagrees and claims to have had a bad morning the day after she drank this. It also is reported to make men more virile, but the jury is out on that one. Again, Temple on St. Marks is a good place to get this (they were one of the first to carry it) as well as a couple places in Queens. You can get this from liquor stores in Koreatown if you want to drink it at home.The next kind of Korean drink is Baek-sae-ju. It's more palatable than soju but less "hipster" than bok-bun-ja would be if hipsters could speak Korean. It's a rice wine with a tangy taste. I've introduced about a dozen people to Korean liquor and this is the most popular among them.I will leave you with a couple of tips on Korean drinking. When you hear "one-shot", it's time to make an attempt at finishing your drink. Mashi-go chuk-ja is a common toast (literally translated, it means "let's drink and die"). Bars in Seoul typically don't close. I've found myself going out with coworkers on a Friday night only to leave the bar and stare down a fierce Saturday morning. The subway in Seoul stops running between around 11:30pm and 5am. If you don't like taking taxis in Seoul (understandable, since only about 60% of taxi drivers speak English, making it difficult to give them directions... also, late at night, traffic laws are interpreted as low-to-medium strength suggestions), plan accordingly. If you're not Korean and you're drinking with Koreans, they'll typically REALLY appreciate it if you try to follow their drinking culture. They'll also usually understand if you don't. Of course, your mileage may vary depending on the people you're with and your opinion of their culture.Close
Written by Elenitasan on 15 May, 2006
A certain measure of routine is part of everyone’s life and mine is no exception so recently I made the momentous decision to have a little fun every day. Life is too short and a life of pure routine is far too boring to contemplate.…Read More
A certain measure of routine is part of everyone’s life and mine is no exception so recently I made the momentous decision to have a little fun every day. Life is too short and a life of pure routine is far too boring to contemplate. I needed to get out there and have some fun. I live in New York, a city that gives so many people so much pleasure and yet, when you live here, you tend to get a little blasé about places that our visitors rhapsodize about. So my decision to have fun included pretending to be a tourist in my own city and visit old places with a new attitude. My first adventure took me to Arthur Avenue in The Bronx. The first time I visited, my dear friend Francesca who grew up there, took it upon herself to educate me on where to buy the perfect components for any Italian feast. What did I want? Procciuto? Mozzarella? Fresh anchovies? Arugula? Oh my! I wanted it all and at the end of our first visit there I felt that I could have opened my own Italian restaurant.
This time like a pro, I went to the Mercato (23-44 Arthur Avenue) which is a good place to start. Straight to the Café to have a slice of my favorite plain tomato pizza. Absolutely heavenly, as always. The slice alone was worth the trip!Then walked around and picked up some fresh veggies for dinner. Said hello to the guys at Mike’s Deli and picked up a little antipasto… some roasted peppers, parmigiano and a little truffle oil. Then headed to Mt Carmel to visit the delightful ladies who own the great "imported from Italy" shop where I get my extra virgin olive oil and try to stay away from the cookies beckoning me from the shelves. The pasta at Mt. Carmel is all imported and the best dry pasta you can buy. The herbs that they sell are fresh and plentiful and the owners’ delightful manner and happy disposition matches my mood completely. I just love it here! Its time for my cappuccino and heading home to enjoy all my goodies. Must stop at the bakery next door to pick up a loaf of bread. Maybe before I leave I’ll pick up a little procciuto. I enjoy buying the food as much as eating it. Arthur Avenue makes me very happy and fits in with my decision to enjoy something wonderful every day. Next week, I’ll walk around the neighborhood and leave the market if I can pull myself away from it that is.
Written by rickhowe on 13 Apr, 2006
In early 2004, my wife met a gal who worked at Macy's corporate offices. They got to talking, and my wife proclaimed our family's love of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Her response was, "I have an offer you CAN'T refuse!"At that point, our family…Read More
In early 2004, my wife met a gal who worked at Macy's corporate offices. They got to talking, and my wife proclaimed our family's love of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Her response was, "I have an offer you CAN'T refuse!"At that point, our family evolved from parade fans to parade participants. We filled out the paperwork, and soon learned that we would be handling the "Barney" balloon. This was somewhat of a karmic reaction to an incident a few years before when the Barney balloon had to be removed from the parade, with the help of knife-wielding officials. There were those in the crowd who cried (mostly the kids), and those who cheered (mostly the parents, who had been subjected to "I love you, You love me" for months on end. We were in the cheering section.A few years later we finally had to pay our karmic debt. Handling the ropes on the Barney balloon!We did have to change our usual routine. Instead of staying at the Essex House (on Central Park South), we needed something closer to parade headquarters at the New Yorker Hotel on 8th Avenue and 34th Street.We made the mistake of getting a "suite" at the New Yorker. It was somewhat of a nostalgic trip, inasmuch as I had an office in the same building about 10 years prior. But the spacious office floor bore no resemblance to the cramped hotel rooms. It was cheap, to be sure, but we'll not go back.At 6am on Thanksgiving morning we rode the elevator to the 2nd floor dressing area (at least it was convenient getting there), to pick up our costumes. We hopped on the bus to the staging area at 77th Street and waited for our captain to come give us our assignments. At about 8:45am the crew came and starting taking off the nets, leaving us to hold on to Barney's ropes. We stepped off about 30 minutes later and started the long walk down the parade route.Barney was well-behaved the entire time, and we even got him to dance a bit for the crowds (the handlers on the left pulled their ropes, and then the handlers on the right pulled their ropes). Some folks even found a way to move Barney's hand!Seeing the looks on the kids' faces as we passed was priceless! We walked in front of nearly 2 million smiling faces that morning, and that amount of positive energy can keep you going for a long time.But I couldn't exactly bring myself to sing that song...Barney did fine until we got down to Macy's and turned West on 34th Street. At that point, we were walking into the wind, and Barney decided he wanted to go east towards Long Island! We finally got him under control, and turned back north onto 8th Avenue (in front of the New Yorker Hotel). Inch by inch we wound our plastic rope holders (called "bones") down to bring the big guy to the ground. Then some of us unzipped the helium pockets, and the lighter than air gas lived up to it's reputation, and dissipated into the morning air.We had to fold Barney lengthwise, and roll him into an enormous laundry cart on wheels, at which point his parade was over and he was trucked back to New Jersey.A brief stop at the Headquarters to turn in our jumpsuits, and we went on with our day. Dinner at The Sea Grill in Rockefeller Center, and home.Last year, we were promoted to Chicken Little. Chicken was a bit less bulky than Barney, but taller. A windier day (there was one accident when the "M&Ms" balloon hit a lamp post and injured a spectator) meant a lot more "trimming" of the ropes (note that I learned the lingo in my second year!). But Chicken Little was a blast, and we were a lot more comfortable. Inasmuch as I have a REALLY loud voice, I was appointed chief cheerleader for the group. Every time we stopped to wait to the rest of the parade, I got to lead the group in a sort of spastic version of The Chicken Dance!But once again, 2 million pairs of eyes were on us, all smiling, all shouting "Chicken LITTLE Chicken LITTLE." It's a unique experience, and one that we'll repeat as long as we're invited.Should you ever get the opportunity to serve as a balloon handlers in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, consider it HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!Close
Written by brilev on 20 Mar, 2006
My first Dominican breakfast was delicious, and rather unhealthy. The platter consisted of mangú (mashed-up green platano) topped with salami, onions, fried eggs and large chunks of fried cheese.I was eating at a comfortable, friendly place called Mi Concón, on Lenox Avenue (#471) between 133rd…Read More
My first Dominican breakfast was delicious, and rather unhealthy. The platter consisted of mangú (mashed-up green platano) topped with salami, onions, fried eggs and large chunks of fried cheese.I was eating at a comfortable, friendly place called Mi Concón, on Lenox Avenue (#471) between 133rd and 134th streets. Wanting to expand my Spanish vocabulary, I asked the man at the counter, "What does concón mean?""You want to know what is a concón?" Then a female cook came out from the kitchen. "I hear you want to know about concón. I show you the concón?"I said, "Well, I mean it’s not really that important." Images flashed through my head of some man-eating doberman with a dog tag reading Concón.It turns out concón is the hardened rice you scratch off from the bottom of the frying pan. She said, "We serve it with gravy and meat," and then proceeded to do exactly that. Next thing I know I’m up to my ears in mangú and concón and some kind of meat and fried eggs and a lemonade — and it’s only 11 in the morning.My next stop was the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, at 515 Malcolm X Boulevard. (Due to ongoing construction, the temporary entrance is located around the corner at 103 W. 135th Street.)Amateur researchers, like myself, can have a field day at the center. I pulled up old issues of the Amsterdam News from the early 1940s. The articles shine a light on racist violence in the South, and widespread discrimination against blacks enlisted in the Army.You get a real sense of how World War II drove African American identity in two separate directions. Does one fight a war for freedom in Europe when justice at home remains an illusion? On the other hand, this was a war that unified Americans. Not to mention provided them jobs. "ALUMINUM Is the Key War Metal," reads one classified ad, "Help Produce Aluminum and You Will Help Open the Door to Victory."Be sure to check out the first-floor exhibit, "In Motion: The African American Migration Experience." Photographs and documents tell the story of a dozen or so migrations dating back to the 15th century Atlantic slave trade and up to present-day arrivals from the Caribbean. The coolest part about the free audio guides: listen to great migration-minded songs by the likes of Chuck Berry and Harry Belafonte. "In Motion" runs through June 2006.I met up with my friend Joe at the corner of 135th and Lenox Avenue. We walked to Strivers Row at 138th and 139th between 7th and 8th avenues. This fine stretch of brownstones was constructed for upper class whites at the turn of the 20th century. But the developers misread Harlem’s changing demography. They ultimately, and very reluctantly, sold these homes to black families. (Strivers Row, by the way, is the title of Kevin Baker’s latest work of historical fiction. It’s a great read and inspired me to make the trip up here in the first place.)Hunger once again. We caught a bus down to 125th Street, the commercial thoroughfare that accounts for 90% of what most outsiders associate with Harlem. Sylvia’s is the best know soul food tourist trap around here, but the line was too long. We ended up eating very good soul food — fried chicken and collared greens—in a place that doubled as a pizza parlor, and with a Latino guy serving the food no less.We braved the bitter cold and walked west all the way to Grant’s Tomb. What an incredible place, right on the bluffs overlooking the Hudson River. I’d never quite understood why the Ohio-born Ulysses S. Grant was buried in New York City. (Technically, he’s not buried in the ground, which is why this is not called Grant's Grave.)I learned that Grant lived his last years in New York, much of it spent writing his now-famous memoirs. It was a race against the biological clock: to complete the book and ensure financial stability for his family before passing away. He would succumb to throat cancer on July 23, 1885, just days after penning the final word of his masterpiece.On the main floor, there is a small museum that covers the life of Grant, and the history of his tomb. Down below are the massive marble coffins of both Ulysses and his wife Julia Grant, encircled by busts of famous Civil War generals. The scene is eerie but cool. In fact, the whole place is quite cool. According to the National Park Service, it’s the largest mausoleum in North America.We left the memorial and Joe headed back to his apartment in Hamilton Heights. I decided to cross the street and take a peak inside the massive Riverside Church. To my surprise, I walked right into a memorial service for Al Lewis, the man who played "Grandpa" on the Munsters and later ran for governor of New York on the Green Party ticket.Just like Grant’s Tomb, this was a celebration of life more than death, and very nearly a political rally. The pews were filled with engaged young people, grey-bearded hippies, and women with ruffled hair and too many satchels and bags and such. It was a wonderful snapshot. A community of people, interacting and reminiscing.Close
Written by britgirl7 on 04 May, 2005
The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was something I always saw on the TV since living in America. I would sit at home in Dallas (usually on a sunny and warm November day) and see the New York crowds gathering with their steaming mugs of coffee…Read More
The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was something I always saw on the TV since living in America. I would sit at home in Dallas (usually on a sunny and warm November day) and see the New York crowds gathering with their steaming mugs of coffee in the cold streets, and I would think how festive it all looked. I’m from England, so this to me was how the holidays should be-not basking in the sun. So that following year, we went to New York to see it in person and what an experience it is.
Admittedly, you really don’t get to see too much of the parades, as the crowds are dense. Certainly what you see at home, on your TV set, is superior, but I didn’t care. I was there, grasping my hot coffee purchased from a local deli, with my finger ends freezing off and fog coming out of my mouth with the cold air. This felt right--and fun!!
Also, when you see the show at home and you see all the people sitting in a grandstand, unless you have contacts at Macy’s department store, that won’t be you!! You cannot buy tickets to this event--it’s for anyone and everyone to pile into the streets and get as close to the parade route as possible.
This usually runs from 77th Street/Central Park West and ends at the Macy's department store on 34th Street and 6th Avenue and has been in operation for over 75 years now.
We have returned a few times since our first experience, as we love the atmosphere so much. In fact, right after 9/11, when everyone suggested they cancel the parade, they went on and held an even better event with all the usual gigantic balloons and floats, as well as extra ones commemorating the brave fire and policemen who lost their lives. It was enough to make most visitors and locals alike have tears in their eyes that day.
This parade started with a European link, as the first-generation immigrant workers from Macy’s department store wanted to celebrate this American holiday with some traditions of their own. It began with the employees marching on a much shorter route dressed in fancy costume, floats, bands, and live animals like goats and dogs.
The big balloons did not come into the picture until years later and obviously they were much smaller back then than what you see floating above the buildings today.
I think the only time this parade has ever been cancelled was the few years during the war and once again in 1971, when the winds were just too great.
Written by britgirl7 on 03 May, 2005
No trip to New York is complete without a visit to the lower Manhattan area commonly known as Little Italy. This area of restaurants, bakeries, cappuccino houses, and shops is actually very small and seems to be shrinking each year as Chinatown swallows it up.…Read More
No trip to New York is complete without a visit to the lower Manhattan area commonly known as Little Italy. This area of restaurants, bakeries, cappuccino houses, and shops is actually very small and seems to be shrinking each year as Chinatown swallows it up. There used to be 100,000 residents, and now those numbers are closer to 11,000.
The main street to look for is Mulberry Street, and this is where you will find all the most famous restaurants. Little Italy encompassed about 6 blocks on my last visit, from Canal Street toward Prince Street. Its close to SoHo, and closer still to China town.
Mulberry Street is the busiest and loudest. Restaurant owners usually stand outside their place of business trying to herd you inside, rather than see you walk on to the next restaurant. The sidewalks are packed with small and tables and chairs for impromptu al fresco dining, so it can get very crowded. However, on a weekend evening the roads are closed off and you can move around much easier.
People come here to experience the atmosphere and, of course, to EAT. You can find anything from expensive, romantic dining to homemade ‘mom and pop’ establishments. Be prepared in the latter to squeeze into tables and share with others if necessary.
I have included a small mix of places to tell you about in this review, but most people don’t come to Little Italy with a restaurant in mind. All you have to do is walk up and down the street and see what menu tempts you the most, or which restaurateur is the most persuasive.
For a romantic treat, try the IL CORTILE.This restaurant at 125 Mulberry Street is well known for its award-winning menu. There were so many Italian foods to try from, I had to have the waitstaff help me out. I eventually settled on the homemade gnocchi. At $18, it was more than I would have expected to pay in this area, but on tasting it, I had no regrets about my choice. Most of the meat dishes were between $20-$25. There was also an antipasti menu where the prices were $10-$15. If you are coming for lunch, you can almost halve those prices.
The food was obviously a great reason to choose Il Cortile, but the setting was stunning, as the restaurant has a garden room that makes you feel as though you really are in a Tuscan garden, with vines and plants everywhere and big stone fireplaces.
For a total change of pace, try LA MELA. This is a family-style Italian eatery located at 167 Mulberry Street. It’s loud and always busy, a great place to come for a party. The menu is large and is served up until 2am (3am on weekends). You can choose from the menu or opt for family-style, which will set you back about $32 per person and consists of five courses with wine. I guarantee that if you choose this option, you will be rolling out of here. La Mela is boisterous and makes you feel as though you are part of a big Italian family. If granny sits down for a few minutes at your table and strikes up a conversation, don’t be too surprised.
Don’t expect intimate surroundings here, as the tables are close together, and you will find it impossible to whisper sweet nothings!!
One more food establishment you must try is FERRARA, though this café is purely a pastry-and-cappuccino kind of place. It’s at 195 Grand street, which is between Mulberry and Mott. Ferrara Bakery has been around through four generations, with the Ferrara family making Italian/French desserts right there since 1892.
If you are reading this experience with fond memories of Little Italy or have not yet been, the website even delivers its delicious pastries right to your door (if within U.S.).
Written by Samlawali on 09 Jun, 2005
I attended my first and only tree-lighting ceremony in the winter of 2003 at Rockefeller Center. Our company had sponsored a trip for some of the top performers in our territory to spend a couple of days in New York City. In conjunction with the…Read More
I attended my first and only tree-lighting ceremony in the winter of 2003 at Rockefeller Center. Our company had sponsored a trip for some of the top performers in our territory to spend a couple of days in New York City. In conjunction with the trip, we were promoting our new branding in New York, as we had recently opened a couple of new branches.
I remember that the weather was really cold, which was surprising due to the number of people who attended the event. I have never seen so many people in one spot, packed like sardines. Fortunately, there was a festive mood in the air, and everyone was really friendly, contrary to what the common misconception is regarding the people of New York.
If I recall correctly, the tree was a Norway Spruce and was donated by Frances and Adolph Katkauskas from Manchester, Connecticut. The ceremony was, of course, televised by NBC, as their headquarters are located right at Rockefeller Center. This ceremony has occurred every year since 1931, when workmen decided to place a tree at the worksite of the center. It has been a yearly tradition ever since.
This year, there were 30,000 bulbs used to light the tree, which was 79 feet tall, weighed in at about 9 tons, and was 50 years old. Some of the entertainment at the event were Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson; the cast of The West Wing, who dedicated the tree lighting to the American soldiers fighting for freedom; Harry Connick, Jr.; Gloria Estefan; and Kelly Clarkson and Ruben Studdard from American Idol. Al Roker and Ann Curry hosted the event.
While attending the event was fun, I think that I will be watching it from the warmth of my living room from now on. Unless I get another free trip...
Written by Samlawali on 02 Nov, 2005
One warm, muggy, rainy Sunday in July a group of us decided to go and see the Empire State Building. We had parked our car in one of the numerous 24-hour parking garages. The one we chose was located on West 45th Street right across…Read More
One warm, muggy, rainy Sunday in July a group of us decided to go and see the Empire State Building. We had parked our car in one of the numerous 24-hour parking garages. The one we chose was located on West 45th Street right across from the Lyceum Theatre where we had tickets to see “Steel Magnolias” later that afternoon.
The streets were fairly quiet, which was unusual for a Sunday in the city. I guess the rain that was sprinkling down, combined with the heavy humidity, kept folks away. We walked up to 6th Avenue and over to 42nd Street. As we crossed over and looked west, we could catch a glimpse of the Chrysler Building, its art-deco scalloped peak reaching into the clouds. Once we hit 42nd, a few of us had to make pit stop and take care of some personal business.
We stopped at Bryant Park, located between 40th and 42nd Streets. It looked lovely even in the light rain that seemed to come and go. There were plenty of trees and beautiful manicured bushes and flowers. Tables and benches were scattered throughout to be used for a quick picnic or people watching. Requisite tourists were taking photos of friends and family in front of the gardens. All this was surrounded by a wrought iron fence and the hustle and bustle of the city that you barely knew were beyond the park borders.
After our quick detour we continued west to 5th Avenue and made a right. On the corner of 42nd and 5th is a beautiful piece of architecture known as the NY Public Library. This has been featured prominently in many movies, including “Ghostbusters” and most recently “The Day After Tomorrow”. From here, you could just see the top of St. Patrick’s Cathedral 5 blocks west of our location.
We instead headed south 9 blocks to the corner of 34th and 5th. Along the way we dodged puddles, crazy drivers and the occasional street vendor hawking umbrellas. We came upon the entrance of the Empire State Building where a small group of people had gathered, waiting for the guides to open the doors at 10:00 am. Just as the doors opened we looked up to see how high we could follow the most famous skyscraper in NYC. Unfortunately, with the rain and clouds only the bottom half was visible.
We decided to go in and look around as we had walked all this way, although we did not expect to see much from the observation deck. The crowd moved quickly and we entered into a marble and slate foyer where we were greeted by a large mural of the building. Here you can find restrooms, the gift shop and the escalators to the top of the first level, which I am guessing is the fourth or fifth floor. A guide there confirmed our suspicions that there was zero visibility at the top. Looking at the price of admission, $14 per person for the observation deck and $20 per person for the deck view and a quick historical video. We decided to take some quick pictures and come back another day when the view would be worth the price of admission.
Although we did not get to see the view from the top, we were treated to some of the local points of interest the City had to offer and with our walk back to the Theater District we worked up an appetite for our lunch at “Carmines”.
Written by Samlawali on 13 Jan, 2006
After leaving Grotto Azzurra totally full and waddling down the street after visiting Ferrara’s Bakery, the three of us decided to walk the couple of blocks to Canal Street, infamous for its great deals on accessories and the like. I had heard of the urban…Read More
After leaving Grotto Azzurra totally full and waddling down the street after visiting Ferrara’s Bakery, the three of us decided to walk the couple of blocks to Canal Street, infamous for its great deals on accessories and the like. I had heard of the urban legend of the knock-off high-end brand name merchandise that can be found on Canal Street. Supposedly, if you visit the right store and mention that you are looking for a certain brand, there may be a secret room that houses such things. If you turn south on Mulberry and follow it for three blocks you will run directly into infamous Canal Street. Here there is store after store after store selling purses, gloves, pashminas, ruwanas, sunglasses, jewelry (both costume and authentic gold and silver) and much, much more. After walking east towards Broadway, we found one promising looking storefront with a nice selection of purses. As we entered I noticed the wide variety of product, but nothing that even resembled the knockoffs we were in search of.After a few minutes, my friend Carolyn called my name from the next aisle over and said she wanted me to look at something. Naively, I walked over and asked what she had, thinking it was a nice pair of gloves or something. She leaned over and whispered to me conspiratorially, “I asked if they sell Coach and they are going to show us what they have. Where’s Rose?” I located our other friend, Rose, near the front of the store and called her over. We were quickly joined by one of the women who were manning the store. She quietly asked, “How many of you are there?” “Three,” we responded. “Come this way,” she orders. We follow her to a back wall, hidden from the front doors and windows and in my mind I am hearing the theme from Mission Impossible. You remember, dun, duuunda, dun, duuunda...Weird, I know, but I felt like we are on a secret mission. Looking around, avoiding direct eye contact with the other patrons, thinking each one is a spy...As we come to the rear of the building I see a stack of two or three really large boxes and think to myself, “Is that it? Is that what all the brouhaha is about?” To my surprise and delight the woman moves the boxes to the side and pushes on the wall about three quarters of the way up and "click" a section of the wall opens. She ushers us inside and by this time my heart is beating a mile a minute thinking first, that the police are going to raid us at any moment and second, amazed at all the treasures that are before us. Rack upon rack of Coach, Prada and Louis Vuitton are hanging from the walls. There are even some gorgeous Chanel bags being displayed. It was like coming upon the cave full of treasure in “The Goonies”, except that this was a shopper’s paradise and the room was a lot smaller. I think the room actually glowed a little and I could swear I heard the song of angels for moment. The three of us stood there dumbfounded for a minute and then one of us giggled, and that just set us all off. We started to laugh uncontrollably until the woman quickly shushed us. We spent around 5-10 minutes in the room, looking at all the loot, but nothing really hit our fancy. The others thought some of the product was actually pretty cheap looking for the price. $45 for a mid-size black-on-black Coach Bag that probably goes for over double that in actual retail. I was just happy we got the opportunity to visit the "secret" room.As we turned to leave, the saleswoman spoke into her cell phone/walkie talkie in some sort of foreign language, I am assuming to check to see if the coast was clear before we exited, which just added to our first experience in international espionage. As we were quickly ushered out, I noticed another woman being led to the sacred place we had just left. I hope she found something she liked…and also what agency SHE worked for...dun duunda, dun duunda, dundadaaa, dundadaaa...Close