A host of lively, quirky and (hopefully!) fascinating articles on things that many people love: food, travel, and live events at home in NYC and around the world. Click here to see Links to articles and journals at the bottom of the page…
Montreal (tourist photo) with my wife Marie, 2019.
In-depth information & entertaining writing on many of our travel & event experiences!
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Featured article below…
Happy Anniversary to us! (March 2019)
We’ve had some great and very memorable anniversaries…Savannah a year or two ago and Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 2016 to name but two. Marie booked off Monday and Tuesday and we’d decide what to do this year. In the end we thought we’d have fun relatively locally in NYC!
Sunday, Anniversary Part 1 – Lower Manhattan
Leaving around mid-morning, Marie drove us the couple of miles to Auburndale, Queens – the area we lived in for the first 3 plus years of our marriage – and to the train station close to our old garden apartment. It was chilly but bright and sunny as we waited on the platform in anticipation of the day ahead. We got the Long Island Rail Road train to Penn Station and transferred on to a subway train down to near South Street Seaport. We emerged a block away, and next to a Papaya Dog so why not start off with a casual hot dog! You eat them there standing up.
The area all around the seaport is not only full of long history, but in today’s world very smart as well as interesting too. It’s probably changed a lot since we last came here in 2006. A lot of the buildings are from the 18th and 19th century and the classic age of shipping, imports and exports. There are some tall ships in the piers, and then bright, airy markets and warehouses with a lot of fun eateries and pubs, plus some fancy shops. The famous Fulton Fish Market was here. You also have Brooklyn Bridge quite close by and can see all the tourists walking it!
We wandered around Water Street, Fulton Street and Front Street. We were going to allow ourselves snacks along the way. We noticed a branch of the Big Gay Ice Cream, which we hadn’t tried yet so kept that in mind for in a wee bit. In the meantime, we had a couple of very light Brazilian pastries – pao de queyo’s – at a dollar each. Nice, and practically the lightest of snacks I’d ever tried despite that they had cheese in them.
Marie suggested By Chloe for lunch, which she likes a lot and is actually vegan!! Bright, airy and relaxing in there, I must admit to really enjoying the vegan burger and pesto pasta.
Then we wandered around the piers, and took photos of each other with the tall ships behind. We decided not to go to the museum ($12 each) because, well we weren’t in the mood for museums. We just felt like a day of walking, people-watching, dog watching, munching, drinking and just enjoying that for its own sake. We relaxed on those wood board bed-seats next with a near view of Brooklyn Bridge. Then delicious, soft-serve ice creams sat on benches in a historic courtyard by Big Gay. Then more strolling around, along Water Street. It was an idyllic day and slow, beautiful walk with me taking quite a lot of photos of scenic views and of passers-by as we went along.
We then came across some colourful spinning prisms that caught our interest and we took some artsy photos of ourselves through those. We were looking for a bar called The Dead Rabbit, which we’d often thought about in the past but hadn’t tried yet. They’re well known for cocktails. Finding it, it’s a narrow, small bar downstairs and very popular. It’s Irish (I never knew), and had a nice buzz. We just about got bar stools next to a ledge. Then two stools opened up at the bar so we grabbed those. A lot of British voices amongst the customers, one quite vocal woman was telling someone that she’s from Aston, Birmingham (my home city) but that she’s taken elocution lessons so doesn’t have a strong “Brummie” accent! Marie and I had spotted a Birmingham accent as soon as we came in, so she wasn’t fooling us!
Marie had a small, but great Irish Coffee and myself a hot whiskey punch. We took our time and were enjoying ourselves.
We passed the historic, Fraunces Tavern next and would love to dine there sometime. To the area it’s what the Pink House is to Savannah, and the FT dates from the late 18th century.
Then through the beautiful square, Bowling Green, and to the small Battery Park which is not far from Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, and is the point at which most tourists get their tickets and embark. It was quite quiet this afternoon, though Marie had been very surprised that tourists had been clamouring around a well-known brass bull statue by the square (she said nobody took that much notice in the past).
We also passed the Sea Glass Carousel by the water, and had fun going on that!
Then (late afternoon now) a long, slow and photogenic walk along the water – lots of joggers, cyclists, many dog walkers etc – and gradually towards Tribeca and Walkers.
Every time we go to Walkers Tavern it’s extremely friendly. We had the same Argentinian waitress as last time and she loves to talk. We were purely coincidentally sat in almost the exact spot that my mum and my brother Martyn had sat in during the week of our wedding, in the second of the two exposed-brick elongated rooms that run behind the main bar room and parallel to it. The waitress also took us through a side door to an Italian restaurant next door, which she said is owned by the same couple (one Irish, one of Spanish descent) who own Walkers. They apparently also own the famous old ‘mom and pop’ bar The Ear Inn, in Soho, and which we haven’t been to yet. She mentioned how lovely the owners are, and that the staff can drink whenever they want and eat the best steak.
Marie and I shared a very delicious and very meaty, European style lasagna and then a chocolate, pecan caramel cake slice. I had an IPA, Marie a glass of pinot grigio and I also had a very strong Irish coffee afterwards. A humble jazz duo played in the corner of the room, classical guitar and upright bass.
We couldn’t believe that by the time we’d got back to Whitestone and home that we’d been out for twelve hours! A wonderful day, and bed after midnight!
Below, read about our visit to Nova Scotia…
Along with my brother, Martyn and a good friend, Chris, I started writing kind-of journals in my mid to late teens. At that time it was all hand-written, about experiences, gigs, girls, jokes etc. Much later on and we’re writing detailed journals which we send between New York, Amsterdam and Leighton Buzzard in the UK. When I married and moved to NYC in 2006 I started sending home more journals to family and friends in Europe about our life here, of our travels, restaurant and event experiences. Now I’d like to share some of these on this site, and we hope that you enjoy my ramblings (also that you find it all useful too)!