“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.” – Tom Wolfe
One hundred hours is far too little time to spend in New York City. However, I set off to do just that. What follows is the first of a four-part series on my Big Apple adventure.
Armed with a Lonely Planet pocket guide, MetroCard, and my warmest wool coat, I spent my first day in New York exploring the streets of Greenwich Village, the foodie finds of Chelsea Market and Eataly, and the towering titans of Midtown.
Greenwich Village aka “the Village” is a charming, walkable neighborhood, full of brownstones and red brick, notable for its bohemian inhabitants and proximity to NYU. I spent the morning walking around the Village’s quiet grid-patterned streets.
The Village is home to the Cherry Lane Theatre (the city’s longest running off-Broadway theater), Cafe Wha? (where many comics and musicians got their start, including Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Joan Rivers, and Lenny Bruce), and Comedy Cellar (frequented by top notch comics like Louis C.K. and Dave Chappelle).
Jefferson Market Library is truly an unusual building. Once a courthouse, it was preserved and is now a public library.
Christopher Park, which sits across from the Stonewall Inn, marks the site of the 1969 Stonewall Riots.
The Washington Square Arch frames the lively square, frequented by students and professors, hipsters and bohemians, and street performers.
And, of course, the Friends apartment is just down the street from Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment. Comedy Cellar (and the Village, more generally) is a frequent guest on Louie. It’s no surprise that the Village’s beautiful architecture, bohemian vibe, and comedy scene have lent inspiration to some of my favorite shows.
After a morning of exploring the Village, I made my way to Chelsea Market to refuel and check out the foodie scene.
Formerly a Nabisco factory, Chelsea Market now serves as an indoor marketplace and a haven for foodies. Gourmet goodies and restaurants line the market’s halls. I stopped at an oyster bar for lunch, where I savored fresh oysters and littleneck clams.
After lunch, I began making my way toward Midtown on foot.
On the walk, I stopped at Eataly, in further pursuit of foodie fun. Eataly was a maze of gourmet Italian goodies, crawling with people looking for a quick lunch, espresso, or gelato to enjoy while admiring the Flatiron Building across the street, and others searching for the just the right salumi, fresh pasta, or cookware to complete a carefully planned Italian feast.
Then, I made my way to Midtown . . .
. . . and took in the breathtaking views from the Empire State Building . . .
. . . made a stop through Grand Central Station . . .
. . . did a quick run through the New York Public Library (unfortunately, the reading room was closed) . . .
. . . then off to Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall. . .
. . . and oh, the merriness . . .
. . . then, completed the Midtown tour at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
And, finally, I ended the day with some cocktails and the famous whole chicken at the Michelin-rated restaurant at The NoMad Hotel. Beneath the skin, the chicken is stuffed with foie gras, black truffle, and brioche. Milk & Honey also deserves mentioning for an excellent, innovative dessert. YUM!
After a long and fulfilling first day of sightseeing, I was happy to rest and recharge at the FiDi boutique hotel, Gild Hall.