The Best Thing?

IMG_7361A good friend of mine who’s lived in NYC most of his adult life asked me what the BEST thing I’ve done since moving to the city was. I didn’t have an immediate answer. There was an awkward pause as he waited for me to speak, and then I said, “Everything.” And when I answered everything, I meant it.

Living in NYC, one can have a 24/7 feeling of FOMO. There literally is something fabulous going on all day and night, every day and night.  Keeping up with the NYC Jones’ can leave your bank account on fumes. To see more on less, I’ve recently applied for membership as a seat filler on Play-by-Play. For $100 a year you can buy a membership where you can reserve two seats for all sorts of performances for less than $10 a ticket. The only hitch is that the member must be there to pick up the tickets (and attend the show).

I’m not a live music fan. There I’ve said it. And it’s not because I don’t like music, I do. But I think I’ve boiled it down to the fact that at my age I want a seat. And a drink or two.  Friday night I was invited to a charity event at The Triad Theater. The word intimate best defines this spot. As you enter through the Turkish restaurant and walk up the tight squeeze of a staircase, you’ll find a lovely cabaret-like setting. They have some interesting upcoming shows on the calendar. I might actually return one day!

I found myself in Brooklyn Saturday night, quite literally under the Brooklyn Bridge on Water Street. The picture above is of me looking at the city from this beautiful vantage spot. I’d been here decades ago for a meal at The River Cafe  but hadn’t been back since. Wow, a lot has changed. Popping up from the subway, we passed a massive line for Juliana’s Pizza,  which thankfully was not my destination (emptynestnyc doesn’t like waiting), and we walked past several other buzzy spots before we arrived at Ignazio’s Pizza. I’ve never had a better view while eating pizza. The recommendation was from my friend Cozy who is a pizza aficionado and she’ll be doing a guest blog in the new year on where to eat the BEST pizza around the city.  Continuing on the topic of pizza, we took a large group of millennials to Speedy Romeo’s LES which had fabulous pizza, a great steak, and gulp-worthy cocktails. It’s located on Clinton Street, a very hip block on the Lower East Side with many yummy restaurant options and fun bars. It’s a few doors down from Ivan Ramen a favorite from Tokyo, and you can even make a reservation which is fascinating to me.

We went to see People, Places, and Things at St. Ann’s Warehouse  and I won’t talk about the play because it closes today, but I absolutely loved seeing a show here. It’s a modern take on a “theater in the round,” and the warehouse is totally cool. I’ll make sure to arrive early next time I see a play because I loved the vibe in the bar/lobby and you can take your drinks to your seat, which I always appreciate.

I’ve mentioned in a previous blog that since it’s only been five months since I moved back to the city, I’m still finding my “people.” I scored big last weekend when I went in search of a real Italian deli. I found Faicco’s Italian Specialities , a completely authentic spot in the West Village that’s been open since the 1900’s and now I know why. It’s that real and that good. It also happens to be right next door to the absolute best cheese shop Murray’s Cheese, so this makes it a very expeditious visit.

My yummy picks this week are Tim Ho Wan a fantastic dim sum spot within walking distance of Union Square. I was hesitant to recommend this place because they don’t take reservations and at peak times (and non-peak times) there are exhaustingly long lines. I never make a plan to go there. I book somewhere nearby and then when passing if there’s a short wait, I’ll cancel my reservation elsewhere and pop in. It has a Michelin star, but I don’t think there is a dish on the menu more than $10. If you are intimated by a dim sum menu, you won’t be here. The menu is your paper placemat with pictures that you check off a list. I’ve never had anything that wasn’t delicious.

Another new favorite is Boqueria. I’ve walked by this place dozens of times as it’s around the block and in addition to being sucked in by the large prosciutto hocks hanging in the window, there is always a cool crowd with a hopping vibe. I can now confirm that the carpet matches the drapes; the food is divine.

Thanks for reading. Off to find a Christmas Tree, which should be interesting!




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