NY Tourist in My Own Town

Nov 21st, 2009, 08:48 PM
  #1  
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NY Tourist in My Own Town

For the past month we have had guests, cousins from Spain and nieces and nephews who rarely come to NY. So we played host and lived some tourist experiences.

The young cousins came from Montreal by Greyhound bus. NY'ers call the bus terminal Port of Authority while all others call it the Port Authority. And while the hookers and drug dealers are long gone at least they worked for a living as opposed to their replacements, the personnel at Greyhound. There are no monitors or boards indicating where buses would arrive or depart. And when I asked them which gate the bus was to arrive, "I dunno know," was the usual answer but my favorite response was when I asked was the bus was arriving at such and such gate, the woman said, "Could be." Their bus arrived on a different level and fortunately we found them. Bring back the hookers and dealers. You don’t even see a three card monte dealer any more.

Our young cousins only wanted to see the Spanish artists at the Met and thought Retiro in Madrid was more beautiful than Central Park in autumn. They had a decidedly Spanish bias. We did not argue. They loved seeing Halloween in NY with everyone on the subway and streets dressed for the occasion and the Top of the Rock. Although it was rainy evening the vista was spectacular. Like many NY’ers I have not been to the top of the Empire State building but the Top of the Rock offers many different views from a different levels. Of course, all roads lead to rip off souvenir shops and blurry photographic remembrances.

They were picky, picky eaters as were my nieces, so I saved a fortune in money and time trying to pick out great places for them to eat. Grey’s papaya and pizza were enough. One sister-in-law who went everywhere with us speaks some Spanish but was hesitant to use it until we went to Lonabrdi’s and we discussed which topping to order. She suggested abogados when she meant albondigas (meatballs). Yes, she asked for sliced lawyers on the pizza but fortunately the waitress only spoke English.

The Spanish kids saved a lot of money shopping for jeans on lower Broadway. Back home a pair of Levis costs $120, here with the discounts and the terrible dollar they cost $60 or $70. They went into many stores over three hours. The chairs at Ralph Lauren are the most comfortable and they have countless picture of me napping.

We did have a party in the house for nieces and nephews where we served pastrami from Katz’s, potatonick from Moishe’s, and cheese cake from Veniero’s. Even the picky people enjoyed it. By the way, to resurrect dead pastrami, put the pastrami (corned beef or tongue) in between dampen layers of paper toweling on a paper plate and nuke for about 40 seconds. It tastes wonderful. Katz’s pastrami is probably the best I have ever eaten (although I like the side dishes much better at 2nd Avenue.) When I stopped at Russ and Daughters, I chatted with one of the lox cutters. We talked about the changing restaurant climate. He said I was the first person who remembered rolled beef from the old deils. It was fatty beef girded in string. As kids we would lick the string. It looked a little like braciole, but braciole tastes better. There is a reason why rolled beef is hard to find.

My nieces and nephews claimed they wanted to see NY but they lied. Even when I gave the death and destruction tour, they were uninterested. My grown niece wanted her 16 year old daughter to get a tattoo. Fortunately the tat parlors had more sense than her as the adhered to the law. They bought crappy T-shirts and were happy with that.

I too am now happy that I can walk around the apartment in my underwear again.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2009, 03:46 AM
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Warren - you can leave retirement and become a tour guide! Sounds like you had fun. Get up to Lincoln Center and Museum of the City of New York and MOMA and play tourist without the visitors. Much more interesting and less hassle.
SueNYC is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2009, 04:38 AM
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Great stories.

I'm sure those from Montreal boasted that you have nothing that compares with or is as good as smoked meat on "the Main" (Schwartz's).
Myer is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2009, 05:12 AM
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None werw interested in MOMA but earlier this year we took some fitst time teenaged visitors to NY there. When we provided explantions of some of the works, they approached the works differently.

Our cousin in Montreal is just conducting research there and is terrified of the snow. She leaves next week and although
she is seen much of Montreal, I doubt whether appreciated the smoked meats. I think Timmy Horton's is more her speed.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2009, 05:33 AM
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I had a tour guide's daze off afternoon yesterday. Went on one of the bus loops set up for Brooklyn art galleries for the day. The "tour guide" knew and/or said nothing about the neighborhoods we rode through. the "art guide" knew and/or said nothing about the gallery stops along the way. Once we (a tour guide friend whose daughter founded MOCADA -- www.mocada.org) left the bus, we had a great time visiting 3 galleries.
SueNYC is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2009, 03:49 AM
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Isn't it true Adu? I recently took Texan relatives on
a Circle Line 2-hr which I had never done on a gorgeous
balmy sunny day, then to Katz's & Yonah Shimmel's where they
enjoyed both immensely & then to the Underground Comic
Festival.
great day in our city!
Rhea58 is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2009, 05:09 AM
  #7  
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It is interesting once in a while to see the city anew.

Sue
An English friend suggested I give tours for other Brits, thinking they would appreciate my irreverence. But unless the economy heds south again, I prefer to be a bum.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2009, 10:25 AM
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Funny! My DH ordered two biscuits to Rome at train station. Laughing is good.
TDudette is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2009, 04:58 PM
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I had to laugh about Port Authority ( had no idea there's an of in it). It's not just greyhound, have you ever asked for help at the "customer service " booth? Talk about rude and clueless. Anytime I arrive at Port Authority, I call my brother, tell him what I see, he says don't move, and somehow finds me to get me out of that chaos.
absolutkz is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2009, 07:02 PM
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There is no "of" in it, we just add "of" for no apparent reason.

Ask a NY'er about Thursday and they will say the Macy's Day Parade as if had nothing to do with Thamksgiving.

"Where ya goin?"

"Macy's Day Parade." The real name is too long.
Aduchamp1 is offline  

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