In Memorial

I arrived in New York to find it just how I left it last, save one glaring difference… It’s God damned cold! The coat I bought in preparation is doing me alright but there will definitely be an addition made to my wardrobe while I’m here.

As always we wasted no time and got right to the good times. I met up with with the Segermeisters, Christian and our psudo-guide Mellissa and we headed to Breslin where the Laphroag was plentiful and the laughs abounded. Then we hit a dive bar I didn’t bother getting the name of. A quick stop at grays papaya for some delicious hotogs doused in caramelized onions and a final set of drinks at Down the Hatch where a yelling match about M&M not being the greatest white rapper signaled that it’s probably time for us to turn in.

We awoke the next day with signature deli food on our collective minds, so we headed to Carnegie Deli where the four of us split two pastrami sandwiches, no one finished their half.

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We then ran over to the apple store because Christian needed some Jobs branded knickknack, the rest of us took the opportunity to visit FAO Schwarz, a toy store that my parents were wise enough not to let me know existed when I was a child. This place just isn’t fair, so many awesome things that no one person can own all of.

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Then we headed to ground zero where the 9/11 memorial is mostly complete. The site where the horrible tragedy of 2001 happened is now a beautiful but poignant memorial to the many souls that lost their lives here, tragically, because of the misguided  ideals of zealots who believed that killing the innocent was an ok thing to do.

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We then headed to the financial district and to battery park. The weather definitely made park visiting less of a visual treat but I managed to snap a couple of shots of key points. The barricades are still up along most monuments and statues in this part of the city from the occupy protests that have been happening recently.

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After that we headed down to Canal St. to haggle with the shop owners and see who could get the best knock off, I think Christian won this round with his very reasonably priced Omega.

A quick stop into St. Andrews for some 18 year Glenmorangie while we waited for the show to start then we headed in to Avenue Q. Saying that I was unaware of what I was walking into is beyond an understatement. I knew puppets were involved but not that this was a foul mouthed exhibition of hilarious puppetry.  Yes it was a musical but not like you’d expect, ‘Everyone is a little bit racist’ and ‘The internet is for porn’ are only a couple of the awesomely hilarious and off color titles of the songs performed by the puppets and their human counterparts.

We then headed to Crif Dogs where I had a ‘good morning’ which is a hot dog wrapped in bacon and deep fried, served over a fried egg and a slice of American cheese. We were way early for our reservation at PDT so we headed to McSorleys. This place was so refreshingly authentic. In a city of gluten free decaf chai lates Mc Sorleys is a little slice of Ireland. You walk in, are seated wherever there is room (we were thrown at a table of NYU alums who were kind enough to share some NY war stories) and given 2 choices, “light or dark”. You make your choice and two mugs of whatever you expressed desire to drink are brought to the table for each patron. The dark was delightful. Also, I was wearing my Killkenny sweater and the gentleman who brought us our beers asked me about it, when I told him that I bought it in Killkenny when I was there last year he made a comment about how he remembered that being a rough town and they must have softened up to let a foreigner like me wear their colors, it was all in jest and made the atmosphere that much more authentic.

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Then we headed back to Crif Dogs for our reservation at  PDT (Please Don’t Tell). Apparently this place was a true secret until Anthony Bourdain ousted it on his new show but either way it was new to us and a real gem. You enter the establishment through a phone booth in Crif Dogs, you have to pick up the phone and clear your entrance with the hidden establishment, here’s a shot of me at the hidden portal.

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Once inside the menu consisted of some very specific and meticulously designed foods and drinks. Yes the main focus was still hot dogs but these hot dogs were like no other, kimchee and oyster dogs with all sorts of special sauces. Drinks crafted by some of NY’s most renowned mixologists. The ambient was dark and intimate and as a complete coincidence my “happy song” ‘bombay’ by El Guincho was playing just as we sat down, this was definitely a sign.

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The ‘I knew about this place before it was cool’ element was palpable but the food and amazing quality of the drinks did a great deal to overcome that. This hipster owl should make the point.

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We brushed off this minor draw back and managed to have a time and a half anyway.

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Oh yea, I had the tots with chorizo gravy…

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and yes they were as good as that sounds. I ended up finishing pretty much every drink that was ordered but here are the contents of a couple of the ones I actually ordered:

Shark:

Butter infused flor de cana silver dry rum, Wray and nephew overproof rum, frangelico, blue curacao, lemon & pineapple juices, cream, bittermans elemakule tiki bitters.

Kansai Kick:

Yamazaki 12 year old Japanese whisky, blandy’s special madeira, lime juice and orgeat.

Although a bunch of other things were ordered, this should give you an idea of what this place is all about. Also, you’re not allowed to speak on the phone while inside the bar and there are no public displays of affection permitted. I love this place, but it led to an acute case of amnesia for the ride home. This was the end of the night.

Cojelo,

Robbie

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