New York City: touring and eating

by anneMoore on July 28, 2016

The college tour continued, in New York, where we stayed in Union Square with my sister Mary Beth (thank you) and visited two of mbandmeColumbia University’s undergraduate colleges: Columbia College and Barnard College. Each deserves a day, and that’s how we toured.

We were in Morningside Heights, so we visited the magnificent Cathedral of St. John the Divine and stjohndivpicked up pastries at The Hungarian Bakery (1030 Amsterdam Ave., at 111th St.), unchanged since I was a Barnard student in the barnardmosaic‘80s. I looked fondly at the V&T Pizzeria marquee,  also unchanged. If we hadn’t already had lunch, I’d have been happy to revisit. Some tastes never fade.

Among the places we ate well: Le Monde (2885 Broadway at 112th St.), one of eight French restaurants in the city. I’m always pleased to dine with them: excellent French food, good service, lively bistro settings.

fifthaveCloser to my sister’s place is the newly opened Union Fare  restaurant and bakery. It’s huge, stretching from 18th street to 17th street, with entrances on both. We were a table of eight and had a delicious, reasonably priced dinner, with bang up service. Don’t miss their oyster bar, charcuterie, seasonal spreads. I had the seared black bass entree, with lentils, clams, fiddleheads, fava beans and so on: yum. The next morning, we picked up caffe lattes and breakfast pastries: lavender blueberry muffins, almond croissants, soft oversized pretzels (a New York City must).

Speaking of New York treasures, we dined on Bleeker Street at John’s (Brick Oven) Pizzeria. See above, about tastes one never forgets.

tessanneAnother spot I liked a lot, Le Grainne,  is near the High Line. There I had my kind of breakfast — a giant bowl of cafe au lait and a serving of yogurt with fruit — with my college roommate and dear friend Tess, who had a croque madame alongside her bowl of coffee. Le Grainne is the New York I remember: small, tin ceiling, tight tables, a place for a leisurely meal.

I can’t recommend the High Line at that hour (Sunday noon): clogged with people and more crowded than the streets below. Do go, of course: it’s a spectacular urban space, but go early morning or after dinner.

Another thing I love about New York: the city still has bookstores. Tess needed Father’s Day gifts, so we dropped in at the well curated 192 Books.

Final shout out: to New York Theatre Workshop’s production of Hadestown, a musical (I know, I’m not a fan, but I loved this one) based on the myths, love stories both, of Orpheus and Euridyce and of Hades and Persephone. Its industrialized mill town setting (Hades’ underworld) was eerily contemporary, with his calls for building a wall. We loved the folk opera score, the musicians, and the actors’ use of the small theatre, aisles and all.

Of course I read; I’m saving reviews for next post. ‘Til then.

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