Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Wonderful Town

As much as I travel to seek out new places and to try new things, there are a few spots that I’ll gladly return to time and again. New York City is just that place.

Just the other day, a business acquaintance told me she was headed to New York, asked me if I’d been before, and if I had any suggestions for what to see and do. I spent the next 45 minutes, over an endless hotel breakfast buffet of nasi lemak and kaya toast, describing in detail all the things I loved about New York.

For one thing, the food’s amazing—no argument there. Secondly, some of my closest friends are there and, thirdly, the city never fails to surprise me with something new and different.

Leslie and I take in The Frying Pan.
Take my most recent trip this past September: As much as I felt at home strolling through the East Village or visiting my favorite museums, I still found myself feeling like a first-time visitor when I discovered new spots and sights. Thanks, in large part, to the suggestions of my dear friend (and converted New Yorker/devoted blogger) Leslie, I stumbled onto two new favorites:

Taking The High Line
On a long walk from my hotel on 29th and Park Avenue to the Meatpacking District, I took some time to explore The High Line. At first, when my friend Leslie described it, I had no idea what to really expect from it—a formerly derelict railroad track with a park on it.

Well, it is just that—and a lot more. I didn’t think I’d be totally bowled over by The High Line but I was. Maybe it was the perfect end-of-summer weather, or the fact that I was so exhausted and slightly dehydrated that The High Line seemed like some magical oasis in the middle of an urban jungle. Whatever the reason—I just loved it.

I love that you can literally walk right under this building.

If You Can’t Take the Heat, Head to The Frying Pan
A dingy, craggy, formerly sunken ship docked off Pier 66 Maritime near New York’s Chelsea Piers might not sound like the most appealing of venues, but the Lightship #115 Frying Pan more than makes up for its outward appearance with plenty of free-flowing draft beers, burgers and amazing sunsets.

According to its website, the ship spent three years stuck at the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay before being restored in 1989. What’s even better is that the Frying Pan doesn’t even try to hide its previous rough-and-tumble history—it practically basks in it. Even the interior of the ship boasts barnacles, and musty, salt-tinged smells infuse every nook and cranny on the inside. I mean, who doesn’t love a dive bar that has literally taken a dive before?

A really outdated photo of The Frying Pan, but I think it (sorta) captures it charm. Guess you just have to see it for yourself. // (c) The Frying Pan/NYMag.com

Now, that’s my kind of bar—and my kind of New York. What’s yours?

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