Friday, May 30, 2008
Boasting 1,131 seats, plush red walls, and, most importantly, delicious popcorn, the Ziegfeld is one of the few movie palaces still remaining in New York. In these days of 24-screen multiplexes, the Ziegfeld hangs on with its single theater, its grandeur and charm making it a great place to see just about anything.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Budget Travel's June issue has an article entitled "50 Reasons You Love New York City," short blurbs sent in by readers. Lots of good ones, including Economy Candy and the Frick Museum, but our favorite is #50, sent in by Stephanie Najor of Detroit, Michigan:
"New York is inconvenient. It makes you work a little harder. It forces you to interact—with taxi drivers, street musicians, people riding the subway, people talking on cell phones, people talking to themselves. With life. I love it. Unconditionally."
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Located on the corner of Divine and Deliciousness, Cones serves homemade Argentinean ice cream—think a cross between gelato and traditional American ice cream, elastic and thin—and only homemade Argentinean ice cream. Two brothers opened the store in 1994, and together they make each and every flavor, by hand (a batch takes about 50 minutes). When we were last there, the featured flavor blended corn with Johnnie Walker and cost twice as much as everything else, including grapefruit, pear, tiramisu, black cherry, mate (green tea), and dulce de leche. To increase our intake, we usually order a taste of something new, then fall back on our old standbys: mint chocolate chip and coconut.
It’s pretty great that you receive a chocolate-filled cookie-swizzle stick when you order a waffle cone, but better still are the postcards pasted up near the cash register. Sent by kids away at summer camp, they read, “I miss my mom and you too,” “Camp is OK, but Cones is great,” “Save me some chocolate,” “See you soon.” Yeah, our sentiments exactly.
How wonderful to live in New York at a time when the City Room---the New York Times Blog covering Government & Politics, Crime & Public Safety, Transportation, Schools, Housing & Economy, People & Neighborhoods---can spend 1500 words talking to Margaret Tice, who coordinates children’s services for the New York Public Library.
According to her, kids books about New York are big, including “The Man Who Walked Between Towers” and “The Tale of Pale Male.” She also claims that Olivia the pig is a New Yorker, because “she’s very bold, and brassy, and wants to have her own way.” Fair enough, but you could make the same argument about Curious George, who likes to look, listen, and, usually, get involved; Arthur and Harry Potter, whose chic glasses identify them as consummate consumers; and even Elmo, who whiles away the day on his stoop. This city's definitely big enough for all them all, large and small, furry and nonfurry.
Friday, May 16, 2008
There are many, many things we love about the Bronx Zoo and the Wildlife Conservation Society, but one that stands out is the Congo Gorilla Forest exhibit. The largest artificial rain forest in the world, Congo Gorilla Forest leads visitors on a winding trail through 6.5 acres of habitat that house 75 animal species and an astonishing 15,000 plants from 400 species. The design is marvelous--it was recently picked by New York Magazine as one of the 20 most important pieces of New York architecture of the last 40 years--and one of our favorite touches is the way the famously secretive okapi is screened by trees and brush, making it only slightly easier to see in the zoo than it is in the wild.
But the centerpiece, of course, is the lowland gorilla population, 22 individuals in all. The gorilla family is headed by the silverback Timmy and his first mate, Pattycake, who was the first gorilla ever born in New York. (Together, they produced one of the only sets of gorilla twins ever born and raised in a zoo.) The gorillas move through an undulating, tree-filled environment that allows them privacy if they want it; being primates, however, they are tremendously social and some seem to watch the visitors even more closely than the visitors watch them. Stepping up to the glass while Timmy stares back at you--he's particularly partial to people-watching--is an uncanny experience. You simultaneously feel our kinship and our difference, and while you certainly feel guilty, you also feel hopeful, since if we can build a zoo exhibit that produces such a complex sensation, it is surely within our power to keep such magnificent animals with us.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
New York pizza is something we’ve written about before, but one of the great things about living in such a diverse place is that even within the ostensibly straightforward category of pizzerias, there is wide variation in style and experience. While we love Grimaldi’s and Totonno’s and Lombardi’s, there’s a special little corner of our heart reserved for La Pizza Fresca. One of only a few American pizzerias certified by the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana, the governing body of Neapolitan-style pizza, La Pizza Fresca makes pies that, according to AVPN’s exacting standards for authenticity, are 9-10 inches across, can be folded twice without breaking, have been cooked in a wood-burning oven, and are made with Italian flour and ingredients native to the Naples area. Though they share the basic American pizza framework of crust with some stuff on it, the resemblances end there: one of our favorites, the Emilia, is topped with balsamic vinegar and Parmigiano Reggiano, and we recently enjoyed the Bianca Neve, with bufala mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and roasted garlic. Different, but delicious.
Monday, May 12, 2008
If you spend any time in New York, you're bound to see one: in the park, at the gym, getting out of a limo, buying coffee at a bodega. And if you live in New York, you know exactly what to do when you do: look, but don't stare; nod if appropriate, but don't stop to gawk or talk.
Thus far this week we've seen:
--Angelica Huston power-walking out of Central Park
--Chloe Sevigny moseying down Third
--Rick Ozick buying drawing pads at Sam Flax
--Jonathan Galassi heading into work
And that's the other great thing about spotting famous faces here: it's all the more exciting if they're especially famous to only a few.
Sometimes we're lucky enough to be able to show the city we love off to our loved ones. Such was the case recently when we hosted a VSV, or very special visitor.
We ate--sushi at Haru, pasta at Lupa, brunch at Penelope. We walked through the Village, Central Park, and Time Square. We saw the Olafur Eliasson exhibit at MoMA (awesome) and A Chorus Line (with Mario Lopez!) on Broadway. And we photographed lots and lots of tulips. But mostly we enjoyed one another's company and lamented the all-too-infrequent bits of together time. Come back soon!