Chelsea Wanderings…

Saturday Jonny, Dani, and I were in New York City, walking around, drinking coffee, and generally enjoying humanity. We parked in Port Authority bus station garage after circling the block several times looking for an open entrance. We did the usual bathroom stop in the bus station concourse level where homeless people were cleaning themselves up, brushing their teeth, etc.

The day was clear and sunny although a little cool. The streets and subways were relatively empty of tourists and people. We took the S train to Grand Central and then the 5 down to Union Square where we browsed Strand Bookstore and ate lunch at Whole Foods Market. Then it was out on the sidewalks again as we walked over to Chelsea on the west side. It was my first time at the Chelsea Market, an indoor row of shops, cafes, and bakeries. There is also a tea store, lobster market, and more. Amy’s Bread looks like a good place to buy fresh bread and Ninth Street Espresso supposedly has the best espresso in the city. We all got some and relaxed a little although you can’t stretch a cup of espresso very long. I think people who have not tried espresso would like it from this place because it’s not as bitter as some, but it’s strong enough to give one a bad case of espresso breath.

We rode the 4 train over to City Hall and walked across the Brooklyn Bridge into Brooklyn and explored the DUMBO (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass) neighborhood a little. Not too much here besides nice residential, cafes, and bookstores –about the normal stuff I guess. We walked back over the Manhattan Bridge into Chinatown and north to Greenwich Village where we found some bookstores with chairs to rest our weary legs. I walked back to Chinatown and poked around in the shops, bought some tea, and then got in line at Lombardi’s for a table.

Lombardi’s is a nice place to eat. For coal oven pizza I still think John’s has the best atmosphere and food combo but, if you value ratings, Lombardi’s is rated “Best Pizza on the Planet” by Zagat. From there it was uptown to 72nd St. and Central Park West to see the spot where John Lennon was shot. We thought there might at least be a plaque there, but all we found was a stodgy-looking doorman. Rumors are that Yoko Ono still lives in the Dakota today. Sometime I hope to see the memorial in Central Park.

So it was a day well spent. I told Dani we would sit all day on a park bench because I really couldn’t think of anywhere in particular I wanted to go, but it turned out even better than that.