Browsing: New York City

NYC Trip Report-Day 3 Pizza in Brooklyn


We finally awoke to a sunny day! I had coffee on the balcony and soaked it up.

Our gorgeous Home Exchange Apartment was even more so, in the sunshine. Every morning, especially in the rain, I was hesitant to leave this wonderful space.

We took a bus to Brooklyn Heights, where many gather to get a view of the Manhattan skyline.

I love NY brownstones. I always thought the most beautiful ones were in the Gramercy Park area where we often stay. But Brooklyn brownhouses had an elegance all their own. This window box was planted with colourful lettuce! Brilliant.

The leaves had just started their yearly turning to yellow and red.

It was the Sunday of the Canadian Thanksgiving and we were in search of a church to give thanks. We arrived a bit early for the service in this 1878 beauty.

We found ourselves at Montague Bagel where we grabbed coffee and tea. Across the street from us was this line up to get into a bakery. Wish we had the time to scope it out.

If you recall, on the Saturday of that weekend, the Israelis had been attacked by Hamas. We wanted a reverent place to pray for peace.

The stain glass windows were exceptionally beautiful. I am always drawn to angels but especially in threes. I imagine that they are Sisters #1, #2 and #3!

I was also attracted by this window. The beautiful woman to the right wore the colours of the Caribbean. My favourite sight in the world.

We spoke to a parishioner who had attended the church through its restoration. When she told me that the ceiling was wall papered, I liked it a wee bit less.

To be honest, when I knew that we were staying in Brooklyn, this is how I imagined it. Although our apartment was conveniently located, my eyes were always in search of a glimpse of Manhattan.

The waters edge had been made into beautiful docks and walking areas, complete with a merry-go-round and lots of great restaurants.

Speaking of restaurants, there were line ups at two in this area, both featuring Manhattan Pizza. D and I shared a pie. Lucky for me you could order it half red and half white.

With a spicy Italian sausage and ribbons of fresh basil, it was divine.

Before we headed back into Manhattan, I spotted this dichotomy of old and new NYC.

Doug was intent on visiting FAO Schwartz at their new location in Rockefeller Plaza to buy toys for our Wee Ones.

D decided that I find a restaurant for dinner and to relax in, while he scooted around Time Square to find the last of his souvenirs. The Brooklyn Diner did the trick. I was still too full from lunch so I had this for my supper.

D decided that he just had to have a diner burger and he was very happy with his choice.

This is my guy. It struck me anew as I posted this picture, that D is THE perfect person to travel with. He figures out all the logistic in advance, so we never (okay-rarely) get lost and we always take the most affordable and efficient mode of transport available. And….I think that he is very easy on the eyes! Married almost 40 year and the sight of him still makes my heart skip.

Kath’s quote: “Life is short, eat desert first“!-Authour unknown

D takes pictures of hearts for me, whenever he spies them.

Love never fails.

NYC Trip Report Day One-Sweeney Todd!


On our first full day in NYC, we woke up to grey skies but we were determined to make the most of the weather. D had scoped out the neighbourhood on foot by this time and recommended we venture out to find a favourite NYC treat-bagels!

Having never stayed in Brooklyn before and only knowing the term “Flatbush” from a brat pack movie, I was delighted to wander down Flatbush Ave. in search of authentic New York bagels.

Once we had chosen toasted everything bagels, we had the decision to make of what topping from all those displayed in this case. Lox and cream cheese was our choice.

The look and feel of the place was much like Essa Bagel that we discovered when we stayed in the Gramercy Park area of Manhattan. I couldn’t imagine that any bagel could stack up to an Essa bagel but the Flatbush certainly did a gallant job.

We perched onto stools and lingered over our bagels. We got a kick of seeing various walks of life wander in for their daily fix.

I couldn’t finish mine and together with the extra ones we bought for our apartment, D got the task of walking through the rain the rest of the morning with a soggy brown paper bag.

Although the summer peak of blooms had passed at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, it was still a lovely place to pass a morning, even a wet one.

I saw many of my favourite plants there. The difference was that I grow them as house plants whereas the climate of the state of New York is much more moderate.

Since the rain didn’t let up, I was glad to spy this beautiful structure when I was about half through my walk.

Not only did I get a reprieve from the weather, I was delighted by their bonsai display.

Just outside the conservatory were these beautiful sculptures in the lily pad ponds.

I always gravitate to water and fountains. We even how a fountain and pond in our backyard!

We arrived home to get ready for our special evening out to see Josh Groban in Sweeney Todd. I had seen him four times in concert, but never on Broadway. His appearance was actually the impetus for the entire NYC trip. D worked very hard to secure just the right apartment and other logistics. When we got a break in the rain, we went up to the rooftop of our penthouse for a glass of wine and a selfie before we made our way to Times Square.

The rain prevented us for simply hanging out and we hadn’t eaten anything since our morning bagel, so we headed to an unexplored place where we had a ressie.

We decided to go to the bar before dinner. When we spotted that it was Happy Hour at the bar, we never made it to the dining room.

D and I love bar seats-you can watch the workings of the staff and it is a great place to meet other guests. My guess was that most everyone was a traveler like us.

Bar drinks were the special including Sangria! I became hooked on sangria from my visit to Spain last fall. We enjoyed a couple of appetizers too, but didn’t want to full up before sitting through a 3 hour play.

Our balcony seats were perfect and we were immediately enraptured by the story that we were only somewhat acquainted with.

The theatre was gorgeous, the singing exquisite, the set was full of surprises and the show was unbelievably funny, in spite of its dark story line. The evening was first class in every way and I was so grateful to D for his meticulous planning.

Kath’s quote: “And life is for the alive, my dear. So let’s keep living it.”-Steven Soundheim

Love never fails.

NYC Trip Report -Arrival Day


D, who works remotely, was very diligent about getting everything at work completed so he could have Friday of the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend off. On the Thursday we made our way from the TO Home Exchange apartment that we loved so much to our beloved NYC. Even though we had painstakingly made our way from Pearson to our Little Italy Apartment by ground transportation when we landed in TO, we opted for an uber for our way back to the airport. That turned out to be a good thing because when we arrived at La Guardia, we took subways to get from Queens to Brooklyn via downtown Manhattan. It was a long journey, even though the flight itself was only 1 hour and a bit.

The length of the trip was not made more any more pleasant by the lack of foodservice on our Air Canada flight. We wolfed down a hot dog in Herald Square at one of our subway stop transfers. We were HANGRY but everything melted away when we stepped foot into the stylish apartment that would be our home for the extended Thanksgiving weekend.

We flew open our terrace doors to see what we could see from our pent house. Rain was lightly falling but we started to get our berrings.

We also had roof top access so we leaned over to check out the terrace of the apartment one floor down.

D fetched another snack for us as I put away our essentials so that we could get a fresh start in the morning. In the meantime, I contemplated the blessings in our life – to be able to travel often and stay in such lovely places.

Kath’s quote: “If travel is like love, it is, in the end, mostly because it is a heightened state of awareness, , in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love stories, never really end.” modified from Pico Iyer

Love never fails.

NYC Trip Report-Day 3



The view from our room at Wingate by Wyndham Midtown. Perfectly located within walking distance of so many attractions, the room was comfortable, the staff helpful and accommodating.



Since 1884 Bryant Park is situated behind the New York Public Library in midtown Manhattan, between 40th and 42nd Streets & Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Although I love Central Park and others in the east village, Bryant has been my favourite since D discovered it whilst roaming around and killing time while I attended a media seminar in Times Square.


The park itself invites is set up in a relaxing fashion with chairs available to pull together and face the sun.


The perimeter of the park is as picturesque as the park itself with many historic buildings that can be viewed through the trees.


The Bryant Park Grill features new American-style dining set against the stunning backdrop of Bryant Park. Seasonal patio and rooftop dining provide great views of the park. It is located behind the library, on Bryant Park’s Upper Terrace between 40th and 42nd Streets.


A bronze bust can be seen just to the west of the Bryant Memorial. Sculptor Jo Davidson created a bust of the American writer Gertrude Stein in 1923, now in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art. The Bryant Park bust is a cast made from the original.



The lawn is lush and green and the flowers change seasonally but Bryant Park is more than a garden. When you first discover it, nestled in its canyon of skyscrapers, it’s like an oasis–a refuge of peace and calm. But Bryant Park is a city park, full of historical monuments and urban amenities. The park is a social place where friends meet, eat lunch, chat, stroll, listen to music, work on the wireless network, or simply sit and think. Winter, summer, spring, and fall, New Yorkers love this park.



Six flower beds border Bryant Park’s Lawn to the north and south–two on the shady South side and three on the sunny North. They are planted seasonally with 100 species of woody shrubs and herbaceous perennials and 20,000 bulbs.


Today’s version of Bryant Park–with its gravel paths, green chairs, and jaunty le carrousel–is a recent invention. Though the space has been called Bryant Park since 1842, the park has had a checkered career. By 1979, it was the site of frequent muggings and drug deals and was avoided by knowledgeable New Yorkers. An almost ten-year effort, begun in 1980, transformed the park and its reputation.


Along the Northern and Southern sides of the park are twin promenades bordered by London plane trees (Platanus acerifolia). This is the same species found at the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris, and contributes a great deal to Bryant Park’s European feel. These trees can grow up to 120 feet in height.


At the western gateway to the park is the pink granite Josephine Shaw Lowell Memorial Fountain, dedicated in 1912. This was the city’s first public memorial dedicated to a woman. Lowell (1843-1905) was a social worker and founder of the Charity Organization Society. Charles Adams Platt designed the fountain.


Pétanque is a French game of “boules” (French for balls), where each player strives to throw metal balls as close as possible to a smaller wooden ball, named the “cochonnet”. Most games are played in teams, and are staged on the gravel area near the Sixth Avenue and 42nd Street corner. Tournaments are played on the gravel paths around the Bryant Park lawn. Game strategies include “pointing” when a player throws his ball to have it roll as close to the cochonnet as possible, and “shooting” when a player aims for the ball of an opponent, hoping to move him out of a favorable spot.


I get out my novel and perch my feet on an extra chair while D loves to linger over a New York newspaper. We pretend that we are New Yorkers.


Since Bryant Park s right next door to the New York Public Library, we often stop in there as well. When we first visited we found the reading room that looked like it was right out of “Ghostbusters”!


Sculptor Edward Clark Potter created the lions, which were carved in pink Tennessee marble by the Piccirilli brothers. They were later nicknamed “Patience” and “Fortitude” by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia.




The New York Public Library building was designed by John Merven Carrère and Thomas Hastings. The magnificent Beaux-Arts building sits on a terrace that was designed to elevate the building above surrounding streets, to provide gathering places for people, and to provide a setting for public sculpture.


The fountains on either side of the library’s entrance are Truth” on the (South) side and “Beauty” on the (North). They are the works of the major American sculptor Frederick William MacMonnies.

Feeling a little peckish by this time, we find a New York deli called Ben’s. Read all about it here.

Kath’s quote: “The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding.”  ― John Updike


Love never fails.




Ben’s Deli-NYC



Not far from our hotel in Midtown Manhattan last fall, we came upon Ben’s Kosher Deli. We hadn’t planned on filling up quite to the extent that we did. We had previously decided to eat rather light as we were catching a plane for a transatlantic journey later that evening.  We immediately sampled the cole slaw and two varieties of pickles-one traditional style and another just barely pickled.

The enormous menu was hard to sort through and make a decision as there were just too many choices.


We were not quite sure what we had gotten ourselves into but we were impressed by the ambience and settled in.


Before long our “server” appeared. I use the word “server” loosely as this fellow thought that he was there to entertain us more than provide us with food.

When we inquired what a “kreplach” was he said: “Have you ever tasted a wonton? Well then you have tasted kreplach”. We ended up ordering chicken noodle soup with extra kreplach.


D had his sights set on a pastrami sandwich that I enjoyed a taste of, but never could consumer an entire sandwich (or even half).


I went to one of my old favourites “fresh” cut fries. Actually they were made from baked potatoes likely left over from the day before. Those old baked potatoes may have been “freshly” cut but the potato wasn’t “fresh” to start. This was an old trick that D and I learned in our early restaurant days. We used left over baked potatoes and lightly fried them and then loaded them with cheese and bacon bits to make potato skins.



Back to our waiter for a minute. He asked us where we were from and immediately indicated that he had been to Winnipeg once in January and how much he loved it and the vibrant comedy scene. Turns out he knew a friend of ours who used to run a comedy club. When we caught up with that friend months later, he had some outrageous stories of his own to tell.

Ben's Kosher Delicatessen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “New York is a gothic Roquefort.”-Salvador Dali

New York 15-Isla 16 211

Love never fails.

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