Suki came down for 5 days too hurrah! As it was her first time in the Big Apple, we did all the sights and lots more hanging out, eating some really quite tasty food in funky industrial type buildings and drinking more cocktails. Off the back of recommendations from various friends, loved: Egg for brunch, Bozu for cocktails and sushi, Venezualan place??, We went to a stand up comedy night all on one liners (they weren’t so great at one liners but ah well, still a laugh!). Also fit in Avenue Q which was surprisingly sweet as well as funny. And for gig number 2, went to Gowanus in Brooklyn for something being held as part of the National Black Writers conference and got to see Gil Scott-Heron, Talib Kweli and Gary Bartz. Sooo bloody cool! Gil Scott-Heron was fantastic and really very funny…funnier than the comics at the comedy night even! Another fan there also funnier than the comics was this American guy whose classic lines included: when GSH came out, ‘that dude’s drunk as a mother f**cker’ and by the end of it (again referring to GSH) ‘that dude’s the coolest mother f**cker ever!’. Naturally, we also stood in line to see the skyline from the Empire State building which were awesome (and sung Alicia Keys in my head the whole time).
All in all, I’ve managed to fall hard for Brooklyn and have been trying to get to parts of the city that I haven’t been to before…
Harlem - for a $2 swim (bargainous!!) in West Harlem at Riverside State Park which overlooks the Hudson river as well as George Washington Bridge to New Jersey. See http://nysparks.state.ny.us/parks/93/details.aspx
The Bronx - for the botanical garden to check out their orchid show which was marvellous and set to a backdrop of Cuban music. I decided to take the bus from West Harlem and figured that would be cool as can see Upper Manhattan and bits of the Bronx on the way and it doesn’t look that far on the map… let’s just say I’m still underestimating how far distances are! It was a good ride tho’ and just fell asleep for a bit too (it was over 2 hours long!)
Coney Island - as the sun was still shining I thought I'd go chill out on the boardwalk on Coney Island...but the closer we got it seemed to be under thick fog which was a shame but did also check out Bay Ridge to admire the fog around the Verazanno-Narrows bridge Staten Island to Brooklyn. Did manage to make it back to Coney Island and it was sunny! Yay! Tho’ had hoped to see the sideshows by the seashore but they weren’t on as it was a weekday (oh well, will just have to come back some day!)
Staten Island – very briefly for a hot choc as it was cold and me and Suki thought we may as well! Would like to go back there tho’ to try some of the food being served in Little Sri Lanka.
After a couple of days with what seemed like non-stop rain, the sun came back again, hurrah! A new friend (Jennie who is a New Yorker) took me to see the High Line which is a really cool park - on top and around some old railroad tracks that are above ground so some great views of the City. It reminds me of the Paris Plage ;o) Jennie also took me to the famous Mangnolia Bakery for a cupcake - tho' it was more like icing with a cup cake attached! And introduced me to frozen yoghurt (or fro yo!) which was tasty and refreshing in the sunshine. We also had Sunday brunch at a place called The Farm in Kensington (still Brooklyn) which does the best French Toast…mmm, just remembering it now ;o)
Also went to Gramercy Park for the first time which is super posh! Went to the National Arts Club (which is old school super grand) for a drop-in life drawing class which was fun. Got to talk to a few of the regulars and eat delicious home made cookies. The class was another bargain at $10. See http://www.nationalartsclub.org/pb_SE_classes.htm