After SXSW I stopped in New York for a short holiday — it seemed a waste to go all the way to the US and only go to one place. I’d been to New York three times in the past but not for long and I couldn’t remember much of it.
This time I only had four days but I was on my own and this seems like a better way to get to know a city: less being sociable, more walking and visiting different places. I liked New York even more than I expected and it’s right up there on the short chart of Foreign Cities I’ve Visited Which I’d Like To Live In If I Ever Live In Another Country. It’s fighting for the top spot with San Francisco, with the next position occupied by Paris (hampered by the need to know a second language).
I stayed at the Incentra Village House which was lovely: reasonably priced for such a handy location, really friendly, comfortable rooms. I’d stay there again. Although I imagine the rooms at the front, directly looking on to Eighth Avenue, can be a bit noisy.
I did a lot of walking and could easily have spent a lot longer doing nothing but wander round. I rarely made it to the east side of Manhattan or south of Houston, never mind anywhere besides Manhattan. One day I walked more than 12 miles, including the length of Central Park (which was utterly stunning in the sun) and on down Fifth Avenue (the least pleasant part of any walking I did; it felt like London’s Oxford Street). I also walked along the High Line which is very nicely done, although rather shorter than Paris’s Promenade Plantée.
I visited the large Strand Book Store, which I hadn’t heard of until a couple of months ago when it appeared in a few things I read in quick succession. I should have done more preparation and worked out more book shop locations, although I did pop in Mercer Street Books & Records which was, of course, smaller, but still good.
That was just round the corner from the Angelika Film Center where I went a couple of times and which I’m fond of solely because I used to go to the Angelika in Houston a lot. Its large café/waiting area is oddly characterless though. I also managed a trip to the Quad Cinema. I love seeing movies on holiday, even if the weather’s as good as it was on this trip.
I could have done better on the eating front — on holiday my eating’s always irregular and, again, I hadn’t researched any places to go in advance. But two of Jason’s recommendations for breakfast were great: La Bonbonniere (which was right next to Incentra Village House) and The Grey Dog (I went to the new Chelsea location a couple of times). The latter’s space, atmosphere and variety of food made me realise how even the best UK coffee shops just can’t match up. I also made the required pilgrimage to a Shake Shack which was OK aside from the soggy bun and huge queue (which, it seems, is apparently part of the charm).
Commenting is disabled on posts once they’re 30 days old.