Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tireless in New York – Day 1

Last Monday, I jumped on a Bolt Bus (overrated by the way) and made my way into Manhattan on a frigid Monday morning.  During the ride down, I was multitasking between a bevy of entertainment options that included watching I Love You Man (underrated) and tweeting suggestions for my inaugural New York Trip meal.  Ultimately, the weather became the natural swing vote for my first meal, but nonetheless, I knew it would have to be a great one to start the week off in grand fashion.

And so begins the recap of my New York New Year’s Week.  The pics were all taken from my Palm Pre, which sometimes sucked ass, but this way, you can feel the grittiness of the experience.  And I’m sorry I don’t want to bring a $1200 camera all over NY city in the cold.  I was more worried about keeping my nuts warm. 

Day 1: “Yes, I’m ordering two bowls of ramen.”

I hauled ass to my friend’s Lower East Side (LES) apartment and found a gang of four people who were obviously in an afternoon recovery of a classic 3 A.M. NY night – a common occurrence for the rest of the week.  I’d normally welcome the sight of two girls lounging in tank top jammies for a little longer, but the hunger in my stomach was overwhelming the hunger of my loins.  I required sustenance, I required satisfaction and I desired ramen. 

After waiting for two girls and one guy (who gets ready like a girl) to shower and change, the five of us went off to Ramen Setagaya (one on St. Mark’s).  Once we were seated, we placed our orders quickly.  The waitress seemed a tad surprised that I decided to order two bowls of ramen, but I figured that would be my only chance to get a taste of all the broths they offered at Setagaya during this trip.  How can you go wrong with an extra bowl of ramen? 

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While we were en route to Broadway, we ran across a familiar Astor Place favorite of mine: The Mud Truck.  My favorite orange truck cup of Joe. 

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After a fill up, we got our shopping on in SOHO.  I didn’t really buy anything except for a cheapo pair of gloves and a sexy fake cashmere scarf because I was resourceful, stylish and more importantly, bloody cold.  All for a grand total of 10 bux.  Why anyone living there ever pays more than that for basic winter accessories is beyond me.  A few hours pass by, I’m drained again, so this time we duck into La Colombe for more coffee.

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I scored a bag of Corsica from La Colombe.  This will be the house roast at my Kingdom of Solitude for the next couple of weeks.

After getting sufficiently wired, we regrouped at the apartment and decided to head to dinner.  I suggested Motorino - the pizzeria that spawned from Brooklyn and is now located in the old Una Pizzeria Napoletana spot. 

For those that don’t know, Una Pizzeria is now gone.  This itty East Village restaurant had become my NY “white whale” over the last few years.  The first year I knew of its existence, I  tried to drop by, but they weren’t open Monday or Tuesday.  When they were open, they ran out of dough for the day.  The next time I visited NY, they were closed for vacation.  The third time, vacation again.  It was really quite annoying.  Finally, they closed shop, before I could make it out again – probably to spite me.  Frick.  Well, whatever, I guess going to Motorino partly excised some demons.

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The ingredients at Motorino were very memorable and the pizza was very good – crispy and soft with just a bit of chew.  I’d say it was a dough closer to the style/ratio of Pizzeria Mozza’s dough, but maybe not as crunchy or chewy.  The ingredients and flavor profiles were very bright though.  They apparently burn birch wood I think.  We all had a good time sharing 4 different pies.  Margherita, Brussels & Pancetta, Parma Prosciutto, and Sopressata.

After pizza, we went rummaging round town and skipped over to the West Village for some art bar.  It was craptacular.  Note to people out there: when places claim “industry night”, there are rarely industry people in there.  So we ditched the West Village and ended up in Chinatown where we went into a bar called Apothecary (not that there was a sign, of course).  It wasn’t speakeasy quiet, but it definitely had that spirit about it.  Me and some gals ended up having a 2 hour conversation about biological clocks, women/men in their thirties, having children and marriage.  It was pretty fucking heavy for bar conversation, but definitely not soporific.  You’d be surprised by what I’d have to say.  And that was that for a first day.