Have you seen the Swine Flu Avenger running around Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn in a gas mask? Listen to him talk about his 6 world records in gas mask running. If you are curious, he’s given an open invitation for people to try it out in Central Park.
Is there an interesting person in your neighborhood? Interview them and I will post it on my Tumblr and add it to the sound map. Submit the link here and join the City Stories group on SoundCloud!
Coming “home” after being out of the city, even if just for a weekend, can be a difficult transition. I get out of a certain rhythm I have with the city and the project, with living with people, and often it feels like I should just be going back to my old apartment. With that in mind, I made sure to save a week with my good friend Pauline after a two week trip to Peru because I knew it would be an easy way to reintegrate. You may recall that I stayed on Central Park South once before, but that was when Pauline was out of town and it was only for a few days so a real week was in order.
Pauline is a friend of mine from Tufts. She grew up in New York and is one of the most social and involved people I know.When she’s not saving the world’s monuments from destruction (at World Monuments Fund), she’s importing and selling foutas via Fouta Lifestyle (the Fouta has been my towel of choice for the past 7 months), and when she’s not doing that she’s planning a great party at her place.She even baked a tart (which I helped with) during my stay.
The apartment is ideally located, in a building that was converted from a hotel to condos some time ago. The doors pretty much open up on to Central Park, and Pauline and I took advantage of this with a Saturday morning run. The doormen got to know my name, and without fail, asked me if I needed a taxi each morning. I think I really puzzled them when I refused a taxi with all my stuff as I left to move to Park Slope. I prefer to move by Subway, if for nothing else than the looks / comments I get walking down the street and getting on the train.
The week went by quickly, but it was a lot of fun.We went to the Burger Joint in Le Parker Meridien which was appropriately described to me as “one of the best well known secrets in New York.”The annual gingerbread competition also happened to be going on there.King Kong was impressive!
I treated Pauline and her boyfriend to a dinner at Caselulla, one of my favorite places I’ve been to as a result of this project.So many times you go back to a place and it isn’t as good as you remember.I think this place was better.The pig’s ass sandwich, wine collection, and papadew peppers stuffed with mozzarella and wrapped with speck were all excellent. The owners just opened another place called “Elsewhere” nine blocks south on 43rd street. I’m looking forward to trying it so email me if you live in that hood and I’ll take you there!
The NYC Nomad on Central Park South (between 6th and 7th)
At my friend Pauline’s apartment. It was an atypical week because I was only there for four days (I spent the 4th on Cape Cod) and Pauline was in South Africa for the World Cup. This really is against the idea of the project (I want to stay WITH people) but after 10 weeks, I thought it was fair to give myself a few days of alone time. And it wasn’t completely alone - Pauline’s cousin and girlfriend shared the apartment for a night and we went to a wonderful dinner at Casellulla.
Casellulla - I think Midtown is known for being expensive, but this wine bar/cheese shop was fantastic and relatively affordable. I sampled some Mead which I had never had or heard of before. Our waitress was passionate about the different types of cheese and the place had a nice vibe. Highly recommended. (one of my friends wants me to start writing “Nomad Approved”). A friend joined us for drinks at the end of the evening. I’m enjoying connecting and being connected to other people.
Motorino - I was in East Village one night and had been wanting to try this place. Brussel Sprouts pizza was amazing. I got it to go just before they closed, but the manager told me I should sit down for my first taste of a Motorino pie while it was hot. She was right — Probably one of the best pizzas I’ve had in NY.
The view from Empire Rooftop Hotel at Juan Betancourt’s going away party. Who is Juan Betancourt you ask? He is going to be on Celebrity Apprentice and sends out party invitations that have 10 bullet points. I met him at a Network 20/20 event. I had never attended one of his parties before, but I had a fun time. He is a master networker as evidenced by his ability to rent out the entire rooftop of the hotel. I think there were about 700 people there.
Mexico and Argentina with spirited Mexico fans at Hecho en Dumbo. It was a lot of fun to watch the game with people who actually care about soccer.
The aerobed for 5 days on Cape Cod with family and friends. Post on that weekend coming soon.