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4 Notes

The Most Interesting Person in Midtown East - Chicken Delicious

"Chicken" puts on one of the more entertaining and creative acts I’ve seen at a restaurant / bar.  He incorporates his 350 flags into his custom designed costumes and will play music relating to your nationality once he figures it out - the night I was there he played German, Armenian, and Iranian music and had flags for each country which we waves as the music is played. The bar is close to the United Nations so there is always an interesting mix of people.

He says of his act, “I never know what’s gonna happen.”  

The Most Interesting Person in Midtown East - Chicken Delicious at Mimi’s Cafe by thenycnomad

Here’s “Chicken” as Marilyn Monroe.


1 Notes

Yorkville, Manhattan vs. Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

Planning wasn’t exactly my strong point over the past few weeks.  I went from 83rd and 1st to Bensonhurst, Brooklyn and then back to 89th and 1st.  Alas, moving can be interesting, if not exactly fun, and it was an interesting to contrast the two neighborhoods.  Contrast is what I’ll do below - if you want to read more detail about my stay in Bensonhurst, read the post here.

Hosts

I lived in a basement studio with 23 year old Deanna in Bensonhurst.

I lived on the 25th Floor of an Upper East side building with my friend Rob and his roommates, Charlie and Laura (a couple) and their dog Ollie.  We’re all in our late 20’s with the exception of Ollie (he’s about 8 months old).  Charlie and Laura didn’t know about my project when I arrived.  Rob had simply told them “a buddy was coming to stay for a week.”  Here’s a picture of the dudes hanging out just before I left.

And here is a flickr set of some shots from the roof.

Commute

In Bensonhurst, I traveled about 1 hour and 15 minutes from the 20th avenue stop to 23rd street on the N train.  You are pretty much guaranteed to have a seat getting on at the 20th avenue stop.

From Yorkville, I traveled about 30 minutes and took the 6 train from 86th to 23rd Street.  You are pretty much guaranteed NOT to have a seat at the 86th street stop, at least at 8:30 in the morning.

Food

Bensonhurst is about Italian food historically, and Asian food more recently.

Yorkville, like most of Manhattan, has a lot of options.  I think the best options are Sushi although I didn’t have any this trip.  Rob and I went to Nina’s Argentinian Italian one freezing night when proximity was the most important attribute of the restaurant.  We weren’t disappointed, though.  Half off bottles of wine on Monday night and a pretty excellent goat cheese ravioli.  The Empanadas were just okay. We (except for Ollie) all went to Fetch for brunch the day I left. A friend had recommended the straight up buttermilk pancake and it did not disappoint.  Not even a little bit.  It’s the best pancake I have had in NYC.

Bars

I didn’t go to a bar in Bensonhurst, but I want to go back for live music at the Knights of Columbus.

I went to Biddy’s, Auction House, and Southern hospitality on the UES.  These three bars are a study in contrast. Biddy’s = classic dive; Auction = classic speakeasy; Southern Hospitality = classic Upper East Side bar

Out of Nabe Activities

Swing Dancing in Midwood

Art Gallery Opening at Milk Studios for Travis Rice and Asymbol Gallery.  Charlie is from Jackson Hole, and grew up with who is said to be the best snowboarder in the world.  I got to meet this guy.  The film That’s it, That’s all got me pretty excited to go to Park City.  It’s shot with a Cineflex camera, the same camera used to film Planet Earth and also used in military operations.  You might not want to watch this video if you sit at a desk all day.  

2 Great Weeks.  2 Very Different Neighborhoods. 

Next stop was the East Village for a quick stay before I escaped to Park City, Utah for a long weekend.

I now write from Tribeca (a new neighborhood) and I have other new nabes including Riverdale, Fort Greene, and Red Hook are booked on the calendar.

Interested in hosting?  Email me!

19 Notes

The NYC Nomad on the Upper East Side (83rd and 1st)

Stayed

With Amy and Gregg, newlyweds, and friends of mine from Tufts.  We’ve been talking about this since September and it finally happened on the first week of the New Year.  I was coming back from a week with my parents and its always nice to stay with friends that I know well when I return.

Judged

A pizza throwdown between Amy and Gregg.  In the tradition of Bobby Flay / Top Chef, they waited in the stew room while I made my decision.  Gregg won with a sausage pizza with sliced tomatoes as the “sauce,” parmesan and pecorino cheese and hot peppers.  Amy was a close second with a caramelized onion, goat cheese, arugula, walnut pizza finished with a Balsamic vinegar.  Both on wheat crusts and both delicious. 

Amy had the onion goggles on…

but Greg wasn’t messing around on the saute station…

Ate

At Poke.  The Upper East Side does sushi really well.  I’m told I also need to try Sasabune and Sushi Seki.  Poke is a great spot with bring your own alcohol which is always a plus in NYC.  We picked up some Sake which Amy and Greg told me wasn’t a typical move for them.  They do some great sushi rolls. Cash only if you go!

Gracie’s Mews.  An institution and great hangover food.  It’s the sort of place where if you go enough the Greek guy running the show (Jerry) will get you to the front of the line for a table.  We drank a lot of coffee.  The Eggs Florentine is salty but delicious. 

V-Note.  Nice vegan spot with organic wines.  I’m continually amazed what people can make taste like the real thing.  It reminded me of my hosts impressive cooking way back (in JUNE!) when I lived in Washington Heights with Emily and Brian.

Homemade Risotto by Amy.  Delicious!

Played

Arcade basketball at Ryan’s Daughter.  Gregg broke the game because he got such a high score.  It was a pretty impressive performance.  As bars go, this is one of my faves on the Upper East side.  Cozy and had a nice neighborhood feel to it.

Worked Out

Amy scored me a free trial at Equinox and I took full advantage of the nicest gym I’ve been to.  They have Kiel’s products, great classes, and they should for $144/month ($170 if you want to go to any Equinox in the city).  Urban rebounding, yoga, sculpting and RIPPED were some of the classes I tried out. RIPPED with Mario the Trainer was the best.

Danced

Amy, please do not post my rendition of “Wake You Up Before you Go Go” on Just Dance 2 for the Wii.

What did I miss?  I’m back in the neighborhood (in Yorkville) this week so let me know!

5 Notes

The NYC Nomad in Yorkville (on 93rd and 1st)

Some call it the Upper East Side, some call it Yorkville.

Stayed

With Kim, the most random of my hosts thus far.  I met Kim during an end of summer rooftop party and she liked the idea.  She is also exploring getting a roommate so I was something of a test case.  An exemplary test case I bet she’d say :)  Kim produces magazine covers and has some great stories about interacting with celebrities.

Kim also has a great apartment with incredible amenities.  There is a pool on the top floor, a gym, and a hot tub.  I made the most of it and swam before work a couple of days and enjoyed the hot tub during the weekend.  The views are quite stunning of the East River and Roosevelt Island.

Ate

At Uva, on not one, but two recommendations.  It was really crowded (I think the UES is lacking just a bit in trendy spots) so we sat at the bar.  A women kept asking the bartender why he didn’t card her (she was about 40), but once we got past that the food was excellent.  I had Gnocchi and wine in a bowl (the specialty).  I would definitely go back.

Dinner with a former coworker and friend at his apartment.  One of my favorite things about this project is I can let friends know I’ll be in their neighborhood for the week and we can usually find a time to meet up.  

I didn’t think I could be on the Upper East Side and not have a bagel.  Bagel Express seemed to do a pretty good job on 94th and 2nd.

Ran 

Along the East River and kind of stumbled upon the footbridge that goes to Roosevelt Island.  I had never been before and its a great place for athletics with lots of fields and a nice runway that goes along the river.

Watched 

The Patriots at Pat O’brien’s bar.  It’s a seriously Boston sports bar and for a second or two I thought I was in Foxboro.  People kept shouting “Dannny!” for every Bostonian’s new favorite Patriot Danny Woodhead.

What did I miss?

Email me to host!

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