My First Stay (in Murray Hill) as a result of the New York Times Article
I had plans to stay in East Williamburg the week before Christmas. Then I received the message below from a friend of the roommate of my friend and former host Liz (yes, you should read that again) in Crown Heights, who I met one night during my stay there and had offered his place for me to stay.
"Ed!! I´m back in NY and with some news. i didn´t know but my roommate invited all his family for christmas. We are gonna have 6 extra people from december 18th until january. I´m so sorry…. Can we move the date?"
I offered that I would be happy to spend a few days with his roomate’s extended family from Mexico, but it was clear it wasn’t going to work out. Getting that with less than a week set me scrambling but fortunately I had plenty of offers from the article which had run the previous day in the NYT. I logged on to my thenycnomad gmail account, picked the most recent person that emailed me about hosting, and sent off an email about staying for a shortened week from Sunday - Thursday before the holidays. Paul, or PK as I came to know him, had emailed me a couple of days after the story ran. It had been forwarded onto him and he was interested in hosting.
He responded right away, so with that, I made sure that he met my criteria of 1) not having bedbugs and 2) assuring me he wouldn’t cut me up and put me in a dumpster. It helped that we had a Facebook friend (thanks Elin!) in common. Still, when I arrived to his building, I was apprehensive and it certainly felt like the project was entering a new phase. There was some small connection, but this was going to be a different week. I’m happy to say it was a great one.
I arrived on Sunday morning to one of the nicer apartment buildings and probably the nicest apartment I’ve stayed in as a result of this project on 37th and Park. It has a direct view of the Empire State building.
On Sunday when I arrived, we immediately set off for the Giants vs. Eagles game, for which PK had an extra ticket through work (he works on Wall Street), and I soon found myself next to the Fox NFL broadcast team (Troy Aikman and Joe Buck) separated by only a piece of glass.
It was one of the most incredible games I’ve been to, and I’ve been to a lot. My Dad has had season tickets to the Patriots for 40 years. They were box seats, which means the food spread was incredible and included Murray’s cheese and sandwiches like this one.
PK works for a hedge fund, although I think he has a lot of interests beyond finance. He’s pretty interested in technology and startups so it was fun talking to him about ideas. He’s got a nice library (I leafed through Jay Z’s “Decoded”) and he even plays the cello.
The week was short but we fit a lot in, and I got a solid sampling of places in Koreatown. PK is Korean so he knows his way around. We hit up the following spots:
Bon Chon Chicken - seriously delicious chicken and Sapporo pitchers. I met a couple of PK’s friends which is always fun. I’d definitely go back
Don’s Bogam Korean BBQ - great Barbecue especially when someone knows what they are talking about when ordering (PK)
Third Floor - My Korean friend Camilla laughed when I called this a hidden place on Foursquare, but hey, I was one of the few white guys in the place and its above a non-descript storefront. We had some flavored Soju, an alcohol distilled from rice.
I missed an opportunity to work out with PK at Reebok Sports Clubs, but we’re hoping to get that in the New Year.
This is my second trip to Murray Hill - what did I miss?
Email me to host!