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8 Notes

A photo set from my trip to Berlin.  This is the Turkenmarkt in Kreuzberg.  I lived in Istanbul once and this market reminded of all the food that made me really happy.  Does anyone know where I can find simit (the big picture) in New York City?

8 Notes

The NYC Nomad in TriBeCa (on Harrison Street)

-Caitlin, MaryAnn and I

I’m about nine months into my project, and there are many times when I’m quite happy with myself for coming up with this idea (there are other times that I border on self-loathing, but those are few and far between).  I, however, don’t think I realized the full brilliance of my project until I received an email from Caitlin offering me a week with her two female roommates in Tribeca.  She offered that they would all be my hostesses.  Sign me up.

-Kat and I at the Brandy Library

Brilliance was not the word that came to mind when I took the red-eye in from Park City on Tuesday morning, went straight to work for 12 hours, and then went back to the East Village to pick up my stuff, pack up my stuff and move to Tribeca.  I decided I deserved a cab ride.  That, and I didn’t want to wheel my suitcase through slush. Showing up with a slushy suitase doesn’t fall under the definition of “consummate house guest (which I’m still working on).” 

Caitlin was home when I arrived.  She gave me the tour of my new home.  It was a bit tight in the living room so I decided I’d opt for the very comfortable blue couch for my sleeping arrangements. They had even hired a cleaning lady which they told me was for my arrival. MaryAnn arrived and then Kat.  Kat called me “nomad” as she walked in the door and continued with that throughout the week.  Even though I was exhausted, everyone was hungry.  We went down to Terroir which is right on their block, had some box wine (the good kind) and appetizers and called it a night.

The nomad sponsored dinner was at the Harrison.  I learned that its kind of fun to show up to a nice restaurant with three attractive girls.  I liked the restaurant, but I am not doing restaurant week ever again.  I had gone to Mesa Grill for lunch (and restaurant week) with co-workers that same day and it was really terrible.  The Harrison was good, but I would’ve enjoyed less food and more of a selection.  A restaurant like that should be great.  We still had a great time, and followed it with a trip to one of my new favorite places in NYC, the Brandy Library.  We did a bourbon tasting, and when I asked about an expensive Armenian brandy in the library the waiter came back with the bottle and told me he didn’t have enough left to sell it so he let us taste it for free.  The night was capped off by these photos from the photobooth at Bubby’s.  To be clear, the photobooth is the only reason we went to Bubby’s.  I need to go back to try the food.

Other highlights included a dinner at the Tribeca institution called The Odeon with not 3, but 5 girls and a solo trip to Takahachi bakery for anpan (warm red bean pastry comes out of the oven 3 times a day and is delicious).  Saturday I tried out another neighborhood spot, Il Matto, which was just okay and a bit disappointing.  

We threatened to spin at the very hip and expensives ($32/class!) Soul Cycle multiple times but never made it.  Instead I went to donation based yoga studio ($12) Do Yoga Do Pilates and ran along the Hudson on the first nice day in ages. The girls’ apartment is really close to Hudson River park.

Caitlin, Kat, and MaryAnn were great hosts and I think / hope we’ll keep in touch. Kat has already since moved to London, but if I ever go international I’ll be sure to get in touch!

I missed a few places, as always, and would love to see Tribeca when it is slightly warmer.  Email me if you want to host!

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!

4 Notes

The NYC Nomad on the Upper West Side (at 72nd and Broadway)

Stayed

With Ani and Adrena, who kind of came through for me when I needed it.  I’m pretty well booked to December 5th (even have some one booked for the New Year!), but didn’t have anyone for this week.  Fortunately Ani and Adrena are used to having guests and welcomed me with open arms.  I’m not the first person to pass through the Alexandria building in search of a place to sleep.  They are great hosts.  It helps that Ani and Adrena live in on of the nicest places I’ve stayed so far.  They have a pool, hot tub, and gym on the lower level.  Super convenient to the subway (1,2,3) and a Trader Joe’s just opened up.  

Ate

If Ani and Adrena had one of the nicest places, Dovetail was one of the nicest restaurants I’ve been to in a while.  We went for “meatless monday” which happened to be Labor Day.  Between the three of us we had 12 different dishes including dessert.  Everything was quite good, and I love the service at fine restaurants like Dovetail where the waiter accentuates movements and the placing silverware and clearing the table between each course.  Want a nice dinner? Email me to host!

Arte Cafe - Five of us met up here for pasta and wine.  It was pretty good, I think I’d agree with NY Mag on the 3 stars. We did a blind taste test of wines which was rather fun.

Caught Up

On some pop culture with the VMA Awards.  I think it is perhaps my least knowledgeable area.  Adrena has promised to keep me up to date with the bare minimum (right Adrena?).

Swam

I’m not a great swimmer, but I don’t think there is a better workout.  I swam twice, once with Ani before I departed for Park Slope.  I’ve been carrying around my goggles (not sure how that made the cut of things I’d need) from when I used to swim most days in St. Thomas and finally used them.  I also worked out in the weight room.  I think I’d stay in pretty good shape if I lived there.

Completed

The wedding gauntlet, of 3 in 4 weeks.  Nate and Callie got married in the Berkshires.  It was one of the more beautiful weddings I’ve been to and a lot of fun.  I’m also required to say that the nomad stayed with Dan and Abby who are eager to host in Boston!

This is my second time on the UWS, but I still haven’t spent a weekend there.  I might be back sometime in November.

What did I miss?

Email me if you’d like to host!

5 Notes

The NYC Nomad in Hoboken (on Observer Highway)

Stayed

With Jenni, a friend from St. Thomas and recent transplant to Hoboken.  Jenni misses the beach.  She’s also a 9 handicap golfer and she’s in the middle of this small picture.

                                         

JR is Jenni’s roommate (actually, its the other way around), and is also a recent St. Thomas transplant.  I met him once in St. Thomas but after a week I felt like we were old friends.  Sometimes you have a connection with people by virtue of living in the same place for a while.  St. Thomas is definitely one of those places and the connection goes for both Jenni and JR.  JR also has a dog named Mika.  He is also does the big brother program which I think is pretty cool.  

Jenni and JR are like brother and sister, with the banter to go with it.  It’s pretty entertaining.

Commute

Everyone told me how easy it would be to get to Manhattan from the Path.  And for the most part it was, but the first two days there were some serious delays.  I find New Jersey Transit to be confusing in general, and got on the wrong train trying to go to Hoboken early on in the week.  When I moved from, I took the bus from Port Authority which is just about the least user friendly experience I’ve encountered.  When you buy a ticket you have to know the bus number rather than actually typing in your destination.

Ate

Zafra – Pretty tasty Cuban / Latin spot.  A lot of restaurants in Hoboken are BYOB, where the B not only stands for beer, but also booze.   They’ll mix Sangria, Margheritas, or whatever else you can think of.  Zafra came recommended from a co-worker and on Twitter.  I took JR and Jenni here.

Taco Truck Store – A successful conversion from truck to store.  I was so hungry (and it was so good) I ate most of it before I made it home one night.

Luca Brasi’s – An old school Italian deli.  I think I insulted them when I asked if the Cannolis were made in the store.  They are, and they were pretty awesome.

Haircuts

Haircuts are a big deal in Hoboken.  It’s an upscale affair for the most part, and there is some pretty fierce competition.  I called a lot of places in an effort to get my haircut before a wedding in Annapolis.  It’s not cheap, $40 - $70, although the salons are quick to point out that haircuts come with a drink and you get a free “touch up” in between two haircuts.  Ultimately, I couldn’t get an appointment and instead got a haircut for $12 in Hoboken.

Massage

I was walking home one day, exhausted, and maybe a little tired of the project.  It’s all about re-framing my perspective though.  I walked by a massage place, made sure it was not that kind of massage place, and paid $26 for a 30 minute foot massage.  I left there refreshed, relaxed and ready to do this for another 5 months :)  They didn’t have any yelp reviews, so I wrote one.

Listened

To music at Maxwell’s, an institution in Hoboken that has had acts such as R.E.M., Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and The Strokes.  The wikipedia article is worth a read for some history on the club.  Part of the Boss’ “Glory Days” video was shot here.

Over time, Steve’s booking taste, freewheeling personality and respectful treatment towards musicians made Maxwell’s and Hoboken a looked-forward-to stop on many bands’ tours.[1][6] By making the blue-collar mile-square city with a rough-and-tumble reputation a cultural gathering place, Maxwell’s was instrumental in sparking Hoboken’s first wave of early 1980s gentrification — the artists and musicians.

Tasted 


Tomatoes at the Hoboken tomato festival.  Farmer Rich picked out some tomatoes for me to make a cucumber and tomato salad.  There were over 40 varieties so I needed the help. I went to Antique bakery for some fresh bread.

Fun Facts

The first officially recorded game of baseball in US history took place in Hoboken in 1846[25] between Knickerbocker Club and New York Nine at Elysian Fields.

Road Tripped

To Annapolis, for a beautiful wedding.  My friend Jesse and I did a walking tour and I liked this photo at the naval academy of a “plebe” working.  

Check out the rest of my flickr photos here.

Missed

The Ferry Boat commute to Manhattan

What else did I miss in Hoboken?

Email me if you’d like to host!

1 Notes

Repost: The NYC Nomad in Greenpoint (on Meserole Ave and Leonard)

I somehow lost this post so I’ve recreated the first part of it and outlined the second part.  I’ll fill in the rest at a later date, but I’m falling behind and need to post about Long Beach.

Stayed

With Hillary, a former co-worker who I briefly overlapped with at Outside.in.  Hillary now runs the business side of things at Pies n’ Thighs which is a great place.  I get hungry just thinking about it.  Here’s a drawing (not by me) of Hillary and Phil, also a former coworker.

Jon is one of Hillary’s roommates.  Fun fact: Jon won an Emmy.  He also has one of the more impressive home theater systems I have ever seen.  When I stop my nomadicism, I will definitely consult him for my setup.

Putri is another one of Hillary’s roommates.  I met her boyfriend Rob and dog Max. They are great and didn’t let me leave Greenpoint without tasting Peter Pan Donuts.  Tina fey had this to say about Peter Pan:

The best doughnut? That’s Peter Pan doughnuts in Brooklyn. It’s a Polish bakery. We shot nearby once for 30 Rock. It’s a white-cream-filled powdered doughnut. And I really believe, when I first tried it, if I had a penis, I would put it in this doughnut. I finally understand what you guys are thinking about and what motivates you guys.

I had the red velvet donut, and while I can’t say I entertained those thoughts, it is an excellent donut :)

Ate

Donuts

Polish Food

Five Leaves

Foutas

Alcoholism

McCarren Park

Missed


Notes

The NYC Nomad on Cape Cod & in Boston

It’s a bit of a different post, but the Nomad is allowed to go on vacation every once in a while.  I spent a few days in Bourne, a few days in Chatham, and a few days in Boston.  Not to worry, NYC centric posts will be back soon, including a video testimonial from my host on the Lower East Side.

Stayed

In Bourne for the weekend attending former host Nate’s bachelor party.  

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From the bachelor party in Bourne, I moved to Chatham and spent the week with my parents, refueling with plenty of excellent food and beach time.  I’m now the mayor of Lighthouse beach and Lazy Lobster, thank you very much.  Here’s another sunset, this one from the back deck in Chatham.

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In Boston with Kelly and Caleb, dear friends in the North End and guest hosts for the weekend.  Here’s a picture of me heading back to NY from Boston with all my stuff.

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Ate 

Quaohogs and Steamers, dug by my very own Mom, Dad and Cousin. I even dug a few with my toes, a true art form. Cape Cod for my family is pretty much centered around meals on the back deck and we had an Armenian night, Italian night, and Seafood night.  We also cooked clams casino in my great grandmother’s oven which my aunt recently restored.  I think it should be on antique roadshow.

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Pizzeria Regina - As far as pizza outside of NYC goes (and even in NYC), this is one of my favorite places.

Watched

Toy story 3 with my Mom.  It’s a good movie to take your mother to.

Cape League Baseball with my Dad.  It’s a good place to take your father to.

Listened

To Widespread Panic at the Bank of America Pavillion, a great venue for any show and this one was particularly good.

Read

Tony Hsieh’s account of starting Zappo’s, Delivering Happiness.  It’s an interesting read.  One fun fact is that Zappos pays employees $2k to quit if they are unhappy after 2 weeks of training.  He is obsessive about keeping the company culture intact.

Photographed

Chairs in afternoon light

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My parents dog, Ani.

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The train bridge in Bourne

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Notes

The NYC Nomad in Kew Gardens

2010-07-26_2055

Stayed

With Charley, a friend of former host Nate in Park Slope.  We were both going to Cape Cod for the weekend so it worked out well.  He’s got a nice modernly furnished apartment in Kew Gardens.   This was the third borough.  I am still working on Staten Island and the Bronx for anyone who wants to help a Nomad out :)

Commuted

On the F train, which was fine with the exception of 1 day when it took me over an hour to get to work.  I haven’t written too much about commuting, but its an interesting part of the project.  I’ll probably write a longer post at some point.  I LOVE walking to work. 

Watched

A movie at Kew Gardens theater.  It’s an art house theater and pretty neat inside with posters of classic movies.  They also have discounted movies on Tuesdays and Thursdays (I went on a Wednesday). Here’s a photo of the outside of the place.  036   

I saw Winter’s Bone, which won best picture at Sundance. It was shot on the “red” camera which I learned about from my former hosts in Williamsburg.  It’s a great movie about the impact of meth in the Ozarks.  Bleak and disturbing, but powerful and worth seeing.

Ate

I met Charley for a late dinner at Dani’s House of Pizza.  They have a great beer selection like these.

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Say what you want about outer borough living, but these beers are about 50% off Manhattan prices.  And I really liked Dani’s — It’s an old school type of place where you can only get pizza at the bar area when you first walk in.  I would recommend dinner and a movie (the restaurant is across the street from the theater) to anyone looking for a reason to go to Queens.

We also ate at Diner when Charley came and picked me up (which was far better than the hour bus ride I had planned on) in Williamsburg.  They have a Grass fed beef hamburger which is excellent.  My one complaint is this place is a diner and they laughed at me when I asked for a milkshake!  Too hip for milkshakes, apparently.

Missed

Baker’s Dozen Bagels

Getting a real feel for the neighborhood.   It was a pretty short stay. 

Here’s some history that I’m curious to read up on.

Notes

The Reviews of The NYC Nomad are In!!!

This is probably one of my favorite posts so far.  See below for the testimonial from Isaac and Lesley during my week(s) in Morningside Heights.  

testimonial

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