Tag Archives: manhattan

Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Manhattan skyline

13 Dec

Second in a pic series of classic New York moments – Here, watching that most quintessential of New York films, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, at an outdoor movie screening in Brooklyn Bridge Park this summer, with the twinkling skyline of Manhattan providing the perfect backdrop to the scene:

Holly Golightly looking glam even when she wakes up:

Before the movie began, as it was getting dark, just to show off that Manhattan skyline (with many a New Yorker picnicker in the foreground):

“José’s my first nonrat romance”:

The dénouement we were all waiting for (contented sigh):

Williamsburg wanderings

12 Oct

Down to the darkly atmospheric shtetl of Williamsburg to visit sweet 90-year-old, hungarische great-uncle S. Journeyed all the way – a 17-mile trajectory – on two wheels.

Amazing bike ride taking us from chez-nous in the north of the Bronx due south along the Hudson River, practically down the entire length of the island of Manhattan along the green walkway.

Then zigzagging furiously through furiously trendy downtown to the east side, thereafter, a hop, skip and a jump and over Williamsburg Bridge into Brooklyn, and lo and behold: you have reached your destination.

On the way:

Whizzed over the majestic Henry Hudson Bridge.

Panoramic views, sparkling water, and a blue, blue sky.

Guy nonchalantly smoking a joint on the Henry Hudson Parkway gazing out over the river to the shores of New Jersey.

Manhattanite skaters, rollerbladers –

Manhattanite joggers running with their dogs on leash –

Manhattanite joggers pushing their babies along in trendy three-wheeled buggies/strollers –

Latino New Yorkers having barbecues and playing loud music –

People sporting about and people playing sports –

all the way down this oasis of calm snaking down the west side of their beloved, congested, noise-polluted island.

And then:

Sharp turn eastwards at W10th St.

Many a youthful trendoid (female-male-unisex) strolling through Greenwich Village, SoHo and the East Village dressed in obligatory uniform of skinny jeans, trilby hat, big black-rimmed goggles.

And then:

Up and over the bridge and back in time into Williamsburg.

Women in hyper-modest, drably coloured clothing and rigid hair coverings go about their business.

Men in full hasidic garb march off to shul (where else?)

An ancient rebbe bedecked with a flowing white beard smokes a cigarette outside his apartment building watching the yidden go by.

A shuffle into more modest layers of clothing over cycle gear in vain attempt to stick out less like a sore thumb in the heim.

Lovely time spent with hungarische great uncle S waxing lyrical about days of yore and looking at b&w snaps.

And then:

Pass by Gottlieb’s, a gloriously unpretentious, slightly faded heimishe deli, wafting hopelessly heimishe, hopelessly nostalgic odours of chicken soup, kneidlech and the like into the street.

Sub-zero chance of getting me to pass that by without a good old hearty pit-stop.

So in we dash for a hearty, greasy heimishe meal.

Overflowing bowls of mushroom barley soup and chicken egg-drop soup.

Magically-instantly refilled dish of pickles on table.

Goulash and rice (vegetarian days are gone for now).

Sounds of Yiddish and Yinglish spoken all around, barely distinguishable, intermingle.

Turns out the place has been in the hasidic proprietor’s family for the last three generations.

Loved it.

Then back onto our bikes and nip over the imaginary divide – back to the future – into trendy Williamsburg.

Immediately transported back into New-York-skinny-jeaned-trendoid zone.

Saunter down Bedford Avenue – trendy little bars, vegan cafes, muffin shops, book stalls on streets, bikes parked on every street corner.

Loved it – but not nearly as much as the real Williamsburg.

Final leg of journey:

A wobble back over Williamsburg Bridge, legs definitely tiring of pedalling by now.

Time for a quick beer before going home?

Yes!

Quick one for the road at a beer shop in Greenwich Village.

And then:

Bikes in tow, we jump on the A Train all the way home.

A marvellous day was had by all.

(and thanks goes out to the kind subway bosses who allow tired cyclists to take their clunky tired bikes home on the train. Phew.)

Manhattanite doggy tails continued

11 Oct

To get down off my geo-political-Middle-Eastern-crisis high horse of my last post back to the more mundane (but arguably, no less important) matters of the idiosyncrasies of the fine canine population of Manhattan Island…

Spotted today on E. 86th St:

A Manhattanite woman species trotting-tottering along with a pink (yes, pink) poodle in tow.

Said pink poodle was pink, a baby-pink shade of pink.

No, not a pink coat placed on top of its furry fluff, but actual furry fluff dyed pink.

Said pink poodle was clad in a very fetching, sparkling diamante collar, and to top it all off, a shiny red bow in its ‘hair’ (that is, the excess furry fluff on top of its little poodly head was tied up into a ‘poodle-pony tail”).

Dog in pram, that’s what’s next

15 Sep

So in response to my cry to heaven in my last post as to “whatever next” after discovering Americans celebrate bark mitzvas for their dogs, my answer was revealed to me today as I was walking with a friend near Central Park, when I found myself crossing paths with a funny smiley lady walking past us pushing a fluffy cute white dog in its very own buggy/stroller.

Funnily enough, I had already once noticed another Manhattanite doing the same thing but had obviously assumed at the time that she had put her canine charge in her (human) baby’s buggy and said baby was elsewhere/grown-up etc.

But on closer inspection today, I noticed that the buggy/pram/stroller was specifically designed for a small dog rather than a small person. It even had a large paw-print design on the front, which only served to confirm my suspicions. The doggy woggy in question looked very content and relaxed as it was being pushed along the street.

Its owner called out to me on seeing my look of incredulity: “He can walk too!”

And yes, of course I had to Google ‘dog stroller’ to see what would come up online and yes, of course, there are plenty of tailor-made websites specifically designed for all your dog stroller needs. Here’s one example: justpetstrollers.com

So now you know what to do and where to go if your dog gets tired walking using the time-honoured method of its own four trotters.

Doing drugs Manhattan-style

14 Jan

A friend of a friend living on the Upper West Side told me a funny little anecdote:

She was at a Friday night dinner being chatted up by a dashing French fellow sitting beside her. All was going swimmingly until he suddenly threw an entirely random, and somewhat inappropriate, request at her. Here’s a rough version of how the conversation proceeded thereafter (bearing in mind the Gallic gentleman’s thick French accent):

-You ‘ave ‘potte’ in yourrr appartement?

-Pot? What kind of pot? (somewhat startled)

-You know, ‘potte’, jwoints, what you can smokk.

-What, pot as in marijuana?!

-Yes, exactlee! You ‘ave eet? We go smokke in yourr appartement?

-Hmmm, um, funnily enough, no, I don’t have any marijuana in my apartment.

-What you mean you don’t even ‘ave an emerrrgencee supply of potte? (sounding aghast)

-Emergency supply???

-Yes, you know, like you ‘ave zat emerrgencee fifty-dollar bill in case of emergencees- zat kind of sing.

-Umm, how can I put this? Look, I don’t even smoke the stuff for one thing, so certainly don’t have an emergency stash of it! And anyway, I keep Shabbat and you’re not allowed to smoke on Shabbat.

-Oh but it would create exactleee ze right ambiance forr Shabbat!

-Well, even if I wanted to, where would I even get hold of weed in Manhattan? I mean, where do you buy your pot here? Do you have a dealer?

– But we arrre in Man’attan – I get it delivered of courrse.

I love that punchline, delivered in that entirely matter-of-fact way.

Only in Manhattan!

PS. I suspect that it was not just a language barrier that prevented the two protagonists from deciding to take their relationship up to the next level.

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