Sunday, November 2, 2008

This time last week...

At this time last week, I was sipping the most delicious Cafe Caramel from Gorilla Coffee on 5th Ave. in Brooklyn. (Sigh) I wish we were still in Brooklyn getting ready to explore NYC for the day.

We had a lovely time and shared the company of some really wonderful people that J knew. One of them happened to be an amazing tour guide of the city showing us hidden views and sites that we would have probably never discovered on our own. Thanks so much, K! (And thank you for the wine, music and the special sticker!)

I was glad to finally visit New York but had mixed emotions. Initially, I didn't quite feel a connection to the city the way I thought I might (particularly, Manhattan) but perhaps it's true - absence makes the heart grow fonder because tonight, I wish I was still there - exploring the city and munching on those delicious spicy soy drumsticks at V-Spot in Brooklyn.

The East Village was one of my favorites. We met up with a lovely couple (J's friends) over vegan nachos and other delights at Caravan of Dreams. Afterwards, we took a nice stroll down the main street which was lined with restaurants, cafes and eclectic shops including a vintage store full of old typewriters, cameras and some decent ephemera.

My favorite part of the trip was exploring the neighborhood where J had booked our B&B in Park Slope (Brooklyn). I really loved it and could totally live there. Park Slope is a really cool area with beautiful brownstones, cool shops, restaurants and cafes. Within walking distance are Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Museum and Botanic Garden and the Central Library. It's a fairly short subway ride into Times Square and SoHo. There's a good vibe to the neighborhood and to our surprise, there were some really awesome vegan restaurants. The B&B J booked for us turned out to be such a great surprise - it was a fully equipped studio apartment which included a washer-and-dryer and fireplace which was a treat especially since we were soaked after walking across the Brooklyn Bridge that day! Once again, J outdid himself (thanks, Love!).

As for Manhattan and SoHo, to be honest, I was a bit underwhelmed. I'm not really sure what I was expecting...maybe, I wanted to be blown away by it the way I was with Osaka but perhaps, to be fair, I just wasn't there long enough to make a really accurate judgment. In fact, I think we're going to have to visit again (soon?) for longer this time so that we can really explore the different parts of the city. I don't imagine we'll ever really be able to get a true sense of the city as tourists. Our friend who has been living there for 10 years now is still discovering new things about the city. It's huge and lively and exciting...and I can't wait to visit again.

No comments: