Woke up early this morning (7:30am!) to get up and ready so I could work my way uptown to meet Sean and Shira for breakfast at H&H Bagels. I got there a little before 9am, and realized when I arrived that this particular location – the factory on 46th Street – didn’t really have much of a storefront with service; sure you could buy delicious bagels, but they wouldn’t even toast – or slice – them. We had to buy a separate package of cream cheese, and head out to the nearby Hudson River Park where we could at least sit down and enjoy the bagels in the shadow of the U.S.S. Intrepid.
After that, we wandered over to Times Square, where Shira wanted to get discounted Broadway tickets from the TKTS booth. But they were closed, so we opted to go to the one at the South Street Seaport, down at the bottom of the island. We hopped on a subway, and worked our way down to the Financial District, where we decided to walk by Ground Zero. From there we headed over by Wall Street and then they went on to the Seaport, while I headed back up to the Murray Hill area of the east side, to meet up with my friend Sean for lunch.
Sean and I walked down to Kalustyan’s, an ethnic food market that has a tiny deli on the second floor. I got a dish (can’t remember the name) which had all sorts of spices and lentil beans and chick peas and things like that, with salad and tahini sauce and pickles and olives, and it was all so very very tasty and filling.
We then went back to Sean’s apartment where I had about 30 minutes to kill (and relax!) before I headed out to Grand Central Station to meet up with Mike, who was coming in on the train from Connecticut. We needed coffee so we went over to the Macchiato Espresso Bar, a trendy little joint not far from Grand Central. It was good! We then walked up 5th Avenue to check out the rather uniquely designed Apple Store, but when we went downstairs, it was way too crowded, so we just left pretty much as soon as we got there.
We then took the MTA to Brooklyn, to meet up with Kyle (Mike’s brother), and after sampling some of the excellent homemade plum brandy (I might need to try making that myself!), we went to get a little dinner at the Dokebi Bar and Grill, which had some excellent Korean tacos. It was near 6:30pm by the time we finished, so we headed back into the city to go to Radio City Music Hall, where we would be seeing The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers live-to-picture, with a huge orchestra and choir. I had seen The Return of the King the same way back in May in Krakow, Poland, and while The Two Towers isn’t as exciting musically (at least to me) as the third film in the trilogy, everyone did an outstanding job and it was an excellent performance.
After the concert, I was going to be relocating my stuff from Chelsea to Brooklyn, but I still had Alex’s keys, and he was busy working the concert, so I figured we should just go to a bar near his place and wait for him to get back to that part of town so I could get him his keys back before heading to Brooklyn. We got some drinks at a place called The Crooked Knife (aka CK14), which was a neat little bar down in the West Village. By the time Alex called, it was about 1am, so we headed over to his place to get my bags and return his keys to him. We then cabbed it back to Brooklyn, since the L-train was shut down for the weekend, and it would have taken a long time to get out of the city.
By the time we got back into Kyle’s neighborhood, we were all pretty hungry again (it had been over 7 hours since we’d eaten anything), and we ended up grabbing some falafel sandwiches over at a place called Oasis. It was $3 for probably one of the best falafel sandwiches I’ve had outside of Israel. Amazing stuff, and at 2am, it was even tastier.
Soon we were back at the apartment, and it was most certainly time to go to bed – but Saturday was going to be another big day.