Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hell's Kitchen is Right

The kitchen part, that is. Before my volleyball game Tuesday night, I took the long way and walked around Hell's Kitchen taking in all the new cuisine this neighborhood has to offer (new thing). I used to frequent this part of town in my Newsweek days since there wasn't much going on at the intersection of Broadway and 57th Street restaurant-wise. We'd go to Uncle Vanya's, Puttanesca, Patsy's and Matt's Grill a lot, Mangia y Bevi on 9th Ave. and sometimes Kennedy's. The crew also went to East but back in those days, I didn't do it raw so there was no sushi for me. But now, there are a ton of places there that I'd like to check out. One in particular is on 50th between 8th and 9th and the chef is in her 80s or maybe even 90. She's adorable and although I only had time to peek inside, it's cute too. Very intimate but says on the window that it has authentic french cuisine so I'll have to check it out. Of course I've forgotten the name but I know precisely where it is, on the north side of 50th closer to 9th.

Another thing I finally captured (new thing) was a photo of this unbelievable sidewalk garden that I've passed for years on my way to the High School for Environmental Studies where Big City Volleyball has many of its games. Whomever tends to this concrete garden has done quite a lot with little space and no earth to speak of, except in the pots of course. A nice man came outside while I was taking a picture and offered to take a photo of me in front of the garden (like it's on the Time Out New York walking tour or something. It's nice, but c'mon sir (sorry, that was mean. I'm in a weird mood tonight).

The other thing I get a kick out of in New York City is the mix of architecture which brought on this next photo. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don't. For instance, this shot is something that I like because it reminds me of that movie in the 80s where that big developer wanted to build somewhere and there was one holdout - this building with a little robot or do-dad that helped put the little white tiles back together in the entrance foyer (can't recall the name) but it often looks like that when you look up on a city block in these neighborhoods. There's old school charm and then high-rise luxury within spitting distance of each other. This is why I love New York. But one thing I don't like so much (and I was recently discussing this with Mo as we waited for a table at this great noodle joint), I'm not fond of mixing architecture in ONE building like the Louvre or the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Or the Hearst Building on 57th and 8th Ave. Why? I don't get it.

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