My Life - So Far

"Unbounded ambition makes an obscure existence simply impossible for me"
Lucien de Rubempré

Sunday, September 06, 2009

New York V

The trunk of our car was completely full when we put all bags in, stuffed with clothes and shoes that we had acquired after our extended shopping tour. At least it was no long way to the John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. But we soon after had another problem. We were a group of five and normally it's difficult to find a taxi that has enough space for five. But it might even be impossible to find a taxi for a group of five plus eight pieces of luggage. So Thomas and my humble self agreed to take the Air Train to Midtown Manhattan. As we were studying the New York City map, a big Afro-American soldier dressed in desert uniform got on the same train which kind of seemed to come directly form the Iraq war. He looked at us and asked where we were going. We told him that we were heading to Manhattan and as he had to get off on the same station, he helped us with purchasing tickets for the metro. When we had to say goodbye to Mr. Watkins, he gave us a handshake that almost broke our fingers. Probably, he was really in Iraq.

We got off at Penn Station, near the Empire State Building. When we arrived after a 40min or so ride with the train, it was already dark. But as soon as we, after a cookie and a coffee to go at Starbucks, entered the streets of New York, it was as if it was daytime. There were so many people out in the streets, so many lights on the buildings, so many yellow cabs, it was just awesome! We walked all the way to the Hotel Kitano at Park Avenue, buying another coffee at Starbucks as well as the New York Times.

The rooms at Kitano were spacious and just great! It's actually some sort of japanese hotel, thus the interiour design was pretty japanese, which I like, of course. In the lobby they have live jazz concerts every weekend, from our rooms we had a direct view on the Empire and we had a personal cleaning lady, that even came to prepare the beds for the night after they had already been made in the morning. Pretty cool service.

After relaxing a little bit we dressed for dinner and went to the italian restaurant Salute (270 Madison Avenue). It was a recommendation of the Kitano staff, and a good one. The interior was modern and held in white, still with a view on the busy streets. Kai and Thomas got the five course menu for 80 Dollar, whereas I was not so hungry that evening. However, the Bresaola with Mozzarella di Bufala was brilliant. So was the Risotto ai frutti di mare. But I did envy Kai and Thomas a bit, as all courses looked very delicious. At least I was still ready for a drink somewhere. The place to be at night is, no question, the Meatpacking District, which runs roughly from West 14th Street south to the Gansevoort Street. One hidden spot is the APT in a nondescript building on West 13th Street, mixes high-style with homey comfort. The bar was honored as New York's best bar in 2001 and has been described as a nightlife masterpiece. Indeed it's pretty cool inside, even though the music was kind of strange that evening.


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