New York is a big city and getting from A to B is not always easy – even if it seems to be easy. I just wanted to go from Astoria to the East Village via the Upper West Side. This endeavor took more or less the whole afternoon.
I have to confess that it was almost 2 pm when I left home. That was because – again – I still had to write yesterday’s post today. Soh Ang wanted me to try Japanese Ramen and had found places on and around 2nd Avenue in the East Village for that. We had agreed on meeting at about 5:30 at St Mark’s in the Bowery on the corner of 2nd Avenue and 10th Street. I thought I could continue my still not finished literary East Village walk and then wait for Soh Ang in a café doing some reflection on my time in New York. On my way to the East Village I wanted to do a little detour to the Upper West Side to have a look at the two places I had booked there yesterday.
So I walked up to Astoria Boulevard to catch the M60 bus that goes right to the Upper West Side via Randall’s Island and Harlem. The first M60 that came didn’t stop but showed “Next bus please”. The one that finally stopped was packed with people coming from Laguardia airport. There are not so many stops on the route but it took forever to get to the final stop on 106th Street and Broadway. There, just around the corner on West End Avenue, I easily found the apartment building where I would stay first. It has 12 floors and is one of many similar prewar buildings around there. I walked over to Columbus and found the second building on 97th Street. It is a newer structure with 15 floors and balconies, set back from the street amidst many high-rise buildings on this part of Columbus, which is admittedly not the most attractive one. But staying in a high-rise as well is something that is still missing on my list of experiences.
Instead of taking the subway down Broadway and make a stop at Loehmann’s to look for gloves I then took the crosstown bus on 86th Street over to the East Side because it was already late and I still wanted to have time for at least a coffee. On Lexington Avenue I took a downtown 6 train. When the train passed Astor Place, where I wanted to get off, the friendly voice told us that this train would not make all stops because of delays. It next stopped on Bleecker Street and I had to take another 6 train back. In the subway station I made a mistake and was confused by the signs so it took me a while to get onto the right platform. When I finally arrived at Astor Place it was almost 5 pm already.
I found a café just across St. Mark’s and sat down for a latte and a carrot, pineapple and cheese cake muffin. I started making lists about what I will be taking home from this trip. Mentally, not physically. I found quite a lot.
When Soh Ang arrived we started our tour through the East Village to check out noodle restaurants serving Ramen. We ended up in one on 10th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenue. I am not a noodle soup lover and the Ramen I had did not change my mind. It was ok but there is much better food in this city.
On the same block Soh Ang had found a Japanese dessert place. When we got there we had to get in line. We shared a pumpkin spice something (sorry, I don’t remember the name) – similar to a donut but puffy – and a green tea crepe cake. Both was very nice. The green cake was surprising not only because of ist color but as well because it was not really sweet. It was creamy and the taste of green tea was strong. I loved it. The something was like how I imagine the big New York bakery secret – the Cronut – to be. Like a fluffy donut.
I should have counted the “likes” I picked up on my bus and subway rides today. It is like incredible how many “likes” Americans, mainly like young Americans can fit into like a simple sentence and thus make it ununderstandable to foreigners who have not been here for a couple of months already and haven’t learned how to use the like-filter yet.
What I learned today:
Ramen is not my favorite dish – and “I was like” simply means “I said”.