Why walk up Lexington Avenue? I just wanted to do it because I have seen parts of it and I liked these parts. So I wanted to see how it changes. Like on my walk down Broadway.
It took me some time to get into my shoes this morning. When I woke up and had a look out of the window snowflakes were whirling outside into the back yard. I had forgotten to buy some bread for breakfast, so I had to go out there to get me something to eat. The idea to step out into an unfriendly morning made it just more difficult to get out of my sheets. When I finally managed to do so I could not decide what kind of bread I wanted. I ended up with a bialys, a mini roll and a croissant. As I had seen snowflakes I thought I might need some winter vitamins and bought the first tangerines.
Having had a shower and breakfast I still had to finish yesterday’s writing. So it was
1 pm then and there were no more snowflakes when I left. On my way to the
subway I realized how icy cold it was. I should have worn leggings under my
pants and taken a warmer scarf. At least I was wearing my boots.
I took the M to 23rd Street and a crosstown bus over to Lexington and started walking north. The first few blocks of Lexington Avenue are dominated by Baruch College. Then comes Curry Hill, a small area of Indian restaurants and shops between 26th and 29th Streets.
After that faceless apartment towers take over in Murray Hill through the 30s. The faceless towers are followed by a chaotic blend area where all kinds of old and new, small and tall buildings are arranged next to each other somehow.
There I found a Pakistani snack place offering Paratha rolls. Fluffy wraps filled with a hot meat or vegetable dish, toppings and a sauce. I had Chicken Tikka with sautéed peppers and onions and cilantro-mint sauce. It was an interesting kind of snack food.
In the 40s Lexington passes Grand Central, the Chrysler Building, the General Electric Building and some famous hotels, like the Waldorf Astoria.
The 50s are for shopping. Beyond Bloomingdales at 59th Street the Upper East Side begins. The 60s are a nice part. There are little shops and cafés in nice little buildings and the side streets are cozy and tree lined.
Hunter College then breaks the idyll. While its main building is old and stylish there has been built a complex of concrete next to it that doesn’t match the overall appearance of the Upper East Side at all.
The 70s then look comfy and upscale again and towards the 80s the area is getting more busy. 86th Street is a major shopping strip. Between 82nd and 83rd I found a Columbian café and went in for a coffee and something sweet. I was sitting right next to a heater, had a very nice Latte and a tiny piece of carrot cake with a caramel decoration next to it on the plate. The cake was nice, not too sweet. Shocking was the check then. The tiny piece of cake had cost me about 7$, the total check, gratuity included, was more than 14$. Ok, it is the Upper East Side.
I called Soh Ang to meet her at the corner of Bloomingdales and took the express train down to there. We were heading to the East Village to have Pierogi at Veselka, a famous Ukrainian restaurant on the corner of 2nd Avenue and 9th Street. To get there we took the M15, running down 2nd Avenue to 14th Street. 2nd Avenue is an interesting Avenue as well, but as it was dark I didn’t see much of it. On the bus a man was sitting with his walking frame right in front of him in the aisle. A woman wanted to get off the bus with her walking frame but could not pass by. The man declared he would get out on 14th Street and would not move until then. The bus driver finally had to put the man’s frame aside so that the woman could pass. As soon as she had passed he took his frame back into the aisle and blocked the way for people mounting the bus. Hope I will not get that stubborn when I am getting old.
On 11th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues Soh Ang introduced me to Veniero’s, America’s oldest Italian pastry shop. It is a paradise for sweet teeth. A great varieties of pastries and cakes are enticingly displayed in the large counter. We decided to come back for dessert after some real food.
Before we had our real food we went to ChikaLicious, the Japanese pastry shop again and Soh Ang bought some Dough’ssants to take home. I remembered the delicious Green Tea Crepe Cake I had there.
Finally we got to Veselka. We both had Pierogi filled with short rib, Soh Ang’s were fried, mine boiled. They are served with sour cream, caramelized onions and apple sauce. The pierogi were quite small and the filling was a bit dry. I liked the boiled ones much better than the fried ones. Soh Ang wanted me to have Borscht, so she could try it. I like Borscht, so I had a small bowl. It was really good, rich with vegetables and just the right bit of acidity. I would have expected a bit of cream on it though.
As we still had our dessert plan ahead of us we didn’t eat too much and walked back to Veniero’s then. There I had a very nice white tea, a mini Canolli and a mini pastry with chocolate cream and a chocolate topped strawberry. Pure seduction…
Soh Ang’s husband picked both of us up and they took me home to get part of my luggage to Jamaica before me. That was very nice and saved me a second trip there on Friday. So I got a nightly sightseeing tour through the east of Manhattan, on 1st Avenue, across Queensboro Bridge and through Long Island City to Astoria.
What I learned today:
How to use my smartphone better – Soh Ang is an expert.