Sunday, March 27, 2011

Any Old Saturday in New York

My friends often ask me, "What is a typical Saturday for you in New York?" The great thing about this city is that there isn't a typical day any weekend. In fact, I have to consciously calm my hyper-activeness after reading Time Out on line, because there are always 1000 things to do! It's just a matter of choice.

So today, while my grey-haired wonder was away in Puerto Rico with his troubled sixteen year old, I decided to explore the multi cultural riches of this city and share them with you.

AM: Got out of bed and walked around the corner to buy a warm, just-out-of-the-oven pain au chocolate from Patisserie Claude. This true french patisserie has been a part of the Village for over 20 years. The croissants are famous all over town. Unfortunately, the gruff Monsieur Claude of said patisserie, departed at the end of 2008 with his signed photo of Stephan Grapelli under his arm, but thankfully his sous chef has handled the croissant transition seamlessly.

Late morning: After contemplating yoga for as long as it would take for the time to become too late to allow me to make the class, I wound my way through the far too frequent madness of the roving street fair to drop off my dry cleaning at the local Korean cleaners. After being asked by the over friendly owners for the umpteenth time if I had a boyfriend yet (I clearly never got around to sharing the news about the grey-haired Dr), I made a beeline for the mexican corncob stand at the street fair. Covered with lashings of butter and vigorous shakes of the cayenne pepper, this yummy mid morning snack made me question my frustration with the street fairs.

Lunch: Met a friend, her baby and a dog that looks like a rodent for lunch at my new favorite eatery, Edie and the Wolf. Located in the East Village, it is a wonderfully rustic Austrian restaurant with wooden communal tables, banquettes covered in natural colored linen and lots of metal and rope elements - and a few too many dried flower arrangements, but that's by the by. We feasted on schnitzel burgers with a side of "spatzle" (brussel sprouts and wild mushrooms) and a chilled glass of Gruner Vetliner.

Mid afternoon: I was beginning to feel lost in a sea of ethnic diversity,  so I popped into the Edward Hopper exhibition at the Whitney to ground myself again in the Great American Loneliness.

Late afternoon: 2 hour spanish conversation class at the wonderful Queen Sofia Spanish Institute on Park Avenue. 'Daniel' was from Peru and encouraged conversation about the merits of Almodovar's films.  He lost me after 'Javier Bardem' and 'Penelope Cruz'.

A chilly walk back across Central Park. This was a "no language" zone. I listened to the music of Estonian Arvo Part instead.

Evening: Headed down to Tribeca for a night of Persian arts and culture at 92Y Tribeca. This is an incredible cultural centre whose mission is to "serve the community and the world in a remarkable way by providing exceptional programs across the spectrum—in the arts and culture, Jewish life and education, health and fitness and personal growth and travel." Tonight there were readings of the great Persian poet Ferdowsi, followed by an uplifting set of traditional sufi and folk music from Iran. 'Amir Vahab' is apparently considered a most distinguished and celebrated composer/vocalist of this type of music. Judging by the reaction of the mostly Iranian crowd, he seemed to be the Persian equivalent of Elton John. Below is a link to his music.

Late evening:  To top off a thoroughly multicultural day, I grabbed a yummy Belgian waffle from the 'Waffles and Dinge's' food cart. A perfect end to a trip around the world in a day!

Images: (2) flickr, (3) new york times, (4) yun photo, (5) nymag, (6) jinhwafication, (7) whitney museum, (8) wikipedia, (9-11) mine

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