Tuesday, December 16, 2014

All in a Day's Walk - Little Italy, China Town and Greenwich Village

The Delhi winters have finally arrived; the sun stayed away the weekend letting cold winds and stubborn rains take over, the only thing that kept me sane was coffee and memories. Memories of a sunny day in the buzzing New York City when I had walked about the lanes of the city, exploring and admiring the style and character that each of the little places exuded.
.
..
...
Given that hubs would leave for work by 8:30 AM, I had ample time to enjoy a sumptuous breakfast at our hotel, StayBridge Suites, which was yes complimentary, take a coffee to go and head out on the streets. It was the same on 20th August, a bright Wednesday and I had planned to explore the popular neighbourhoods of downtown New York - Little Italy, China Town and Greenwich Village.

And what a day it was! It started with treating myself to delicate and creamy chocolate cannoli at Ferraara Bakery & Cafe in Little Italy. The choice was hard as they had an endless assortment of delicious looking pastries, as you can see. You have my permission to drool over my plate :)



Like Ferraara which opened in 1892, another landmark of Little Italy is the Italian speciality food store at 200 Grand Street, Di Palo. In business since 1903, it advertises itself as the nation's oldest Italian cheese store. Smelling of old traditions, it stills cuts your pieces of cheese and slices your prosciutto the way you like it. I did some sniffing around there too.



But Little Italy is seen best at night, when the streets are closed for the traffic, Italian music in the background makes your walk seem like dance too, the tables are laid out with wine and laughter pouring out from each corner and enticing smell of fresh Italian cuisines makes way to your stomach. 


(Later that night)


Sea on a plate!

Happiness in a Cup!

Whilst in Little Italy, you cannot miss the vibrant, ethnic and comparatively bigger neighbourhood around, China Town. 


From the local morning vegetable market, to the street foods and quirky ice cream parlour, to the serene Buddhist monastery to the most spectacular sight at the Columbus park, my afternoon was filled with great moments at every turn.

From juicy green vegetables, to fresh fish to dried oysters and clams 

I was asking for directions to the Buddhist temple, when I spotted this small ice cream parlour. So glad I went in. They have a range of flavours one can't even dream of. Black sesame, red bean, ginger, egg custard to name a few. I was overwhelmed. They offered me free tasting of quite a few of these until I finally settled on a safe and yummy option, butter-cream and white sesame. If I lived in NYC, I know for a fact I would visit this delight almost daily. Oh yes!

The Original Chinatown Ice cream factory
In the midst of these exotic delights, the next place I encountered was a sweet delight. Amongst the hustle bustle of daily lives, here in the Columbus Park, the elderly had created a different world for themselves. Oblivious to the life outside, in a quaint cocoon they sat playing Chinese checkers and cards and they didn't seem to mind at all the huge crowd gathered to cheer on their game and many providing to play the referee.


I spent quite some time here, trying to figure out the rules of the game, enjoying the sun, peace and quiet, before I went to pay respects at the Mahayana Buddhist Temple.

Guarded by gilded lions, this temple is the home of a 16-ft gold statue of Buddha where Buddhist chants and incensed candles spread a warm aura inside. With a $1 donation, I got to pick up my own fortune stick, but what it meant remains a mystery to date ;)


A quick eat later, I hopped on to the Subway to my next stop, the Greenwich Village - once a home to the bohemians and artsy types.
Fish on a stick
Packed with pubs and cafes, interesting creative boutiques, second hand stores, creative souls doing their thing in the Washington Park this place, though now steep on rentals, still epitomizes the bohemian lifestyle of 'live and let live'. I certainly did live my moments here.

The below shop reminded me of the comic book store in Big Bang Theory. I purchased 4 random comics from here just for the heck of it. :)
Carmine Street Comics 
No CDs. No Tapes. Just Records. House Of Oldies specializes in out of print records from the 50s, 60s and 70s and has more than a 1,000,000 records, rock, blues, soul, you name it! How Amazing is this!! :)
House Of Oldies
Unusual and creative got new meanings here in Greenwich Village as I went from store to store. The next place, Lomography is dedicated to analogue photography and has a range of vibrant, quirky, smart small cameras.

Lomography
But my favourite place here too was the Washington Square Park. Parks in NYC have left in me a huge impression. A place where no one judges you, where artists explore the creative spaces and play/perform their creation for people who truly acknowledge their work, a place where boundaries of any sort just melts away....

A playground for man's best friend...
 A hub for artists to display their skills...

 A practice field for sports enthusiasts...

A recreation spot for tourists and travellers...
where one can join in a game of chess to jog the mind muscles too...

The iconic Washington Square Park was a perfect end to my perfect day...


19 comments:

  1. I wish to visit NYC one day... on my list definitely

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Once in a life time toh banta hai! :) I am sure you'll love it Naba!

      Delete
  2. Seems Chinatown is almost in every country ) lovely travel tales and photos you have shared. You actually covered a lot in one day :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha Raj, I think Chinatown is in every city. We have one in Delhi and I know there is one in Kolkata too... ;)

      Delete
  3. You sure had a wonderful time with such varied sights and experiences packed in a day. Loved this virtual tour!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Shilpa, I sure had a great time! :)

      Delete
  4. Lovely travel tale. And thanks for the permission to drool over the delicious looking food. I definitely did ;)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sounds like you had a fabulous time! ♥

    ReplyDelete
  6. That was literally a virtual tour! And girl you look lovely in that yellow skirt! <3

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great post! Hi Aditi, do you have an email address I can contact you on? Thanks and have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry Hailey! Just saw this...have been feeling under the weather past few days! You can contact me at kaushiva.aditi@gmail.com

      Delete
  8. Loved the virtual tour Aditi, thanks for the inerseting description and some really lovely photographs!

    ReplyDelete
  9. And I've been wondering why I haven't seen more about your NYC trip :) Thanks for the virtual tour, Aditi.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Transcend Brooks shoes are ideal for making jogging ray ban wayfarers online at a moderate pace, regardless of the length or level of the practitioner. I also advise to start marathon. Guide Rails technology provides ray ban sunglasses australia unparalleled comfort for this type of footwear. However, they are forgotten as soon as the pace is accelerating. Well designed, ray ban sunglasses online they will last but it is sold € 170 and it remains an important investment.

    ReplyDelete