When my brother and I arrive at our Airbnb in Brooklyn, we immediately know it’s too far from the action. Still, after dropping our stuff off, we’re off to Manhattan for an early dinner. It takes a while to get there, about an hour on the subway. The ride sets the tone for how much time we will need to spend travelling from our rented apartment to get somewhere we want to go.
Our first meal in town is Ivan Ramen, which is named for the chef who moved to Japan and managed to assimilate and become a successful ramen chef in Tokyo. The spot is known for his ramen tye noodles, which sound weird but are delicious. I order the spicy ramen and my brother orders the chicken ramen. Some karage fried chicken and a sour beer for me, and it is a tasty meal. The portions are small, typical of the Big Apple. After walking around, my brother takes a photo in front of NYHC tattoo and we grab a slice of pizza. We go back to our hotel early and get rested for our week here.
I sleep in. It’s raining heavily and I need to rest. I’ve been on the road for about a month already, and road fatigue is setting in. After resting up, my brother and I decide we’re going our separate ways . For me it is the perfect day to spend inside at the museum. I take the subway to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the Met. A hugely famous museum, my girlfriend, an art historian, calls it “our Louvre.”
After going to the Louvre, and now the Met, I see why. I spend a few hours here and barely scratch the surface. I am enticed by the Armenia exhibit so see that in addition to the Middle Eastern art and French and Italian sculpture. Sadly I miss the Asian exhibit, where a huge work of the Buddha covers the entry wall, and the musical instrument exhibit. I will surely return to see those.
Finished at the museum, it is still raining and I am craving some hot coffee. I take the bus down to Rockefeller Square, where the nearest Blue Bottle Coffee is.
It is a ritual for me go to Blue Bottle every time I am in a city where one is. I have trouble finding the shop and my phone is dying. I duck into a different café to get out of the rain and charge my phone. I am not into the drink I buy and am determined to find Blue Bottle.
Then I see that the only way into the underground mall where the coffee shop is located is to take a hidden elevator I see other people go into.
I wait for it and, after much searching, find Blue Bottle.
I’m sweaty in the underground mug and change my mind. I order an iced coffee. While I’ m drinking it, my brother texts me. He just got a tattoo at NYHC and we agree to meet at Baohaus, Eddie Huang’s tiny bao restaurant in the East Village. We try a variety of the taco-like steamed bun sandwiches, fries, and the hilariously generic Taiwanese beer they have here. Then I realize this place is BYOB. Damn. Next time.
We decide that tonight is as good as any to see the bright lights of Times Square. Since it is close, we take the subway a few stops and get off in the thick of it all. After walking around awhile, we head up to the View, a rotating bar-restaurant 42 flights up in the Marriot hotel. It is ridiculously expensive, they definitely charge for the experience. But it is cool, you start to get a feel for how it rotates as you sit.
After a while, you do feel like you get a panorama of Manhattan. It just takes three $20 drinks to get there, at least they are strong.
With that, the night is over and we get home. I crawl into bed hazy and drunk, awaiting another day of vacation.