Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Yellow Eye View

We almost always either walked or caught the subway, but seeing the constant sea of yellow was more comforting than an eye sore, as much an important part of the Manhattan landscape as skyscrapers and food carts.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Corner Bistro

Corner Bistro on 331 West 4th Street (between 12th and Jane St) has dubbed themselves "the last of the bohemian bars in West Greenwich Village." They're a burger and beer bar institution in the area.

We liked Corner Bistro for several reasons:

1). Cheap beer. Order the McSorely Ale or McSorely Dark on tap for $2.50. If you're a high roller, you can order a Guinness Pub Can for $6.00. But why would you do that? Guinness is my favorite beer, but $2.50 at a bar in New York City is a great deal. Take advantage of it.

2). Affordable, simple beer-friendly food. You get no menus here and sometimes that's a good thing. There's only a few things you can order off a chalkboard. We've heard people exclaim that Corner Bistor's Bistro Burger is the best burger in New York City. We wouldn't call it the best, but the hefty 8 oz burger with melted cheese, bacon, and raw onions is pretty good, and the sheer volume of this burger makes it a good deal for just $6.75. We might have ranked this burger higher if the meat was more juicy and the bread less crumbly the first time we ordered it.

You can also order a chili burger for $6.75, a cheeseburger for $6, a regular hamburger for $5.75, or a grilled chicken sandwich for $6. The best part about the average-tasting chicken burger were the toasted buns. A burger is a better choice here.

But the best thing to order at Corner Bistro is their grilled cheese sandwich for $3.75. Granted, you can easily make a grilled cheese sandwich at home. But everything about the way Corner Bistro made this was perfect - nicely grilled, crunchy bread, ample amount of cheese, and it wasn't overly greasy or soggy. Pair it with a beer, and you have a lovely match. Pair this with a McSorely Ale and you'll have a fine dinner in Manhattan for $6.25! Add fries to the mix and your tab will still be under $10.

By the way, there's ketchup bottles everywhere.

3). Casual atmosphere in a non-casual neighborhood. You can walk into Corner Bistro dressed as down as you want and no one gives a shit. Corner Bistro has a mixed clientele, but consists mainly of dudes. If you're a single female in the city looking for dudes, don't bother trying to pick up men here. Corner Bistro guys seem like the kind of guys that would rather drink beers with their man friends while talking smack about women than the kind of high fivers actively seeking female companionship (you can find them paying $15 for martinis down the street).

4). 50+ bartenders. They look like they could be your pop or your wise-cracking grandfather that doesn't have time for young kids' attitudes. It's refreshing to see these type of guys behind the bar in a bar industry obsessed with hiring winking men with overly slicked back hair or girls who've blown all their tips on implants and too much makeup.

5). Yes, you can actually sit down to have a beer. Although it's a relatively small bar, there's at least seating options - intimate booths in the back area (mostly college types and couples) or the front bar area (mostly large groups of co-workers).

6). There's a jukebox. The music tends to get drowned out in the sea of conversations, but at least the choice to play music you like is there.

Another thing to know about Corner Bistro is that it's always crowded. It really doesn't matter if it's day or night, weekday or weekend. We've had to stand in lines, but the wait isn't too bad. For some reason, we always ended up seated next to the jukebox and kitchen counter.

One thing we didn't like about Corner Bistro is that they are one of the few places in Manhattan that doesn't deliver, which is why we ended up on several occasions ordering a Pop Burger instead. We can bet that they're too short staffed to deal with delivery orders. They'd be getting way too many burger orders at 3 AM.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Palate for Half Price Latin Drinks

New York City has the best bars in the U.S. Period. Proof - Paladar at 161 Ludlow Street. Best time to go to Paladar is between 4 and 7 PM to get tipsy off their half price drinks.

One difficulty at this bar is getting a seat at the bar.

Once you overcome that hurdle, the next challenge is deciding what drink to order - Mojito, Caipirinha, Margarita, or Sangria? Easiest decision is to try them all. They're all good. The bartender was making drinks factory-production style. It was crazy that there was only one bartender considering how crazy busy it was during the half-price hours. We've never seen a bartender with such mechanic focus.

We so badly wanted to order something off of their seafood-friendly menu but the food didn't come with happy hour prices so we stuck to the booze.

Paladar's a fun, lively spot. It's also located on a great bar hopping area. If you're over the age of 27, chances are you'll feel like a senior citizen among the sea of L.E.S. trendsters. But don't let that deter you from getting your discounted drinks on.

If we were in New York today, we would have definitely spent the day playing in the snow in Central Park then heading to a bar like Paladar to warm ourselves up (with fine summer time cocktails). New York, we're missing you most on a day like this.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Big Papaya

The gazillion Papaya chains can be an eye sore with their in-your-face signs, neon lights, and tacky Partyland decorations, but they bring back memories of good times in New York City, like the Presidential election. After we voted for our new President, we went to our neighborhood Papaya King and got hot dogs to go for dinner. We watched the news coverage of the Presidential election while eating our Papaya King dogs.

After experiencing an incredible Roy Ayers performance at Blue Note, we stumbled into Papaya Dog on our way home.

The fluorescent lighting is really harsh when you've had a long night.

Hot dog and corn dog was the best way to end that night.

No, wait, hot dogs and corn dogs followed by a beautiful distant view of the Empire State building when the streets are eerily quiet was the best way to end that night.

All the Papaya dogs pretty much taste the same, but for some reason, we'll give the edge just a bit to Gray's Papaya.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


This is why New York is the center of the world.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Herd of New York Lovers

This is the way you want to scream tourist.

Perhaps not the most street smart way to travel when in New York, or when you're trying to prevent getting overcharged, but it's cool that they don't give a damn about the way they're dressed or their image (well, unless their luggage was lost and they had no choice but to buy five white I Heart New York shirts for five bucks).

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Around The Park We Go

Additional pictures of Central Park that we took throughout the year.

A park where people go to tango . . .

This was the cutest and strangest thing. The guy on the bongo was singing "Who's your baby daddy? I'm your baby daddy." The kids were having a ball, but somehow that song was grossly inappropriate. I still have that song stuck in my head.

Images of rape and drugs at Central Park are gone, replaced by images like these.

Did we mention how kid-friendly this park is?

This playground area is so well designed, fun and functional.

A park for painters, photographers, artists and musicians.

A park for brides and grooms that want stunning background images, if they can somehow manage to get all the tourists and onlookers out of the shots. It's also a fantastic place for proposals.

A park for dogs.

A park for Lennon and Beatles fans.

A park for lovers and romantics.

A park for Shakespeare lovers (although the lines for free Shakespeare is ridiculously long and competitive).

A park for dancers, singers, jazz musicians trying to make some extra money while entertaining tourists.

What we love about this park is you can find your hidden, private spots or you can lounge among hundreds of people in the great lawn picnicking, playing sports, playing music, dancing, signing, hula hooping, performing, rehearsing, photographing, painting, acting, rowing, proposing, and ice skating. There's always something to see, something to experience, and something new to fall in love with.

And it's open until 1:00 am, although we've always left the park when the sun began to set. Probably not a bad idea.