Central Park (NY) and beyond

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ken8038
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2009/05/24 19:48:00 (permalink)

Central Park (NY) and beyond

Last week my daughter had a week off between college graduation and her summer job (no full time job with benefits yet, Daddy’s paying COBRA and hoping the summer job turns Full Time ASAP). We decided to go into NY on Wednesday and walk (not run) the 6 mile loop in Central Park. It was a beautiful day.
We got into Penn Station at 9:30 and since the park does not close to traffic on weekdays until 10, we decided to warm up by walking the 26 blocks to the Columbus Circle entrance (59th and 8th)  and head north in the park from there.
http://www.centralpark2000.com/maps/map_runners_loop.html
A weekday is definitely the best time to do this. In some of the more northern remote sections of the park we pretty much had the park to ourselves. We continued in a clockwise direction, stopping here and there to admire the springtime beauty of the park. We left the park at 95th street and 5th Avenue to head over to 2nd avenue, to our lunch stop, Nick’s Pizza at the corner of 94th and 2nd...
 
http://www.nicksnyc.com/mainmenu.html
 
In spite of the name “Nick’s Pizza” this is more of a somewhat upscale Italian trattoria (and no slices). Their pizza appears on many 10 best lists. I would put it defiantly in the “10 most expensive” category, at $14 for a very small pie. But it was excellent, with excellent fresh ingredients. And it was just as well that it was small, we only had our backpacks, and no real way to carry leftovers anyway.
 
I should mention that the construction of the new 2nd Avenue subway has made a mess of 2nd avenue in that area. Nick’s is almost totally blocked from view of the street, and it seems to be hurting their business. We were the only customers on a Friday lunch hour.
 
We continued down 2nd Avenue to Rathbone’s Tavern between 87th and 88th street.
 
http://www.rathbonesnyc.com/
 
Back in my “heyday” (not that I ever really had one) , in the early 70’s, Rathbones was one of the Swingin’ Singles places on the Upper East Side, and it was one of my favorites (along with a long-defunct place called Geordie’s Apple Pie). When researching this trip I was fairly amazed to find out Rathbones was still in business, since Hot Spots never unusually last in that area.
 
It’s certainly no longer a Hot Spot. At 1:30 PM on a Friday the only other customers were some 2nd Avenue Subway Construction workers on an extended (and loud) lunch hour. But it was interesting to be in a place I had not been in in over 30 years. I had a quick beer, and my daughter had some sort of 20 something concoction that set me back $8.
 
Continuing our tour of the Upper East Side, we continued south to Or washer’s Bakery, on East 78th just east of 2nd Ave. This  old-school bakery has reputation for terrific rye breads among other things. (The Seinfeld episode about the Marble Rye was really about Orwasher’s even though it wasn’t filmed there). I bought a seeded rye, with which we made turkey sandwiches that night, and it was absolutely the best rye bread we’ve ever had.
 
http://www.orwasherbakery.com/
 
 
Continuing South we headed a few blocks west to The Lexington Candy Shop, one of the few (maybe the only) Old Time Ice Cream parlors left in Manhattan. It’s a total step back in time. My daughter had and Iced Coffee which she proclaimed to be very good, but I was disappointed in my Chocolate Egg Cream, it really wasn’t prepared very well. Oh well, it was nice to be there anyway.
Warning: Slow-opening musical web site:
http://www.lexingtoncandyshop.net/
 
Our last stop before heading back into the park was the Soup Burg coffee shop on Lexington Avenue and 77th street (no web site as far as I can tell). They used to be on Madison Avenue for 50 years, but apparently they moved within the last couple of years to a new location. None of the charm remains, and the service has not gotten any better, but the burgers are still quite tasty. After the pizza, alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks, bread samples, etc, we were kind of full, so we only got burgers, no fries or anything else.
And on over and into to the park. We finished the loop, walked several blocks back north to get the obligatory tourists shots by the fountain and sheep meadow, relaxed a bit, and then actually had enough steam left to walk back to Penn Station. My daughter said The Old Man did good, 14 miles on the pedometer.
One last link. A printout of this page was the best piece of information I brought with me, it was invaluable:
http://www.centralparknyc.org/site/PageServer?pagename=aboutpark_history_faqs_restrooms
All in all a great day out. And yes, I do consider myself lucky that I have a 20-something daughter that is willing to spend a whole day with her Old Man and actually seemed to enjoy it.

#1

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    Buffalo Tarheel
    Double Cheeseburger
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    Re:Central Park (NY) and beyond 2009/05/24 20:16:13 (permalink)
    Great report - thanks for sharing it.  It is also a good thing to be able to share Roadfood adventures with your daughter.  Obviously you did a good job raising her to appreciate the better parts of life.  Thanks again.
    #2
    Nancypalooza
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    Re:Central Park (NY) and beyond 2009/05/24 20:29:48 (permalink)
    Sounds like a great day out with your kid Ken!
    #3
    Freddies Mommy
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    Re:Central Park (NY) and beyond 2009/05/26 13:20:35 (permalink)
    THat sounds like alot of fun.  We go to the park alot but never really know where to grab a bite to eat and end up pretty disappointed.  Either that or we grab a crepe over by the fountain.
    #4
    ken8038
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    Re:Central Park (NY) and beyond 2009/05/26 20:52:05 (permalink)
    Thanks for the good words. One update, I just got the Sterns new book, and they listed Orwasher's as their favorite Rye bread.

    By the way, I apologize for the BIG typeface. I'm once again having trouble cutting and pasting from Word. It looks fine on the preview screen but when it's actually posted it's about 3 times larger and the formattng gets messed up.
    #5
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Central Park (NY) and beyond 2009/05/27 06:54:00 (permalink)
    Good report on the Upper East Side neighborhoods, Ken.  My feet hurt just READING about walking 14 miles on city streets!
    #6
    agnesrob
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    Re:Central Park (NY) and beyond 2009/05/27 07:26:50 (permalink)
    Nice report Ken! And BTW the older I get, the more I love large print!
    #7
    Nancypalooza
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    Re:Central Park (NY) and beyond 2009/05/27 09:40:19 (permalink)
    Yeah ken, I thought it was kind of awesome.  :)
    #8
    mar52
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    Re:Central Park (NY) and beyond 2009/05/27 15:46:17 (permalink)
    What a wonderful way to spend the day.

    It will be a beautiful memory in the years to come.
    #9
    jaylhorner
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    Re:Central Park (NY) and beyond 2009/05/27 16:11:41 (permalink)
    How did you walk after all those pit stops?
    #10
    ken8038
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    Re:Central Park (NY) and beyond 2009/05/29 23:25:07 (permalink)
    <<How did you walk after all those pit stops?>>

    Huh?? We didn't stop at ALL of them, just a couple, but without the list it would have been dicey.
    #11
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