When we left our heroes they were quenching their thirst with some refreshing egg creams. So the plan was to head to Macy's for some shopping. While passing through Astor Place on the way to the R train we saw these musicians jamming for the masses. Always love live music!
The trip to Macy's was two-fold. Franzi had a few things she was looking for and it gave us a chance to get out of the sticky, humid air and cool of for a bit. I didn't take any pics inside of the store but I have to say that I remembered Macy's being much cleaner and or more organized when we woulds visit the city when I was a kid. On this day it more closely resembled a close-out sale at Filene's Basement. Shoes and clothes strewn about just didn't seem right to me. Lori really wanted something cool to drink so I suggested Kelvin Natural Slush
, a newish street truck that sells all-naturals slushes like Spicy Ginger and Tangy Citrus. It seemed like the perfect idea so I called their Slush Phone to find where they would be located and we ended up getting Travelin'-Manned
! They were closed for the day! On a crazy hot day? Change of plans: we walked over to Penn Station to fill our water bottles and to take advantage of the huge industrial sized fans to cool off (plus they have some of the few public restrooms in the city!).
I saw this on the wall and it called out to me. I really did feel mellow right in that moment.
We hoofed it down 7th Avenue to 23rd Street and over to the Chelsea Hotel where many famous literary figures lived (and died) over the years.
Looks like SOMEONE is a Sex Pistols fan.
Right next door is the new location of my beloved Doughnut Plant
. Just a quick note: they do not make the doughnuts at this location. All of them are made at the original Grand Street store on the Lower East Side. I think there may be an issue with getting a fryer installed. I really like the doughnut artwork and the use of the box and coffee cup as a sign.
We're lucky we got any doughnuts at all as they were sold out of most everything when we arrived! I think the heat and humidity brought everyone indoors to cool off and business was more brisk than usual for this hour. All the had left were cinnamon buns (which I'm not crazy about), this Valrhona chocolate cake doughnut, which everyone enjoyed...
and an Orange Blossom Doughseed (read: mini doughnut). Interesting, but a bit too perfumed for my taste.
We still had one last stop for the day, Sylvia's Restaurant
in Harlem which means SOUL FOOD, a true American classic for Franzi to experience! On a sad note, Sylvia Woods, the founder of Sylvia's, passed away yesterday at the age of 86. She opened up a place that not only serves great comfort food but has been a meeting place and a Harlem icon since 1962. She retired in 2006 and since then her children and grandchildren have been running it. If our meal and experience is any indication they are certainly making her proud.
They have a dining room but I convinced the ladies that eating at the counter would be the way to go. We'd get to see them assembling the dishes and have a better chance to interact with the staff. Score!
I couldn't pass up the chance to try some chicken & waffles. They offered a "Harlem" waffle and a "California" waffle and I did ask but have since forgotten what is the difference between them. I did fail somewhat here as I didn't stage this shot as well as I could have. Lori posted a pic of her chicken & waffles on FB and by comparison it looked like her dish took my dish out back and worked it over! Great pics, Lori! All kidding aside, this was excellent. A hot, crispy waffle and moist, savory chicken. Lots of butter and maple syrup on the waffle only served to excite my taste buds even more.
Franzi ordered the bar-b-que ribs (with Sylvia's Original Sassy Sauce). I was very grateful that my two boon companions were completely down with sharing. These ribs were incredibly flavorful and tender. The meat came off the bone with just a slight tug. And that SAUCE!! I have never tasted anything like it in my life! Spicy, peppery and sweet, it had a definite taste of lemon to it and I think there were other aromatics in there too. I asked for a bowl of it on the side so I could dip just about everything else into it. I'm still haunted by it. AND they have bottles of it on sale for $3.00!! Life a doofus I didn't buy any. But they are very easy to reach by subway so I may just have to return for more and they do offer a 4-vegetable plate.
Franzi's ribs came with 2 sides and we ordered an extra one to share. Those collard greens were porky and cooked down just right. The candied yams were soft, sweet and impossible to stop eating. While I liked the mac & cheese and it was incredibly cheesy, I was spoiled having a mom that made a fantastic version and I'm always looking for one that is its rival.
Really good cornbread!
The Bowl of Liquid Awesomeness!
Our bellies full, we decided to walk to the A train closer to the West side of Harlem which would take them out to JFK airport where their hotel was located. We passed another mural on the way, this one of Dr. King. Respect.
And we also walked by the Apollo Theater. I was here a few years ago to see Elvis Costello and some other musicians. What a night THAT was!
That's it for this report. Lori & Franzi, thanks so much so for letting me come along and show you some of the places in my city that I think make it a wonderful place. Hope to see you back here soon!
"Eating is an adventure, enjoy the ride!" - billyboy, 2012 The 411:
1.) Katz's Delicatessen
205 East Houston Street
New York, NY 10002
2.) Russ & Daughters
179 East Houston Street
New York, NY 10002
3.) Gem Spa
131 2nd Avenue (btw. 7th Street & St. Mark's Place)
New York, NY 10003
4.) Doughnut Plant
220 West 23rd Street
New York, NY
5.) Sylvia's Restaurant
328 Lenox Avenue (aka Malcolm X Boulevard)
New York, NY 10027
<message edited by billyboy on Tue, 08/28/12 10:56 PM>