Halfway to NoWhere

Ranting and Complaints of Life in Taiwan

Impressions of Big Apple – via iPhone

Under the Brooklyn Bridge (The only photo in this article not taken with iphone)

All my life, the impression of the US has always been those of California. The only difference is probably between the foggy-and-hippy-feel of San Francisco and the vast-and-infinite-horizon feel of Los Angeles.

Well, life is full of changes, and my perception of being American encountered another identity crisis when I touched down at JFK International Airport.

*View of New York from the plane’s window (thanks to the window-seat photographer who helped me take this pic)

The Big Apple is unlike the other parts of the States I’ve seen (not that I have been around that much, mind you). Not only is it packed, there’s also a very convenient PUBLIC TRANSORTATION SYSTEM! Oh my!

NYC Metro cards

Subway Station

On the train

The first image I have of New York City after I stepped out of the subway station was the crowded neighborhood of Brooklyn.

A local church in Brooklyn

It’s quite impressive, given the lines of three-to-four-story, red brick row houses. They seem to come out from the classical American movies like West Side Story.

In a way, the more easy-going part of Brooklyn where I stayed resembles a bit of San Francisco, especially the part of Williamsburg with small restaurants and bookstores, which gave the area an affluent feel.

EGG Restaurant serves great tasting home-style breakfast

*An example of the dish I ordered – looks great even in the picture

Being a symbol of America’s melting pot culture, there’s a load of great food selection in the city. One of my favorites – as a down-to-earth, no-nonsense MEAT eater, I’d have to say the well-known Peter Luger has to be one of my favorites:

Peter Luger in Brooklyn, near Marcy Avenue along the J line of the subway

Here’s a serving for 3 people. Look at the juicy pieces…

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to eat steak everyday I was there. After all, it’s unhealthy to both the body and most importantly – it DAMAGES your wallet. Great tasting stuff, but it would be even better if the price tag is more affordable. Oh well, I guess you can’t have everything.

Now, how about some Italian food?

Here’s a photo taken at Tony’s Pizza, one of the greatest-tasting pizzas in the neighborhood where I stayed. Carrying a name like “Grandma Pizza” (or was it Grandpa? Sounds almost the same except that one of them is spicy) doesn’t sound appealing, but wait until you taste the fillings of this baby – makes Dominoes seem like amateur’s work.

Grandma Pizza at Tony’s Pizza

Now, if you’re someone who eats large amounts of servings and loves home-style Italian cuisine, then Carmine’s is a great choice for you. The name of the restaurant came about during a conversation with relatives. The mentioned that if you’re going to Broadway to watch musicals, you might as well try out Carmine’s since the restaurant is close by. Well, it’s definitely within walking distance, but we weren’t expecting a near-hour wait (tells you how many people were stuffed into this two-story diner).

Waiting outside Carmine’s

As for the food, we (there were four of us) were warned by the waitress that servings are huge. She even suggested that we order two main dishes and two appetizers – that should be about right. Well, I’m sorry to say she’s wrong: we had to bring two bags back home with us because everyone was stuffed… Yeah, HUGE is the right description – she should have mentioned “American-size”.

Now, I manage to find time to visit lower East Side and try out the famous century-old restaurant Katz’s Deli and try out their famous Katz’s Pastrami and pickles. However, I have to admit that I know little about pastrami sandwiches and didn’t really know about the difference between good and bad pastrami, but I definitely had fun tasting the cream soda and the celery soda – yeah Dr. Brown’s CEL-RAY soda. Now talk about weird taste…

Inside Katz’s Deli

Pastrami and Pickles

Dr. Brown’s Cream Soda and Celery Soda

Fortunately, after my failed experiment with the celery soda, I was able to refresh myself with a taste of nice sorbet at the ice cream store next door – the il laboratorio del gelato. However, even though their products taste great, I can’t help but wonder who in the world would want to decorate their shop like a chemistry lab?

Inside the sorbet lab

My sorbet serving

Well… so much for my iphone pics. The next installment will feature some of the more sophisticated shots, captured with my “big” camera…

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December 28, 2010 - Posted by | Trips | , , , ,

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