Saturday, March 26, 2011

Manhattan for a Day

Some Assembly Required and I made a little jaunt by bus to Manhattan yesterday, just for fun. For a Bostonian, SAR knows his way around quite well. We had lunch in a classic sandwich shop, Eisenberg's, "raising New York's cholesterol since 1929." They start you off with a bowlful of powerful and excellent pickles, which affected the taste of the chicken soup and grilled cheese on rye that followed. But they were worth it.

Then we went to the Chelsea Hotel to check out Doughnut Plant, on SAR's list of recommended shops. It was hard to choose between flavors and I was too full for more than one. After ruling out Valrhona chocolate and crème brulée, I settled on a big, square, vanilla-glazed beauty with blackberry jam:

I wanted to photograph the entire doughnut, but unfortunately it was impossible.

After that, we settled down for some serious shopping, or rather browsing, as I was not in a buying mood. I always visit ABC Home when I'm in Manhattan, but my new favorite store is Evolution, on Spring Street.

Front window display with stuffed monkey and two-headed baby.

It's a bit like visiting a small version of the Peabody Museum of Natural History where everything has price tags. It's packed with fossils, skulls and skeletons (repro and real), seashells, animal hides, butterflies and insects, freeze-dried rodents and other taxidermy, gems, and plenty more.

I was very taken by this little guy with antlers:

And they claim that jackalopes never existed.

I told SAR that I would fill my house with stuff like this if I could (and if my husband could tolerate it, which he can't). SAR told me it was very cool but that he'd prefer to meet me outside. Some people are creeped out by taxidermy and bones, but I grew up surrounded by relatives' hunting trophies. If anything, the sight of dead mammals gives me an appetite for Italian cooking.

But I walked out without so much as a freeze-dried guinea pig for Possum.

As we wandered around Washington Mews and University Place, SAR remembered that the Triangle Shirtwaist building was nearby, and sure enough, we'd been looking at it. We went over in time to catch the tail-end of the memorial service — yesterday marked the centennial of the terrible fire. We had missed the large gathering that had booed Mayor Bloomberg for opposing unions earlier in the day, but there was still a lively crowd, ringing bells of all kinds, chanting, and calling out the names of the victims. It was strange to think that scores of bodies had landed in the area where we were all standing; doomed factory workers had jumped from the 9th floor to escape the inferno.
We left as this costumed bell-ringer made a dramatic entrance.

On that sobering note, we resumed shopping, visited St. Patrick's Old Cathedral to light candles, and grabbed some dinner for the bus ride home. A long, fun day, but I'd missed the cats. (The one, and perhaps only, advantage of dogs over cats is that you can take them out with you.) And, upon reflection, I hadn't had nearly enough doughnuts. Must remedy that next time.

1 comment:

  1. Again, you have taken me from SWFL up to the sights, smells and sounds of my Northeastern roots! Thanks so much :)


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