Saturday, March 21, 2009

Reason #20: My Week as a NYC Tourist

This week you might as well have given me a fanny pack, camera, visor, and an “I Love New York” tshirt because I was the ultimate NYC tourist. Alongside the Japanese, Germans, and Texans I was venturing the museums, attending the Broadway shows, and trying out new restaurants.
Here are a few of my tourist reviews (and no, I didnt make it to the "hello kitty" store):

Alta (64 West 10th St): This West Village tapas restaurant has wonderful ambience and a beyond delicious menu. I Highly Recommend. For the six of us, we probably ordered 12-15 tapas dishes, but my top favorites include:
Ricotta Parmesan Gnocchi tomato & piquillo pepper sauce, pancetta, pesto
Crispy Brussel Sprouts fuji apples, crème fraiche, pistachio nuts
Avocado Relleno with crabmeat and shrimp, frisee, and orange segments
Fried Goat Cheese with lavender infused honey
Bacon Wrapped Dates & Olives stuffed with almonds (Top Pick from the Meat Eaters)
* They also just put a deviled egg dish on their menu two days ago that we tried – superb!

Carmine’s (200 West 44th):
The Carmine’s restaurant I attended was in the Theatre District, but there are other Carmine’s restaurants on the Upper West Side, Atlantic City, and Paradise Island. I went with my team of coworkers (there are seven of us) to experience some Southern Italian cooking. My coworkers are meat lovers – so much that the last team dinner discussion was about their personal experiences with the medical condition of GOUT (apparently it is when your feet and joints swell from too much alcohol, meat, and not enough exercise). Gross.

Anyway, we ended up not ordering ALL meat dishes. We got the Caesar Salad, Fried Calamari, Ravioli, Eggplant Parm, and Veal Marsala (portions are family style). Aside from the screaming baby lamb & fungi, I had a little bit of everything and it was quite tasty. My Boss always leaves me to pick out the desserts so I went with the tiramisu and chocolate fudge for everyone to share. Both were heavenly, and we all happily rolled back to the office (no pun intended). I would Recommend this restaurant – it is perfect for a large party before a Broadway show…..which brings me to my next event….

Broadway Show: Jersey Boys: As a Valentine’s Day present I got the Boyfriend tickets to see the “Jersey Boys” on Broadway. (Disclaimer: My boyfriend actually LIKES Broadway shows. I did not get him a present that I really wanted for myself, despite what you may believe, he actually digs catchy show tunes.) Anyway, the show is about the musical biography of the pop group, Four Seasons and Frankie Valli. During the show the popular songs “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” and “Sherry” are sung in identical sounds to the Four Season’s original music. It was a great show, and I would Recommend this show to anyone but particularly to parents, and even more particularly to Italian parents. The Boyfriend really liked it as well, and Ive even caught him humming “Walk Like a Man” into the mirror.

Guggenheim Museum (Modern and International Art): Through my work I can get myself and guests into most museums in New York City for free. Therefore, I decided to take Friday off from work, and take my parents and my sister (who was visiting) to the Guggenheim museum. Now the usual price of the entry into the museum is $18, and when I was getting our “free” tickets, the Asian tourist infront of me handed over $800 for the ticket. The cashier replied with, “why the heck are you giving me this much money? I said ONE EIGHT not EIGHT HUNDRED.” Man, imagine paying $800 to see some artwork? Ahh, tourists.

Anyway, the museum was quite interesting and Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture of the building itself is remarkable. I saw some gorgeous Picasso, Kadinsky, Cezanne, and Van Gogh paintings I had never seen before (Above is Van Gogh's Mountains at St. Remy). However, a few exhibits were a bit bazaar such as:
- Painting by a Buddhist who dipped his head in black paint and used it as a paint brush to create a black line.
- Huge black painting to stare at to accentuate simplicity.
- The requirement to take shoes off before entering exhibit and large sign that stated entering the exhibit “may change your psychological state.”
- Video clip of a guy sleeping for six hours.
- Lady receiving acupuncture.

While I did enjoy it, I scratched my head at a few exhibits with the thought, "I just dont get it."

Alright, I am off to my soccer game, but my next blog will include a run-in with “The City” star last night at an East Village bar….and then back to some health and wellness news : )

Another Disclaimer: One of my blog stalkers followers (Dan ahem) commented that the times of my postings were quite creepy - such as 7:00 am on a Saturday morning. Just to let you know, my 1980s computer is a little antiquated and apparently 3-4 hours behind time.

* One Million Gillian Reasons to Live Well *


  1. Ah...a date with your city! Sounds wonderful...can I be a third wheel next time?

  2. Oh thanks for checking out my blog!

    I am excited to read your finance posts- that is one thing I am not up to speed on!

  3. You are so much fun! Can't wait to read about your run in from The City!

  4. I love being a tourist in my own city! Years from now I STILL will not have seen everything...and I love that. I make a point of doing cheesey NYC stuff every so often. Case in point: the view from the Top of the Rock is great!