Empire Hotel

I have just returned from another fabulous trip to NYC, and I always learn a few new things. We stayed again at the Empire Hotel on 63rd & 9th, on the upper west side, across the street from the Lincoln Center, and in fact we had 2 large windows facing it. I really like this area and think of it as my “neighborhood”  We were a couple blocks from Columbus Circle subway and a Whole Foods. Walk up Columbus Ave and there are lots of small restaurants and outdoor cafe’s. The same with walking south on 9th street, small hardware stores, fruit and vegetable stands, and more small ethnic restaurants.

I have decide that this is the NY I like, I really don’t care for the Time Square area, it’s fun to walk through and look at the neon lights, but it is nothing more than gift shops, and chain retail/restaurants. Monday, Aug 5, there was a roped off area in the square, someone inside yelled out “Happy National Underwear Day!” I later read that at 5:00pm that night 2000+ people gather together in their underwear trying to break a record. Wow, I’m sorry I missed that.
I can’t think of any negatives on this trip. I had my line-up of things to do and eat before we came and all went well. Here is a list of my top 10 for this trip.
#1 Great Hotel Room and location.
#2 Restaurant Week, a great way to sample some of the best restaurants with 3-course meals for $38.
#3 Saw an Off-Off Broadway show in a small theater in Tribeca, The Kings Whore. A modern spin on Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn
#4 Food Truck tour in the Financial District by Turnstile Tours. A great guide (Brian), and 6 different samples. All were good, but my favorite was the Grenada Jerk Chicken by Victoria.
#5 I saw 3 celebrities– I saw Hoda & Kathy Lee filming the Today Show, and on the NBC tour I saw Mayim Bialik from the Big Bang Theory walking down the hall into a make-up room.
#6 Best food to enter my mouth, Ramen at Totto Ramen on 52nd st & 9th, Lunch at Chili Thai on 9th & 49th, appetizer Black Cod Miso on Limestone Lettuce at Nobu Next Door, and the Confit of Duck Leg at Apiary at 3rd Ave in East Village.
#7 The weather made the trip! high 70’s all week. I was expecting a lot worst for NY in Aug.
#8 Three visits to the Wafels and Dinges food truck. It didn’t help that it was a block a way from our hotel.
#9 My first visit to the Metropolitan Museum and Cloisters Museum. Wow! I need another visit, I barely scratched the surface of the Met.
#10 A nice mellow evening of Mostly Mozart and the Lincoln Center.

Lincoln Center

Outside the Lincoln Center