NY in Early December 12-6-09

New York in Early December.


Richard J. Garfunkel


Since yesterday was Linda’s birthday, we had decided to drive into New York and see some of the sights. For all of you former New Yorkers, the Henry Hudson toll is now $3.00. It seems like yesterday that it cost only a thin dime. We traveled down to historic Fraunces Tavern, which is located at 54 Pearl Street. There was little traffic on the Henry Hudson, the West Side Drive and 12th Avenue which leads directly past the old World Trade center site, and the “new” Stuyvesant HS, the most expensive high school built in history. At Battery Place we circled past the Staten Island Ferry slips to Water Street and we found parking in lower Manhattan at a premium. But persistence won the morning and we squeezed into a spot only two short blocks just east of Pearl Street and facing directly at the East River.


We made a brisk walk to 54 Pearl Street where the restaurant museum stands. It was sunny and brisk outside, but even though cars were parked every where it was eerily lonely in this part of town. The quaint weekday lunchtime eateries were mostly bordered up on this pre-Christmas Sunday. The shoppers and tourists were somewhere else, and one could look at the ancient Magna Carta in the solitude on loneliness. So we had plenty of time to gaze at many of revolutionary era paintings and some of the artifacts from that bygone age, now over 230 long years ago.


After coming downstairs, we thought about eating at the restaurant, but there was no one there, and it was still early so we decided to leave and decide whether to cross into Brooklyn and stroll around Boro Park or go for lunch on City Island. While we were making up our minds, we made our way up Water Street and decided we would stop at a Jewish bakery named Moishe’s on 2nd Avenue and 7th Street. On our way north on the Bowery, we also figured that we would look for a pickle outlet like the Pickleman or Guss’s I knew that if we could find Essex Street, we would find pickles. We turned right on Houston and headed east towards the East River. Not far up the block was Essex and we turned right and headed straight down that wide street until on the right was the Pickle Guy. Linda hopped out, bought a mixed quart of half-sours and sour pickles and we made a u-turn and headed back to Houston.  


Back on Houston Linda forbade me from stepping a foot into Katz’s Deli, so once on Houston, we headed west to 1st Avenue, drove up to 7th Street and found a space directly in front of Moishe’s where they were happy to see us. With a little questioning we found out they make pletzels, a type of onion board, during the week, but if you really wanted one, you could order it during the week, and they could hold it for you. Since the famous Gertel’s, which was located at 53 Hester Street for years closed in June of 2007, to make room for another “badly needed” high rise, this type of delicacy has been not easy to find. So after getting a sliced seeded rye, a few egg rolls, an onion roll and a small piece of seven-layer cake, it was off to 23rd Street and the FDR Drive.


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