December 7, 2012

Happy Go Lucky

Chinese restaurants always chose the most positive names such as "Happy Joy." I suppose a name like "Sad Anger Chinese Food" wouldn't go over too well. Situated way over on 10th Avenue in Hells Kitchen, they appear to do a brisk late night business keeping all the hungry New Yorkers happy.

Christmas is...

I can think of a lot of things Christmas is, but worshipping doesn't immediately come to mind on my top 10 list. It's probably situated someone around number 327 or so. This monstrous and creepy billboard is located above the Majestic Delicatessen Cafe located in the middle of the Times Square area on 50th Street and 7th Avenue. Whoever put this up was probably hoping to take advantage of Mitt Romney's religious affiliation even though that didn't help get him into the White House.

Eat Meatballs

Meatball Obsession (Home of the Original Meatball in a Cup) is one of those places that I noticed a few months ago and was curious enough to try it out. It's located on 6th Avenue, just south of 14th Street. This is definitely a no-frills kind of experience because the shop is located on the street next to a subway entrance and you order standing right on the busy sidewalk.

Totally capitalizing (or exploiting) the latest culinary trend to sweep the city, they offer one thing and one thing only. You guessed it, meatballs. I stopped by to try their food a few months ago and I can tell you that if you like meatballs then this place is for you. They offer steaming hot cups of turkey, beef or pork sausage meatballs that are supremely delicious and not too expensive either. You can also get your balls served in a pocket sandwich, but their specialty is obviously served best in a cup. To top things off, they offer a choice of cheeses and a good selection of soft drinks including my favorites Cherry and Vanilla Cream. There is a small table with a lamp pushed up against the side of the building where you can stand up and casually eat your food on the street if you choose or you can always take it and run.

Also nice to see that they've totally festooned their shop for Christmas.

December 5, 2012

Gingerbread Crane

Every year at Christmastime, Le Parker Meridien hotel sections off a portion of their lobby for a wonderful display of gingerbread houses created by various local bakeries and restaurants. This year the theme is "Landmarks Around The World" and they have some truly great creations. My favorite was the "Hurri-crane."

Of course, you'll recall the construction crane that nearly toppled right onto 57th Street from the skyscraper site during the middle of Hurricane Sandy. The 90 story building depicted in gingerbread above is One 57 and its located almost directly across the street from Carnegie Hall and the hotel. The police and fire department forced the hotel to shut down for almost an entire week after the storm because all of the streets around the hotel were closed and residents were evacuated.

If you drop in to check out all of the gingerbread creations, make sure to stop by the front desk and buy a raffle ticket for $1 to vote for your favorite. The winner will get a 5 night stay at the luxurious Parker Palm Springs and all the money raised is going to the food rescue charity, City Harvest.

Origami Christmas

The holiday season is in full swing and since it's now the first week of December all of the hotels and stores in the city are decorated for the upcoming holidays. Le Parker Meridien is a nice hotel on 56th Street and they have an enormous 15' tree in their lobby decorated with what appear to be hundreds of multi-colored origami swans.

If you have extra time in your busy schedule, I recommend taking a minute or two to saunter into a few of the many hotel lobbies throughout the city to see some of the more creative Christmas displays. It's a fun thing to do and you'll find way better trees than the vastly overrated Rockefeller Center tree.

December 4, 2012

Not "The Little Drummer Boy"

It's hard to imagine how this happens, but apparently no one will stop you if you show up on 42nd Street and 6th Avenue with a full drum kit and just start banging away. This guy wasn't a bad drummer, but it sure adds to the noise of the city for him to be beating the skins late at night (9:00PM) without any sign of stopping. For the record, he wasn't playing Christmas songs.

Skater Dater

There is a relatively new public park right off 6th Avenue between 29th and 30th Street and it couldn't be better designed for skateboarding. This evening after I was checking out a store around the corner I chanced upon an excellent skater taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather to perfect some tricks.