Tuesday, July 7, 2015

NYC Trip 2015 - Day 4, Part 1: Katz's, Russ and Daughters, Lower Manhattan, Chelsea Market

Day 4 of our New York City adventure started out like every other day - with perfect weather! View from our hotel room with very clear blue sky.

Being the subway pros that we now are, we hop on the 6 train south and get off at the Bleeker St stop to begin our Lower Manhattan exploration.  We head east on Houston St and arrive at our first destination, Russ and Daughters Appetizers.   Like many other NYC fixtures, Russ and Daughers has been around "appetizing" for over a hundred years (since 1914).  They specialize in smoked fish, caviar, and other delicacies.  

smoked salmon case
Zac orders for us with the ease of a local.  We partake in gravlax, potato latkes, smoked herring and cream sauce, and smoked salmon and onions (no cream).  No bagels and lox for us this time, something to get when we return!

Gravlax and potato latkes

Herring and cream sauce

Smoked salmon and onions

We left room for a second breakfast at our next stop, and only one block east on Houston, Katz's!

view from our table.  this place is huge! 
We shared two Katz's specialties, their classic hot dog and pastrami sandwich, with an egg cream to wash it all down.  I have never had pastrami so tender and flavorful in my life!  Nothing to this point that claimed to be pastrami that I have eaten should be allowed to be in the same category of food as Katz's pastrami.  It was that good.

Two very full people
Stuffed to the brim, we set off to explore more of Lower Manhattan.  We meander our way back down Houston Street to the Nolita neighborhood.  Nolita is perfect for exploring, quaint streets lined with interesting shops, cafe's, and everything a stroll through NYC could deliver.  We walked down Elizabeth, Mott, and Mulberry Streets between Houston and Spring streets.   Along the way we discovered a very cool shop Made In Earth, where I picked up a fossilized memento; walked past Lombardi's pizza, and stopped for a pick-me-up at Nolita Mart and Espresso Bar on Mott St, on the border between Chinatown and Little Italy.   We wandered through some neat Italian groceries that have been around for close to a century or more, Di Palo's Fine Foods and Alleva Dairy.

Di Palo's Italian fine food shop

Alleva Dairy
Before leaving Little Italy we visit the Italian American Museum, and by visit I mean we looked in through the windows.

We still saw something worth noting.....a professional wrestler seems to get more prominence in this particular display than the Pope....

We don't really see much of Soho or Tribeca, no time, except to walk from Little Italy down Walker Street (parallel to Canal), past the Tribeca Grand Hotel on our way to the E train, Canal Street station. On our way, just past the Tribeca Grand on 6th Avenue, across from Tribeca Park, we see a film crew!  Curious, we walk right up to the film crew to see if we can figure out what is going on.  Someone quickly directs us to stand up against a building and out of the middle of the sidewalk.  I have just enough time to figure out they are filming someone walking down the street, and I get this photo.  I recognize him immediately as someone I'd seen recently on TV. Zac, not so much, but after Zac does some googling, he figures out this is Rami Malek, likely filming for Mr. Robot, a show on USA.  (Earlier this year I watched HBO's The Pacific, and Rami was a young soldier, likely why i recognized him).   So, that was cool.

Next up - Chelsea!  We take the E train from Tribeca up to the 14th Street station, where we emerge just a block or so away from Chelsea Market.  Chelsea Market exceeds all our expectations as a foodie's wonderland of fine foods to buy and eat! We opted to tour on our own (they have official food tours), which worked out well.  I was especially fascinated with all the fresh seafood, including sea urchin! 

Inside Chelsea Market
spices and teas as far as the eye can see!


Very near Chelsea Market is Artichoke Pizza, a perfect mid afternoon pit stop and late lunch spot. We get a sampler of pizza's to energize us for the rest of our day. 

Next up - the High Line! After pizza, we hop on the High Line around 18th street and walk up to 23rd.  There is more to see on the High Line, but we got a glimpse with some great views of the city.

Hudson River and New Jersey in the background

After the High Line our feet are in need of some rest (mainly MY feet), so we take the subway back to the hotel for our mid afternoon break, have to rest up for our evening in Brooklyn!  Stay tuned for Part 2 of Day 4: details on Brooklyn's Park Slope (the Other Fifth Avenue!), unexpected sunsets, and Peter Luger Steakhouse!

Catch up on the first parts of our trip here:
Day 1 - Dinner at Per Se, a Thomas Keller Restaurant
Day 2 - Momofuku Noodle Bar and Babbo
Day 3 - Flushing, Sushi Yasuda, and Spot Dessert Bar