Friday, December 7, 2012
Full visit: wedding in Long Island and lots of family time there and in northern Jersey, Queens, and Manhattan. The diversity of our trip was amusing: one day we were attending a church service in Queens, a few days later we were watching (along with my wife's cousin and his sig. other) boot clad bartenders whoop it up on the counter tops in a gay bar in Midtown called Flaming Saddles. During this spectacle, four of us shared a Frito pie - a small bag of the corn chips filled with chili and sour cream. A real find in the continuing pursuit of Trash Cuisine.
The second to last day, we finally walked the Brooklyn Bridge. Manhattan to Brooklyn and back. Roughly two and half miles round trip. It was a perfectly crisp and clear Saturday. Many tourists joined us, along with several kamikaze bicyclists (who have their own lane and think nothing of grazing you). I recommend this outing, which had been suggested several times by our friend Don. It is a heady thing to traverse this familiar landmark, seen in so many films and television shows and commercials. Standing above the traffic, gazing at the Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan. I couldn't help but think of poor Bobby Z from SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, though his fall was from the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge.
You may have heard that on the Brooklyn side is a famous pizzeria called Grimaldi's. In my readings, it was reported that there is always a line around the corner. We did indeed find this, and instead joined a much smaller queue at Ignazio's, a few blocks down, with a great view of the Bridge as you're waiting. The pizza was good, as was my pumpkin lager. The amusement of our NY trip continued as we watched who was presumed to be the owner, a short, really wise-guy looking type who strutted around, asking each table if they were happy with the food and service, suggesting perhaps that someone's head may roll if they weren't. I also watched the guy motion in some other goombah friends to skip the line.
Afterwards, we wandered the neighborhood known as DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) and to Pier 1 on Old Fulton and Water Streets. Lots of pedestrians (tourists). Great views of the City. Ferry boats. This is a good destination for families. I recommend the Bridge walk and beyond. Touristy, yes, but a real delight.