Saturday around the city

I had a full day yesterday taking my friend Nerris around, then having dinner with our Parisien friend, Alain.  I had to rush to the city to meet Nerris at 10:30 AM and from there we walked and explored the city together.

First off was Central Park, (click here for the Virtual Park online) just blocks away from where she and I met at the Hilton where a friend was attending a convention on fitness.  I enjoy coming here because there is always something new to discover — parts I have yet to see which I always try to find, and the scenery, in any season, is breathtaking.  It was such a joy taking Nerris around, too, because she was so game with her poses and photos that I didn’t mind clicking away.  I took all the pictures with my camera so that she could save the memory on hers, and I promised to give her a CD of all her pictures later before she leaves to return to Manila.  At the end of the day we had taken more than 90 pictures, of which 90 were saved in my memory card.

A very interesting sight to see was the Sky Mirror now in front of the Rockefeller Center by the Channel Gardens.  It’s described as a “monumental sculpture by internationally known artist Anish Kapoor,” and is truly a breathtaking piece of work even if only for its sheer size, standing more than three stories tall.  It is also a good “mirror” where you can have a picture of your reflection taken from below its underside, although the resulting image might be slightly skewed.  On the front side (the one facing the Rockefeller Center itself), you will see a magnificent picture of the sky and the tip of the building depending on the angel you look at it. The exhibit runs up to the 27th of this month only, so New Yorkers and visitors alike should go and see this work of art before they take it away.

We had lunch at the Rock Center Cafe where we had their Brunch menu.  I had the Onion soup which was just perfect for the chilly morning, the angus Steak and Eggs, and Nerris and I both had the Ricotta Cheesecake which was just so divine for its soft consistency and just right sweetness.  This restaurant is a personal favorite of Alan and I and it is a nice place to watch the skating rink outside.


Nerris enjoying the view from inside the Rock Center Cafe

Being the perpetual tourist here in my adopted home, I always enjoy showing the different sides of New York to visiting friends and relatives, and even friends of friends I had never met before they showed up here in New York. 

We walked through Fifth Avenue, down to my favorite photo spots, and we got as far as Union Square even where Nerris saw our own version of the Farmers’ Market, and she surmised it was the concept being followed at the Salcedo market.  We stopped by some freebies being given away by Volkswagen in front of the Barnes and Noble store and we got some free ice cream and scent samples from Banana Republic.  We walked to the Flatiron district where we watched several couples having their post-wedding photos being taken, one couple even doing it right in the middle of Fifth Avenue by the island with the Flatiron building at the back.  One wedding party was in Madison Square Park (not to be confused with Madison Square Garden) itself and we though that was the father of the bride with the bride until they started taking pictures where the bride and the supposed father were kissing — and then it dawned on us that the older gentleman was actually the groom (!).

I even took Nerris to a “hidden” portion of Manhattan which is mostly a residential area and an exclusive community, showing her the elegant brownstones surrounding the Gramercy Park which, I explained to her was a private garden.  Only the residents around the area actually had a key and were allowed to enter the park.

We parted at 6PM because Alan and I had our date with Alain.  This time it was Kittichai for us at 60 Thompson which Alain thoroughly enjoyed.  (Read my original post on Kittichai here

I woke up still feeling tired this morning but I had my Paris treats to look forward to: a box full of macarrons from Laduree courtesy of Alain.