Monday, September 14, 2015

New York - Financial District

There haven't been an enormous number of immediately obvious changes in the city since I lived there. The cleanup of Times Square was a big one. I rarely ventured into the Financial District back then, but it was known as a place that didn't have much to offer outside of regular business hours. It was a place to work, then people went home, leaving it fairly deserted. The difference now seems every bit as huge to me as Times Square. I absolutely loved it. 

Mainly, there are just so many lovely green places. Some of them look like they were intentionally put there for workers to sit out during their lunch hours when the weather is nice. 

Others, like like small parks, were probably there before. But I don't remember them being so nicely landscaped. And when did all those curbside planters become a thing, like in the photo at the top? What a difference they make, but I'm pretty sure they weren't there way back when.

We were there on a Sunday, and while there was certainly way less traffic than there would be during the week, there were still very nice places to hang out. We went to a burger place for lunch, the wide cobblestone alley pretty much deserted except for the outdoor diners. 

On a lot of residential streets uptown, shorter brownstone row houses are mixed in with the skyscrapers. Downtown, the concentration of super tall buildings is much more dense. But I still found them surprisingly attractive. I really, really enjoyed walking around this area.

My friend Bernadette came in only for one night, and we did venture out of the neighborhood later in the afternoon. We made a short stop at the PJ Clarks on the Upper West Side, and sat at the bar. I swear, I felt like I was in New Orleans. The old dark wood decor and all the fresh seafood on ice behind the bar, totally the same vibe. And I love it.

Then, on the advice from one of Bernadette's foodie friends, we went to Root and Bone for fried chicken. I have to admit, it seemed very odd to me to choose fried chicken out of all the cuisines available in Manhattan, especially being from the South. Fried chicken is something you make at home or pick up at a drive through. I have a deep and abiding love for Church's fried chicken.

However, the chicken was excellent and so was the service. All of the food was good, but there were some weird ass sides. One of mine was popcorn. Yeahhh...but I enjoyed it. 

The next day, we left our bags at the hotel after checking out, then walked around some more until it was time for our train. Stopped for one last drink at the Dubliner. I was so happy to be still taking subways and trains, and we got to visit a while longer since we got a train that stopped at the Newark airport on the way to Bernadette's stop in Trenton.

It was a great time, and I found a new area to love. 

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