Note that Big Picture Agriculture and two of her staff visited NYC for a few days last week, and this post (which is a bit off-topic) is about that. Know that three of the staff stayed home to keep this site running — one trouble-maker spent the time in the garage and two were in the house with litter boxes. A final staff member was busy studying Ag in college so couldn’t go on the trip.
It had been a whole decade since my last visit to NYC and now that we’re back home it is difficult to switch gears. Most consider Boulder to be a busy little town and it is sometimes referred to as Manhattan-West, but it feels very quiet comparatively.
A few sentimental observations about this city included seeing the NYPD officers and bouquets of flowers in memoriam of 9/11 in front of a station, the yellow cabs, beautiful cars in terrible traffic, the mandatory stop at “Imagine” in Central Park where the vibe never changes, the subways and their musicians, the Starbucks on every block, the new Freedom Tower lit up at night in red-white-blue, Citarella’s food market, unlimited designer fashion window-shopping, great architecture all around, great restaurants everywhere, Chinatown, busy bars, a young 25-35 year-old Manhattan street population, and people who like to dress up more than those of us who live in the Western U.S.
Kudos to city-planners for the great success of the High Line project which we walked one evening. The landscape designers did a superb job and the urban renewal surrounding it after just a few years is impressive.
I admire the walking culture of the NYC urbanites. Perhaps no other city in America can equal it and consequently you don’t see many fat people there. But, I pity the many women who follow the crowd by wearing 5 inch stiletto heels to do that walking, because in pursuing beauty today they will have ugly bunioned and hammertoed feet tomorrow.
Nine out of ten bunions happen to women and more than half of America’s women have bunions. A decade from now that percentage will be higher because of today’s fashion fad. These shoes surely violate some orthopedic health safety law. END soapbox.
Only once during the visit did I get the heebie-jeebies thinking about the food distribution system there, and it happened while I was waiting in line at Starbucks and watching people come in to order their sugar-laden $6 specialty drinks. Do they know where their food comes from and just what if??? As much as I’ve been reading about roof-top gardening and urban gardening there, I never saw any to speak of.
The water level in NYC has risen five inches in the past fifty years, and is rising faster on the Mid-Atlantic coast than elsewhere. New York City’s Office of Emergency Management predicts sea levels two to five inches higher in the next decade, seven to 12 inches higher by the 2050′s, and up to nearly 2 feet higher by the 2080s. It is a frightening reality with no easy answers.
As luck would have it, a very happening bar in town was atop our “Pod 39″ hotel. Newly opened three weeks ago, the hotel’s three elevators were usually headed to Floor 17 where this open-air rooftop bar with brick arches and walls was located. The views were spectacular both day and night, but especially at night. If you live in NYC, go.
Not to be disappointed, both our son and we were hustled by drunk brokers at bars around midnight on our second night there. The next day we compared broker business cards and stories. The one my husband and I met (in the above bar) was helping out with the velocity of money in NY big-time as he shared with us the cost of his rent, his mortgage on his Hampton’s house, his utilities, his car rental space, and his frequent bar scene tabs. He gave us a song and dance about a stock that would surely double next week. He was definitely a hamster on a wheel. His blonde girlfriend from LA showed up after twenty or thirty minutes, and then he left us. After all, it was a week-day night and he had to be in his Park Avenue office the next morning. I sympathize with these types during these tough times, really, I do.
Other than the Farmers Market, the only must-do item on my NYC visit list was to go to the Isamu Noguchi Museum in Queens. We did that the first day and we were all three captivated by this artist’s talent and life’s work. If you go, I highly recommend the one-hour documentary which runs in the museum, “Isamu Noguchi: Stones and Paper”. Very nearby to the Noguchi Museum is the Socrates Sculpture Garden on the waterfront which is pictured in the panoramic photo at the top of this post. It is the site of a clear plastic inflated Buddha floating on water which you may have seen before in photographs.
Our 25-year-old son who got a degree in architecture two years ago and is now working as a brewer in the mountains of Colorado accompanied us. His version of the visit went like this… because of an inquiry he made on Reddit before the trip, he was given a free bike rental from a friendly bike store for the three days which he then used to cover Manhattan. He loved biking there and thought it was a great way to see the city. He even participated in a “bike race” in Central Park and when I asked him if he biked against one-way traffic, like I scarily witnessed on some busy streets, he answered “yes”.
For lodging, he couch-surfed across Brooklyn at friend’s places. They covered the bar scene which ends at 4AM quite well which landed him at a post-fashion-week party on the first night. He met up with more friends from his past at a Manhattan Husker bar to watch the Saturday football game. For clothes shopping he hit a “Housing Works” thrift store for a new button-down shirt and for a book to read on the plane ride home he dumpster dived with some “nerds” at 1AM while walking three miles to meet up with a friend getting off work as a bar tender. He envied her for making $400 in tips that night. He experienced the city that never sleeps.
On Saturday, we visited the Farmers Market at Union Square. In our opinion, it surpassed every Farmers Market we’ve been to so far, including ones at SanFrancisco, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Charlottetown, Boulder, Lincoln, and SantaFe. The produce reflected the richness of the growing region in climate and soils. The booths looked totally authentic, the growers were savvy, and at this time of year softball sized heirloom tomatoes, squash and amaranth flowers made for colorful displays.
If you go, just north of the Farmers Market was a great fast casual dining Asian restaurant called “Republic”. Sure wish I could have brought that eatery home with me to Boulder. Food trucks also lined that street.
I love NYC. We thought that the people we met there were great, too. But when we got to LaGuardia and saw how the Coloradans were dressed for their flight home, I breathed a sigh of relief and knew that I belonged with them.