I went on a quick business trip to New York on Monday and Tuesday and wanted to share a few details. As much as I would like to possess vast knowledge and travel history with New York, I don't, so this little trip was fun and exciting.
I arrived Monday evening and was able to have dinner with Kyle Westaway, a good buddy who I have not seen in a long while. We had a good time catching up and hanging out and I was reminded how good it is to share a meal with an old friend.
Other than the fellowship, the restaurant was a highlight. While Leah and I don't get out to many restaurants, when we do, we prefer smaller more intimate places with innovative dishes. Kyle's pick of Elettaria was just the place.
Elettaria has only been open for about a week, but the food, the service and the "at home" feel of the space will make it a popular spot for months to come. It has the look of an open row house with exposed brick and a barn wood ceiling. As you walk in the door, Elettaria exudes both warmth and a sense of familiarity and its small open kitchen is neither overstated nor overbearing.
Kyle and I split the special appetizer of the night, a plate of scorpion fish complemented by a tornado of slow cooked pork loin and bok choy in a rich broth. We then had the Bavette and Wild Boar for entrees respectively. Both were excellent and expertly prepared with innovative, yet subtle touches. All to say, next time you find yourself in NYC, a trip to the West Village to take in Elettaria will not disappoint and will not break your wallet.
Another first experience for me was Penn Station. It is the quintessential commuter and train hub that you would expect in New York and has all the quirks one would associate with all the movie images that conjures up. I was especially intrigued by the giant board of train arrivals and departures. It does not look like it has changed in a long time and everyone just stands there staring up at the board waiting for the numbers to flip down so you know which track your train is arriving or departing from. From that point, it is a quick and mass movement toward the departure gate and has all the marks of an era long since gone. I imagine Penn Station operated much in the same way long ago and it was fun to experience the train to New York, even if the experience is only a shadow of its former self now.
On a funny and final note, while I was waiting in the Amtrak lounge before standing under the big board, I found myself sitting right across from two girls who could not have been more than 25-27. The ridiculous thing was that they were talking exactly like the ladies in one of my favorite news skits on Saturday Night Live, "The Bronx Beat". I have included a video below, but it was hilarious. They were talking in these short and agitated sentences and talking on top of one another. There would be these long pauses and then one of them would talk about how agitated she got about something which would then erupt in a flurry of agreements and additions to the original sentiment. I can kinda picture this coming from two middle age New York women, but these girls were younger than me! I guess this is just the way the culture is in the city. A sample is below
Sitting next to one another chewing gum but looking in opposite directions and then talking in thick New York/Bronx accents
Girl 1: "I hate these jeans... I don't know why I bought these jeans, I look huge in them"
Girl 2: "It's true, you have to be like a size nothing to look good in those jeans"
Girl 1: "I don't know why I buy anything these days, I look huge in everything"
Girl 2: "I am so tired of all the models and their clothes"
Girl 1: "Give me a break, no one looks like that, who are they kidding"
Girl 2: "It's crazy"
Girl 1: "It's ridiculous"
Girl 2: "I know I hate it"
Girl 1: "I am never wearing these jeans again..."
Long pause with more staring in opposite directions and smacking of gum
Girl 2: "What is this extreme fighting stuff? My boyfriend wants to go every night, I swear it"
Girl 1: "Your telling me, Johnny is obsessed"
Girl 2: "And of course every time he wants to go is on one of my nights off"
Girl 1: "Obsessed"
Girl 2: "I don't even care, you want to watch people beat the s**t out of each other, go ahead"
Girl 1: "I know Johnny is obsessed"
Girl 2: "It's ridiculous. I'm tired of it."
Girl 1: "I don't even know what it is with them, the extreme fighting and everything"
Girl 2: "It's stupid"
Girl 1: "It's dumb..."
Another long pause
Girl 1: "You know who is so cute but wears bad combinations of clothing? Ashley"
Girl 2: "She is adorable, but your right, the combinations are bad"
Girl : "They are terrible. Its like the puffy skirt and the puffy shirt"
Girl 2: "It's too much."
Girl 1: "Great clothes, bad combinations. It's too much"
Girl 2: "And she has great boots."
Girl 1: "I love her boots but they are too much. Give me a break. Wear it all separately."
Girl 2: "Your right. Not together, but I do love her boots."
Girl 1: "They are fabulous."
Girl 2: "They are great"
Girl 1: "She is adorable, but it's too much"
Girl 2: "Your right, bad combinations..."
It literally went on like this for 15 minutes and was hilarious.