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Twelve Hours in New York City

12 hours in new york city

A few out our window

New York City has never been high on my list of travel destinations. But I finally got out of the airport for a look around after years of putting it off and just using it for connecting flights.

The family flew into Newark on a cloudy Saturday, landing at about 2 p.m. We managed to cram a lot into the past 36 hours or so. Let me give you a quick rundown of just the first 12, with more to come in future posts.

First, we checked into the Millennium Hilton right near Ground Zero. We were quickly back out the door determined to hit Chinatown; we figured that would be a great place to find a late lunch. Sure enough, we ran across a few Vietnamese places. I was hoping to find either cha ca la vong or bun cha ha noi, two of my favorite items from nearly three weeks in Vietnam. Given how much New Yorkers love to talk about what a great food city they call home, I figured it wouldn’t be a tall order. Not a single one had either dish, but New Xe Lua looked promising. Sure enough, it had a great salmon caramel hot pot, plus a really nice com dish with pork chops, shredded BBQ pork and one of those egg/pork things that look like a slice of quiche. They also did a decent ca fe sua da. Anneka couldn’t decide what she liked best.

12 hours in new york city

Checking out some Vietnamese food

Then, we decided to march toward a few of the well-known local beer spots. Along the way, we discovered that New York City has some fine parks for the little people. Anneka had herself a blast – she hit the slides, did some stair-stepping and made a few new friends (even older kids seem to love her).

From there, we ventured toward the beer. But the Proletariat was too tiny and frankly, it’s selection too underwhelming. We reset our course toward the Blind Tiger (running across Seek & Destroy, mentioned a few paragraphs later). Also not super impressive, and not a good place to hang out with a toddler and an Ironman stroller. We set course to walk back toward our hotel and hope for the best.

12 hours in new york city

Anneka makes a new friend.

I can tell you at this point that New York City is not a craft beer city. Contrast that to my home city, whose shortcomings I love hanging in the wind – in downtown Scottsdale, I can walk from the outstanding Craft 64 to Sip Coffee & Beer House to Goldwater Brewing Co. to Brat Haüs to the Cornish Pasty Co, none of which is more than 5 minutes from the other. At any single one of those, visitors will have no problems finding outstanding regional, national and world craft beer (in the case of Craft 64, all the beers are from Arizona). I hear Brooklyn is somewhat better on this count, but I can’t confirm that yet.

New York City seek & destroy

A terrific vintage shop in New York City

So, we walked back south. As we strolled, we came across a very fun place called Seek & Destroy Vintage Clothing Story. My description, if Seek & Destroy hired me to write their advertising copy, would be “Seek & Destroy Vintage Clothing/Bondage Gear/Halloween/Military Surplus Store.” I could spend hours there, and probably drop some decent money. This place would be great around Halloween time.

We continued our march, with Sarah noticing a place called Rice Cream Shoppe. I figured this was probably some sort of vegan/rice ice cream sort of place. But no! It’s a rice pudding shop, which is far better! They had at least 20 varieties of rice pudding and various toppings (including carob chips, which I’m nuts about). It was a great dessert that wasn’t too cold for a chilly night, and made neither of us feel like pigs.

Rice Cream Shoppe New York City

The Rice Cream Shoppe in New York City

From there, we continued to the hotel. I made a quick stop at a nearby Whole Foods hoping to take advantage of its beer selection. I had a quick chat with an employee, explaining that I’m from out of town, and would like suggestions for single bottles from regional breweries. He was friendly and helpful, but Whole Foods had few good choices. His first and most definite selection was Flower Power, a nice IPA from Ithaca Beer Co. I’m enjoying that right now, and I mean “enjoy.” It’s a fine beer with an aftertaste of pear. I’d bet there’s Cascade and Simcoe hops in it. He also sent me home with Brooklyn Brewing’s Sorachi Ace. I’ll let you know about that one in a moment.

Five Minutes Later

Meh. Tastes kind of bubblegummy, but not in that Belgian yeast sort of way. Probably a characteristic of the Sorachi Ace hop. Not badly brewed or anything … no off flavors that would indicate that the brewers don’t know their stuff. Just not a recipe I dig that much. Oh, well.
So, that’s 2 p.m. to midnight, first day in New York City. Not bad!

Mentioned in this post
  1. New York City
    City in New York

    New York New York
  2. Millenium Hilton
    Hotel in New York New York

    55 Church St
    New York New York
  3. New Xe Lua
    Restaurant in New York New York

    86 Mulberry St
    New York New York
    (212) 577-8887
    http://www.xeluarestaurantnyc.com/
  4. Proletariat
    Restaurant in New York New York

    102 St Marks Pl
    New York New York
    (212) 777-6707
  5. Blind Tiger
    Restaurant in New York New York

    281 Bleecker St
    New York New York
    (212) 462-4682
    http://www.blindtigeralehouse.com/
  6. Craft 64
    Restaurant in Scottsdale Arizona

    6922 E Main St
    Scottsdale Arizona
    (480) 946-0542
    http://www.craft64.com/
  7. Sip Coffee & Beer House
    Restaurant in Maricopa County Arizona

    3617 N Goldwater Blvd
    Maricopa County Arizona
    (480) 625-3878
    http://www.sipcoffeeandbeerhouse.com/
  8. Goldwater Brewing Co.
    Restaurant in Scottsdale Arizona

    3608 N Scottsdale Rd
    Scottsdale Arizona
    (602) 320-2317
    http://goldwaterbrewing.com/
  9. Brat Haüs
    Restaurant in Scottsdale Arizona

    3622 N Scottsdale Rd
    Scottsdale Arizona
  10. Cornish Pasty Co
    Attraction in Scottsdale Arizona

    3800 N Goldwater Blvd
    Scottsdale Arizona
  11. Rice Cream Shoppe
    Attraction in New York New York

    195 Bleecker St
    New York New York
    (212) 253-7423
    http://www.ricecreamshoppe.com/

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