Our first Denver visitors arrived on October 15…..Clarice and Fritz Hill and Nancy and John Stamper. We were so happy to see our dear friends and were ready to show them our new home and new city. We were also glad that we had had time to become true New Yorkers in the six weeks we had been here which had given us time to get to know the streets and, more importantly, the subway system.
They stayed in midtown at the Roosevelt Hotel on 45th and Madison which opened in 1924. We met them there and then walked just a few blocks to Grand Central Terminal. We planned to have a drink at the Campbell Apartment, formerly the private office and salon of 1920’s tycoon, John W. Campbell, which is located in the terminal. It has been restored to its orginal splendor and is a hidden secret of New York, or so we had been told. However, it was full of businessmen and women having drinks after work so we walked outside to the Campbell Terrace for cosmo’s and scotches and beers. It was a lovely warm evening in the city and a good spot for people watching.
We walked a few more blocks to Osteria Laguna on 42nd St., a little Italian restaurant, and enjoyed our first (of many) great meals together.
On Wednesday we had breakfast at our apartment…oj, coffee, Tal Bagels (fresh from bagel shop in our neighborhood), pumpkin scones, grapes, and Kunik triple cream cheese (made in the south Adirondacks of NY). Then off to the subway and got off at the at Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall stop. We walked partly across the bridge and were thrilled and terrified by three workmen walking up bridge cables….and only two were teathered. We were not sure whether to watch or turn away.
Next stop was the 9/11 Memorial. This is still under construction and currently consists of a large grassy plaza with two waterfalls constructed into the footprint of the two World Trade Towers. The names of those who died that day are inscribed into the granite around the waterfalls. At one site is a pear tree that survived the destruction and continues to grow and inspire. The museum is not yet open. One World Trade Center is under construction and nearing completion. The memorial area is a somber and peaceful site.
We took the subway north to 23rd St. and the Flatirons area. Lunch was at Manzo, a restaurant in the Eataly complex……a huge indoor Italian market. We watched fresh pasta being made, aged meats being thinly sliced, and huge wheels of cheeses being sample.
We each ordered a glass of red wine and the prie fixe lunch which was superb. We were all so happy that Clarice had found this wonderful spot for us!
We walked to the Flatirons Building and then walked around Grammery Park, a lovely residential area of stately townhomes and classic apartment buildings. It encloses a lush, private park which is only available to the residents of the area who have keys for the iron gates. We had heard that Chelsea Clinton has a townhome here, but she was not playing in the park that day.
In the evening we met at Becco on Restaurant Row in the theater district. This Italian restaurant served family style roasted vegetables, Caesar salad, and three pasta dishes. The wines were $25 per bottle! We only had about an hour to enjoy our dinner and had to leave for a quick walk to the Lunt-Fontaine Theater for “Motown.” This was a lively Broadway performance and had the entire audience clapping along to The Temptations, Smokey Robinson, and Diana Ross.
Next morning we all slept in a bit and then took the subway down to the financial district for a walk along Wall Street and a visit to the golden bull statue in Bowling Green Park. We walked through Battery Park and relaxed on a bench amidst purple asters and fall foliage while viewing the Statue of Liberty in the distance.
Next stop was for lunch at Fraunches Tavern in the financial district. This is the original 1700s tavern where George Washington bid farewell to his troops at the end of the Revolutionary War. We enjoyed Cooperstown ales and hearty autumn fare….John is digging into his chicken pot pie below.
We took the subway to the upper west side and strolled along Park Avenue admiring the luxurious apartment buildings.
No trip is complete to NY without a walk along 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue among the most expensive shops in the world. Rent is this area is $3500 per square foot per month! We enjoyed FAO Schwartz, Tiffany’s, and saw John Bolton, US representative to the UN, as we were going into Barney’s.
We regrouped that evening for a planned taxi trip to Greenwich Village as it is not easily reached by subway. However, the limo driver outside the Roosevelt Hotel insisted on making a “deal we could not refuse” with Fritz and John, and so we were driven to the village in style. It was such a pleasure to sit back and relax and let the driver figure out how to navigate the congestion of a night in Manhattan. For the Lindens, this was the second ride in a car in two months.
We had all planned to dine at Rosemary’s as Allison and Nelson Perkins had recommended it from their stay in NY a few years ago. However, when we arrived we were told it was a two hour wait (they take no reservations). None of us was too keen on waiting til 10 pm for dinner so Fritz found a place right across the street that could take us right away……and it ended up being not only delicious, but our most fun meal.
We were given menus and a wine/drinks list and were busy chatting away. The waiter came to take our drink order and we found that we had lost the wine list, a new first! He brought us another and we did not lose this one!
We all enjoyed the food and wine but more so the owner, Mauricio Grano, who came over to chat with us near the end of our meal. He told us about his passion for food and described how their cheeses are made in Italy and delivered to him three times a week. Everyone in the restaurant seemed to come up and chat with him as they left, and he knew them all from the neighborhood.
One of the local patrons came over to tell us that his is the best restaurant in Greenwich Village…and we were all in agreement! It was a delightful evening in every way and we were all sad to bid farewell to each other as we tooks separate cabs home to our beds, no limos this time.