Monday, August 4, 2014

Day Four - E & Madz in NYC (Ramen Dilemma, Brooklyn Bridge, and Pizza)

Day Four (Tuesday)

It’s now Tuesday, and for the first time, Nancy and the 2 kids will venture out to the city on their own. Remember, I have to work in New Jersey, and for this visit, we’re all staying at a hotel in Secaucus (which is a 20 min bus ride to NYC). I’ve taught them which NJ bus to take to the city, how to get out of Port Authority, and how to understand the basics of the subway system. The plan is for me to join them around 630pm (after work).

Port Authority’s Au Bon Pain

They decided to have a late start to their day, what a surprise! HA! They were still tired from the previous days’ crazy adventures. From what I recall, the moment they arrived at Port Authority, they ate at Au Bon Pain. It became a good habit to eat here, have a little bit of pastries, breadsticks and/or soup. It also gave them time to strategize.

Fifth Ave

Sometime around 2pm, I received a text message from Ethan…”Dad, we’re on Fifth Avenue, we were able to take the bus from our hotel, and took the right subway, are you proud of us?” Yes!!! Definitely!!! So it looks like they decided to walk around Fifth Avenue without doing any majorcshopping damage. I can only imagine a lot of walking was involved again. They sent me pictures of them in Times Square (M&M store I think). They also found a bookstore where they hung out to read for a bit. It wasn’t long after that it was around 5 or 5:30pm. They tried their luck with Aladdin lottery, however, they didn’t win….that’s okay…we had lots of Plan B’s. I was leaving work at the time, and it takes a good hour to drive from work back to the hotel due to rush hour traffic. Instead of just sitting and waiting for me, I advised them to grab dinner, and Totto Ramen came to mind.


Totto Ramen Dilemma

My family is a big ramen fan, and there are lots of great ramen eateries in the city. I’ve been to Momofuku, Ippudo, and Totto Ramen during my earlier visits this year. It was Totto Ramen that stood out for me. There are now 2 locations in Hell’s Kitchen. It can get very crowded. By this time (around 5:30pm), I was already in my car in NJ heading back to the hotel in Secaucus, so I can take bus #320 to the city. I told them to go ahead and go to Totto, and if I make it, I’ll join them. If not, then it’s okay.

They were called to their seats around 6pm; by then  I was just about to board the bus. I had a feeling I’d be stuck in traffic going through the tunnel and I was right. I dozed off for a bit I actually enjoy this downtime whenever I take public transportation). After 20 minutes of dozing off, I noticed a text
message from Nancy... “They spilled hot ramen on Ethan…it’s on his right arm, the arm that was fractured earlier this year!" While it was an accident, I can just imagine the pain of hot soup spilling. I felt bad for Ethan. The restaurant apologized, offered to cover their meals, gave him a souvenir shirt (since the one he was wearing got wet), and provided us with a contact name and # for the management. While my kids continued to eat, Nancy lost her appetite and just waited for them to finish. After eating, they went to the nearest Starbucks on 8th Ave (our meeting place). I finally got there right around 7pm. It was still bright outside, and since we weren’t going to watch any shows,I suggested for us to try and have some good NY pizza. There was only one place that came to mind...DiFara Pizza.

DiFara Pizza closed on Tuesdays

I’ve always wanted to go to DiFara Pizza in Brooklyn, but I just never had the opportunity.
On this Tuesday night, I looked up DiFara, and with our luck, it was closed. Just great!!!! So we had to go with Plan B. Grimaldi’s Pizza near the Brooklyn Bridge.

Brooklyn Bridge
We made our way all the way from the Theatre District and took the C train towards Brooklyn.  and we got out of the High St. The ride was probably 20 mins long...not bad. The sun was still out as we ventured towards the bridge. We were able to take pictures with the skyline in the background. It was just perfect 83 degrees….not cold at all. One thing you'll notice when walking on the Brooklyn Bridge, there's a pedestrian lane and there's a bike lane. You (as a pedestrian) better make sure that you're in the proper lane. The bicycle riders (locals and tourists alike) mean business. They ride their bikes pretty fast. So we had to be careful as we took a dozen selfies. LOL! After exploring the bridge, we made our way to Grimaldi’s Pizza on Front St. It was a short 5-10 minute walk.


Grimaldi’s Pizza

Supposedly one of the best pizza’s near the Brooklyn Bridge, so we just had to try it. The host was gracious; he walked with us and sat us upstairs. Our waiter on the other hand was rude…..he clearly needed Customer Service 101. I asked what he recommended or what’s the most popular pizza that people ordered here. He answered in the most obnoxious way, basically did not give me any tip or advice at all. I didn’t push the issue and I just told him to forget it. I tried to keep my cool, and ordered the pizza toppings we like….pepperoni, mushrooms, sausage. As I mentioned, the pizza was wonderful, but it’s sad to say the service left me with bitter taste. Will I go back to Grimaldi’s? NO!!!
It was already 9:30 pm when we finished our meal. We walked back to the subway station and headed back to Port Authority. We were back in our hotel before 11pm, and decided to go to the Walmart across the street for some late night grocery shopping. What would we do without Walmart???

That’s Day 4 folks….tomorrow is Day 5…back to the theatre….lotteries, and more food!!!

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