Archive for the ‘Upper East Side’ Category.

Gosh darn it, people are way too polite!

We can all agree on one thing: the problem with America today is that everybody is too polite. It’s annoying! Everywhere you go, it’s strangers tipping their hats to you as they walk down the sidewalk, whistling a jaunty tune. Drivers on roadways insisting that you go ahead of them, and then giving you a smile and a wave. Store clerks and waiters earnestly thanking you for their business. And it’s got to stop.

Luckily, New York Times writer Nick Bilton is on the case. In an article that he will probably one day regret writing, the technology journalist rails against the habit that threatens to destroy the very fabric of American civilization as we know it:

Some people are so rude. Really, who sends an e-mail or text message that just says “Thank you”? Who leaves a voice mail message when you don’t answer, rather than texting you? Who asks for a fact easily found on Google? Don’t these people realize that they’re wasting your time?

Finally. It’s about time someone said it: basic human decency is a complete waste of time, and people who exhibit even a passing concern for others’ feelings are destroying America, not to mention personally offending Nick Bilton — which is, let’s be honest, the worst crime of all.

Thank You, Jerk: On Digital Etiquette

Oh, the inhumanity!

Nick Bilton


Unfortunately, it seems that the future Aldous Huxley predicted in 1932, in Brave New World, is arriving early. Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. However, we do need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT) and to prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading.

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New York tips: Tulsi, Jones Wood Foundry, Golden Mall

(From Tyler Cowen)

1. Tulsi, web site, 211 E. 46th, between 1st and 2nd, New York, NY, 212-888-0820. The most authentic Indian food I’ve had in the U.S., ever, get the vegetables. Not a cheap mom and pop, but by Manhattan standards this is reasonably priced for its quality. [Google | NYT| MY Mag | Yelp | Village Voice]

Jones Wood Foundry, web site, 401 East 76th Street, New York, NY, 212-249-2700. An excellent gastropub. [NYT | MenuPages | NY Mag | Yelp | Village Voice | Yelp]

2. Incendies joins Of Gods and Men and Even the Rain as one of my favorite films of the year. It is French-Canadian, set in Lebanon, and involves a journey of family discovery; I read it as an explicitly Christian movie.

3. Flushing, Queens, Golden Shopping Mall, 41-28 Main Street, Flushing, NY, go eat the Chinese food in the basement food court. For visitors, convenient from LaGuardia airport by taxi. [Serious NY Eats | Chowhound | Village Voice]

If you live in New York, or visit frequently, this is my best blog post ever.

Originally posted on Marginal Revolution – click to see comments and suggestions.

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A great exhibition of Impressionist and Modern paintings at Sotheby’s

Something nice to do in New York on the first week-end in November … walk to 72nd Street and York Avenue, free and no tickets required.
A great exhibition of Impressionist and Modern paintings, beautifully displayed, and nice toilets. The space makes me feel that I am in some SOHO or Chelsea art gallery but I am in the Upper East Side
Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale, Sotheby’s, 10 am – 5 pm, October 29 – November 2, 2008, Sotheby’s New York, 1334 York Avenue, at 72nd Street, 212-606-7000
There is a branch of Dean and DeLuca on the 10th floor with a lovely out-door terrace to enjoy a cup of coffee … or Matsu Sushi, 411 East 70th Street, New York, 212-744-5454. ….the best values are at lunch from their “lunch specials” from 11am – 4 pm … the sushi rice at Matsu Sushi is a stand-out … with the correct amount of rice wine blended into the sushi rice to give a nice sour and sweet taste, a very tasty sushi. Also they do not serve a huge piece of fish, just a nice size piece … and at the right temperature, i.e., luke warm and not ice cold … very close to Sotheby’s, the Tri-Institutional Friday Noon concerts at Rockefeller University  and the numerous hospitals in that area…
Speaking about lunch in this neighborhood, I must recommend the ILLY cafe at the Food Emporium on 69th Street & Third Avenue, very good Italian ILLY coffee, great sandwiches for $6.99, especially the mozzarella and prosciutto, numerous hot soups and $5.99 salad buffet … moreover, a whole roasted D’Artagnan chicken to go for $10.99, etc…

Beacon and La Goulue

Last week, I had two very enjoyable “Restaurant Week” lunches with my haute-cuisine partner at Beacon and La Goulue…
The plank-wood roasted oysters at Beacon are worth a return trip! Sorry to report that the peach melba at La Goulue was sub-par because it was Libby’s canned peaches, mon dieu! But I loved their grilled squid on a bed of fresh green salad as a starter and the pan-seared striped bass. A glass of the house-white cost $13. Mon dieu! At Beacon, two glasses of a muscadet and a red cost $6!
Lunch at La Goulue was very fabuloso with all the beautiful people… I started with a plate of grilled calamari (squid) on a bed of green salad. Very well prepared with the correct squid texture and a fine salad dressing. Next was a plate of pan-seared striped bass on a bed on potatoes and a orange-squash sauce. Very well prepared dish with very fresh fish, moist and not over-seared. Finally a peach melba … canned peaches, mon dieu!!! I thought I was eating at Howard Johnson’s somewhere in the Deep South … a glass of house white cost $13 … not going back … I think that Jean-George’s Jojo or Nougatine is much better for their food and desserts…
Over the conversation with my haute-cuisine lunch partner, I suddenly realised that these happy times will be over next year. My lunch partner will be retiring from his professional job! We will celebrate this joyous occasion on his last train ride back to Westport with a party-ceremony to burn his final monthly Metro-North card!!! The Age of Aquarius and Let the Sun Shine, Let the Sun Shine… Living well is the best revenge…
Beacon, web site, 25 West 56th Street, New York, 212-332-0500 [NY Mag | MenuPages | Gayot | NYT | savory NY | Yelp | Gayot]
La Goulue, web site, 746 Madison Avenue, between 64th and 65th Streets, New York, 212-988-8169 [NYT | MenuPages | NY Mag | Yelp]
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Noon music at Rockefeller University

The Rockefeller University hosts a recital series called the Tri-Institutional Noon Recitals. Held on Fridays at noon from September through June, this series brings outstanding musical talent to NYC.
For example, on December 15, 2006, pianist Soyeon Lee gave a great perfomance. She played with much expression and enthusiasm. What a joy!

Soyeon Lee

Tri-Institutional Noon Recitals, Caspary Auditorium, The Rockefeller University, 66th Street and York Avenue (#2 on this campus map – pdf), Recitals Hotline: 212-327-7007, ext. 1
Post by Peter

Figaro Pizza for rice and beans

Saki Knafo has a short piece in the NYT about Figaro Pizza on 2nd Avenue at 77th Street … my kind of place for a $5 lunch, inexpensive, no tipping, delicious ethnic food … walking distance from my apartment, too! Care to join me for lunch?

[I]ts workers serve lots of pizza in the front of the tiny shop. But follow a Spanish-speaking customer to the back and you’ll find Hispanic servers dishing out heaps of rice, beans, plantains and pollo guisado (chicken stew).

“It’s very hard to find Spanish food around here,” said Wilson Casue, a 29-year-old construction worker from Ecuador. He sat before the last specks of a hearty meal of fried fish and rice and beans, which, at $5, had cost just a nickel more than the dainty goat-cheese-and-cucumber sandwich at a gourmet deli in the neighborhood.

The Pizza Joint Con Carne (and Salsa),” by Saki Knafo, The New York Times, August 6, 2006
Figaro Pizza, 1469 2nd Avenue, between 76th and 77th Streets, 212-472-2220 [Menupages]
Post by Peter

Cappucino, ice cream and sorbet

The very best “ethnic” Italian cappucino and ice-cream is at Bottega del Vino, … the real McCoy for $4 per cup … the foamy milk is so thick it will float the sugar … (a friend ventured into Starbucks and ordered an expresso that was served in an unappertizing paper cup – no class. What a contrast! I was ashamed for Starbucks) … I enjoyed many World Cup matches standing at the coffee bar … the ice-cream and sorbet are made in small batches … $3 per two-scoops … a great treat … and just across the street from the Apple Store … web site, 7 East 59th Street, 212-223-3028 [MenuPages | Citysearch]
The very best “ethnic” French ice-cream and sorbet is at Payard, also made in small batches … the breads, pastries and chocolates are so delicious… web site, 1032 Lexington Avenue, 212-717-5252 [Yummy Baguette | MenuPages | NY Mag | Citysearch | Gayot]
Perfect after a meal in Chinatown, they both close at 11 pm … Sweet dreams …

Tony Dragonas – best grilled hamburger in NYC?

Tony Dragonas, street vendor who has been serving great hambburgers and souvlaki at the southwest corner of East 62nd Street and Madison Avenue for many years … just one block from Central Park/5th Avenue … weekdays only …

Tony Dragonas grilling
Tony Dragonas grilling …

Tony Dragonas may have the best grilled hamburger in NYC
may have the best grilled hamburger in NYC

Tony Dragonas outstanding chicken pita with lettuce and tomatoes
try the outstanding chicken pita with lettuce and tomatoes – it is a large meal with a very generous portion of bite-sized grilled chicken …

Tony Dragonas gyros plate with rice and salad
and if you like lamb get the gryos pita … and make sure to get the secret tzatziki sauce (a yogurt sauce with cucumber and herbs) and on the pita offerings … you can also get the pitas as plates (pictured above), with salad and rice, for an additonal $1 …

Tony Dragonas was a finalist in the 2005 Vendy Awards

previous post: Tony and John Dragonas – street vendors
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Excellent Sichuan Food – Upper East Side

We have written about Wu Liang Ye before, the Lexington Ave. location.
Last Friday, we walked to the 86th Street & 3rd Avenue location for a meal at the Wu Liang Ye, 3rd … it is up-town and I was fearful that the meal would not be as good as the mid-town location
Good news … the dishes we ordered were very competently prepared in the Chinese manner …
we started with three dishes … Poached razor clams with Sichuan peppercorn and scallion vinaigrette … Ox tongue and tripe with roasted chili and peanut vinaigrette .. Jelly fish julienne with scallion pesto … yummy, yummy, yummy! … the three dishes can be ordered as a combination for $20.95 … worth every penny … the sauces were delicious with the right strength of chili and green scallion …
next … we ate an order of Chengdu wonton with Sichuan peppercorn vinaigrette … swallowing clouds! $4.95 …
finally, we ate sauteed spinach with garlic $8.95 … so very delicate … with a bowl of steamed rice …
a perfect meal
I had a glass of Wu-Liang-Ye, a colorless grain alcohol … similar to vodka … taste of lemon and lichi … drink chilled … can be considered as their house wine … very smooth with the hot Sichuan peppercorns … $6.00 with the meal …
very good service, too … I will be back to try other dishes.
And we got in some exercise … walking twenty blocks each way on a Friday evening …
215 East 86th Street, 212-534-6032

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More fun things for summer visitors to enjoy – with a three-course lunch for $20.12

“Summer Restaurant Week” isn’t over yet … extended through Labor Day, some of New York’s finest restaurants will continue to offer three-course lunches for just $20.12 (beverages, tax and tip are extra).
For example:
On the Upper East Side, before or after visiting the Whitney Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, enjoy the fine French cuisine at Cafe Boulud, 20 East 76th Street, 212-772-2600 or at Dumonet at The Carlyle, 35 East 76th Street, 212-570-7192 … classic French and delicious
On the Upper West Side, a visit to the New York Historical Society and the American Museum of Natural History must be combined with a lunch at Cafe des Artistes, 1 West 67 Street, 212-877-3500 … Austrian-Hungarian and very cozy …
On Columbus Circle, visit and shop at our own “Las Vegas” mall … the new Time-Warner Center … and lunch at Asiate in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 80 Columbus Circle at 60th Street, 212-805-8881 … a very spectacular view of Central Park from the 35th floor!
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