Picture Stroll Through the Chelsea Market

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The Chelsea Market in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. A cornucopia of fine stores, tasty delicacies and chic frivolity. In fact, the Food Network uses the CM as its NYC studio. As evidenced here, it’s also a great place for picture-taking jaunts.

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via People Watching in Chelsea Market

 

At Horn & Hardart’s Automat

Long before the present-day craze of fast food restaurants (Burger King, McDonalds, etc.) there was the Automat. Established by Joe Horn and Frank Hardart, the first opened on July 2, 1912 in Times Square and was an immediate sensation. Offering a vast selection of freshly-prepared food, almost everything (literally) from soup to nuts, customers would drop a nickle in a slot and select their dish from windowed compartments.

“Children and tourists adored them, office workers depended on them, retirees gathered in them, and New Yorkers with nothing to spend on lunch stirred free ketchup into hot water and called it soup.” {read more} Lunch Hour NYC

AUTOMAT by EDWARD HOPPER, 1927

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Sea-Splashed Cuisine at Souvlaki GR

Life in New York City is fast-paced; it’s no wonder that many of its eateries are also fast-paced as well as mobile. Food trucks serving everything from fried-clams to beef shish kabob, from potato knishes to corn on the cob, are everywhere. While many believe this is a good thing, providing fast and affordable food, many others see it as a threat to refined dining.

To satisfy that latter constituent of gourmands, who crave their fast food with a dash of aesthetic ambiance, Souvlaki GR opened a stationary eatery at 116 Stanton St on the Lower East Side in May 2011.

It is far from the Cyclades, this begrimed block of the Lower East Side. Yet here is bougainvillea spilling over a blazing white wall, a cobblestone sidewalk washed white, and doors in that impossible Aegean blue.

Inside, there is more bougainvillea, spiraling to the ceiling; more cobbles underfoot; and everywhere the color of the sea.

Here you’ll find S GR’s standard cuisine, as proffered by way of their trucks, newly proffered by way of genuine-looking fake flowers, painted stones and doors and shutters opening to nowhere. But the skewered or pita-enfolded pork and chicken are moist with the complementary hint of char. The minimal condiments and garnishes are effective: tomatoes, red onions, enhanced with splashes of tzatziki. This, along with handfuls of French fries, add the obligatory “salt and crunch” to the affair.

There are, of course, other items on Souvlaki GR’s menu; but this was what most concerned me. In fact, it was running through my mind as I was lunching at a Souvalaki GR truck at the corner of Broadway and 57th Street and reading the Times.

The “sea-splashed” décor at Souvlaki GR.

Source: NY Times

Voluptuary Sundae Extremum

If you thought that Serendipity 3 in New York’s famed “Haute Dog” (or hot dog) at $69. was expensive, its Golden Opulence ice cream sundae at $1,000 outrageous, you haven’t seen anything yet. That’s small time stuff. The real Dining With Caligula experience doesn’t kick in until you’ve seen their “Frozen Haute Chocolate” sundae…at $25,000.

Now Stephen Bruce, owner of Serendipity 3, has gotten himself a Guinness world record for the most expensive dessert. The dessert emporium teamed up with jeweler Euphoria New York to create the “Frrozen Haute Chocolate,” a $25,000 chocolate sundae. The new dessert is made from a blend of 28 cocoas from all around the world and is infused with five grams of edible 23-karat gold and served in a goblet lined with edible gold. It is topped with whipped cream, more gold and a side of La Madeline au Truffle from Knipschildt Chocolatier, which sells for $2,600 a pound. It even comes with souvenirs, an 18K gold bracelet with a carat’s worth of diamonds that rests at the base of the goblet and a gold spoon set with white and chocolate-colored diamonds. It makes yesterday’s $1,000 bagel look positively simple by comparison.

Of course, money is just a mere bagatelle to those able to fork over 25 grand for such a gilded dessert. (Imagine how many ice cream cones you could buy with that sort of moolah.) These are the happy hedonists whose rarefied existence is rooted in casual privilege and flaunty spectacle. In fact, they’re the kith and kin of the too big to fail sect…so practiced in the art of treating themselves to a good time.

Source: Luxist

Subway Stop/ Shop Frivolity

There are many frivolous questions but some are far more frivolous than others.  For instance, take the following:  What are there more of in Manhattan? Subway shops or subway stops?

That’s the frivolous question posed and answered by Subway’s fascinating “Restaurant” Locator, to which the frivolous answer is 171 Manhattan Subway sandwich shops to 147 (118, counting transfer stops) subway stations in that borough.

Brooklyn can gratuitously boast to having more actual than marquee-based subway stops with 155 (or 170) to Subway’s 70 locations in the borough I call home…among other less attractive things. However, I missed this bit of earth-shattering news while probing deep into the mysteries of pizzerias and Chinese restaurants. I also missed my train on several occasions.

Then again, we suspect the store locator is underselling Subway’s ubiquity — “Queens, NY” only yields one location, which is crazy wrong. Anyway, whatever. Welcome to Mall-hattan, kids! Look to your left and you’ll see the newly christened T.G.I. Friday’s of Union Square! Look to your right and you’ll see ESPN Zone! Oh wait, it closed yesterday — at least there’s that. Paging PF %$^&ing Chang’s!

Nevertheless, I casually suspect that this survey failed to take into account the many indefinitely closed, eternally abandoned and obscurely buried subway stations scattered throughout NYC; the same could be said for Subway shops.

But that’s where madness lies and that would be far too frivolous for this far too frivolous post.

Grub Street

Lasagna Humongous

Here’s something to try at home: Chef Mark Ladner’s hundred-layer lasagne, served on a special menu at his New York restaurant Del Posto. Can you even imagine a hundred-layer lasagna? It’s not exactly simple…{read more} The Kitchen

To hell with warnings of cholesterol levels and related drivel. This is a mountain of some really serious lasagna we’re talking about here; one of those “to die for” sort of things.

Popping For Popcorn

I could never get enough of popcorn; it was an intrinsic part of the movie-going experience. Alas, I was younger in those days and much more energetic; prone to popping the clutch, cutting to the chase.
NEW YORK—1997.
© Martin Parr / Magnum Photos
Source: Slate