As Samuel Johnson famously said “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life”…… I always wondered if Mr. Johnson had ever been to New York City?
The island of Manhattan is only 13.4 miles long (21.6 km) and 2.3 miles wide (3.7 km). At 12 noon, every week day, 13 million people are going about their day on that island, whilst 9 Million live there permanently. 24,000 eating establishments and 100 museums. Isn’t that just mind blowing?
It’s the only city in the world where energy and exhaustion hit me at the same time. The streets of NYC were good to me and I love going back to visit. However, always with a food agenda. It’s constantly changing, the old die hards remain, but it’s the change I get excited about. The city is teeming with bright young chefs from all over the world, bringing new ideas, fusing east with west, south with north and it is truly remarkable. It’s their time. Some will last, most will not, but they come with incredible confidence to challenge the status quo boldly, that in my mind is a good thing.
When I entered the much acclaimed Buvette, the first thing that hits you is the beautiful back bar, early morning patrons sitting, sipping their café and eating delicious pastries. I would like to add they were reading their newspapers, but they weren’t, not in hard copy anyway…. isn’t that a shame. The overall impression, well it is stunning, and that yes, it is a slice of Paris in NYC. Food is simple and excellent, waiters a tad surly, (channeling their inner Parisian perhaps) that’s ok.
As the waitress directed me to my table, I raised my large bag above my head, took a deep breath and with as much grace as I could muster for my 5ft 9in voluptuous frame “slithered” into my seat. Whilst all the time uttering apologies to the couple on my right. It is times like this I wish I hadn’t run away from ballet class.
I sat on my tiny chair with my tiny menu, received my tiny delicious breakfast and ate it with my tiny cutlery. I felt like I was on the set of Lilliput. I get it…space is tight in NYC, I don’t have a problem with that as long as I am not having a serious conversation.
Let’s put it this way, tables are so close together, that I would not have had a problem buttering my neighbors toast if they asked. I would have made that joke with them only that they were breaking up. Cheating…. allegedly. They had come to the end of the road, and yes, we were all having their last meal together.
BUT it went on and on and on……. It was the longest break up ever…or felt like it… you said, I said, she said……nauseating, I was dying to say something, but not my circus, not my monkeys. You know what they say, you can’t put an old head on young shoulders. However, and more to the point, I am in no position to be handing out relationship advice to anyone, as I am still riding the short bus on that area of my life. I needed to leave, I couldn’t in all consciousness interrupt. I kept ordering Americanos and was praying that Dr Phil would show up to intervene. He didn’t and I bounced out of there caffeined up to the hilt, as if my personality really needs that...
Every day is an adventure in NYC, it’s all around you – As you explore the city and what it has to offer, embrace it, it’s infectious, but the most incredible thing about NYC for me is its people. They are direct, they don’t suffer fools, but are the most resilient, kindest people I have ever met. It doesn’t matter what is going on in the world, NYC keeps moving forward. That train leaves the station every morning and it is your choice to get on it or not.
As John Steinbeck said, “Once you have lived in New York and it has become your home, no place else is good enough.” I wonder is it time to get back on….