Locanda Verde, Life Underground, and The Highline – New York

Doorway

And now we come to one of my favourite days in New York – breakfast at Locanda Verde, followed by the Highline – and a few surprises along the way!  Warning – this post is photo heavy, but hopefully enjoyable!

Exterior

Menu

Choosing to eat at Locanda Verde was a no brainer – they had lemon ricotta pancakes on the menu!! People!!! Talk about exciting!  So, the four of us popped on a subway train and made our way down to Tribeca.  Ahhh… Tribeca – why do you have all the amazing breakfast places???  Locanda Verde was literally a block from Bubby’s – this was definitely the neighbourhood to be in.

The pass

We arrived and parked ourselves inside – dilemma!! All of these dishes looked amazing.  There was a flurried conference.  What if we order savoury first course, and share the lemon ricotta pancakes for breakfast dessert!  I was torn – would that be enough pancakes for me???  However, the persuasive powers of my dining companions could not be underestimated… I was swayed.  And it turned out to be an excellent decision… so here’s the low down…

Omelette

Zucchini Frittata
Roasted tomato, goat cheese, fiore di zucca

Pesky M decided to order the Zucchini Frittata which was beautiful – the dish was cooked to the perfect consistency.  Sometimes frittatas can be a tad rubbery due to excessive cooking – not so this LV version.  She was a happy camper.

Uova a Piacere

Uova a Piacere
Two organic farm eggs – prepared any way – served with garlic potatoes and toast

Both iMac and Gorgeous AT ordered the Uova a Piacere – and loved their eggs.  Poached to perfection – they were wonderful orbs with a heart of sunshine that oozed appropriately all over their toast.

Sausage

Homemade Pork Sausage

Not content with just eggs and potatoes – they ordered this amazing homemade pork sausage on the side.  It was dubbed the best sausage of the whole trip!  Very high praise!!

Uova Modernese

Uova Modenese
Cotechino hash, spinach, tomato hollandaise

Hmmmm…. And what did I have for my savoury main??  Generally, I’m not known as an eggy girl – I can’t really explain it but I sometimes feel queasy after eating them.  However, I was swayed by the “cotechino hash” in the menu description – expecting a hash brown situation to come.  I was certainly surprised by the hash – which resembled more a savoury pork mince (and no potato in sight) – but it was amazing!!  The eggs were superb and the tomato hollandaise was a revelation.  Why is no-one doing breakfast like this in Melbourne?  Please… someone – add this dish to your menu!!  It was freaking awesome!!

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
Fresh blueberries and Meyer lemon curd

And finally – the dessert course!! Yummmmmmmmmm…. Oh my goodness!! These pancakes were awesome.  The girls were very impressed.  I’m not sure that they were better than Bubby’s (and I have a confession – I went back to Bubby’s two more times on solo pancake scavenger breakfasts) – but the girls really liked them and rated them the best out of New York!!  Hmmm… I might have to go back-to-back and do a “pancake-off” on my next trip!  The things I do for you dear reader…

Laughing man x2

Well sated… we strolled away from Locanda Verde with very happy tummies.  We were ready to meander up to the Highline to check it out.  We strolled to the train station – and right past Hugh Jackman’s coffee place – The Laughing Man.  Damn!! We’d already had coffees!!  We’re definitely going to put this on the list for next time. After all – Hugh’s our man, he surely would have great coffee.  Alas – no sign of the man himself….

Sculpture 1

We hopped on the blue line and got off at the 14th Street–Eighth Avenue Subway Station – and we found this gorgeous little man sitting there! Why… hello there….

Then as we continued through the station… we kept happening across more and more of these little people!!  They were gorgeous.

Sculpture 3a

Sculpture 2

Sculpture 7

The series of little people, entitled “Life Underground”, was crafted by Tom Otterness in 1998. The work was commissioned by the Metropolitan Transport Authority, and apparently there are over 100 of these little characters throughout the station complex.

Sculpture 6

Sculpture 10

Sculpture 4

I have since found out that Tom Otterness is a controversial artist – having shot a dog and filmed it for an art project many years ago.  I have to say, I, along with many, many people – are sickened, dismayed and offended by this – it’s just taking “art” to an unacceptable place.  In 2008, Tom issued a public apology for the act he committed over 30 years previously as a 25 year old – which hopefully was sincere.  But his youthful decision continues to have waves of ramifications on his life and his work.  He still loses commissions, one as recently as October this year, once people become aware of the film.  I wholeheartedly support such decisions – but a part of me can’t help but feel a sense of loss. His sculptures are gorgeous, whimsical things – and some of them will never see the light of day as a consequence of his fateful decision.

Sculpture 9

Sculpture 5

Thankfully – I wasn’t aware of this at the time, so we actually loved being surprised by the little people as we made our way out of the station.  Clearly – we didn’t get anywhere near locating the full set of 100 – but were delighted as we zig-zagged across the concourse each time we spotted a new one.

We emerged into the light of 14th Street and made our way down to Gaansevoort Street to find the southernmost point of the Highline.  A slight delay occurred when we happened across a Kate Spade pop up shop! Hello!!! It was filled with the “Saturday” range – targeted towards 20-somethings, but we were happy enough to kid ourselves and get distracted.  iMac – who attends Kate Spade Anonymous due to her addiction managed to fall off the wagon yet again… but she seemed happy!

HL2 Standard

Tiffany & Co. Foundation Overlook with the Standard Hotel in the background

HL2 getting ready to go

The gals ready for their Highline Adventure!

And now for the Highline… to be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Everybody had raved about the Highline – so I was probably expecting swathes of gardens and a hidden oasis among the streets of New York.   It does this to a certain extent – but it actually blends in with its surrounds a lot more than I expected…

HL3 - multiple

HL2 boat

A spot of friendship, old rails disappearing into the undergrowth, and views of the Hudson

HL8-relaxing

HL9-interaction

Diller-Von Furstenberg Sundeck and Water Feature

Along the Highline, there was always places where you could take a break and chill out.  You could almost forget you were in one of the busiest places on earth!

HL6- wall inscription

HL9- Tenth avenue viewing platform & W15th Street

HL9-view

The viewing station overlooking Tenth Avenue, and looking along W15th Street.  Lots of people enjoying lunch here…

HL9-more views

HL12 Empire

Empire views

HL10 taking some time out

Taking a bit of a time out…

HL14 fields

At times it looked like we were traipsing through fields…

HL11 vegetation

HL15 parking

Car parking… New York style…

HL16 apartments

Views of the London Terrace Apartment Complex – which has 1700 apartments and an Olympic sized swimming pool!

HL18 mirror wall x 2

Broken Bridge II by El Antasui – the largest work by the Nigerian artist to date

HL20 Colin Powell - flower - boardwalk

Colin Powell features in a series along the Highline entitled “Busted” – by Goshka Macuga

HL22 Restful places

HL24 Streets & Chrysler

The intersection of 10th Avenue and 23rd Street, and Views of the Chrysler Building

HL23  time out

HL27 skyline

HL26 street art

Now… THAT’S street art!   Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra recently created this amazing wall mural on the side of a building at West 25th Street in 2012.  The mural is based off the iconic 1945 photograph V-J Day in Times Square by Alfred Eisenstaedt.

HL25 walls

HL29 Fire escapes & walls in the air

HL31 Radial bench

Iconic New York fire escapes, building New York, and the Radial Bench protected by scaffolding.

HL32 End of the line

At the northern end of the Highline, which currently finishes at W30th Street – Construction is going on at the Rail Yards.  The first phase of this half mile extension to W34th should be completed next year.

So, the Highline was amazing – but a little different to what I expected.  It is a bit like a green vein of nature through the concrete towers of New York.  It is a brilliant way to take in the city though – with some great, iconic, and unique vantage points.

Sigh – happy days in New York!! What a brilliant day of sightseeing and surprises!  The girls toddled off to have a cruise around the Hudson in a sailing ship which I opted out of.  First up – I tend to get seasick, but second, I thought it’s something Andrew would like to do – so best to save it for my next trip with him!!

Stay tuned for my next post – which is about the most amazing meal I think I have ever had (and the most expensive)!!!

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