The Zaragoza Twins Guide To New York

New York

Sheen says:

There are, to the best of my knowledge, 45,389 published guidebooks on New York, and that doesn’t include websites, which must be around the 10 million mark. Now I’m not really a guidebook reader (I leave that to Heen), but I wanted to get the most out our recent trip to NYC, so I went to the trouble of reading half a dozen of the most famous books as well as about 20 websites.

Was I happy with my prep? Well, actually, no. I found a lot of the information to be out of date and misleading and found myself disagreeing vehemently with what the critics had to say.

So, lest you travellers fall into the same traps as me, I have taken upon myself to write this here Zaragoza Twins Guide To New York. I pre-acknowledge that my tastes may not coincide with yours, but I swear that my impressions are genuine and that the factual information is accurate.

I have divided this short guide into the following categories: Hotels, Restaurants, Bars, Museums, Shops and Others. I have limited each category to three so as not to be excessively prolix in my exposé. I was thinking of including another list of places NOT to go to, but that would be too much. Some other time, maybe.

So here we go.

Hotels:

The Bliss Pit. Nicely tucked away beside the Chrysler building, this family-run hotel offers everything the discerning tourist could dream of. 18 rooms, 12 with en-suite shooting galleries, a communal bathroom and orgy facilities make this the ideal choice for those who want to taste the real New York.

Barney’s Hotel. Located in the heart of the Bronx, Barney’s is something of a legend. It was here that Lucifer Kluxheart strangled and maimed 14 guests in 1987, and the dining room hasn’t been touched since. Each room is soundproofed and has tasteful chains and bars on every window. Free taser on request.

The Chang Yu. Not easy to find, down a back alley just off Mott Street in China Town, Chang Yu has recently made its name as a boutique hotel for Jonas Brothers fans and other miscreants. Hilarious prices, dysfunctional staff and outrageous bathroom designs are the hallmark of this memorable hole.

Restaurants:

Qaldo’s. Serving anything from a burger to a 9-course meal, from 8 a.m. till midnight, since 1966, Qualdo’s has satisfied even the most demanding palates. Handily located on the corner of W 44th and Fifth, this eatery is a must.

Doris and Maurice. A fascinating fusion of Cajun and macrobiotic cuisine, in the heart of Greenwich Village, with just one vast rotating circular table and all the vodka you can drink for just 5 dollars. It’s important to book, as this hot spot is crammed with starving locals at practically all hours!

Morsels. It’s worth going to Queen’s just to come to Morsels, where they specialise in road kill dishes: bring anything you’ve accidentally slaughtered and they’ll serve it up with rice or fries. Don’t miss the squirrel sorbet!

Bars:

McWicked’s. E 22nd St, next to the Jewish bakery. Happy Hour: 5pm till 11pm. Lively atmosphere, topless waitresses on ice skates, deafening house music, explosive cocktails.

The Harlem Boozer. Like it says, in Harlem. Minimalist/baroque décor. Vast selection of draught ales. Discounts for war veterans.

Blindfold. A curious goth bar, dark leather and incense; Asian chill out music with a karaoke room. One of the few bars in New York where you can find Somontano wine! It’s on Madison, but I can’t remember where.

Museums:

Apart from the Met, the MOMA, etc., New York has several fascinating museums not quite on the usual tourist trail. Check out Dr Sylvester’s Traveling Fruit Museum (last seen in Washington Square), the New York Hairdressing Utensils Museum (Upper East Side) and the Brooklyn Vintage Stocking and Sock Museum. Closed on Mondays.

Shops:

Void Boutique. Somewhere in Greenwich Village but again, I can’t remember. It’s got a huge light green sign and it’s one of my favourite stores. Oh, and they sell great clothes, funky hats, that kind of thing. Mind you, it’s not cheap, so don’t bother if you’re a cheapskate.

Hyunis. Amazing multilingual bookstore in W 55th, literature, current affairs, baseball, necromancy, apiculture… Six floors of new and second hand books. Happy hour Wednesdays 6pm – 7:45pm.

Skylight Pharmacy. Union Square. Easy-to-bribe sales assistants will sell you just about anything, no prescription required. Ask for Jimmy and leave a nice tip.

Others:

It’s worth seeing the disused tin mines on Staten Island if you’ve got a spare hour or two, rarely visited by tourists nowadays. Also, the Little Zambia neighbourhood, and Blind Luigi’s Floating Tattoo Studio on the Hudson.

Useful Advice:

New Yorkers make a big fuss over tipping, working out 18% for everything. Follow my advice and give your tips in rare postage stamps from small European countries they have never heard of, like Monaco, Slovenia and Germany.

Smoking is forbidden just about everywhere. The best way round this fascist legislation is to wear a huge plastic bag over your head; tie it round your waist so that no smoke gets out, and nobody can complain.

To avoid paying exorbitant taxi fares, insist that you are allergic to the colour yellow and just a few minutes before you need to stop, induce vomiting and pretend to struggle with the car door. Once out, run into the nearest building and hide on the roof for at least 36 hours.

Most Americans speak and understand English fairly well. However, it’s a good idea to learn a few words and expressions in their own tongue. Be patient with them; repeat your words slowly and clearly in simple English and you should have no problem.

And, above all, ENJOY! New York is a great place. Honest.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Giuseppe on June 10, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    I just wanna thankyou for recomend the Blindfold bar is soooo cool. Drinking here made my day complete where I met my wife her name is Vanessa or Scarlatta or something like that.

    Reply

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