We were scheduled to stay with Leo's relatives for the next couple of days at Jersey City. Leo's cousin, Carlo, a student at Rutgers and working part-time at Aldo's, picked us up late in the afternoon.
From my sister's house in Avenel, we drove to Newport and parked near the train station where we took the Path Train to NYC. We figured we can have an early start on our gastronomic tour of the city that enchanted me when I was there on our first week.
We emerged from one of the subway stations at Broadway (near 72nd street). We were hungry already so Carlo took us to the nearest Gray's Papaya.
I mentioned that I wanted to eat a hotdog at NYC. Although this wasn't technically a hotdog stand, it's known to have inexpensive but high-quality hotdogs. Not to mention they were featured in Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations. The place is owned by a Filipino and run by Filipinos. That makes it a winner in my book. That's me above posing before the counter.
We walked towards Washington Square Park which is within the vicinity of New York State University. Here we are posing in front of its known landmark.
A few meters down, we saw this:
If you're a movie fan, you'll recognize this as Will Smith's front door in the movie "I Am Legend".
Moving on, we came upon a map of New York University:
I was amazed by the size of their campus. As you can see, it encompasses several blocks. You would really need longer lead time to get to your classes. That's Carlo showing us where we are.
As my husband and I are both MBA graduates, we could not resist having our picture taken in front of NYU Stern School of Business.
As I cried inside the Library of Congress, I knew I had to take a peek inside NYU's Library as well. We could enter the doors but we can go no further beyond that as one needs a library card. This is what you see when you enter and on the left side are the counters with the flags of different NYU Colleges hanging like Hogwarts! :)
After a few minutes of ogling the interior, we set out to find a place that will feed Carlo who's a vegetarian (or vegan...forgot which is which). We came upon Mahmoun's which serves the best falafel in the city.
Take note that they were featured in "1000 Places to see Before You Die" and other accolades.
Here's what my falafel looked like:
Just looking at it makes me crave for it. Wonder if I can get it here in Manila and would it taste as good?
After polishing off our really scrumptious falafels, we quickly stepped out to give other diners a chance to seat as the shop only has 2 booths inside. Carlo took us to another hole-in-the-wall restaurant a few doors down called Kati Roll where they sell Indian Rolls. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take pictures as I was busy observing Leo and Carlo chow down heir rolls.
We then ventured forth towards Greenwich Village where we came upon this nice shop called "Rice to Riches". The place looks nice so we stepped inside. They sell rice pudding or "champorado". In the Philippines, it's just one flavor--chocolate--but in this shop, they have dozens of different flavored rice puddings.
I tasted only the nutella flavored one and got a small bowl. This is what it looks like:
And here's Carlo goofing off in the store.
The three of us shared the rice pudding. Though the container was disposable, I still took it home with me as it was just too nice to throw away.
We then walked towards Little Italy where we saw the "First Pizzeria in the US".
We trudged down (or was that up?) Little Italy which was lined with Italian restaurants. According to Carlo, they don't really serve great Italian food, people just assume that since it's in Little Italy, food is good but it's not that great. We saw the edge of Chinatown and I finally got my picture taken beside an NYPD police car.
I initially wanted to have a picture taken with some firemen that we saw earlier but I was too shy to ask. That would've been nice though.
After more walking (and buying NYC souvenirs), we opted to head back to Newport as it was getting late already. We walked towards Ground Zero where we'll take the train back to NJ. But before we went down the subway, we took pictures of this historical site:
One of the towers is already up. I don't know if it will be as high as the previous one but it does look promising.
It was a tiring day and my feet hurt from all the walking that we did but my stomach was very happy. The trip back to Newport on the Path Train was shorter because we got on the World Trade Center station. I still haven't gotten the hang of their subway station but maybe when I'll live there long enough, I'll figure it out.