If you follow that sort of thing, then you know that this fall is a particularly rich one for museum shows: Vermeer (review) and Robert Frank (review) at the Met , O’Keefe at the Whitney (review), Kandinsky at the Guggenheim (review), and so on. If you saw this morning’s (Sept 18) Times Arts section you also saw the very favorable reviews of the latter two (do we need someone to tell us whether Vermeer is worthwhile? I can speak for Frank).
This suggests that it’s a good time to head down to Manhattan for a visit. And, since we’re foodies, it means looking out for those obscure little restaurants which have so impressed the local foodies that they’ve become destination restaurants, humble as they may be.
I’ll be guiding a group of foodies to NYC with an emphasis on “value travel” (I’m not exactly cheap, but I learned my travel habits from Europe on $5 a Day). We would leave on Friday morning October 30th around 8am, returning Sunday November 1st to arrive in Boston around 8:30p. The choice between bus or car is a draw in terms of cost; the decision will be made later. Our headquarters will be the LaQuinta hotel on Queens Blvd, Queens (on the 7 subway) because it’s the cheapest one I know with a normal level of accommodation and amenities ($135/night/double room booked today). We’ll spend a majority of our time at the museums but also hit the obligatory foodie stops in Soho (Balthazar, Dean and Deluca, MoMA design store) and elsewhere (Zabar’s). Our two dinners will be in Queens at Sripraphai (Frank Bruni’s review in 2004 in the Times) and Spicy and Tasty (no website!; Bruni again from 2006: review). I will do my best to be near other worthy places when mealtimes arrive (Lupa in the Village for Saturday lunch, EAT on Madison at 80th, near the Met, for Sunday lunch).
Here’s a tentative (but likely) schedule:
1:15pm Grand Central Oyster Bar for lunch
2:15pm 57th Street & Madison galleries (Pace, Greenbery, Benrubi); Robuchon;
3:15pm Guggenheim (Kandinsky)
5:15pm Metropolitan (Frank, Vermeer)
8:30pm Sripraphai (Thai)
10:00pm Good Night
9:00am walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan
10:30am Balthazar for breakfast
11:15am MoMA design store, Sur La Table, Dean & Deluca, galleries
12:20pm Lupa (Mario Battali) or Mercer Kitchen (George Vongerichten) for lunch
to Chelsea for galleries; to Brooklyn to walk across the bridge;
8pm Spicy and Tasty (Szechuan)
9:30pm Good Night
9:45am Metropolitan (Frank, Vermeer)
12N Whitney (O’Keefe)
1:15pm EAT for lunch
Tentative budget: lodgings: $150; bus/subway: $30; museum admissions: $60; Friday lunch and dinner: $55; Saturday breakfast, lunch and dinner: $90; Sunday lunch: $30; add Boston-NYC transportation;
More to come . . . (email me with expressions of interest)