Eating Out & About in New York City

empire state buildingshake shack burger
shake shack french frieskorean dumplings nyc

I was recently conversing with someone about what excites (and stuns) French people when they come to the United States. Supermarkets are always interesting places to go; last time I took Romain to one in Florida, he came out and said “Pas de stress!” because shopping in a French supermarket can be an exercise in frustration. (Which is putting it mildly.)

welcome to bank

Someone suggested that I take him to a bank, because there is no place more stressful, or more unwelcoming, than a bank in France. I was recently having a discussion about how distrustful my bank seems to be of customers and a friend stunned me by saying that banks have so many rules and blockades in place because “…you shouldn’t be trusted with your own money.”

And indeed, whenever I have to go into my bank, it takes me a day or so to recover. Which is also likely why there are so many safes for sale in hardware and department stores in France. It’s no myth: the French really do know how to live.

So we went into a branch of my bank and Romain couldn’t believe the amount of space and how clean and well-lit it was. Not only that, there were a few friendly women at the door with big bowls of candy, lots of mood-inducing lights, and a couch in front of a television with some magazines, in case you wanted to relax. I didn’t show him the massage room because I was afraid he’d never leave.

bank television motorino pizza nyc

But I had a lunch date, so after we finished off our chilled flutes of Champagne, we handed the empty glasses to the teller and left, and I headed down to the East Village to Motorino to see someone else who is always welcoming when I come to New York; Adam Roberts.

motorino pizza

Adam recently stunned the internet by announcing his big move to Los Angeles (I didn’t tell Romain his apartment was already taken by someone else) but we split two pizzas, one was their famous pie with Brussels sprouts and pancetta, and the other was soppressata piccante, with thin rounds of spicy sausage.

brussel-sprout pizza motorino

Adam wanted in silent fascination as I ate my pizza like we do in Paris, with great civility, using a knife and fork, while he devoured his pizza with his hands. But since I have a few pictures on the site of him that show him in a less-flattering light, I graciously decided not to show a picture of him shoving the pizza in his mouth, because I want to stay friends with him.

Big Gay Ice Cream coneice cream specials
doug's big gay ice cream truckBig Gay Ice Cream Truck

Afterward I headed to Union Square to walk it off, although actually I was in search of the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck. (People like to point out incongruous things I sometimes say on the blog, so I’ll address that one right now and say yes, ‘walking off lunch’ and ‘eating ice cream’ are two radically different things).

When I got there, I realized that I wasn’t the only one who’d heard so much about it and the line was longer than the one at my bank back in Paris…although it moved quite a bit quicker. And the fellow at the window was a lot nicer to the customers…and yes, he made change.

doug of Big Gay Ice Cream Truck

Still, after waiting a while, I decided to come back another time (which, unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury of doing with my bank…), and rapped on the window to give Doug a big hug – he’s just one of those kinda guys when you meet, you want to cozy up to him, and his cones. Which definitely explains the lines.

It’s impossible to come to America and not have burgers and fries. Although just about every café in Paris now has a hamburger or “le cheese” (the Parisian diminutive of ‘cheeseburger’) they aren’t the same. However if someone wants to start a successful business in Paris, open a hamburger stand with very good hamburgers using great beef, homemade buns, and well-cooked French fries – believe me, you’d clean up. (Although don’t ask me for helping finding a bank.)

Danny Meyer has been replicating his Shake Shack around the city and elsewhere successfully and although I had to explain to Romain why I was drinking ice cream with meat, he – and I – loved the crispy, crinkle-cut fries.

Cambodian sandwich

korean dumpling rackuncooked korean dumplings

Korean dumplings

And in search of something lively and spicy, we’ve hit Mandoo (2 W. 32nd Street), a Korean dumpling bar, as well as Num Pang, a Cambodian sandwich shop which Romain liked so much, he snuck back to when I was getting my pizza-munching lesson from Adam.

This really has been a great welcome, and I’ve been having a terrific time meeting – and hopefully holding on to – old friends like Adam, catching up with scoop-endous people like Doug, plus making a couple of new friends along with way. Who obviously don’t eat as much ice cream and pizza as I do.

adam robertsnew friends

New York Dining-Related Links

Hill Country BBQ

New York City Dining


Economy Candy


Momofuku Milk Bar

Babycakes NYC

The Doughnut Plant

My New York Restaurant List (Wednesday Chef)

Where to Eat in New York (Amateur Gourmet)

Never miss a post!


  • Jodie
    July 31, 2011 1:48am

    You should bring Romain to Park Slope or Williamsburg…introduce him to “le hipsters”! Or maybe check out Food 32 or Foodparc

  • Jodie
    July 31, 2011 1:49am

    Oh man, or go to the rollerskating rink on the Highline!

  • July 31, 2011 1:49am

    Um…I don’t think there is nearly enough information in this post about the handsome bathing suit wearing men at the end there. ;)

  • July 31, 2011 1:51am

    I am relieved to know that it was an actual photo of pizza that Adam had posted on Twitter yesterday. The way it was worded, it sounded as if you might have had an unfortunate dermatological condition.

    Glad to see you’re having a great time in NYC. And that your skin looks radiant.

  • July 31, 2011 1:53am

    david from now on, you should always have 2 lifeguards with you at all times. its fabulous my dear!

  • Ly
    July 31, 2011 1:56am

    Makes me miss NYC and my sweet life in the U.S. so much. Have a great time!

  • Stephen
    July 31, 2011 1:56am

    If you still like all things speculoos try the “Belgian” cheesecake at Les Tartes de Françoise. They now have an outpost in New York where you have to place an order.

  • July 31, 2011 2:01am

    That burger and fries looks fabulous! And the final picture isn’t bad either! ;-)

  • July 31, 2011 2:03am

    Such a cool food tour of my adopted home town.
    Knife and fork with pizza? John Stewart would not approve. I don’t want to post a link into your comment thread but check youtube for John Stewart on Donald Trump taking Sarah Palin for pizza in NYC. It is hilarious.

  • July 31, 2011 2:15am

    Did you eat all that in one day? Dumplings after pizza after icecream … good job (and good stomach!)
    What does Romain think about Starbucks in every corner? Does it give “coffee culture” a bad name? ( I kinda do! )

    So fun to show someone else around :)

  • Jean Marie
    July 31, 2011 2:33am

    This is so fun. I love reading about your travels but this one in particular with Romain and the big ship and NYC is special. My oldest baby lives in the East Village and every visit is a treat. Keep writing and enjoy every minute. (no knives and forks w/pizza!)

  • July 31, 2011 2:46am

    *I recognize those Hollister store models!*
    Funny–I was at people’s pops last night and ran into Doug, who mentioned you’d stopped by the truck (before we segued into a conversation about Perfect Scoop, salted caramel ice cream, Bi-rite and Berthillon). I hope you’re enjoying NYC!

  • July 31, 2011 3:01am
    David Lebovitz

    Ilke: Romain actually likes Starbucks now that we’re in NY. They’re friendly, efficient, and the coffee is a lot better than the coffee in Paris.

    Plus they have bathrooms! (And Wi-Fi…)

  • anna
    July 31, 2011 3:10am

    What Alejandra said.

  • July 31, 2011 3:27am

    I want those very fine looking guys to serve me all the food in this blog post.

  • Kim Uyyek
    July 31, 2011 3:37am

    I have a French student staying with my family this month and he tried to eat crispy bacon with a fork. He must think we are terribly backwards – since he’s been here, we’ve eaten bacon, burgers and nachos with our hands.

  • July 31, 2011 3:51am

    Darn, being flanked by two ripped NYC boys musta been awful…

  • July 31, 2011 4:09am

    Ha! Great pictures… although I was seriously distracted by the Big Gay Ice Cream truck. Man, what I would do for one of those pimped-out cones!

  • James in NZ
    July 31, 2011 4:38am

    You are covering the same spots that I did on my recent visit back to NYC (minus the lunch with Adam!). The ice cream Doug produces is well worth the wait, especially the Salty Pimp!

  • July 31, 2011 4:57am

    I’m not sure what everyone’s making such a fuss about: after eating that pizza, I simply slipped my shirt off, threw some shorts on and put some white stuff on my nose. Can I help it if pizza gives me 6-pack abs?

    (Seriously, though, it was fun to see you, David!)

  • soosie
    July 31, 2011 5:36am

    Try Costco. What a hoot! After they got over the hugeness of everything, they ogled the clothes — coats for $30, jean for $15 — could not believe it. But they thought it was stressful and ridiculous -who needs 28 rolls of toilet paper? I had no answer. Then they went back to the clothes and spent a couple of hundred on themselves and relatives!

  • July 31, 2011 7:57am

    I have to tell you how strange this is- normally I’m in Paris frequenting the same haunts, but this weekend I’m in NYC with my French boy who is having some of the same revelations as romain. But Id also like to mention how bizarre it is that we’ve been to Motorino, Shake Shack, and the Union Square market in the last two days. I suppose some day we’ll cross paths… I’d also suggest you try and get back to the Milk Bar… Apricot tea soft serve…

    • July 31, 2011 3:18pm
      David Lebovitz

      Ha! Going to the same places. It is pretty interesting to take French folks to places like the Union Square Greenmarket (Romain was stunned to see such gorgeous produce – he couldn’t believe it, especially the awesome tomatoes), and to take them out for crispy French fries (and bacon!) Last night I almost couldn’t get him to leave Citarella; I had to drag him away from the fresh fish display.

      The only unfortunate thing is the lines are too long for the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met. Which is another funny thing, because they have a “suggested” admission of $25, but you can pay what you want. That was pretty hard to explain to Romain…

  • Spencer
    July 31, 2011 8:03am

    Damm…those fries and dumplings look divine! I want to reach over and gobble it up!

  • Skippy
    July 31, 2011 8:29am

    Come uptown!!

  • Sigrid
    July 31, 2011 9:19am

    Could you please from now on start your posts with disclaimers like “Don’t read before breakfast!”? I hardly made it to the last paragraph without fainting.

    Well, and then came the picture with the two six-packs …

  • Lisa
    July 31, 2011 9:23am

    Well, welcome back to New York City! Maybe we’ll see you Monday night at The Redhead! No lines, and much friendlier service than anything I ever experienced at Société Générale.

    It’s been lovely reading about your ocean crossing. Who knows how long that tradition will last?

  • July 31, 2011 9:32am

    Wht a post :)

  • Il Laboratoro del Gelato-Kristofer
    July 31, 2011 9:33am

    Very sad you decided not to mention Il laboratorio del gelato; was it not to your liking? Please come back and try us again!

    By the way, thank you for providing correct change!

    • July 31, 2011 3:14pm
      David Lebovitz

      Romain loved Il Laboratorio and in fact, stuck his finger in the nearly-empty cup to lick it clean. I gave Jon and the previous shop a shout-out in the past, but since I have to limit myself to one ice cream shop per post, I was going to mention it in a subsequent story : )

  • July 31, 2011 11:16am

    So now that you’re out of Paris, you’re allowed to break out the white tennis shoes?!

  • Hannah Lee
    July 31, 2011 12:59pm

    This was an even more fun post than the ones from aboard ship! I’ve forwarded those to my brother-in-law and his family who’ll be traveling by QMII to their new home in Edinburgh and they’re sharing them in turn with other family members who are also agog about their impending trip.

    We get plenty of Israeli academics coming through our community (in the western suburbs of Philadelphia) and two things they appreciate: how green and lush it is here (compared to Paris and Jerusalem/Tel Aviv) and such good customer service is routinely available here.

    • July 31, 2011 3:11pm
      David Lebovitz

      The first time I told Romain that he could buy some jeans, and if he changed his mind later, he could return them, he looked at me like I was nuts. When we did the exchange a few days later, instead of being treated like criminals, they said “Sure, just let us know what you’d like. Cash or another pair of jeans.” I bought new glasses yesterday and the staff was all over me, helping me make a decision and going in the back and getting new pairs to try out that weren’t on the shelf. It is amazing how eager people are to help you. (Plus it was only $99 for new glasses…!)

  • david
    July 31, 2011 2:12pm

    Pas mal les abdos, tablettes de chocolat, des deux mecs.

  • July 31, 2011 2:21pm

    Please tell me you were joking about the champagne in the bank! Spanish banks must have taken lessons from the Paris ones. For some reason, if you go in to pay a bill, it has to be only on certain days of the week at certain hours….why, I have no idea, it defies all logic.

    • July 31, 2011 3:09pm
      David Lebovitz

      It’s odd – they have all sorts of rules and logic that defy description. One day I wanted to wire money abroad and when I asked when the exchange rate was for the transfer, the bank clerk snapped, “We don’t have that kind of information!” Um, I just assumed that banks that do foreign currency exchanges might have some knowledge of the rate of exchange. My bank used to not count your money when you gave it to them to deposit; they would just put it in an envelope and drop it in a slot. I always thought it was weird they didn’t count it to verify it, but they told me they would do it later. (?!)

  • July 31, 2011 2:35pm

    So funny, as usual, and makes me miss NYC. The pizza looks so good–I wish I could have it for breakfast right now.

  • Il Laboratoro del Gelato-Kristofer
    July 31, 2011 3:49pm

    Great to hear! Come back for a tour of our new space!

  • ron shapley
    July 31, 2011 4:45pm

    OMG NOT Shake Shack… I mean………where’s the beef ?? Just sayin

  • Marge Perry
    July 31, 2011 5:34pm

    I sympathize with Ron Shapley’s comment: I suppose a stop at Shake Shack is almost mandatory if you don’t live in NYC, but I don’t know anyone who would say that’s the best burger in the city…I’m not saying this is THE BEST, but Five Napkin Burger is right up there, in my book.
    I just love all your references to banking in Paris. I feel like I am peeking into the messy, disorganized closet of a beautifully groomed woman.

  • July 31, 2011 5:45pm

    I saw Champagne being served on Mad ave at the Fr Les Comptoirs des Contonniers yesterday for the Summer sale :O
    Thanks Gawd you come occasionally to New York David to tell us where to eat here!!
    I have yet to find the Gay ice cream truck – now I know 17th & B’way.
    If only Motorino was open on Sundays…

  • Always Wright
    July 31, 2011 5:47pm

    My mouth is watering!!! You have brought back memories of Charlie’s Pizzeria in Philly, fresh tomatoes from my father-in-law’s Bucks County, PA garden every summer and vanilla milkshakes with grilled pimiento cheese sandwiches from Poston’s in Cheraw, SC many years ago. I have yet to duplicate that recipe. Maybe it had Duke’s mayonnaise! Thanks for telling us about all of the great places to eat here and abroad, plus for sharing your travels. Enjoy that fantastic food and have a great visit! Again, thanks for all of the beautiful photos! Will think of your crossing on the QM2 as we cross Galveston Bay on the Bolivar Ferry tomorrow (hardly the same experience).

  • wendy
    July 31, 2011 6:25pm

    David, you’re so cute.

  • suedoise
    July 31, 2011 6:30pm

    I cannot understand the complaints about Paris banks.
    Warmly recommend using the Crédit du Nord with its special counsellors for non-French customers.Always impeccable.

  • July 31, 2011 6:59pm

    It is always fun reading your blog stories…….I love the one on the QE2………
    I was on one of the “crossings” as well many years ago…….and a violent storm hit during an aerobics class……we were suddenly sliding from one side of the room to the other…… Well we did a lot of laughing and we did not leave the room……..

  • July 31, 2011 6:59pm

    it’s amazing how you come here and find all my regular spots…. I know, they’re not that hidden. But, Mandoo Bar? We’re on the same circuit – I should be running into you all over the city.

  • fefe from tx
    July 31, 2011 7:20pm

    Sounds like a good time! You did not mention your stop over at babycakes, although i do see it listed on the links. The girls mentioned you had popped by on facebook :)

  • Marie B.
    July 31, 2011 7:32pm

    I wish there were numbers to tell us what our metabolism rating is. Yours would be 100 and others (like me) would be much, much lower. How can you eat that much in one day??? Yikes, I would be an elephant.

  • Erica
    July 31, 2011 8:09pm

    Very funny and very true. When we first moved to southern France, Carrefour made me cry….twice. The whole concept of customer service is almost entirely unknown in France, with a few exceptions. An American friend of mine recently called and asked how to deposit a check at the bank here in France. I helped her as best as I could, but really, it is different every day so who knows how to answer that particular question.

    Glad you are having a great trip, but I am not sure I miss the US yet….customer service or not.

  • Jennifer
    July 31, 2011 9:21pm

    Great idea about the hamburger joint in Paris. On a few recent rips I’ve witnessed hamburgers served up in a swanky resto in the 15th and at a lunch place in the 11th. The buns were Safeway-like puffed white bread, you know the kind you can squish into a ping-pong ball that weighs a ton and won’t bounce? Why do Europeans think you have to use those really bad, bad buns? Secondly, and more importantly, in both places the French ate their ‘ambugers with forks and knives. For cryin’ out loud – with forks and knives!! This might explain the penchant for white-bread-buns, squish, squish. How in the world would the French manage a takeaway burger? In a doggie bag so as to consume it at home with fork and knife?

  • Doukissa
    July 31, 2011 10:15pm

    See what you get when you come a little West of your world? Two appetizing hunks of burning love . . . and that was your “supplemental” dessert after all that pizza and ice cream! I think you’re having too much fun too soon; you just got off the ship. Have a great time in the City that Never Sleeps! Love ya!

  • July 31, 2011 10:58pm

    “le cheese”… I love it. My husband keeps telling me how the French “see things differently”. He’s traveled through a few times. I have never been and had no idea!

  • July 31, 2011 11:12pm

    I’d love a slice of the pizza (either one -love the sounds of both)… knife and fork, or hands…

    Actually… three slices would be about perfect right now, as long as there weren’t any models standing around watching me eat. Sheesh! That’s too much pressure.

  • Susan
    July 31, 2011 11:15pm

    Too funny. When I was in France last year, I did not have occasion to go to a bank. But – I did order pizza one night for dinner. I found the crust to be thin and tough, and I had some problems getting my knife to cut through it. Just when I thought I had made inroads, I made the error of trying to pull a piece of pizza off the whole to eat with my hands. A man at a table who saw me do this, immediately pointed it out to his female dinner companion, and she turned around to look at me!! I was embarrassed as I realized I had just committed a huge faux-pas !! So back I went to trying to cut through the tough crust. Eventually I gave up, and took the rest of it back to my hotel room, where I ate it the North American way !!

  • August 1, 2011 1:07am

    What a wonderful holiday.

    The thing I miss most about not living in the states is customer service. It’s not done very well in Australia. They try but it’s not the same.

  • Thea
    August 1, 2011 3:07am

    Made your goat cheese ice cream this morning for breakfast. Yummedy yum yum.

  • Mimi
    August 1, 2011 4:14am

    Loved reading this post, David. I was in Manhattan last weekend with my 3 young grandkids from American Samoa and their Dad, my son. After the trip to the top of the Empire State Bldg, Meredith, a New York friend told us of a terrific pizza restaurant, Vezzo on 31st and Lexington. Besides the delicious thin crusted pizza we had a superb gazpacho, and lemonade made with fresh lemon juice. Perfect for all of us. And to top off the day we were taken by Nick for an evening boat ride on the Hudson! What a way to experience the city after being in the midst of it during a heat wave.

  • Gavrielle
    August 1, 2011 4:30am

    Loving the New York recommendations almost as much as I’m enjoying reading about Romain’s reactions!

  • Liz
    August 1, 2011 4:59am

    If you’re looking for a good burger place a little closer to home you should head to Nantes and check out the Burger House! The owner is American and I thought he did a pretty good job.

  • August 1, 2011 8:19am

    Love me some mandoo! yum! :)

  • Linda
    August 1, 2011 9:53am

    I love Mandoo….Korean dumplings…yum yum. Did you go to Eataly?

  • Mike
    August 1, 2011 11:03am

    I don’t get the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck – at all. It’s Mr. Softee and then they have some “exotic” toppings that aren’t so hot on Ice Cream or everyone would do it. An extreme disappointment. I believe it’s the name that people like. Also, I can’t stand the Shake Shack. There is nothing worthwhile about it. And the fries, in particular, suck.

    Can’t wait to try Motorino though. Never heard of it. And it looks good.

  • August 1, 2011 11:35am

    We are Americans living in Belgium with a house in Normandy. My husband gets paid into his French business account. Each and every month, when he is paid, he emails the bank and asks for money to be transferred to our Belgian personal account. He does this at least twice, with a follow up phone call, and sometimes a fax. The money usually gets transferred within 2 weeks, unless the person in charge of his account is on holiday, then it waits until they return. To add insult to injury, we cannot bank online in France. Every time we transfer money, the bank charges us Euro 3.50 to advise us that we transferred money (they cannot charge for online transfers in the EU, so that is how they get around that!).
    My husband applied for a car loan for his business car. They took 3 months to get back to him with an approval. I can go on, but you know what I mean.
    At least I now know that is isn’t personal.

  • August 1, 2011 2:19pm

    Dumplings: miam!

  • August 1, 2011 3:54pm

    Did you get a chance to check out Eataly in NYC?
    Would love to hear your thoughts.

  • August 1, 2011 4:11pm

    Hi, I just discovered your blog recently and I truly love it!!!!! Lived in New York for nine years until 2003 and your New York trip is making me nostalgic. I live in Manila for quite a while now and am dreaming of my next destination. Europe (Amsterdam), I believe! Easy access to the top dining destinations like Paris. Hope I can join one of your chocolate/pastry tours soon! :)

  • August 1, 2011 4:49pm

    I follow you for some time on twitter, but reading you now on your blog is just a perfect way to start my Monday, and whole week along, this is beautiful, just beautiful. I’ll be around as often as I can. Big hugs from Chile

  • August 1, 2011 4:50pm

    Hah, the Hollister boys I used to walk by every day;) Even in the cold months they’re out there. And Big Gay Ice Cream truck, dumplings, the best coffee anywhere was right around the corner from Hollister – La Colombe. Did you stop by?….. Oh I miss NYC.

  • August 1, 2011 5:38pm

    Next time bring Romain to Dumont or Dumont Burger in Williamsburg – now those are some burgers! And, pizza eaten with a fork and a knife is not nearly as fun or tasty as pizza eaten with your hands! Oh, and next time go to Peter Pan Doughnuts in Greenpoint – they are the best in the city.

    Don’t feel bad about the McQueen show, I live here and haven’t been able to get in to see it yet. I can’t deal with the long lines and tons of people – they get in the way of seeing the work.

    Nice to know a Frenchman thought the Union Square Greenmarket had great produce!!!

  • Debra
    August 1, 2011 5:38pm

    I suggest you try “Dim Sum Go Go” for the “best” dim sum in NYC… and for an excellent treat, which will not disappoint: Chikalicious… it’s a new experience in a dessert bar, which was a secret gem (maybe not anymore) when I lived in the city. And the owners are so delightful, you’ll want to get to know them better.

    I’d love to hear if you try them!

  • Catherineap
    August 1, 2011 7:06pm

    The QE2 trip sounds amazing but I’m afraid you may never want to come back to the States if you have to fly next time. Doug at the BGICT looks awfully sweet and the cones are outstanding!

  • nina
    August 1, 2011 8:18pm

    Loved the postings about your QE2 crossing! Some years ago, my husband and I tried to open an account at HSBC in Paris and even though we had been refered by one of their branch excecs here in the USA, we were treated like if we were narco-money laundrering! Needles to say we left the establishment without opening the account. Later on a local took us to Credit du Nord and it was a completely different experience.Like Suedoise commented, we were helped by their english-speaking foreign customers staff. Great service. I also highly recommend Credit du Nord.

  • Melanie
    August 2, 2011 2:36am

    I went to the McQueen exhibit last week and waited an hour and a half in line. It was beautifully done, worth seeing – Alexander McQueen was a genius. We paid what we wanted not the $25 suggested admission although I’m sure alot of tourists paid the suggested amount, not what they wanted. I love reading your blog, enjoy your time in NYC.

  • August 2, 2011 2:45am

    David, I can’t get through to Jeanette Hermann. Was going to get information on the September Tour in Lausanne/Paris. Could you kindly send me her email address (the link wasn’t working for me)? Or perhaps she could just send the details to my email address. Thank you!

    I forwarded your message to her. -dl

  • August 2, 2011 4:17am

    wow looks like you had a lot of fun! (those dumplings look amazing)

  • Mike
    August 2, 2011 4:46am

    “I suggest you try “Dim Sum Go Go” for the “best” dim sum in NYC… and for an excellent treat, which will not disappoint: Chikalicious… it’s a new experience in a dessert bar, which was a secret gem (maybe not anymore) when I lived in the city.”

    I will try DSGG even though I went to Chikalicious only once when it first open (that had to be at least 7 years ago ?) and it disappointed, although the tiny little space is cute. You know where I’ve eaten 3 times this month. Down on Mott St at Amazing 66. It’s darn good Chinese. Scarpetta (Italian) I liked recently. (14th st and I think it’s 9th, around the corner from the Old Homestead).

  • August 2, 2011 11:08am

    If you have time whilst in NY, please try out the simple but fabulous Thai Wondee Siam (check my post for some of the secret things to order if you do go) but make sure you go to the original, small one. Not the larger one across the street.

  • August 2, 2011 12:42pm

    When I opened your blog I was still in a state of blissful reminiscing about your tales from aboard QM2 (and debating with myself that it would be quite reasonable to take the ocean liner instead of a plane next time I want to cross the Atlantic) and not at all prepared to be immediately be catapulted into New York! I had completely missed the point of your ocean crossing. Or so it seems. Now I am on cloud nine, seeing beloved places through your eyes is the next best thing to being there myself. Thank you for sharing your travels!

  • August 2, 2011 12:47pm

    P.S.: Banking in Austria is heaven compared to the tales I have heard from France. Electronic transfers work each and every time. No extra fee for transfers within the EU.

  • August 2, 2011 1:54pm

    You should check out the dumplings at The Dumpling Man in St. Mark’s.

  • August 3, 2011 2:38pm

    What wonderful posts these have been, your photos are perfect. No one will read these without feeling like they were there with you. Thanks for taking the time to share it!

  • nilda
    August 3, 2011 10:23pm

    Oh, David, I always enjoy your posts. And learn a lot just looking at the photos.
    A warm hello to everyone especially those from Spain. Ole!
    EATING WITH YOUR HANDS!: Now to comment about the experience of one of your readers, who was almost bullied into not eating her pizza the “right way” in Paris. I have this to say: As a child I was sent several times to etiquette classes (my father was a member of the Diplomatic corps) and one of the things the teacher would drill into us was to never make another person feel inferior or ridiculous. It is a sign of good manners to be kind and gentle. Those who do not practice this are wrong, it does not matter what country they are from and I would advice anyone to whom this happens to ignore those who do not have the class to treat others with grace.
    Funny how the word etiquette is French but they don’t seem to practice it!

  • Shari
    August 4, 2011 1:53am

    I have begun eating and traveling vicariously through you. (That doesn’t sound gramatically correct, but my mind is on other things right now.) Thanks! I’ve saved a lot of money and calories. And ummm….that one guy actually has an 8-pack. Good Lord.

  • Joy
    August 4, 2011 2:49am

    I was just in NYC over the weekend visiting my sister. We were at Union Square as well and we went to the Alexander McQueen exhibit (didn’t pay the whole “suggested” price). It was amazing! We spent an hour and a half in line but it was well worth it. Too bad I didn’t get to see you while we were there…I did see those Hollister models though.

  • nilda
    August 4, 2011 3:23am

    Oh, David, I always enjoy your posts. And learn a lot just looking at the photos.
    A warm hello to everyone especially those from Spain. Ole!
    EATING WITH YOUR HANDS!: Now to comment about the experience of one of your readers, who was almost bullied into not eating her pizza the “right way” in Paris. I have this to say: As a child I was sent several times to etiquette classes (my father was a member of the Diplomatic corps) and one of the things the teacher would drill into us was to never make another person feel inferior or ridiculous. It is a sign of good manners to be kind and gentle. Those who do not practice this are wrong, it does not matter what country they are from and I would advice anyone to whom this happens to ignore those who do not have the class to treat others with grace.
    Funny how the word etiquette is French but they don’t seem to practice it!

  • August 4, 2011 3:18pm

    Every picture gives me another reason to visit NYC, as if there weren’t enough already! That pizza look particularly tasty.

  • Mike
    August 5, 2011 7:48am

    So I went to Motorino.

    Nice looking place. Friendly service. I got a Margarita because I like my pizza basic. It was decent. But I wouldn’t go out of my way for this place. I still like John’s and the thin, crispy style pizza much better than this style, of the fluffier crust, slightly smoky/burned.

  • stephanie
    August 14, 2011 10:52pm

    David, I know it is nice to go to America where everything is easy and convenient, but you know what happens when everything in life is easy??? You get soft and complacent. That will never happen to you in Paris :) !!

    I dread going to the banks in France, but it keeps me sharp. I get all psyched up and do not leave until I get what I want. And when I walk out sucessful, I feel like I have conquered the world!!! My American friends complain if then cannot get a close parking spot to Target. HA!!

  • August 14, 2011 11:19pm
    David Lebovitz

    Stephanie: It’s just so amazing the difference, to have people help you so readily. Romain was really stunned because I had to call the airline and the wait time on hold was 25 minutes, so the recording said they would call me back – and I wouldn’t lose my place in line. He could not believe that in 25 minutes, my phone rang and the woman took care of my problem. He also couldn’t believe how easy it was to exchange something.

    Worse than banks are cable companies and I think they purposely make like h*ll for customers if you have a problem because they know that you can’t switch companies or do anything about it.

    But you’re right, people do get complacent and the ‘edge’ to life is different. It’s just a whole ‘nother world. However France does have it’s good points as well (customer service notwithstanding…)