The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Friday, 17 August 2007

Colourful "melting pot" city

One of the things I'm loving about New York city is the diverse ethnicities and races I see around me. Of course, something like that is to be expected in a city this large, but after coming from a relatively homogeneous scene in Japan, I readily embrace this city of 'melting pot' of cultures. I've mentioned briefly before about New York's massive Chinatown; nearby is Little Italy, which actually used to be a lot larger, but was eventually (inadvertently?) taken over by the Chinese. Rob tells me that this was what happened back in Perth. I guess the migration of Chinese to other countries helps the population problems in China, huh? But I digress. Other than Chinese and Italians, there's also the Spanish Harlem, Little Brazil, Korea Way and K-town, just to name a few. If you think about it, it's cute how NYC have certain districts of types rather than a huge sprawl and scatter (eg Financial District, Theatre District, Shopping District, Meat-packing District and so on).

After our pizza 'dunch/linner' on Saturday afternoon, we took a slow (long) walk back to our apartment. We went through Little Italy, which is basically a section of Mulberry Street lined on both sides with Italian restaurants, gelato and sweet carts plus lots of people traffic. The street was really crowded, and surprisingly long.

Coming in from NoLIta (North of Little Italy):

One of the first street carts we encountered sold nougat and various Italian cookies/biscuits. We love nougat, but we've never had the opportunity to have a non-packaged, presumably freshly-made, nougat. They were selling for $8 for 1/2 pound and that was the amount of nougat we ate in a span of two days! And I think I ate the bulk of it too since Rob didn't pack any with him to work. We also tried their aniseed, nuts and lemon-drop biscuits, which were yummy, but not as yummy as the yummy nougat!

Prior to our 'dunch/linner', we were in the Chelsea area, so following one of the many useful advices from NY eGulleters, we took a look at the Chelsea Market. We browsed through many of the bakeries and shops, and the rugelach at Ruthy's caught our eyes. Neither of us have had this pastry before, and curiosity caused us to buy four types to try. Quite delicious, and I'm sure it won't be our last encounter with this Jewish pastry. We tried the original, chocolate, apple and choc-raspberry - I reckon the original one tasted the nicest.

A whole shelf devoted to rugelach at Ruthy's; and the ones that found new homes in our tummies:

We also bought some bread at Amy's Bread, a favourite with the New Yorkers (the semolina fennel and raisin bread is pretty good). At Amy's, we could also watch the bread being kneaded, shaped and baked.

And at one of the Italian goods store, we saw a huge 3kg jar of Nutella! Oh, how I miss Nutella - we'd boycotted it a few years ago when I'd spied "partially hydrogenated oil" in the ingredients list (you know, with trans-fat being bad for you?). However, a bit of research reveals that Nutella made in Europe do not have that evil substance, which explains why the chocolatey Nutella stuff in that store was less viscous than what I'm used to. So three cheers for re-introducing (European) Nutella into our diet!

There's still a lot of New York to explore, lots of restaurants to try, so keep an eye on this livejournal for updates!


  1. i wana go ny!!!...i wanted to go japan too...
    if only..
    the food/places look sooo goood!

  2. It's pretty nice in NYC, although I can see people who will not like it here.. I personally enjoy living in NYC, but I am a big city girl :)