We really enjoy seeing historic churches throughout the world and most of them can be found in the old town areas of the cities. There are times, though, when modern cities with skyscrapers surround the old churches and the images can be just as striking. Seeing the bell towers reaching towards the sky in parallel with the glass towers is quite a juxtaposition of images. Obviously it goes in direct opposition to the desire to have the churches and cathedrals be the tallest buildings in a city where people could see them from all of the surrounding areas as they ventured towards the city. Here are some of our favorite examples of churches and skyscrapers.
You might not have a bookstore on many of your travel itineraries, but we actually enjoy browsing interesting books when we travel. We had heard about the Mysterious Bookshop when researching some unique places to visit during our trip to Manhattan and decided to walk there after lunch in lower Manhattan. It is located in Tribeca and originally opened in 1979, making it the oldest mystery specialist bookstore in America. One of the things that makes the bookstore unique is the wide variety of mystery novels that are stocked on the floor to ceiling shelves as well as their specialization in signed first editions.
If you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes, the store has one of the largest collections of the sleuth stories in the world. One of the things that we found interesting was that in addition to the various first edition books on their shelves, they also have a variety of counterfeit books, of which they will let you know that they are not truly originals. To some extent, browsing the shelves of the Mysterious Bookshop reminded us of one of our favorite experiences in Paris when we came close to buying a first edition, four volume set of Don Quixote. There is something fascinating about seeing rare or unusual books and glancing at the various illustrations.
There are many cities around the world that are truly food destinations and New York City is definitely one of them. During our most recent visit to Manhattan, we ate at several different restaurants, all with completely different experiences. Whether casual or fine dining, at the end of the day it is all about the food. Of course, the ambiance matters, but if the food doesn’t make you want to come back than it isn’t worth the money that you spend. From pizza and pasta to brunch and even afternoon tea, we had a wonderful variety of food during our short stay in Manhattan.
There was one location that we went to multiple times during our trip, Angelo’s Pizza, partially due to its proximity to our hotel on 57th street as well as the friendly staff who went out of their way to take care of us. There was even one evening where they were closing early, but still let us come in and have a couple of glasses of wine after a long day of walking throughout Manhattan. We had the Antipasto one evening and certainly enjoyed an “Old School Round” Pizza with mushrooms, olives, and Italian sausage. On our last evening in Manhattan, we returned once again to have the Spaghetti Pomodoro. The other Italian dinner was at Pazza Notte where we enjoyed a Caesar Salad followed by Pappardelle di Mare, which is pasta with lobster, crab, shrimp, asparagus, and tomato in a sherry shallot cream sauce.
On our first day in Manhattan, we went to Rue 57 for a quick lunch with a French Dip before heading into Central Park. We had the Pulled Pork Sandwich at the Trinity Place Restaurant and Bar, which is located inside of an old bank vault. Brunch at Jonathon Waxman’s Jams restaurant was definitely another highlight with its walls lined with ivy. We were very happy to return to Pepolino Restorante to have Insalata Dei Medici, which is a beet, carrot, and zucchini salad. We had gone to Pepolino’s during our visit to Manhattan seven years ago. The final place that we ate was at the Russian Tea Room (they were extremely clear that they were very much against the war in Ukraine) where we enjoyed an afternoon tea with sandwiches and sweets. It is a very famous restaurant located next to Carnegie Hall that many people put on their list to visit when spending time in Manhattan.
All in all, we had so much wonderful food during our short stay and now that we’re located on the east coast, we’re looking forward to going back sometime soon. Regardless of where we travel to, food and drinks are often central to the overall experience. We would definitely recommend any of these restaurants if you have the opportunity to visit Manhattan.