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.
Although everyone knows about Central Park in Manhattan, another park worth visiting is Bryant Park. It is located between 5th and 6th avenues and 40th and 42nd streets. The park offers a variety of events throughout the year, as well as a stage where performances occur on a regular basis. It is another of the many areas within New York City where people can enjoy some green scenery and relax in the otherwise hectic city. It is quite popular for a variety of reasons, so expect there to be large crowds gathering in the park, even on weekdays.
In the park, there is a large fountain located by the stage that offers a definite sense of cooling on the hot and humid day that we visited. A favorite of families is the “Le Carrousel”, which is obviously a carrousel with whimsical animals bobbing up and down as they rotate around in a circle. For those wishing a refreshing drink or some food while sitting outside and enjoying the views of the park, there is the Bryant Park Cafe. If you are looking for more formal inside dining, there is also the Bryant Park Grill with a full-service menu.
In addition to those items, there is an area to play ping pong, as well as other areas to play chess and checkers. The park is also adjacent to the New York Public Library. The statue of William Cullen Bryant, for whom the park is named, certainly has a prime location and cannot be missed when walking through the park. There is also a statue of Gertrude Stein in Bryant Park as well. With colorful flower beds, large shade trees, and an abundance of park benches, it is a great place to sit and relax for a while. Bryant Park might not be as famous or as large as Central Park, it is still a worthwhile place to visit when spending time in Manhattan.