Thursday, November 8, 2007

Onward to NYC! (Wednesday, Oct. 24)

Our transition from Philly to New York started with lunch near the Wharton School of Business at UPenn. J. has a book of reviews from Craig LaBan, the food critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and in it was this review. It's a Chinese food truck next to the UPenn campus and we were very intrigued by it. So, we stopped by for lunch before departing on a train to NYC.

I thought it was great. I had shrimp stir-fried with snowpeas and remember marveling at how crisp the snowpeas were. The article cleverly mentions that they do "typical Americanized choices" poorly; perhaps to keep too many newbies from approaching the truck. That is true, as the egg roll D. purchased was pretty bad. It was a good meal and hellaciously cheap. We walked through the halls of Wharton looking for a place to eat and ended up huddling at the end of a hallway on the fourth floor.

It was a much better deal (in both price and quality) than the bad Chinese meal we had in Manhattan that evening.

Afterwards, we parted ways with J. at 30th Street Station (pictured below). We took Amtrak to Penn Station in NYC.

I have to say I lost my cool a little once we walked outside of Penn Station, with tons of people and a malfunctioning internal compass. I was a little turned-around, too embarrassed to pull out a map, and frustrated at having to navigate very crowded sidewalks with luggage. We finally made our way to a subway train out to Queens, where we were staying in Long Island City Quality Inn.

Very nice hotel! A tad small and the neighborhood is a bit sketchy, but it was new and clean. That's all that mattered. Location-wise, we probably should have stayed in Manhattan, because we kept coming back to the hotel and not going back out to the city.

For dinner, we took the train out to Chinatown and decided to try the "stop at whereever looks good" method of food-searching. As Dr. Cox says on
Scrubs, "Bi-ig mistake!" Yeah. Bad Chinese food equals me in a very bad mood. Canal Street Seafood, y'all... right off the subway station (N train's station... there are several on Canal St. that serve different lines). Don't go. It was an inauspicious start to the NY segment of the trip.

To soothe the disappointment, we headed to The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.

Very good ice cream and interesting Chinese flavors like lychee and durian (ick). I saw a sign for egg custard ice cream, but it wasn't in circulation. The rather sassy young man behind the counter said it might come back in a week, but that's too late for us. I had the mango ice cream, which was awesome.

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