Weekend Outing: Prospect Park 

Yesterday was the perfect day to walk around Prospect Park. The air was crisp and there was a slight chill but it was bright and sunny. I intended to visit during the peak of the leaf color change but I was too late. Most of the trees are bare, colors are fading, and there are more leaves on the ground than on branches.

I spent a few hours strolling the park and taking pics. I traveled an familiar route but didn’t feel bored.

My favorite part of yesterday’s visit was finally getting a decent pic of the beautiful swans. I spied at least four different ones this time. The geese send ducks weren’t shy either and I snapped a few pics of them as well.

The day at the park was the highlight of my weekend. I’m sure I will be there again before the year ends.

If traveling by car come early. Parking is a beast in this area. By train take the Q train to the Prospect Park stop. Check out my previous post about the park here.

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Restaurant Review: Burger & Lobster

Burger. Lobster. Lobster roll. Those are your choices at this British based restaurant located in the Flatiron section of the city. One would think less choices would make people happy but some were not. More on that later.

So listen, I live in a place among millions and I am annoyed by most of them. I do not like people and they probably don’t care for my ass either.  That being the case, I try to arrive as early as I can when stores and restaurants open to avoid the crowd. The crowd eventually comes anyway but I feel joy when I’m the first person in the building. Is that weird?

See empty! I was shocked by the size of this restaurant. It’s spacious with more seating available downstairs. 

I ordered a combo for one which consists of a six ounce burger, a one lb steamed lobster, a small salad, and fries with garlic butter for dipping. If I recall this was $33.00 but don’t quote me. 

Remember I said some people were not happy at the beginning of this post? Apparently the prices were bumped by a few dollars in the last few months and people were big mad about it in the reviews I read online. You used to be able to get a 1.5 pound lobster with fries and salad for $20. Now it’s $28. For $20 it’s only a 1 lb lobster with fries and salad. On top of that there are now three different types of lobster rolls instead of the one. 

As a newcomer the price change looked comparable to other restaurants in the city serving seafood but what do I know? Now back to the food.

For me, the combo for one was just a little too much food for me. I ordered it after seeing complaints that the 1 lb lobster was not filling enough. I guess when I saw 6 oz burger I was expecting a little flimsy McDonald’s like cheeseburger. No bih. This was a real burger, medium well, with bacon, tomato, greens, and a fluffy seeded bun.

Overall I enjoyed my visit and would go back again even though I am not the biggest fans of chains. I am, however, a seafood fan and although I am sure this wasn’t the highest quality it was not bottom of the barrel either.

Burger & Lobster is located at 39 W 19th Street. Take the N or R to 23rd Street. More info about the restaurant is on their website here.

Restaurant Review: Dough

I finally checked out Dough, a doughnut and coffee shop with locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. 

 Dough has a variety of flavors from the standard glazed to more adventurous flavors like hibiscus, matcha, and blood orange. While this is all well and good I’m not that daring when it comes to my sweets and ordered a mocha almond crunch cake donut.

The place was packed and the line was steady. The staff was pleasant and I liked that. I took my doughnut to go because there was nowhere to sit. 

I ate it when I got home and I was impressed by the size (huge!), the softness, and the flavor of the doughnut. Honestly the serving size to me is enough for two.

More on Dough here.

Code Words

I’ve come to learn the words “unauthorized person on the tracks” and “customer injury” usually means some poor man or woman has decided to end his or her life by being hit by the train. 

I was caught up in both of these incidents since the L train is one of the trains I take to get home. I didn’t know what was going on until I reached the L train platform and saw what seemed to be hundreds of people waiting. 

Eventually I got home but the attitudes of people I overheard and online disgusted me. People criticized why someone would commit suicide during rush hour and why they continued to choose the L line instead of the many other lines here. 

I will admit it is an inconvenience to find other ways to get home when something like this happens. But the thing is I’m well enough to get on a bus, call someone, or get an Uber to get home. I didn’t decide to hurl myself on electrified tracks to get mangled to death by a moving subway train. I’m gon’ be all right and with God’s grace I continue to get home in one piece and unharmed. The people who passed no longer have that luxury and were clearly not in a great mental space. That deserves sympathy, not attacks. 

I wish there was more compassion when it came to this. I wish there was some kind of barrier to prevent people from getting on the tracks so easily, currently there is none. And I wish instead of code words the MTA announced what really happened.

I’m Not Here

“I’m not here. I’m not here. You don’t see me.” The hurried words came out of the man’s mouth as a whisper but it felt like a scream. 

I did see him. I had been watching him a few feet from me as he rummaged through the large trash bins in Madison Square Park. He appeared gleeful as he picked up a bottle and dropped the discarded contents of a soft drink in his mouth. He threw the bottle back and kept digging. He unearthed some kind of food. He chewed frantically. 

“That man is eating from the trash,” I say. His body was thin and sinewy. There was a large purple scab right in the middle of his back. His hair and beard was a rich chocolate brown. He was clearly going through  something but his hair looked Head and Shoulders commercial amazing. I felt shallow to even notice that but it’s true. 

He bounded to the trash can closest to the bench where I sat. 

“You don’t see me. I’m not here.”

He continued his search there but I knew it would be fruitless. A park employee had just removed a large garbage bag just moments before I sat down. It was the reason why I’d chosen that bench in the first place. He quickly walked away. 

“Did you hear him?” I asked my partner.

“No.”

Last Days of Summer: Mad. Sq. Eats

Today marks the last day of summer. Until next year my friend. To celebrate the last days of summer I decided to check out Mad. Sq. Eats, the pop up restaurants right across from Madison Square Park in the Flatiron section of the city. 

View from my seat while I ate

My first visit was luckily on a gorgeous day. Blue skies, no clouds, just beautiful. I ended up getting tacos and a drink from Jicama California Street Food. One mini crispy shrimp taco, one mini soft chicken taco with avocado and a drink. 

Tacos from Jicama California Street Food

I was satisfied with the food especially the avocados but I ended up having to eat somewhere else a few hours later because I was still hungry. I know it said mini but damn. I needed just a lil bit more. 

Just a little bit more tacos please!

My second visit I  went to Chingu New Korean. I wasn’t very hungry that day so we just got the Korean sweet soy fried chicken wings and beef and japchae dumplings. I liked that the skin on the wings was still crunchy even though there was a sauce on them. The dumplings were also very good. Added bonus, the staff was very pleasant!

More pics from my time at Mad. Sq. Eats below.

I definitely plan on coming back before the event wraps up October 7. I found the food somewhat pricy however there are so many different vendors selling such a wide range of food, drink, and dessert it’s worth it to me. On the weekends it gets a bit crowded so place your order, get your food, and take yourself to the park and eat over there. 

Check out the Urbanspace website for more information about Mad.Sq. Eats and the restaurant vendors at the event. 

Location is 5th Avenue between 25th and 26th Streets. The N and R trains to the 23rd Street stop will literally drop you off just two blocks away.