Tag Archives: New York City

ACT LIKE A NEW YORKER

Act Like a New Yorker
I want to point out a few simple things that could make a big difference on your next trip to New York City.

Tourism is a big industry in New York. We appreciate your business and, trust me on this, most New Yorkers would actually like tourists if only you tried to be part of our City and not just stand back and watch us as though you were at a zoo.


In winter, don’t dress like you’re going to a ski resort or in summer, a beach resort. This is a city so dress for the city and not a national park. How can you expect a good table in a white table cloth restaurant when you show up wearing sneakers, shorts and a baseball cap?


Manhattan isn’t just Times Square, so be adventurous and go see the neighborhoods. And New York City isn’t just Manhattan. Since you can have authentic Italian espresso in a café in Bensonhurst, Greek coffee in Astoria and café con leche in the South Bronx, why look for a Starbucks where their coffee will be no different than in the Starbucks at home in your local mall? And don’t forget Staten Island.


Skip the Olive Gardens, Burger Kings and other chains you’re used to and go local. With over 40,000 restaurants in New York, you can easily find one that suits your taste. It isn’t necessarily going to be more expensive and might even save you some money.


Explore the City the way natives do, by foot and public transit. It’s easy with a map and some common sense, keeping in mind you shouldn’t stop to look at your map at the top of a flight of subway stairs during rush hour.


New Yorkers move fast and walking too slowly or three abreast is almost as bad as reckless driving on a highway. Navigating the sidewalks of New York is a lot like your driving back home: keep up with the pace of traffic, don’t randomly change lanes and make no unexpected stops. You can cause accidents, traffic jams or at the very least, bad feelings.


When you come to an intersection, it’s fine if you don’t want to jay-walk but don’t block our way when we appear to be willing to risk our lives to get to an appointment on time. To New Yorkers, a “don’t walk” sign is just a suggestion. Assume we know what we’re doing after years of practice.


Please don’t  think I’m just another nasty New Yorker, because honest, I’m not. I’d really like you to avoid tourist traps and see the real New York. I want you to feel like you belong here and experience the city the way we do and all you have to do is act like a New Yorker.


Click here for updated GALLERY II

Robert Iulo at Yelp

New York City Diners

 

coffee container

New York City Diners

There are some places that want to be perceived as diners and others that are intrinsically and naturally diners. The latter, which are usually family run, can be recognized by very large menus, a few traditional Greek dishes on those menus, a huge selection of Danish, muffins and elaborate cakes displayed on and behind the counter and never letting your coffee cup get less than half full. They serve breakfast twenty-four hours a day and fast service is provided by people who are professional waiters and waitresses. Their coffee-to-go is usually in a blue and white paper cup with, “It’s Our Pleasure to Serve You,” framed by two Ionic columns.

 

cake 4
City Diner – Upper West Side

 

Lately, in New York City, mostly Manhattan, a new type of chain diner has been opening. They try for a 1950’s retro style featuring Doo Wop interior design with old signs and maybe some muscle car parts hanging on the walls. Their menus list items with cute names that they want us to believe mythical Eisenhower-era Americans lived on; burgers, shakes and sundaes. Was there ever a “Malt Shop” in New York City? Maybe there was in television land where the Nelson boys and Donna Reed’s kids hung out after school but no, not New York. No matter how hard I try, I can’t imagine Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks” sipping coffee in any of these Disneyfied places. There’s something contrived about the “new” diners that I would hate to see catch on.

I hope tourists don’t have a BLT at one of these theatre sets and think, “Wow, I’ve eaten in a New York City diner!” because they haven’t.

Some of the old favorites are gone now; the Market, Munson and Cheyenne, but there are enough of the originals left to easily give anyone who wants it, a genuine diner experience.

A handful of them still have waitresses with teased blond hair who will ask you, “What’cha havin’, hon?”

How could anyone give that up for a second-rate copy?

 

diner 4
Neptune Diner – Astoria

Beefsteak

1st slice
Beefsteak

Roasted Beefsteak Sirloin with Blood and Butter Sauce

Adapted from Chef Waldy Malouf’s beefsteak recipe at the (now closed) Beacon Restaurant.

Throwing a “Beefsteak” is an old New York City tradition. It was a night of beef, beer and cigars with no vegetables or silverware.

For more on the beefsteak tradition see:  ALL YOU CAN HOLD FOR FIVE BUCKS, written by Joseph Mitchell and originally printed in The New Yorker Magazine, 1939

almost ready
Ready to serve

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole boneless sirloin, approximately 8 pounds; ask your butcher for a No. 180 strip loin (pretty expensive)
  • Coarse S&P
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) butter
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • Sliced white bread

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season sirloin heavily with S&P. Place in a roasting pan, fat side down and roast for 30 minutes. Turn meat over, fat side up, and add onions to pan beside meat. Roast another 30 minutes.
  2. Remove roasting pan from oven. Turn oven off and leave door ajar to cool slightly. Transfer beef to a rimmed platter, leaving onions in pan. Loosely cover beef with foil and return to oven to keep warm. Carefully spoon off about two-thirds of the clear fat in roasting pan (leaving any dark juices beneath) and add beef broth. Place over high heat and boil until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add butter, Worcestershire sauce, and any juices that have collected in platter of beef. Return to medium-low heat and simmer for 10 more minutes. Strain sauce into a warmed pitcher or serving bowl.
  3. To serve, slice sirloin into 1 1/2-inch-thick steaks and then cut each steak crosswise into strips 3 to 4 inches long that you will be able to pick up with your hands. Serve sauce very hot. Dip meat into sauce as you eat. You can also serve meat with a stack of white bread.