Saturday, September 18, 2010

An Evening in Times Square

Times SquareIt is strange that in all my travels to the United States this was my first visit to the iconic Times Square in New York City. Like most structures in Manhattan my hotel towered into the sky: every floor had space only for a few rooms; mine was on the 33rd floor. It was already getting dark when I walked out of the hotel into the pleasantly cool evening.

New York cabs at Times SquareTimes Square was filled with tourists from all over - European and Asian groups and families visiting from other parts of the USA. Times Square got its name in 1904 when The New York Times moved its headquarters here, The massive signboards on the sides of tall buildings, neon lighting and milling pedestrians all brings a touristy, holiday charm to the place which we watch so often on TV and Hollywood movies. A zoning mandate actually requires all buildings here to display lighted signs on the surface of their buildings!

Times Square
Times SquareRoadside displays from the US military were co-located with mannequins displaying designs made of plastic, paper and cloth. Even the Starbucks and McDonald's were decked up in lights with long lines at their counters.

Roadside display at Times Square
Roadside display at Times Square
Fashion displays at Times Square
Roadside display at Times SquareAfter strolling around in the cool summer night, I slipped into Haru Sushi bar and restaurant adjoining the theatres of Broadway. Featuring a sharp interior with eye-catching bamboo walls separating the bar and restaurant areas, this eatery has a nice feel to it. The restaurant was filled with young couples and businessmen in suits.

Haru Sushi Bar and Restaurant at Broadway
Miso soup at HaruI sipped on chilled sake until my dinner of miso soup, a selection of salmon and yellow tail sushi arrived. I followed with en entree of grilled salmon teriyaki before strolling out into the still crowded streets and headed back to my hotel.

Sushi selection at Haru
Grilled Salmon Teriyaki at HaruOn the next day, I had a lunch meeting at Ammos, a Greek seafood restaurant. Sandstone walls, sweeping ceilings and suspended white umbrellas brings the sand-and-airy ambiance of Greece into midtown Manhattan right opposite Grand Central Station.

Ammos in New York CityWe had Octapodi, charcoal grilled Mediterranean octopus in onion, capers and red wine vinaigrette. We also tried a little Olokliro Psio Psairi, whole grilled fish with lemon, olive oil and oregano. Our main course was Paidakia, chargrilled lamb chops with haricort vert, lemon potatoes and Greek mountain grown oregano. The lunch was very satisfying but I didn't have my camera for the food pictures. Next time!

I took the Emirates flight back home. Emirates limo pick-up service combined with their excellent lounge at JFK does make the route via Dubai an attractive option. During this visit to the USA, I also had the opportunity to stay at one of the oldest hotels in Washington DC; small rooms like in Europe with a distinct European feel and the only hotel that still has a manually operated elevator! My stay here was accidental: Doubletree, where I had reservations, had overbooked themselves and therefore moved me into Lombardy. The best thing about this old hotel is their little restaurant where I had some wonderfully made French Toast in an ambiance more commonly experienced in Parisian bistros.


Lakshmi said...

During my three weeks in NYC, Times Square used to be my major adda if I can use the word, besides of course Wall Street as I was constantly roaming on my own..hope you get to watch a show on Broadway

Shantanu said...

@Lakshmi: Welcome back! Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time for a Broadway show. Also, the good ones need advance planning which is difficult since my trips get planned at the last possible moments all the time!

Lakshmi said...

Thanks ..I just stood in the queque near Times Square for 15 mins and got a discounted ticket for the eve show of Mamamia.hope you catch a show next time

mina said...

I didn't see those cool statues when I was there. We went to a different Haru location and posted about it the other week. It was delicious. Your photos are making me drool. :)

Shantanu said...

@Lakshmi: Well, something's better than nothing...most of the time! :)

@mina: These probably were set up for some fashion show that was on-going during the time I visited.