Day 2: following in the footsteps of Ms Holly Golightly; a trip to the Met; and some inappropriate conduct from the Dark Knight himself.

Rested and rejuvenated, we set out in search of breakfast. The Empire State Building made a surprise cameo.

We ended up at Penelope’s at the suggestion of one of John’s colleagues, who now has my eternal gratitude.

I had the pumpkin waffles with appled butter, dried cranberries, toasted cinnamon-cardamom pecans, and warm baked apples. I am literally salivating as I type this.

John had the buttermilk pancakes, dusted with powdered sugar and served with fresh seasonal fruit.

Owing to the fact that we were only in New York for 8 days, we tried never to repeat meals or restaurants…but, for the breakfast menu at Penelope, we were forced to make an exception.

Speaking of helpful suggestions: one of the most useful tips I was given before we set out is that you can buy a 7-day unlimited Metro Card for just $31 which works for subways and buses. There is, however, a very specific art to using them, so be prepared for a lot of “please swipe again”s.

Also unlimited that day was the coffee I’d had with breakfast and, around noon, my bladder suddenly informed me that this came with one very pressing caveat. Naturally this happened on the one fucking street in New York that didn’t have a Starbucks, though we did – after a seeming eternity – manage to track down a coffee shop and, blissfully, a toilet.

The Arlington Club just so happens to be the exact name of the pool/gym that John and I go to. Granted this one was a steakhouse, but it’s still a remarkable coincidence.

Pictured: Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1961…

…and the very same street, some 50-odd years later. (Also – for being taken from memory – a pretty damn good match, if I do say so myself!)

First stop on our (sometimes unintentional) tour of Audrey locations.

Holly’s apartment is on 169 E 71st St, if you’re similarly inclined to visit.

This tree literally looked as if it was painted with woodland camo.

Breakfast at Holly’s.

The apartment was also, conveniently enough, a short stroll from The Metropolitan Museum of Art – which isn’t saying much since Manhattan is actually pretty tiny. (Like half the size of Glasgow.)

We started with Egyptian art, both John and I having had a healthy interest in Egyptology when we were younger.

Had to be done.


The Temple of Dendur in the Sackler Wing,

The temple was commissioned by Emperor Augustus of Rome around 15 BC and presented to the US in 1965. One might object to it being shipped overseas, but it would otherwise have been submerged after the construction of the Aswan Dam.

Vintage graffiti.

The American Wing

…featuring things of dubiously American origin.

Stained glass window by Louis Comfort Tiffany, son of Charles Lewis Tiffany, co-founder of Tiffany & Co.

Autumn Landscape, Tiffany Studios (1902-32)

…which reminded me enormously of The Secret of Kells (a fairly average movie but with some of the most gorgeous and original animation I’ve seen in years).

European Sculpture and Decorative Ass. Erm, arts.

If Maleficent were a musical instrument. A malinstrument if you will.

PixCell-Deer#24 by Kohei Nawa.

“This taxidermied deer has been completely transformed through the artist’s use of variably sized “PixCell” beads, a term he invented. PixCell is a portmanteau word combining the idea of a “cell” with that of a “pixel,” the smallest unit of a digital image.

Whether intentionally or unintentionally on the artist’s part, PixCell-Deer#24 resonates with a type of religious painting known as a Kasuga Deer Mandala, which features a deer—the messenger animal of Shinto deities—posed similarly with its head turned to the side, and with a round sacred mirror on its back. For painters of the Rinpa school, the deer was depicted often as a companion of ancient sages and had auspicious or poetic associations.”

The Temple of Dendur from above.

The Southern Oracle from Neverending Story. And/or a Sphinx.

…aaaand a brief stroll through Ancient Greece as the museum was closing because we were still in search of a bathroom.

It wouldn’t be a trip to New York without some street vendor hot dogs.

We had the chilli dogs.

They were everything I dreamed they’d be.

Upper East Side.

I’m not going to say that we wouldn’t have gone to Starbucks every day anyway, but the discovery of the cinnamon dolce latte at least made it so that I was getting something I couldn’t have had back home.

And then we made the fatal mistake of going to a pet shop on Lexington.

…which not only sold every breed of dog imaginable, but persians. Honest to god persians.

There was one very dangerous moment where the owner told John that they could handle international travel for the animals and – King Charles Spaniels being his very favourite breed of dog – we almost came home with this little guy right here.

Times Square, take 2.

The non-jetlagged edition.

Caffe Bene, which I didn’t realise existed outside of Korea. Apparently it made its Times Square debut in 2012.

Map-poring: a not uncommon sight this trip.

There are countless costumed characters working for tips in Times Square and this guy spent so long giving us his sales pitch that we felt bad not taking a photo with him.

With his professed array of poses, however, one has to wonder if this one should really be on the roster…

Contrary to the New Yorker stereotype, people were actually ridiculously nice everywhere we went, and on this day alone people stopped me multiple times to compliment my outfit (once during the taking of this very photo). It made for a pleasant change of pace from, say, Glasgow, where being well-dressed is more likely to get you knifed.

Dinner in the West Village. We ended up at Empellón Taqueria more by force than by choice (John’s bladder facing the same issues as mine had earlier in the day) but we definitely had no regrets. I had the fish tempura tacos and (though you can barely make it out there) kabocha squash with Greek yoghurt and pumpkin seed oil. This went halfway towards sating the kabocha cravings I’ve been having ever since I left Japan.

Police golf buggy: striking terror into the hearts of Manhattan’s criminals.

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