A Fall Day in NYC

There is nothing quite like an early fall day in NYC.  There is a hint of crispness in the air and the perfect temperature to walk around.  People are out in droves doing their thing.  We had a full on day from shopping to eating to a movie.  The art day was last weekend.

We began at the first 4-star Amazon store that opened a few days ago featuring top-selling customer reviewed products and that includes books.  The place was packed.  Makes you wonder if Amazon is jumping on a bigger trend bringing back brick and mortar with new brands?  A friend texted me to see if their product was in the store, which is honestly why I went.  He asked me if I thought they will have a lot of repeat customers or is this just a novelty that people are checking out.  My guess is that there is a long tail to the store since Amazon is the largest store in the world that anyone, anywhere, can shop 24 hours a day.  Will I return?  Definitely not, as there is nothing appealing or interesting at the store as it feels like a new Best Buy….and after all, I can buy it all online.

We were starving and stopped in Uncle Boons Sister.  I love Uncle Boons and the sister is an excellent sidekick with take-out and delivery options.  We had Khao Mun Gai, a plate of poached Thai style chicken on top of rice with a ginger-soybean sauce, sipping broth and a spicy paste on the side.  Delicious.

We also had Kanom Jiin Jay, a great curry over rice noodles with avocado, rainbow chard, braised purple cabbage and prawns on the side.  If this was down the street, I’d go at least once a week.

Dessert is the Rama Cone, named after the Thai royalty.  Coconut gelato covered with candied peanuts, white chocolate, and toasted coconut.  It is a serious treat.  Cash only.

We hit up a few other stores before ducking into IFC to see Mantagi, Maya, M.I.A, a documentary on the pop-star activist M.I.A.  She was born in Sri Lanka and migrated to London at age 9.  Her father founded the Tiger Tamils, a terrorist organization that sought to establish an independent Tamil state.  She began her career as a filmmaker and visual artist before beginning her career as a global hip-hop artist pulling sounds from across the world.  Her stance on the power of immigration has been an ongoing theme through her music.  She has pushed the envelope in ways that men have always been able to get away with as musicians yet she was pushed back on and judged.  A powerful film about a strong woman.

After we walked into the east village to the wine bar, Ruffian.  I wish this place was in my hood.  Ruffian is owned by a group that met years ago at Tabla.  There is a serious natural wine program, over 250 kinds.  A small few hundred foot deep restaurant with mostly bar seating where you can drink and oversee the chef serve up some really innovative delicious food.

The marinated whipped feta served with roasted cherry tomatoes, raisings, swiss chard, fennel, and shishito peppers might have been one of the best dishes I have had in a while.  I could eat this daily.  The perfect balance of flavors.  We had this with the bread and butter – not to be missed as simple as it is.  We also had small roasted eggplants with pickled peppers and adjika and Octopus with a pine nut mole with potatoes, pepitas, sesame and cilantro with hints of Indian spices.

Next month they are dedicating the menu and wines to collusion.  Collusion is the word they are using for food and wine from the Soviet Union region.  I will be back!  This is one of the wines they will be serving.

As we walked home, we listened to the Poetry Jukebox installed in the village.  Allan Ginsberg was talking.  I so do love this town.


Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    Good day when I wake up inspired after seeing Springsteen on Broadway to a Natural Wine Bar i don’t know! and a new Thai place!Thanks!

    1. Gotham Gal

      You will love this wine bar

      1. awaldstein

        Going this weekend for certain. As not only do they have wine I don’t know about (inspiring) I simply love that type of food–simply delish, sharable. I’m so in!

      2. awaldstein

        btw this is somewhat interestinghttps://www.vinx.wine/ futures piece is solid in concept. distribution less so, meeting with them to understand.

        1. Gotham Gal

          Very interesting

  2. LE

    He asked me if I thought they will have a lot of repeat customers or is this just a novelty that people are checking out. My prediction is that it stands a good chance of working long term. It is similar to Brookstone in a way which had success for a long time until it didn’t. But Amazon has more data on what people buy on impulse than Brookstone ever did or even Sharper Image.it should work anywhere people are looking to browse and have time to kill. And buy on impulse things that they don’t even really need. Part of that is lost with online (even though there are gains in other areas of impulse buying online). Retail is about impulse buying as much as anything. Even the supermarkets know this (why milk is in the back of the story goes the thinking).The ‘Best Buy’ feel is not good but that can be fixed and tweaked. The truth is they have a name and a large enough customer base that people will stop in just to see what is going on. And then return from time to time. I do that as many people do with the Apple store. And that density inside creates a buzz that makes it more likely for people to buy something (looks popular).Retail in general is great to bring attention to online. Not sure of how it would play out financially, but something similar might work for ETSY by allowing them to highlight things that are sold on the platform that are unique and hard to appreciate in an online photo. And by rotating the merchandise. And that exposure would then drive more business to online ETSY (not what Amazon is doing I am just mentioning as a separate thought and idea). I’d go to that store for sure. And if the merchandise rotates that gives me a reason to return to the store. (Target for a while was very successful with this concept of rotating merchandise).

  3. kbb

    Thanks for the tip on Ruffian!