Friday, September 30, 2016

Sights to See: Rivington Street, NYC


The first few blocks of Rivington Street on NYC's Lower East Sides feel like a small neighborhood.  I visit the area almost every time I am in New York.  It would make a great place to stay. 
Rivington Street at Rabbi Yaakov Spiegel Way in NYC's Lower East Side
Rivington Street at Rabbi Yaakov Spiegel Way in NYC's Lower East Side

mural door on Rivington Street in NYC's Lower East Side
mural door on Rivington Street in NYC's Lower East Side

DO
Leekan Designs  #4 at Bowery, (212) 226-7226.  Tu-F 10-6, Sat 12-7, closed Sun-M.  Exuding a mysterious aura, this shop specializes in beads, wood carvings, gongs, birdcages, jewelry, and much more from Asia, Oceania, and Africa.  It provides a superb browse, and I always seem to find something I must have--most recently a pair of silver cicada-charm dangle earrings.   
Leekan Designs on Rivington Street in NYC's Lower East Side
Leekan Designs on Rivington Street in NYC's Lower East Side

bracelets at Leekan Designs on Rivington Street in NYC's Lower East Side
bracelets at Leekan Designs on Rivington Street in NYC's Lower East Side

Rivington Playground  #14 at Forsyth St., in Sara D. Roosevelt Park.  The park is the largest open space in the neighborhood, and has a senior center and a roller skating rink as well as this playground.   
Rivington Playground on Rivington Street in NYC's Lower East Side
Rivington Playground on Rivington Street in NYC's Lower East Side

Streit’s matzo factory #148-154


EAT
Economy Candy  #108

The Falafel Shop  #127 at Essex St.  There is often a line to order this spot’s delicious hummus, warm pita bread, and outstanding falafel.  Sabich (pronounced "sob-beek") is a full meal consisting of fried eggplant, a hardboiled egg, tahini, fried potato, pickles, pickled turnips, and mango chutney.  Tasty curry lentil soup makes a good side, and the ginger-mint lemonade is a don’t-miss.  Unfortunately, this place is very small, with only a few seats. 

Loreley Restaurant & Biergarten  #7 at Bowery, (212) 253-7077.  Though the patio in back is cement and wall to wall with picnic tables, allowing for very little green, it is outdoors and sheltered and makes quite a nice spot to be with a 0.5 of draft--I vote for the house specialty Gaffel Kolsch, a light top-fermented ale from Cologne--and a delicious bratwurst sandwich with fries. 
exterior of Loreley Restaurant & Biergarten on Rivington Street in NYC's Lower East Side
exterior of Loreley Restaurant & Biergarten on Rivington Street in NYC's Lower East Side

biergarten at Loreley Restaurant & Biergarten on Rivington Street in NYC's Lower East Side
biergarten at Loreley Restaurant & Biergarten on Rivington Street in NYC's Lower East Side

Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream  #2 at Bowery, (212) 209-7684.  The unusual flavors here include burnt honey vanilla, Vietnamese coffee, black coconut ash, banana durian, and raw milk.  Cones include cake, sugar, and monster-sized.  Unfortunately, the line is often extremely long--I’ve heard of a wait time sometimes approaching two hours!  
Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream on Rivington Street in NYC's Lower East Side
Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream on Rivington Street in NYC's Lower East Side

TeaNY  #90 at Orchard St., (646) 415-8681.  L-D daily; $$.  Authentic American cuisine made with fresh ingredients. Tea place, crumpets.  Vegan, veggie.  Popular items include 3-lentil chili, blueberry-topped cheesecake, latte, carrot cake, death by chocolate. 

SLEEP
Hotel on Rivington  #107 at Ludlow St.  Unimpressive from the outside, this stylish contemporary hotel has a small lobby on the second floor.  Beds have a termpur-pedic mattress, and they still provide a goody here at turndown.  Upper-floor rooms have some great views, even from the bathroom, and some rooms are Japanese-style with a steam shower and large slate soaking tub; others have big tubs with a city view.  A continental breakfast is served on the 20th floor.

Off Soho Suites Hotel New York  11 at Chrystie St., 800-OFF SOHO, (212) 353-0860.  This lodging provides an alternative to overpriced, undersized hotel rooms.  Each unit is equipped with a full kitchen, and the property has a laundry room.  The lobby doubles as the Eleven Rivington art gallery
Off Soho Suites Hotel New York on Rivington Street in NYC's Lower East Side
Off Soho Suites Hotel New York on Rivington Street in NYC's Lower East Side

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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Great Sleeps: Parkview Hotel, Hualien, Taiwan


Parkview Hotel  Built in 1993, this was the area’s first 5-star hotel.  Rooms are comfortable but beds are hard, with little give and no pillow top—nevertheless I slept very well.  Extensive recreation facilities include an indoor and outdoor pool, sauna, indoor climbing wall, table tennis, squash, and more. In an exceptionally large open dining room in The Garden Court Western Restaurant, guests enjoy a breakfast buffet that includes everything from western-style omelettes to green matcha cakes.  High ceilings, tall windows, and a view of the mountains make it memorable.  


sunflowers in lobby of Parkview Hotel in Hualien, Taiwan
sunflowers in lobby of Parkview Hotel in Hualien, Taiwan


view from guest room at Parkview Hotel in Hualien, Taiwan
view from guest room at Parkview Hotel in Hualien, Taiwan


The Garden Court Western Restaurant at Parkview Hotel in Hualien, Taiwan
The Garden Court Western Restaurant at Parkview Hotel in Hualien, Taiwan


green matcha cakes at The Garden Court Western Restaurant at Parkview Hotel in Hualien, Taiwan
green matcha cakes at The Garden Court Western Restaurant at Parkview Hotel in Hualien, Taiwan


breakfast with view at The Garden Court Western Restaurant at Parkview Hotel in Hualien, Taiwan
breakfast with view at The Garden Court Western Restaurant at Parkview Hotel in Hualien, Taiwan


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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers
 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Good Eats: Koneko, NYC


Koneko  26 Clinton St./Houston St., Lower East Side, (646) 370-5699.  This cat cafe is a branch of one in Japan.  It is appropriate that it is named “Koneko,” which means “kitten” in Japanese.  The coffee is Stumptown, and the pastries, which include many Japanese izakaya classics, come from Patisserie Tomoko in Williamsburg (the seafood and pork belly okonomiyaki sell out every day).  You can sit in the cafe and observe the kitties through a large window, or you can take your order into the cattery room and visit with them for an hour (the fee is $15, and a reservation is required at busy times).  An upstairs room with an outside “catio” is also available.  You will need to take your shoes off when you enter the cattery and will be provided with slippers to use.  All cats are available for adoption, and all proceeds benefit the cats.  


exterior of Koneko cat cafe in NYC
exterior of Koneko cat cafe in NYC


interior of Koneko cat cafe in NYC
interior of Koneko cat cafe in NYC


menu board at Koneko cat cafe in NYC
menu board at Koneko cat cafe in NYC


cattery room at Koneko cat cafe in NYC
cattery room at Koneko cat cafe in NYC

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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Good Eats: Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant, Hualien, Taiwan


Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant  03-862-1033.  That the owner of this restaurant featuring creative traditional Truku cuisine is an artist is apparent.  His art work is displayed throughout and for sale.  Also, his rustic wood pieces are used for tables and benches in the restaurant, where the expansive dining room opens to a view of the not-too-distant ocean.  Special aboriginal foods on the menu include wild vegetables, bracken, cinnamon pig, and bamboo rice that is cooked in a covered tube of bamboo that is popped opened by noisily whacking it against a post.  Pieces of delicious roasted chicken with skin is memorable.  Cats have free roam, and are quick to dispense with leftovers on abandoned plates.  Several gift shops sell works by the artist owner as well as by a weaver who demonstrates her skills on the spot.

entrance to Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan
entrance to Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan

gift shop at Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan
gift shop at Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan

kitchen at Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan
kitchen at Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan

appetizer at Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan
appetizer at Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan

leaf-covered rice at Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan
leaf-covered rice at Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan

bamboo rice at Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan
bamboo rice at Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan

cat at Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan
cat at Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan

weaver at Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan
weaver at Dageeli Tribe House Restaurant in Hualien, Taiwan


In this video, restaurant personnel lead a song about appreciating the beauty of nature that everyone in Taiwan learns in elementary school.




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images and video ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Sights to See: Taroko Gorge National Park, Hualien, Taiwan


The seaside town of Hualien on Taiwan’s East Coast is backed by mountains and known for producing mochi.  One of Taiwan’s most scenic spots is Taroko Gorge National Park.  This beautiful park is famous for its abundant supply of marble (it is nicknamed "The Marble Gorge").  A serene river runs through it, and spectacular scenery and trails abound, including the Eternal Spring Shrine/Changchun Shrine. This memorial temple is located just above Changchun Falls, which is reputed never to dry up. 

entrance stone at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan
entrance stone at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan

visitor center aboriginal house exhibit at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan
visitor center aboriginal house exhibit at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan

scenery outside visitor center at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan
scenery outside visitor center at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan

nature trail near visitor center at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan
nature trail near visitor center at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan

Eternal Spring Shrine/Changchun Shrine at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan
Eternal Spring Shrine/Changchun Shrine at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan





More things to do in Hualien.

More things to do in Taiwan.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.
   
images and video ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers