Concrete jungle where dreams are made of…

January 24, 2010 at 5:26 pm (my life) (, , , , , )

Today Kumail and I realized a dream/masochistic compulsion by visiting all five boroughs in one day.  We have a car, which made the trip somewhat easier, so we left at about 12:30 today and got started.  I didn’t always remember I had a camera, and we didn’t always get to do what we set out to do, but if anyone is thinking of doing this, here are some fun random things to do in the fun random boroughs.

We started off the day by driving down to the southernmost part of Staten Island, to Tottenville.  Tottenville is full of lovely old colorful houses and Jets fans.  It’s on the shore, and we were looking for the ship graveyard, where ships are dragged to rot and rust away in shallow waters.

Sounds cool, huh? My BFF in Chicago Jamie has a huge phobia of things that are partially submerged underwater.  Not fully submerged, but partially, especially if they have like, barnacles and rust on them.  So bunny, cover your eyes for this shot…

I mean, look how awesome that is!

We didn’t find the ship graveyard.   Instead we headed over to this lovely gazebo on the water…

..and just watched the water and the non-rotting boats for a while.  It was quite lovely.

At this point it got very cloudy and rain was kinda just hanging in the air.  We drove the loooong drive from Staten Island to Flushing Queens to eat at a dosa restaurant Kumail had been to before.

This was not our meal. We ate our meal too fast to take pics of it.

It’s basically a thick crepe stuffed with potatos and curry and served with this green chutney that contains all the secrets of the universe.  Seriously, I’ve never had anything that good, and I eat a lot of desi foods.  So if you’re in Flushing, go to Dosa Hutt.

After the Dosa Hutt it started raining in earnest, and we considered abandoning the mission.  But we kept on and drove all the way up to Fort Tryon Park to visit The Cloisters, a museum (I guess) owned by MoMA.  By the time we got there, it had stopped raining.  It’s gorgeous up there, this huge hilly area with a gothic castle rising out of it, overlooking the dregs of the city.  It’s as if the people who built it realized that they’d want to stay away from all that mess.

Of course, we got there five minutes before it closed.  Not kidding.  They wouldn’t let us in, so instead we walked around the grounds, circling the Cloisters itself, walking around the paths cut into the hills, stopping at the scenic areas.

So fuck whatever is inside that stupid museum.  It’s not half as nice as it is outside, I promise you that.

We continued on, emboldened, to The Bronx, a borough neither of us had visited.  It seemed a lot like Brooklyn, except there were pockets of enormous chain and outlet stores, and way more enormous apartment buildings.  We were driving in search of Burektorja Dukagjini.

Burektorja Dukagjini is a very small Albanian restaurant in the middle of a random block of the Bronx that serves Bureks, and more specifically, three types of Bureks: meat, spinach, and cheese.  Kumail and I got a spinach and a meat Burek, and then we dove the fuck in.

Again, not my pic, we dove in too fast. Also, our car was parked illegally outside with blinkers on, so we were in a hurry.

These things are amazing.  They are like croissants stuffed with heaven and meat/spinach.  But better.  Hard to explain.  The woman who works there answered the phone by yelling several times in Albanian (I guess?), and then continued to yell for 3-4 minutes each time before hanging up.

By then it was night, and we started the trek from the Bronx back to good ole Brooklyn, where we planned to stop in at Sunny’s, a place we’d been to about a year ago, where the owner walks around in his bathrobe, bluegrass music is played in back, and dogs roam around.  That’s when we got stuck in horrific traffic, and things started to fall apart.

Boredom.

Fatigue.

Although I did also get this shot, since we were standing still on the BQE.

Pretty!  We got all the way to Red Hook and Sunny’s was closed.  This cinched it for us.  We looked at the shoreline of Red Hook for a second, drove by all the other cute little cafes and such in that neighborhood, and hightailed it the fuck home.   As we approached our exit from the BQE, Empire State of Mind came on and we cranked it, delighted that the city was rewarding us for exploring it.

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