I have a few things that I do when I come here – traditions, if you will. Here are some of the things. I like to go to Starbucks and get a seasonal flavoured drink (with whipped cream, as I’m on holidays) – yesterday I tried the Peppermint Mocha, it was very tasty. Today I may try the Gingerbread Latte. I like to eat at a diner, because it reminds me of American TV shows from when I was little and I really love the way they come around and re-fill your coffee, just like on Happy Days. I like to walk and walk and walk and put off catching the subway for as long as possible – this way I can (almost) justify the Starbucks and the diner food and the Ben & Jerry’s and the chocolate covered peanut butter pretzels. And stuff like that.
Our favourite diner in NYC is called The Red Flame – it’s around Times Square and it is just what I think a diner should be: reasonably priced, good food, nice staff, pies for dessert and lots of booths. Though on this visit, I am having some troubles with The Red Flame. I had the great idea of buying one of their caps for my brother (who also loves this diner) as a Christmas present. The staff all wear them, so I figured they probably had a stash out the back and they’d sell me one for $20 or something. Alas, they are protecting their hats for their workers – they will not let me buy one. So, it’s become a challenge for my holiday now – I need to get one of those hats. My plan at this stage is to either (1) get a job there, or (2) take one off the head of the waiter who looks like the slowest runner (with the cleanest hair). I will keep you posted.
The city is gearing up for Christmas – even though there’s still Thanksgiving to get through next week. There are crazy sales on everywhere, decorations are going up, the ice rinks are full of skaters and the Christmas markets are opening in the next week or two. It’s unseasonably warm here at the moment (not hot, obviously, but not too cold) and yesterday I saw some people walking around in t-shirts (and trousers). It’s an absolutely perfect time to be wandering around, taking in all the sights and sounds and smells (but trying to avoid the horsey smells around Central Park) of what would have to be my favourite city in the world.