Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New York, New York. . .

That lovely lady on the postcard above is Lillie Langtry, the "Jersey Lily" of Late 19th Century fame. Later in this post I'll explain why I'm posting her photo. You'll notice the loveley Lillie has her own Victorian Bar & Cafe now. the next time you're in Manhattan, check it out. Trust me, you'll be glad you did. (More below).

So----as you probably guessed, I'm back in Manhattan doing some book business and visiting with daughter Melissa. As is our usual custom, Melissa and I love to try new cafes & bars while I'm here. Actually, Melissa doesn't wait for me to come, I assure you. She and her friends try new spots all the time. And in Manhattan, there's a lot to choose from. So----I thought I'd shrare with you some of the places we visited.

As soon as I landed at JFK last Friday evening, I zoomed into city (well, as fast as you can zoom on the Long Island RR), took taxi thru Friday night traffic to Melissa's place on Upper West Side then off we went to Lincoln Center. We had tix to the New York City Opera's production of Mozart's "Don Giovanni." What a great production. Fabulous voices and striking, erotic staging. Yes, I said erotic. Read one of the reviews on Google. NYC Opera is located in the gorgeous fountain plaza area right beside the Metropolitan Opera. (See photo above). This is the same spot you saw in the movie "Moonstruck." Post-opera, we walked nearby to the Empire Hotel and their great bar. Fabulous Latin/rock mix of music. Good martinis, too. Got back to apt 3:30am. Needless to say, we slept in Sat morn.

Saturday, walked thru Central Park to 59th St and Fifth Avenue, then all the way down beautiful Fifth Avenue, admiring Christmas windows wherever we saw them & browsing/shopping, of course. Walked to Herald Square at 34th St/Broadway where the original Macy's is located. Checked out windows, of course. We did appetizers & wine at wine bar for dinner then off to a great place that I can recommend highly----Caffe Taci Opera Nights located in the Papillon Cafe on 54th St, right off Fifth Avenue. Not far from St. Patrick's Cathedral. Every Friday & Saturday night, upstairs at Papillon, they have young opera singers who're starting their singing careers---and they are great! Some are already performing in Europe as well as all over the US. And they perform all the "old favorites." Plus, food and drinks and desserts are great at the cafe, and the "host" Leopoldo is always there to welcome you and make sure you enjoy yourselves----and offer you a glass of Limoncelo (not sure that's the spelling), which is a yummy lemon liquor. Next time you're in Manhattan, check it out. Singing starts at 9pm Friday/Saturday nights and goes till midnight.

While there, Melissa and I met the owner of the cafe, Tommy Burke, an engaging and delightful Irishman and naturalized American. He escorted us to his newest bar and cafe, Lillie's on 17th Street between Union Square and Fifth Ave. (see card above), his Victorian Bar and Cafe. Friends----I've got to tell you, Lillie's is drop-dead beautiful inside. Tommy has restored a vacant building into a gorgeous Victorian period bar. He even brought over furnishings from an Irish estate to include in the decor. And reigning over all is Lillie Langtry, herself. The famous beauty and actress who went from the Isle of Jersey to the bed of a future king (Crown Prince Edward VII, Queen Victoria's eldest son) during the turn of the century (1880--90's). Definitely check this one out, friends. It was 4:00am before we returned to Melissa's apt this time.

Sunday was for shopping, believe it or not, and book party with Melissa's friends that night. Great fun. Meanwhile, I'm back to work writing the 1890 Washington, DC historical mystery I'm working on. So---you can see why I was so taken with the Jersey Lilly.

I'll try to post some of the other NYC photos I took for this post---Lincoln Ctr at night, also some shots in Central Park, including the ice rink. If they don't load properly, I'll post a 2nd post following this one with just photos and small amount of text. We'll see if that works.