Utterly fascinated by Mapfaced, a sight that lists bar crawls of all stripes — for example, “cool places in the East Village, celebrities included,” “get tanked by Grand Central after work,” or “drink like a writer.” A lot of the lists seem redundant (yeah, the Lower East Side is full of cool and cheap places to drink) or just douchey (does anyone really want to behave like an NYU frat boy?), but a neat idea nonetheless.

None so tasty as my yum cha, but tasty nonetheless — if you’re in NYC, keep track of your favorite brewskis with Beer Menus. Looks like the most promising venue near my office (in Midtown East) is CB Six, with 16 varieties on tap and 106 different bottles. Cheers!

 

The Times of India reports that it’s now as expensive to lease a flat in Mumbai as it is in NYC.  Nauzer Bharucha writes:

“A three-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side can be rented for about $5,000 to $8,000, or Rs 2 lakh-Rs 3.20 lakh a month. In Mumbai, a similar-sized apartment in any good building between central Mumbai and Bandra could cost as much, or even more, according to realty experts.  …

“The rental segment of the residential market is booming mainly because of expats and a large number of senior executives belonging to corporates setting up base in Mumbai,” claimed Joygopal Sanyal of Jones Lang Lasalle Megraj, a global property consultancy firm. According to him, large flats in south Mumbai could fetch upwards of Rs 10 lakh a month.”

This is bloody bonkers! I guess I got out of India at the right time ….

I don’t care if dead bodies occasionally bump the side of my schooner — the Times’piece on the houseboat people of the Hudson has me piqued. Anyone selling a reliable watercraft built for two (and a couple cats)?

LINK.

flora.jpg

Two retro reminiscences I’m really digging: a 1950s Jim Flora woodcut, now being sold as a limited edition on eBay, and New York’s 40th anniversary rehashing of the magazine’s inaugural issue. The past is not even past….

 

Top: A picture I took of Manhattan from the Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City. Bottom: The skyline as imagined on a shop’s drawn shutters.

Instead of wallowing in my current funk, I decided to take myself out on the town yesterday. The plan? Hit a few museums, eat some good food, and catch a bit of independent film.

Though it was abominably crowded because it was closing weekend, I saw Kara Walker’s exhibit at the Whitney. Fabulous. The large-scale silhouettes wrapped snaked around outsize walls; intimate watercolors, sketches accompanied by meditations on race, class, and gender captured on 3×5″ notecards, eloquently framed. By the time you read this, it’s likely finito, but if the exhibit travels elsewhere, I couldn’t recommend it more.

After, I wandered through Central Park (see picture, above), down Museum Mile, and took a quick tour of the Neue Galerie, where Gustav Klimt’s works are being exhibited. Gorgeous, but again, quite crowded, so I ducked into the gallery’s Cafe Sabarsky to clear my head over espresso (err, Grosser Brauner). It’s spendy, but between the heady Viennese brew and my slice of Klimttorte (chocolate ganache and several layers of dense hazelnut pastry), it’s well worth the premium.

 

Refreshed, I decided to head to the Lower East Side, having heard that there were some interesting events in Chinatown tied to the Lunar New Year. On February 9, a parade is on in Flushing (which is arguably New York’s more authentic center of all things Chinese/Korean/Asian).

More wandering ensued; then, feet wearied, I dropped into Bar Veloce for a tipple and a small bite. Excellent panini and red wine by the glass. Afterward, with a bit of time to kill, I decided to sample the appetizers at Madras Cafe. My judgment may have been clouded by the Kingfisher I knocked back, but the samosa chat was excellently spicy, and the idlis at least passable — a fitting end to a long, indulgent day.