Today we are booked in to do the Greenwich village food tour with free tours by foot. We meet at our designated spot on Waverley street and go straight to Washington square. It is a glorious day and the park is packed with students sun baking, skateboarders, musicians and nannies. Back in the day this used to be a very dodgy place to hang, and was the turf of drug dealers, now it has been completely cleaned up. The New York State university has buildings all around the square. There is a progressive church in the neighbourhood that regularly posts controversial messages - I love the latest - why would a citizen need an assault rifle? I am very anti gun but in the minority here.
This is a food tour and we are in good hands with our guide, Courtney. She started the food tour division with the company, and we got an excellent selection of local snacks that were so cheap. First up a falafel place that sells a snack size version of just 3 balls with dipping sauce for $1.50. Further down the road, there's a place that specializes in a white pizza with béchamel sauce and artichoke, you get a huge slice for $5 and it is so delicious.
As we walked through the streets we heard about the prohibition era and rise of the speakeasies in the area. Some famous tv series were set around this area, like Friends, and we were shown some of the outside locations. Time for more food, this time really good aranchini balls for $1. I didn't eat at our last stop, typical New York style pizza as we had walked past Grom, the Italian gelati shop, so we returned for an icecream. Today's flavours expresso and chocolate chip. The tour was a great way to get orientated to the area, and also to try a couple of great things that I would never have known about otherwise. I will definitely be returning to do a grocery shop and also to take photos of this scenic neighbourhood. I'm so busy coughing today I've lost interest in photography and exploring.
We stopped at a Cuban bar for a sangria at happy hour, then continued to the subway back home. I'm really struggling today and am going to stop and let Jane continue on her own with the next couple of days, and I am going to get some desperately needed bed rest. I feel bad as its her birthday, but I can't keep going. If she wasn't here I would have been in bed days ago.
We do go to the best restaurant in town for janes birthday, it's a quite authentic Italian that is very stylish, and we both ended up having a lovely meal. I ate half of my enormous veal cotaletto and Jane had slow cooked meat you could carve with your knife.