our "christmas"

We never made it to the movies, but we had a lovely New York day, and today I'm filled with the goodbye-New-York blues more than ever.

First, excellent dim sum at HSF in Chinatown, which was packed with both Chinese families and (apparently) Jewish families. All I can say is thank goodness there's a huge Chinese population in Toronto.

After dim sum, we wandered around the part of Chinatown that used to be Little Italy. Little Italy these days is really just a few restaurants hanging on as the area grows increasingly Asian, mostly (I think) Vietnamese. It's cool to see the transition. I love the shops in Chinatown, the big jars of ginseng and dried fish, the tea shops and bakeries. Though the best Asian food in NYC is now in Queens, the city's original Chinatown is still thriving.

I had heard of a hotel bar and lounge that was supposed to be a knock-out - we love hotel bars - so wandered over to Tribeca to check out the Tribeca Grand Hotel (click on Tribeca, then Church Lounge, I can't link to that). It is simply fabulous. On Christmas day, it was quiet, though not deserted, and very warm and friendly. If you're up for an expensive, delicious drink in a gorgeous setting, you can't do much better than this.

After that, walking around looking for a "bar bar" for a less expensive pint, Allan remembered Chumley's. We hadn't been there in probably 15 years, and Allan somehow remembered where it is! (Which absolutely amazed me, considering our fried brains.) Ah, Chumley's. It hasn't changed at all, complete with the unmarked door and secret back entrance.

If you're visiting my fair city and find yourself in the West Village (which you should), look for this gem at Bedford and Barrow Streets. If it's cold out, a fire will be blazing in the fireplace. You might have to ask a fat, old dog to move so you can sit down.

I love New York and I'm going to miss it. I'm glad it's in my blood. Living here has changed me, forged me, and I'm grateful for it.

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