December 2, 2017

The Compleat Strategist, New York…I left empty handed

This is a true aficionado’s pure nirvana in a tiny space near the Empire State Building. Not a single online or computer game.  This is role playing at its finest and board games galore.

This store isn’t really big but from the ground all the way to the ceiling it is packed with games. The walls are bursting with games. The narrow aisles have games, miniatures, books and other collectibles crammed along the shelves. They have brand new games, old vintage games, expansions packs for games you’ve never heard of, and most importantly: RPG books

They seem to have everything except the thing I’d wanted: a foam value set for the Star Wars Rebellion board game box.

Don’t come here for customer service, though. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

compleat strategist ny1

compleat strategist ny2

July 29, 2017

Minetta Tavern Restaurant and Bar, New York City…The black label burger renders other burgers meaningless

This place opened in the 30’s so it’s wonderful to see the vintage décor of the old saloon-era interior intact. Being a full house, I sat at the refinished oak bar in the front of the room, elbow to elbow with other diners. The vibe is buzzy, exclusive, and properly chaotic.

The food rocks as much as the scene. The US$33 Black Label Burger – selection of prime dry-aged beef cuts with caramelized onions and pomme frites is without question a mind-blowing rivetingly intense experience. Named the best burger in America by CNBC, a continent full of burger connoisseurs, The Daily Meal,  calls it “the stuff of legend.”  The beef is a blend of four different cuts—short rib, skirt, brisket and rib-eye. It’s like eating a dry-aged steak in burger format. The bun was airy but not spongy. There is a chewiness and lushness in the same bite. Each bite of this burger was lingered over and savored. Even the fries were perfectly seasoned, and nicely crisped. It held to the quality of the burger.

This is now my must-go place in NYC, but frequent Minetta too often and I’ll be broke and really fat. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…


June 21, 2015

Galaxy Diner, New York City…Fantastic breakfast place within a stone’s throw of Times Square

I can’t believe this kind of place – good food with a lot of choices (serving everything from bagels to steak and everything in between) and generous portions,  attentive staff, great service, and REASONABLY PRICED! – exists anywhere in Manhattan anymore, much less in Hell’s Kitchen/Theater District.

The meal was absolutely delicious, eggs perfectly poached. Decent coffee, too. The place is open 24 hours. Had a cool atmosphere which resemble outer space. Pretty clean. It is a diner and certainly not a fancy upscale kind of place but the service and food were much better than iHop. As diners in NYC go, this one’s a goodie. If you find yourself walking around Times Square and you’re hungry, don’t eat there. Prices are through the roof and many restaurants don’t even post a menu outside. For a good meal, walk west on 46th two blocks to 9th Avenue where you’ll see the Galaxy Diner in front of you on the NW corner of 9th Avenue.

Short story shorter: Fantastic breakfast place within a stone’s throw of Times Square. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

galaxy hell's kitchen ny

galaxy diners, nyc

July 3, 2011

Empire State Building Skyride and Observatory, New York…the queues are as spectacular as the building itself

Once the tallest building in the world, and once again the tallest building in New York, the Empire State Building is truly a site to behold. The building is iconic and the views from the top was fantastic. Anyone who had seen the movie King Kong would recognise the unqiue art deco exterior.

The sky ride, though quite enjoyable – seeing the city from above (simulated) áccompanied byKevin Bacon’s commentary – is not worth the US$36 ticket price.

It was a cloudy and greyday but I still appreciated the great views from the 86th Floor main Observatory. It left me imagining that I could possibly see for miles on a clear day. The next time I am in New York, I will try visiting this building in the evening or during sunset because i can imagine that there’s something magical about visiting in the evening, as many movies have famously depicted.

The lines at the Empire State Building Observatory are as spectacular as the building itself. Three lines, actually…the security line, the ticket line and the line for the elevators that take you to the Observatory. It is no worse than standing in line in, say, Tokyo Disneyland, but definitely something to be prepared for. I hear that you can buy and print your ticket at home to skip the ticket line.

The Empire State Building is an amazing structure and a huge part of New York’s skyline. This isn’t something you have to do everytime you visit NYC but you have to go at least once. This is the true truth because I say it as it is…

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