Tag Archive | NYC

Gramercy Kitchen: A NYC Diner With a Small Town Vibe!

Exterior Shot
All Photos By Gail

Diner culture is iconic across America, but in NYC, where the small business real estate landscape changes in a heartbeat, people whisper that the days of the old New York Coffee Shops are numbered. The value of a neighborhood gem, where the food is tasty, the prices fair, and —  at the risk of sounding cliche —  “everybody knows your name” cannot be taken for granted. Revelation: the owners and staff of a new eatery, Gramercy Kitchen, have warmly embraced that credo. Gramercy Kitchen just opened for business in January, exactly one year after the space’s former tenant, Gramercy Cafe, closed its doors after 24 years in business. Gramercy Kitchen is under new ownership and unaffiliated with its predecessor. Menu Detail 1

Gramercy Kitchen happens to be in my old ‘hood of Gramercy Park, and I was curious to pay them a visit, so I stopped in one evening on my way home from the office to grab a Burger. The restaurant was in that transitional lull before the dinner rush hits, and after being seated at the ‘family booth’ — with its massive curved banquette that takes up the entire front corner of the restaurant — I struck up a conversation with general manager John K., a relaxed and friendly guy who treated me like we were old friends. John was happy to answer my questions about the menu, what Gramercy Kitchen offers customers that its neighboring restaurants might not,  and the experience of opening a  new restaurant in one of Manhattan’s most historic neighborhoods.

Haloumi Salad

Halloumi cheese is one of my favorite things, and Gramercy Kitchen has a Halloumi Salad ($14) that is huge! This salad can easily be  shared, or made into a satisfying entree with the addition of grilled chicken.  Halloumi cheese has a high melting point, and it is served lightly grilled over abundant greens, chopped tomatoes, olives and slivered red onions, with a generous portion (6 pieces!) of fresh pita bread. John mentioned that the restauant’s chef/owner is from Cyprus, where halloumi is made. Oil and Vinegar dressing comes with the salad but there are other dressing choices you can ask for, such as Avocado Ranch, which is what I had.

Menu Detail 2

Gramercy Kitchen’s massive, 8-ounce sirloin burger is priced at $12 — which includes Lettuce and Tomato —  and you can build your own custom creation from there. Add your choice of Cheese for $2Sliced Onion for $1, and premium toppings such as Avocado or Bacon for $4 each. They also offer something called Mercy Mayo, which is mayonnaise mixed with ketchup and tabasco sauce, for a tangy kick on your burger or fries!

Cheese Burger and Fries

Here is a photo of my Cheddar Cheeseburger with sliced Avocado, which was amazing! And check out those Curly Steak Fries, which I’ve never seen on any other diner menu. They are out of control delicious! “While we don’t feature any ‘specialty’ burgers,” John explained, “we want our customers to feel comfortable to choose what they want, the way they want it, made to order!”

Tuna Melt and Fries

Another favorite on the menu is the classic Tuna Melt, served here with Swiss cheese on grilled rye bread ($10/ $15 with Fries). The Tuna Melt was added to the  menu based on customer demand. John said that a lot of people coming in were formerly customers of the previous diner, and Gramercy Kitchen wants everyone who might have been dining there for years to find familiar items on the new menu.

Fresh Orange Juice

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to drink, but John suggested a glass of their freshly squeezed Orange Juice, which was not only refreshingly sweet and tasty, but very reasonably priced at just $5 for a 12 ounce Glass,  or $7 for 16 ounces.

Counter Detail

Updated interior finishes include a new marble countertop with a Mediterranean-blue ceramic tile backsplash, as well as frosted globe light fixtures throughout the restaurant. The room maintains a cozy feel, but on sunny days an atrium ceiling skylight makes the most of natural light.

Globe Light Detail


No matter what you are in the mood for, you will find something yummy to satisfy that craving. Gramercy Kitchen’s menu features a wide selection of fresh seafood, including muscles, shrimp, salmon and lobster dishes. “Our seafood is freshly delivered by Bayside Seas,” John told me. “They’re huge supporters of the restaurant and are dedicated  to supplying us with the best quality fish.” For the morning crowd, the restaurant offers a breakfast special that includes eggs, home fries, toast and your choice of organic hot coffee or hot tea, all for just $7.00 —  a price point that’s even competitive with fast food joints!

Rice Pudding

The dessert menu includes irresistible favorites like Carrot Cake, Cheese Cake and Apple Crumb Pie. I was too stuffed from my salad and burger to eat one more bite, but, on John’s recommendation, I took home the made-in-house Rice Pudding ($5) to snack on while I watched TV. There is some kind of secret flavor profile going on with this Rice Pudding (seen above) that I think might includes orange, lavender or something wildly exotic, which makes it taste exceptionally delicious. John refused to divulge the secret recipe even though I contacted him the day after my visit to ask him what was in it.  Rice Pudding: Recommended!

“The best thing about this restaurant is the community and our great staff, “John confessed. Gramercy Kitchen provides great service in a warm atmosphere. Once you come in for a meal, we think you’ll find many reasons to come back again!” I know I’ll be back!

Gramercy Kitchen is Located at 184 Third Avenue, on the Southwest Corner of East 17th Street, NYC.

Gramercy Kitchen Signage


Pots Sign

Pots Sign Detail
Photos By Gail

I’m guessing not everybody will notice that the backside of this otherwise ordinary Stop Sign, located at the corner of Gansevoort and Hudson Streets in the Meatpacking District, gives a subtle endorsement of The Green.

Pots Sign Intersection


Pink Thing of The Day: Pink Baby Doll Faces in the Chelsea Gallery District (And Elsewhere!)

Pink BD Face Lead
All Photos By Gail

I first started noticing the mysterious Pink Baby Doll Faces as they popped up here and there in my Instagram feed. When I realized there were quite a few scattered all over what is obviously NYC’s Chelsea Gallery District — because of course they are — Geoffrey and I went out on an Urban Art Safari.

Pink Baby Doll Face
11th Avenue and 25th Street

A little bit of Googling revealed to me that the Pink Baby Doll Faces started showing up in Denver back in Spring of 2016. I couldn’t find any information on the artist. The origin of the Baby Doll Faces is truly a mystery!

Pink Baby Doll Face
20th Street Between 10th and 11th Avenues

They are fun to spot. Go exploring with friend and turn it into a game!

2 Pink Baby Doll Faces

There are a few different faces, which appear to be made of cast Plaster of Paris and then painted pink (or sometimes violet). Some have hair and others do not.

1 Pink Baby Doll Face
10th Avenue at 22nd Street

2 Pink Baby Doll Faces
22nd Street Between 10th and 11th Avenues

I will add more to this post as I find them! Enjoy the hunt!

Look I found more!

26th Between 10th and 11th

26th Between 10th and 11th Avenues.

26th Between 10th and 11th

11th Ave and 24th Street

11th Avenue and 24th Street.

11th Ave Between 22nd and 23rd Street

11th Avenue Between 22nd and 23rd Street.

Found This One on Saturday March 3rd, 2018:

Pink Baby Doll Face 24 Street

On this Shady-Looking ATM on 24th Street just West of 10th Ave.

Pink Baby Doll Face 24 Street

Updated March 9th, 2018: I saw these on Bowery in Various Locations Between Delancey and Stanton Streets:

190 Bowery

On the Facade of the famous Germania Bank Building at 190 Bowery! 

190 Bowery

190 Bowery

190 Bowery

190 Bowery

Bowery and Stanton

Alongside the Remnants of Storm Quinn at Bowery Near Stanton Street.


Gotta Catch ’em All

23rd Street SubwayExit
Photo By Gail

Gotta Catch All The Trains!


Eye On Design: 2017 Holiday Windows at Bergdorf Goodman

AMNH Detail
Detail of Window Celebrating The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) All Photos By Gail

On the Saturday that NYC experienced its first snowfall of the 2017 Holiday season, I strolled by the Bergdorf Goodman windows on Fifth Avenue on my way to see a movie at the Paris Theatre. Even in the snow and related bluster, the sidewalks were clogged with tourists lined up to take photos and selfies in front of this gorgeous tableau, and you can see why! Check Them Out!

New York Philharmonic
Red Neon Tribute to The New York Philharmonic

Bergdorf Goodman’s holiday window displays have long been a festive cornerstone on Fifth Avenue and this year, the department store continues its tradition of visual storytelling with an exhibit titled To New York, With Love. Each window is dedicated to a world-renowned NYC cultural institution, such as the New York Philharmonic, the American Museum of Natural History, and the New York Botanical Garden.

American Museum of Natural History

NYBG By Burke and Pryde Studio
New York Botanical Garden, Artwork By Burke and Pryde Studio

Museum of the Moving Image
Museum of the Moving Image

This one loses some of its graphic details when photographed in the dark, so be sure to check it out in the daylight to see all of the visuals that play out on the monitors behind the central mannequin.

New York Historical Society Art By Mark Gagnon
New York Historical Society, Art By Mark Gagnon

I believe that  To New York, With Love will be up through the end of January, as the next set of windows are scheduled to go up in February. Watch a fun and fascinating video of how these windows came together at This Link!

New York Philharmonic


Gingerbread Times Square

Gingerbread Times Square
A Holiday Celebration of Times Square (All Photos By Gail )

This year, ICC’s Annual Gingerbread Village is located in the midst of all the holiday hustle and bustle, in the Times Square Urbanspace Market. This edible showpiece made entirely of gingerbread, icing, and sugar celebrates two distinct eras of Times Square: the classic Christmas traditions of the 1980s and the excitement of today’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Gingerbread Times Square

You can find many iconic NYC structures in this Winter Wonderland, including:

The Westin Hotel

Paramount Building

Palace Theater

TKTS Booth

NYE Ball Drop

Marriott Marquis

Military Recruitment Center

Gingerbread Times Square

The Gingerbread Village was designed by the Professional Pastry Arts students and Chef-Instructors of the International Culinary Center will be on display 7 days a week from through December 23r, 2017 between the hours of 11 am and 9 pm (ET).

Gingerbread Times Square

Gingerbread Times Square


MCA Beastie Boys Mural on East 7th Street

MCA Beastie Boys Mural
Photo By Gail

This nice homage to the late Adam Yauch, AKA MCA of The Beastie Boys, was spotted by me one afternoon as I was walking home. I am not sure how long it has been up, but it is at least the fifth such mural in a series created to honor Yauch, who died of cancer on May 4 2012, at age 47, that has inhabited this exact location on some kind of heavily-chained door. You can see a few of the other past murals at This Link. The artist is Cramcept. I have no idea what’s behind the door.

The Where Have You Been MCA Mural is Located on the South Side of East 7th Street Just West of First Avenue in the East Village NYC.