Published: June 6th 2011June 4th 2011
Racked up some mileage today on the NY subway system as I got around to some extremities of the subway network. First was my quick visit to Coney Island which saw me get to the southern terminus of the F subway line. You hear about Coney Island from media and see images of it during it's heyday so for me it was a tourist sight that needed to be seen and then ticked off the list. The area has improved in the last few years but I think the future is bleak for Coney Island amusement park. Being on the shore of Brighton Beach means that eventually big money will win out and buy up the whole area for development. The Brighton Beach boardwalk ain't bad and it's the best NY can come up but it doesn't compare to anything along the Californian coast line.
My highlight of the Coney Island area is having a hotdog at the original Nathan's and also the home of the world's official hotdog eating competition. There is nothing spectacular about these hotdogs but just something special about having a hotdog at a historic institution.
From there I caught the subway all the way
back to Midtown before jumping on the 7 train at Grand Central which would take me Main St Flushing which is also the Eastern terminus for the 7 train. Main St is the unofficial Chinatown and there is no mistaking this when I stepped onto the street and was surrounded by crowds of Chinese. There is a lot less tourists out here and the area is filled with locals doing their shopping, having lunch and just carrying on with their daily lives. I heard about this area from Anthony Bourdain and Jamie Oliver traveling food shows. I am surprised that not more tourists make the easy 30-40 subway ride out here for some authentic cheap eats and atmosphere. There are heaps of small food courts with tiny stalls run by mum/dad family teams. What they lack in English, they make up for in friendliness and a warm smile. I would end up having the best hand made noodles from 1 stall here, the noodles were fresh and chewy and had a great texture which went really well with the spicy beef soup. It was a bargain meal for $6 with a can of Coke and the lady didn't want a
tip but I gave her an extra $2 as I think that is more than fair for what I got.
It makes me wonder how these little stalls make a profit (or should I say a healthy profit?). I think they make enough money to get by but no way can they get rich like this. That is probably why mum and dad still work there all day instead of hiring labour to do it for them. I suppose having an income to support your family and being your own boss is more than a lot of people can have claims towards. It would certainly be better than their circumstances back in China and if they can put their kids through school and they turn out successful then they have achieved something noteworthy in their lives.
There was also a new 'Asian' indoor mall that looked recently opened and at the bottom there was a spectacular food court with heaps of variety. One stall was selling live lobsters cooked to your selected style with some salad and fried rice for $13.95 + taxes - another bargain meal. The only problem with this food court is that there are
not enough seats for the amount of people going through there!
Took it easy for the rest of the day and stepped back out later in the night to have supper at another Thai place on 9th Ave. This area is awesome for hanging out during the week but it steps it up a notch on the weekend with plenty of people still out late at night.
There are more photos below