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Published: February 7th 2020
Well, our last day in NYC ended up being a little late to the punch. We forgot to set alarms last night and accidentally slept in until midday (it’s these damn hotel curtains, they block out so much light!) but we left at 1pm, I promise!!
Across the street from the hotel is Subway, and Adam was craving some beyond meat so we headed there straight away. While he got his food (I wasn’t hungry yet, and food here is so expensive I didn’t want to waste money when I didn’t need it- again, not stingy!), I planned out the day. Last night we actually did decided to go to the Empire State Building today, but when we left the hotel we discovered that all of the tall buildings were covered in fog from the waist up. We didn’t think we’d be able to see anything, so unfortunately the building has been ruled out for this trip. Definitely next time though!
We then headed to The High Line, a long pathway that was originally a train line but was rescued by the community and turned into a garden walk when the city wanted to get rid of it. We walked along the water on the west side of Manhattan for a long time until we reached the starting point, and then we walked along the path. Apparently it’s supposed to be done in summer, but I thought it was still pretty beautiful in February. It’s a long, winding road of polished wood boards, lined with plants and classical music playing from the overhead speakers. It was actually kind of magical.
We were having a grand old time, until we suddenly reached a three pronged fork in the road, sorry, path. We headed down the middle one, where we found a magnificent statue, but quickly realised it was a dead end. So we walked back and went to the left, where we found a shopping centre. At this point I was super hungry, so I got an iced coffee and the tiniest zucchini slice in the world that I’m pretty sure had no real zucchini in it.
Anyway, THEN we headed back to the fork in the road and went right, which was correct. We walked along the high line until the very end, and saw some interesting things on the way. We saw a mechanical snowman on someone’s balcony that was clapping it’s hands and waving about, an enormous statue of Trump on someone else’s balcony with huge, sparkly letters reading “IMPEACH” next to it, some thought provoking murals, and some weird statues that we couldn’t quite understand.
The end of the high line planted us in the heart of Chelsea, where we picked a street and just kept walking. At some point I looked at the map, and realised we were kind of close to Katz’s Delicatessen, home of NYC’s best pastrami sandwich and also the deli where Harry met Sally. So, we had to go.
And it was so not what I was expecting. Adam wasn’t getting anything (as it’s a deli and he’s a vegetarian) so he went and found a seat, while I stared, jaw to the floor, at the chaos that was going on around me.
The place was packed, not just with people sitting down but with the lines streaming from the counter. There’s one huge long counter along the right side of the store, with lines for “Cutter 1” then “Cutter 2” and so on. There were certain sections to order certain things, and I was just so confused. I actually stood there and googled “what do I do at Katz Deli” and amazingly, there was a website that told me exactly what to do. (https://mattweinberg.net/ordering-at-katzs-deli.html). It was perfect. This guy told me exactly what to order, how to do it, and everything in between.
After this confidence boost I strolled up to a cutter, asked for a pastrami sandwich with mustard, and shoved $3 into his tip jar. After a few minutes he thrust the tray into my hand with the sandwich on one plate and a pile of pickles on the other, and I have never been so impressed and mortified in my life.
This is the biggest sandwich I have ever seen. The layers and layers of pastrami upon pastrami shocked me to my core, and as I brought it over to the table Adam’s eyebrows jumped to the top of his forehead as he said, “wow. Good luck”.
And. It. Was. Incredible.
I will never eat pastrami again because I know that it won’t, it CANNOT possibly live up to this sandwich. Later on, when I checked my bank account I discovered it had cost me $40aud, and I wasn’t even mad. This is 100% the best sandwich in New York, nay, the world. (I’m shocked and horrified that it cost $40 but hey, it was the best sandwich I have ever and will ever have and it was two tables away from where Harry Met Sally, so I’m going to blame this one on the holiday brain).
Anyway, I could go on and on about this sandwich but it was time for us to leave. Except that when we got to the exit I noticed it was cash only, and panicked. I only had my card. When I was at the counter I had overheard someone ask the cutter if the place was cash only and he had said something about going towards the back, so that’s where I headed. I must’ve looked as panicked as I felt, because when I finally found a man with a machine, he said, “woah, you really looked nervous running around the whole restaurant there.”
We caught the subway back home after that, and spent the afternoon packing our suitcases. Well, I packed my suitcase, Adam had a nap. A little later on we went out to get Adam some dinner (I am never eating again) and also got some souvenirs. It’s now 1am, I’ve just finished writing the blogs from the past three days and Adam has just started packing. Our flight to LA is in 10 hours- wish us luck!
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