Monthly Archives: December 2010

A City of Rooftops: The West Village, NYC

This second installment of A City of Rooftops (an exploration of NYC from the roof deck of two CitySights tour buses) documents some of the architecture in the areas around the West Village—in the top half of the city, where eyes don’t always wander.

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The world’s shortest guide to the West Village:

West Side Highway: Walk south toward Battery Park and you’ll pass picnicking families, dog owners playing catch and New Yorkers catching some rays on a nice day. In the winter, you may even see some snowmen.

Bleecker Street: Once the bohemian center of Manhattan, the West Village has since become a family-oriented neighborhood famous for its restaurants and expensive real estate. Bleecker Street has become a slightly touristy stretch of establishments from the famous John’s Pizzeria to local favorite Murray’s Cheese, which offers wine/cheese and beer/cheese pairing classes.

Washington Square Park: Recent renovations, which included moving the center fountain a few feet to help the park’s symmetry, have left WSP more lively than ever, and full of NYU students, tourists and New Yorkers alike.

The West Village quick tour from TKGO

You Are Here, courtesy of Google Maps

And when you return to street level (or get hungry)…

There’s no shortage of great restaurants in the West Village. (Choose virtually anything that looks and smells good from the outside and you aren’t likely to be disappointed on the inside.) If you’re looking for a classic New York slice, head to Bleecker Street Pizza on Bleecker and Seventh Avenue, or, for a French brunch (and desserts!), stop in Tartine on the corner of W. 4th Street and W. 11th Street. When it’s time to let the food settle, catch an out-of-the-box flick at the IFC.

Tara for TKGO

Shot of the Week

US Open 2007 draw leaderboardOne of my favorite US Open traditions is watching the application, by hand, of the winners’ names to the larger-than-life draw. This draw came from my trip in 2007, but TKGO also covered the 2010 US Open.

Tara for TKGO

Buenos Aires Beach Getaways

Friends and family in the Northern Hemisphere, I see you with your long coats and Facebook statuses about snow and hot chocolate. I am currently sitting in the air conditioning, while outside it is 93 degrees Fahrenheit on the first day of summer in Buenos Aires.

You might be planning ski trips right about now, but everyone down here is all about the beach. Christmas time marks the start of beach escape season, and it seems as though everyone and his/her mom (really, though) is discussing the various towns along the water they’re migrating to and for however long. The way people talk about it, you would think the entire city is fleeing to any nearby strip of sand for the month of January.

Punta del Diablo, Uruguay by Karina for TKGO

I was a little ahead of the seasonal curve and spent last week in the Uruguayan beach hamlet and fishing village of Punta del Diablo. It was picturesque in a way unlike any other beach I have visited, with its tiny, colorful houses, rolling dunes and blue, blue skies. I returned sunned and relaxed, and also set on returning to a beach again this summer.

Below is a list of some of the most popular summer beach destinations for porteños (those from Buenos Aires). Mar del Plata (aka MDQ) and Pinamar are both within Argentina, and locals pile into buses to get there. For the beaches in Uruguay, most people take a ferry then bus.

To give you an idea about the various beaches and how they differ, I included some quotes and insight, both good and bad, heard from friends and acquaintances over the past couple of weeks. Of course, it is all hearsay and everyone’s opinion differs, so if you are planning a trip of your own, I recommend doing your own research, too.

Seeing as I just had a relaxing beach week, I am thinking my next sandy destination is one of the beach party havens. I have to get the full spectrum of the beaches people here love, after all.

Punta del Diablo beach, by Karina for TKGO

Punta del Diablo, La Paloma, La Pedrera

Prettiest and most tranquil

The “real” Uruguayan beaches

Too tiny

Punta del Este

Should really just be considered part of Argentina, so many people from Buenos Aires flock there

Expensive, and people with lots of money

Overrated

Beautiful, stylish people and parties

Mar del Plata

Best beach for people 25-35 (ish)

Most “joda” (partying) out of all the beach towns

Crowded beaches, not the prettiest

Pinamar

Like Mar del Plata, but slightly older

Like Mar del Plata, but slightly nicer and more expensive

Other beaches to consider: Carilo, Miramar, Mar de los Campos and Villa Gesell, all in Argentina. Many are in wooded areas, too.

Generally, people agree Uruguay has the prettiest beaches between the two countries, but that is not to say people do not stand by their own country’s sand and waves.

Karina for TKGO

Shot of the Week

Palermo art, Buenos Aires

It seems every block in Buenos Aires has small artistic surprises, whether it is a building facade or street art. I had passed this times before, I’m certain, before noticing it last weekend. Stay alert on the streets for art! And sidewalk dog poop.

Karina for TKGO