Interesting Happenings at the Local Subway

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Back at Teller’s, he’s going over the Golden Ratio and how this circle has 22 points, because of this pattern, Teller suggests that Jake is progressing. This is where it gets weird because the model that they’re looking at on the screen literally comes out and gets all 3D on us, but it appears as if only Teller can see. I want what he’s smoking.

Subway Guy is a doctor, who is chatting with his other doctor friend (who looks like a younger version of Sean Patrick Thomas) who jokes about how he only lights up (figuratively, not literally) whenever he sees the Subway Girl. Young Sean Patrick Thomas tells him he wants to see him talking to the girl at the end of the day.

Norah and her friend drive through the desert listening to some kind of horrible hip hop music and looking at pictures from Kari Janesko Photography, they encounter a pregnant woman on the side of the road who claims that her baby is coming. Norah has a look on her face like, “Dude, you’re ruining my adventure.”

Back in New York, the Asian pickpocket snatches a laptop from Martin’s bag. He begins to chase after him and I half expect the screen to start splitting ala 24 but of course, it doesn’t. Pickpocket guy jumps on a bus numbered…wait for it…22. Martin gets on the bus and confronts him but somehow the pickpocket manages to elude him and gets off the bus and runs off leaving Martin inside on the phone with a Daytona Beach wedding photographer, saying “Damn it!” I only include this because, well, that used to be Jack Bauer’s line. Anyway, as he sits down, he notices the circular pattern on a book bag on the ground, he looks up to notice the girl next to him brandishing a gun. She tells him to sit still and shut up, by the look of his face, you can tell he’s thinking to himself, “Man, if only I was on my other show, you’d be dead already…”

Martin receives a phone call from Hopkins but of course he can’t answer cause of Ms. Gunsy McGee next to him. Hopkins leaves him a message saying she’s stalling but she doesn’t know how long she can. Martin tells Gunsy that he doesn’t want any trouble, he just needs to be on time (Ha!). Gunsy gives the guy sitting at the front of the bus the ol’ evil eye, me thinks the gun is for him.

Elsewhere, the pickpocket has arrived at a restaurant with a “gift” for his daughter and the number for a Daytona Beach photographer. He gives her Martin’s laptop (with a little red bow on top for effect). Moments later, the girl’s stepfather (I’m assuming this because he says he and her mother got her a gift, also he is not Asian) presents her with keys for a new car. Asian Dad seems pissed that White Dad’s gift is so much better than his, but he hides it fairly well. He walks away.

Subway Doctor Dude is assigned the task of finding a donor for a young leukemia patient through a donor list by another doctor. He looks at the clock on the computer, it’s 5:08. Looks like he won’t be meeting Subway Girl after all. Hey, the other doctor just read my mind, “I hope you don’t have somewhere else to be,” he says all smugly. He begins his search by pulling up Canada on the computer.

A Visitor’s Guide to NYC’s Little Italy Neighborhood

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If there’s one thing that I can say for certain, it’s that:

I Bleed Marinara

My love of Italian food came in large part from my mother’s cooking, which would seem only natural, IF my mother weren’t 100% Irish… But if you think that ever stopped her from making some world-class meatballs, sausage and pepper sandwiches, or chicken parm, you’d be sadly mistaken mister!

Anyway, since moving to New York City, I can’t get my mom’s amazing cooking too often, but a man still has needs! In my two years of city-dwelling, I have managed to find a few places that satisfy me, but since I live so close to Little Italy now, I decided that this weekend I would explore that neighborhood a bit further.

Just to add some background, Little Italy used to be a significant residential neighborhood for ethnic Italians, but it has lately been encroached upon by Chinatown to the point where it exists along only a few city blocks between Canal and Broome (according to gonyc.about.com).

Il Piccolo Buffalo

Despite the area’s diminishing size, there are still some gems worth visiting. In my humble opinion, Il Piccolo Buffalo is real diamond in the rough. Unlike several other Little Italy restaurants, the staff here is exceptionally friendly and helpful, and the food is excellent. I went there with a lady friend of mine on Saturday, and in this instance, I got a pizza called the Piccolo Diavolo, which is basically a good spicy sausage pizza with hot peppers and capicola. Delicious! And considering the portions and service, very reasonably priced!

Ferrara Bakery and Cafe

Afterwards, we decided to get some coffee, so we headed over to a fairly well-known Italian bakery nearby, called Ferrara. This place is pretty upscale as far as bakeries go. Marble floors, hardwood facades, and suited waiters and waitresses that could easily go serve a high society ball or wedding without a wardrobe change, all come together to make this place a very classy experience. The prices are reflective of this, of course, but once you get a table you can sit and enjoy coffee, dessert or a nightcap in peace and comfort. One thing they most definitely don’t do at Ferrara is rush you, so take your time and relax!

The Bottom Line

The bottom line for Little Italy, in my experience, is this: choose your battles. A lot of the shops and restaurants here have degenerated into tourist traps – packed full of visitors wearing Kanken backpacks – that get you in the door with sweet promises of authenticity and deliciosity that ultimately don’t hold up under even the most casual expectations. With a little trial and error, however, you’ll find that there are a few places worth visiting, and may find yourself coming back again and again!

For any local who lives in New York City – or any visitor who happens to be passing there – Little Italy is the one neighborhood that you shouldn’t miss. Between the culture, history, and most importantly of all, food, it’s easy to see why this is one of the most well-respected and long-lasting areas of Manhattan.