May 18th 2017, the hottest May 18th in New York City on record at 91 degrees F (or about 33 Celsius in real temperatures). And the Summer months are yet to come. The thing about this temperature in the city is the heat is amplified by the concrete and the high rise buildings. So hot feels hotter.
Cut to May 22nd. It's 65 F and an unrelenting downpour. By the time the hunter-gatherer and I get out of the subway and walk a couple of blocks we're wet, despite jackets and hunching beneath a shared umbrella.
What to do? Galleries and museum will be overrun. I know - eating and drinking, one of our favourite pastimes. And I know just the perfect place. It combines siteseeing and delicious food. Grand Central Terminal and the Oyster Bar.
|The h-g in his happy place|
The terminal, one of the busiest stations in the world, is a beautiful labyrinth with soaring celestial ceilings. And huge: nearly 20 hectares with 44 platforms.
The h-g and oysters are, he would say, a match made in heaven. With multiple types to choose from it takes some time to decide. Not being a fan of the raw mollusc I ask our companions at the bar what they recommend. Those on either side are having the the pan roast seafood, which is really a kind of soup prepared in a steam pot. These pans sit on a hinged pipe. Steam passes under the pot and cooks the delicious concoction of butter, cream, seasonings and your chosen seafood.
|Cooking over steam|
The charm of the waiters is only exceeded by that of New York cabbies. No niceties accompany the delivery of the food and there's definitely no fussy presentation. Any queries are met with a sneer. The local sitting next to us apologises for the "famously rude service" and she's embarrassed by it, but for us It's all part of New York. You won't get far in this city if you are a sensitive soul!
|My seafood pan roast - no focus on presentation|
|Don't you dare forget to tip|