And back to nature

Sunday, October 1st, 2006 | All Things, Eats

After such a technology-focused morning, it was time for a change of pace. We boarded the WIRED shuttle to Grand Central, and from there decided on an impulse to hop the 6, one stop past the old high school, to the original El Paso Taqueria. SYB had never been to this casual spot in El Barrio, which dishes up some of the tastiest Mexican in the city.

Inspired by my trip out there in July, we decided pretty much right away to order the spicy pork chilaquiles and the creamy, sweet horchatas. When the server asked if we’d like to start with the house special guacamole, we responded with an enthusiastic, “Sí, sí!” (Not literally.)

It was served in an authentic molcajete (the Mexican mortar traditionally carved out of a single block of porous basalt volcanic rock.) As at Sripraphai, we ordered it “medium spicy,” which delivered plenty of fiery chile kick. Excellent, addictive guacamole… at least as good as my (up until now) favorite restaurant version from Rosa Mexicano.


We walked our substantial lunches off in sunny Central Park. Again, the North End Conservatory Garden. This unseasonably warm Autumn afternoon, the Garden was playing host to several tour groups when we arrived, including one contingent of Korean nuns. Here, the Italian-style Central Garden with its crabapple tree-lined paths….

Conservatory Garden Path

…and German sculptor Walter Schott‘s Three Dancing Maidens bronze fountain (also known as the “Untermeyer Fountain,” for the family who presented it to New York City in 1947) in the classical French-style North Garden.

Three Dancing Maidens

We stumbled upon a happy surprise in the spray of the Central Garden’s geyser.

American ballad standard “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” was written by Harry Carroll in 1918, and performed most memorably by Judy Garland (in 1941) and revived by Perry Como (in 1946.) Many casual listeners do not know that the song lifts its melody from Chopin’s Fantasie Impromptu Op. 66 in C-Sharp minor. It’s a breathtaking piece, which I had to master back in my piano competition days, so I suggest you listen though the entire four and half minutes. But you can jump to the referenced segment beginning at about the 1:00 mark.

I’m always chasing rainbows
Watching clouds drifting by
My dreams are just like all my schemes
Ending in the sky

Fountain Rainbow

On the way home, the Safari Playground, and 2 of its 13 hippopotamuses — or is that: hippopotami?

Safari Playground

There's 1 comment so far ... And back to nature

October 10, 2006

Those nuns had accents from the KyungSang-do region of Korea (SE corner). It felt a little bit like home when I heard them talking.

Go for it ...