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2016 NYC Trip Photos #12: Manhattan Mealtimes II

Cake boss cakes!

Sweet, sweet New York City cakes by way of New Jersey. As Seen on TV!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Every year from 1999 to 2015 my wife Anne and I took a road trip to a different part of the United States and visited attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. With my son’s senior year in college imminent and next summer likely to be one of major upheaval for him (Lord willing), the summer of 2016 seemed like a good time to get the old trio back together again for one last family vacation before he heads off into adulthood and forgets we’re still here. In honor of one of our all-time favorite vacations to date, we scheduled our long-awaited return to New York City…

Day Three in Manhattan brought us more interesting adventures in the fabulous field of food — twice in Times Square, twice in Chinatown. One was a recommendation, but the rest were discoveries on the go, this time with no flawed assistance from Google Maps.

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2016 NYC Trip Photos #9: It’s Chinatown! Again! Yes, AGAIN.

Chinatown Starbucks!

Starbucks: insinuating corporate coffee into any environment or culture since 1971.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Every year from 1999 to 2015 my wife Anne and I took a road trip to a different part of the United States and visited attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. With my son’s senior year in college imminent and next summer likely to be one of major upheaval for him (Lord willing), the summer of 2016 seemed like a good time to get the old trio back together again for one last family vacation before he heads off into adulthood and forgets we’re still here. In honor of one of our all-time favorite vacations to date, we scheduled our long-awaited return to New York City…

After getting our American history fix at Federal Hall, we descended a convenient subway entrance across the street from the front doors and took the J train a few blocks north to familiar Canal Street, where we loitered not once but twice at my son’s insistence on our 2011 trip. In the five years since, he just couldn’t let Chinatown go. We even felt compelled to check out Boston’s narrower version on our 2013 road trip. Curiously, we’ve been to Chicago several times but never seen theirs. The last time we asked someone about it, all we got was a disapproving look.

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Our 2011 Road Trip #29: The Season Finale — NYC Outtakes

Empire State Building!

One of several Empire State Building shots taken from the Top of the Rock. Collect ’em all!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: we guided you through our first trip to New York in twenty-eight episodes — July 9-17, 2011. The original version of this travelogue was posted for friends on another website but was remastered for archival posterity here at my permanent internet hideaway on MCC. Dozens of never-before-seen photos were added. Several chapters were expanded, rewritten, or torn apart and glued back together in different order. And I fixed a sad number of typos I never caught the first time around.

Here, in our grand finale: a selection of outtakes from various chapters, most of these also new to readers far and wide. A few were technically deficient but held just enough quirk not to be junked. A few were redundant. A few that captured isolated moments were disconnected from the rest of the narrative. A few came out as pure settings in need of a foreground subject. One memento required me to scan a page from my wife’s NYC 2011 scrapbook with her gracious permission and the promise that I wouldn’t damage her own diligent handicraft. Enjoy!

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Our 2011 Road Trip #23: Peanut Butter and Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruit lady!

This outgoing saleslady spoke just enough English to SELL! SELL! SELL!

[The very special miniseries continues! See Part One for the official intro and context.]

When we had been brainstorming alternatives and last-minute requests the night before, a return to Chinatown was at the top of my son’s list. Those four hours of walking ourselves to death on Tuesday had yielded very little in the way of strange new foods for him to try. We can’t get him to touch pasta at home unless he can make eye contact with a Chef Boy-Ar-Dee logo, but he bore no such prejudice against the untested grounds of Chinatown merchants.

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Our 2011 Road Trip #14: Chinatown!

Lin Ze Xu!

Lin Ze Xu welcomes you to the south end of Chinatown, but not your opium. His 19th-century version of the War on Drugs happened long before Nancy Reagan taught us all to just say no.

[The very special miniseries continues! See Part One for the official intro and context.]

Chinatown was like nothing we’d ever stepped into before — block after block of overpacked mom-‘n’-pop shops, restaurants with all-paper signage, dingy dives with no English names out front, and respectable businesses stacked atop businesses with even more businesses crammed under and between them, their streets teeming with life and bootleg lady-shopper bait (useless against my wife, who’s not into fashion shopping) and the worst smells we hope we’ll ever know, whether from the deadliest spices known to man or from all the endless displays of fresh-slaughtered seafood, some of it still writhing. My son wanted to see every single block of it, even the blocks ruled by Vietnamese or Thai shopkeepers instead of Chinese.

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2013 Road Trip Photos #14: It’s Chinatown!

After spending the morning of Day Four stalled on the interstate and all afternoon in Quincy, we spent the early evening in Boston’s version of Chinatown. It’s much smaller than its counterpart we visited in Manhattan in 2011, and a little less tailored to nosy tourists (by which I mean I still haven’t gotten over how Manhattan’s Chinatown had information kiosks and a large directory in the middle), but Boston’s has its own way of doing things.

Chinatown Gate, Boston

Step beyond the gate into another realm!

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