Now I’m not competitive, I’d rather say “ambitious” or “goal-oriented.” Yet my friend Mary and I enjoy creating challenges for ourselves, like our competition for “Tour Guide of the Month” at The New School Welcome Center or going to every movie theater in Manhattan. Then one night, while chowing down on some Milano cookies, we created the “Five Borough Tour In A Day” goal. And when we get excited about things they get accomplished, and that Friday we decided to do it, the five borough tour but, of course, with a food twist – what else would you expect?
We met at Union Square on the 6 platform at 7:30 am with a hankering for donuts. And where else better to get donuts but the Bronx? We were off to Yankee Stadium, not to see the Bronx Bombers, but rather to go to the Crown Donut Restaurant to pick up their famous homemade donuts (it’s about two blocks away from home plate). Not only did they look delicious, but it was only 12 bucks for 14 donuts and two coffees. Amazing! But there was no time to waste we had to get back to Manhattan for work at The Welcome Center at 9:00, cause Parsons tours wait for no one!
With two boroughs down, we got back to The Welcome Center just in time to finally indulge in one of our delicious donuts and then, of course, lead a tour. Though the rest of the Welcome Center thought we were crazy for our five borough tour, we shared our donuts, and even some lucky Parsons admissions counselors got to devour our Bronx delights. After our tour, Mary and I needed just another round of coffee and perhaps an egg and cheese bagel from the deli on University, and we were well on our way to Staten Island. Now Staten Island is probably the oddest borough of all the boroughs. First off – it’s free to get there; the Staten Island Ferry is completely free, like it’s a cattle call and anyone can get on. So it was a real thrill for us to be on a ferry and see Brooklyn and the Statue of Liberty for free! We don’t do tourist-y things too often but it was really fun. Staten Island itself is a bit odd. It’s like this little maritime town that has this quirk of a New York City twist. We couldn’t stay long though; we still had two boroughs to go. So back on the ferry to Queens!
Mary is Greek, and you know what Astoria is known for? Greek food. It was time, for the silly American I am, to indulge in some delicious Queens Greek food and get taught by, well, the only Greek I know, Mary. So we arrived at Zorba’s, it only took us 45 minutes to get to Astoria- not bad from Staten Island. We indulged in what I shall call grilled chicken on a stick with cream sauce, Greek salad, and, of course, the most traditional Greek dish I’ve ever consumed – french fries. Everything was delicious, and they were playing MythBusters, so it was even better. We chatted with our waitress a bit before leaving but we needed to hit the trail and move on to Brooklyn!
We saved Brooklyn for last just because it’s the outer borough that we are most familiar with, and it’s the easiest borough to get back into the Manhattan from. But I’ve always wanted to go to Pies ‘n’ Thighs, which is restaurant that has a mix of southern fried chicken and sweet homemade pie. A lot of my Brooklyn friends have talked about it (one even used to work there), so it was time to make the journey to Pie Mecca. We got to Brooklyn just as the sun went down and arrived at the small, “mom and pop” type place just before the dinner rush. We ordered pie and coffee, considering our tummies were still digesting Zorba’s, so there was no fried chicken that night. A slice of key lime for me and a slice of gooey cherry for my good friend Mary. Soon we sank into that deep sugar stooper and could barely keep our eyes open. Back on the subway we went to get back to our home borough, and the whole time we walked like Rocky, hands held high because we were the champions. It took us about twelve hours, three modes of transportation, two donuts, seven polaroids, three cups of coffee, and six facebook updates but we made it. We accomplished the five borough tour, like the champions we are.