Italy, China and Casablanca ~

“I go to Paris, I go to London, I go to Rome, and I always say, “There’s no place like New York. It’s the most exciting city in the world now. That’s the way it is. That’s it.” Robert De Niro

Italy, China & Casablanca

Mr. De Niro might be on to something because while in New York City I experienced moments in each day when I was reminded of Paris.  The city squares lined with trees, park benches and patio tables where people sat eating lunch or playing chess. The food carts on just about every corner and the open air markets selling fruit, vegetables and flowers – all very reminiscent of Paris.  And, it didn’t matter the time of day.

On any given day in New York City, you’d be hard pressed to keep track of how many non-English languages you’ll hear spoken.  I gave up.  But, if I had to guess I’d say I heard French and German the most often with a whole lot of others splattered in.  And those speaking diverse languages were not all tourists, actually, I would say that most were not.  I think New York City has got to be one of the most diverse cities in the US.  In one day, we had lunch in Italy, dinner in China and we spent the night in Casablanca.  How often can you say that?

Lunch in Italy

The way we looked at it, if we were going to eat pizza in New York, then we needed to eat pizza in Little Italy and that meant lunch at Lombardi’s.  Established in 1905, Lombardi’s lays claim to being the first pizzeria in the US.  I’m not sure of the validity of that claim, but I can attest to the pizza being probably one of the best pizzas we’ve ever had.  The fact that we sat at a small corner table covered with a red/white checkered table cloth while Frank Sinatra serenaded the patrons, made for the perfect lunch in Little Italy experience.  That, and the cannoli we found at an Italian Bakery.

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Lunch at Lombardi’s in Little Italy.

Dinner in China

You’d think after polishing off an entire pizza, salad and cannoli, dinner would not be on the day’s agenda.  But, between lunch and dinner we managed to walk from Little Italy to One World Trade Center, tour the museum, and walk back to Chinatown.  Having noodles in Chinatown was on my list, so that’s exactly what we did.  I had done my homework and we found our way to Great N.Y. Noodletown and it did not disappoint.

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Dinner in Chinatown at Great N.Y. Noodletown

A Night in Casablanca

Casablanca

Welcome to the Casablanca!

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Carried away to another era.

Say the word, Casablanca, and I can’t imagine anyone not thinking of Bogart & Bergman, a.k.a. Rick & Illsa, and the timeless classic film of the ultimate sacrifice for love.

Okay, we didn’t really spend the night in Morocco, but it sure felt like it. From the moment we stepped into the foyer of the Casablanca Hotel we were dreamily carried away to another era.

Just steps from Times Square, the Casablanca Hotel has the prime location while offering guests the unique experience of feeling as if they’ll see Rick and Illsa sitting at a quiet corner in Rick’s Cafe.  An all inclusive boutique hotel, guests enjoy a lovely continental breakfast served with espresso and a selection of tea.  Each evening, a wine and cheese reception in Rick’s Cafe is the perfect way to relax before heading out for an evening on the town, or just sit back and enjoy a glass of wine before retiring for the evening.

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Rick’s Cafe at the Casablanca Hotel

Everyone enjoys a luxury hotel, right? A beautiful room with the exotic ambiance of Casablanca where you can feel pampered by slipping into a plush robe and comfortable slippers, to sooth you’re tired feet, is just the ticket.

Casablanca

A lovely room at the Casablanca

And, if you look in just the right place, you will in fact find Rick and Illsa.

Casablanca

Here’s looking at you kid.

 

*  We were writers in residence at the Casablanca Hotel and the Library Hotel Collection.  See our full disclosures here.

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We are Patti and Abi. We retired early to live a simpler life, travel the world and hopefully, inspire others to redefine retirement.

 

3 years, 43 days ago!

 

 

 

 

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