This is what started it all. My beloved bracelet, which we bought in Italy almost seven years ago and which I wear every day, broke. Fortunately, the company just opened their US corporate headquarters in New York and we had to take it in there so they could send it back to Italy to be fixed. We had such a terrific day that Marty swears I broke the bracelet on purpose, just to have an excuse to go into the city. I don't THINK so. The jewelbox of a boutique (if you'll excuse the expression) was on Mott St. - just north of Chinatown in what is now known as NOLITA (North of Little Italy). Parking is not fun, nor is traffic on Canal St. in the heart of Chinatown, so we parked in Newark and took the PATH to the World Trade Center. Here is the railroad bridge near Penn Station in Newark. What is it with me and industrial grids?Here is a sign on a building in Newark I thought was especially informative. We walked up Broadway in lower Manhattan and for a little while, thought we were in Paris. This mini-chateau is a firehouse. I wonder if it was built as one. Anyway, we walked through Little Italy to a neighborhood our grandparents couldn't wait to get out of. Now, it is HOT HOT HOT and people pay megabucks to live in the tenements. It's hard to resist Little Italy, which we approached at around noon (how convenient). I think there are more restaurants there now than there were when it was REALLY Little Italy, if you know what I mean. We stopped at this place on Mulberry Street and Marty asked the guy standing outside (a sort of maitre d') whether the food was good. His answer, "no, we only serve bad food." IMHO, he got the answer he deserved. I turned to Marty and started to ask him in French (I have no idea why) what he wanted to do and the guy started speaking to ME in French. Turns out he is from Morocco and we had a great conversation. He recommended les fruit de mer (frutti de mare on THIS menu). Bottom line, we ate there. Just as if we were tourists in some other country. It was lovely. A glass of pinot noir, an espresso, and I was in heaven. Then we were ready to continue our walk for a few more blocks.This is enough for one installment. To be continued in my next post.