A Homesick Texan’s Guide to New York

There are times, no matter where you are, when you must have a nacho. 

February 1976By Comments

“Mexican food and barbe­cue” is the answer nine out of ten Texans in Manhattan will chorus when quizzed on what they miss the most, be­cause New York versions of both are really rotten. “I go to Texas a lot so I can eat Mexican food when I’m there, but in New York I find I have to act like a dictator to get it decent enough to eat,” says Dan Jenkins, a Sports Il­lustrated writer and author of Semi-Tough. “I always have to ask what kind of cheese they’re putting in the enchila­das and make sure they don’t put sour cream on top.” Other Texans in New York are just as specific about what they miss. “Chicken-fried steak and my family,” says Abilene’s Joe Armstrong, publisher of Rolling Stone magazine. “I make a lot of long-distance phone calls home and I visit my friend Liz Smith, the writer and Texan, who cooks chicken-fried steak whenever I get hungry for it.” Denton’s Dan Casey, an architect with Edward Larrabee Barnes, misses dining outdoors. “The way I remedy it is to borrow my neighbor’s roof terrace when they go on vacation, which isn’t often enough!” Casey’s wife, Karen, who’s with Oxford Press, misses french-fried onion rings from Austin’s Split Rail. Laurie Jones from Kerrville, a New York magazine senior editor, can’t get enough cans of Rotel tomatoes for her chili con queso recipe or Pace picante sauce. “Friends bring it up by the box load and when my parents come they bring frozen tamales from Kerrville’s Tamale Factory.”

Journalist Merry Clark, a former Daily Texan editor, still has her mother send her clippings from the campus newspaper. Eddye Lou Hock, who’s from Austin, an assist­ant buyer with the May Com­pany, misses the sounds of Texas, “especially summer sounds like insects in trees and lawn mowers buzzing.” Columnist Rex Reed keeps cases of Dr Pepper in his smart Dakota apartment for himself and Texans who drop in to drink. As they say, to each his own.

Even visitors from Texas have been known to suffer fierce attacks of the Home­sick Blues. But we transplants feel it all the time; when it gets too bad our favorite remedy is to seek out other Texans (God knows there are plenty of us up here) and commiserate. And we all agree there are certain Texas things we’ll always have to miss. Like Gittings portraits, domino parlors, the Salt Grass Trail, Aquarena, Dar­rell Royal, nine-banded arma­dillos, bluebonnets and In­dian paintbrush, Padre Island, border town bars, Bayou Bend, Fiesta de San Antonio, the Azalea Trail, the Hunts­ville Prison Rodeo, Luling’s Watermelon Thump…

So we expatriates who car­ry Texas around as a state of mind have gone out of our way to find places in and around New York that re­mind us of our favorite down-home things. When you’re up here we can’t promise that they will totally alleviate your homesickness, but they should at least tide you over until you can get back.

Northern Comfort

Sorely missed sounds: “Howdy,” “Y’all come back,” “Nice to see you today,” “Thank you,” “You’re wel­come,” “Please,” and “How are you doing?” New Yorkers still manage to keep rudeness, tactlessness, pushiness, and curtness alive. Texans in the city, who tend to come on stronger, easier, and sooner than the average Manhattan­ite, are often treated as sus­picious characters. But retain­ing my Texas friendliness in the face of great odds, I have discovered some places in New York where you’re guar­anteed a bit of verbal sunshine, perhaps a smile, maybe some laughter: earth shoe store, 117 East 17th Street; JEFFERSON MARKET, 455 Sixth Avenue; madison ave­nue bookshop, 833 Madison Avenue; early halloween ANTIQUE CLOTHES, 180 Ninth Avenue; b. altman’s depart­ment store, Fifth Avenue and 34th Street; boyd chem­ists, 655 Madison Avenue; and carzapoppin car wash, Houston (they say How-ston) and Broadway Streets.

For Love and Money

You better love tennis to play it and pay for it in New York. Court rates by the hour and memberships by the year are served up at very expen­sive rates. Catering to the cur­rent number-one sport, tennis clubs are springing up all over town as fast as they can get “bubble” domes constructed. Each has its own special equipment and regular clien­tele. There’s the midtown tennis club, 341 Eighth Av­enue and 27th Street, where a lot of young professionals and Seventh Avenue manu­facturers lob up. It has eight indoor championship clay courts with non-glare lights and luxe facilities. Rates: $28 an hour after 5 p.m. and on weekends; $25 all other hours. Membership: $860 a year for prime time and $760 for off-hours. The wall STREET RACQUET CLUB, Wall and South Streets, is a hang­out for the area’s stockbrok­ers, lawyers, and corporate presidents. It has eight indoor courts, a gym, sauna, etc. Rates vary from $10 to $28 per hour depending on the time of day and the day of the week. Courts are open from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. Memberships range in price from $166 to $520, depending on the hours. Then there’s the re­verse chic WEST PARK RAC­QUET club, 795 Columbus Avenue, where the likes of John Lindsay, Carmen Moore, Dustin Hoffman, and Robert and Lola Redford lob on eleven outdoor courts. It’s so hard to get into that the club hasn’t answered their telephone (663-6900) of late.

The Country of 11 Springs

Although we’re surrounded by water up here—the East River is the chic waterfront since all the fancy apartment houses line its shores; the Hudson is bohemian because of its ships and docks—there truly is not a place to douse oneself. There are, however, wonderful, refreshing reflec­tion pools up and down Ave­nue of the Americas (Sixth Avenue to true New Yorkers). In fact, these look-but-don’t- enter watering holes have almost become de rigueur fix­tures outside the corporation skyscrapers, like J. C. Penney’s, Burlington Mills, and the Time-Life Building. The few people who have dared jump into these spots to cool off have later cooled off at Bellevue Hospital or the local precinct. Zelda and F. Scott jumped into the Plaza foun­tain back in the Twenties; that prompted a rash of debu­tantes and Yalies to do the same until the water was taken out for good. In the Sixties the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park cleansed a lot of hippies and even today an occasional little or big dipper essays the tepid water. But the most popular water-watching hangout is the charming paley park, 53rd Street be­tween Madison and Fifth Avenues, with its gurgling wa­terfall, tiny tables, and hot-dog stands. Lots of people come here and stick their fin­gers in their ears and wildly pretend they’re in Aspen—or maybe Barton Springs.

True Grids

John Steinbeck once re­marked that football games in Texas “have the glory and the despair of war, and when a Texas team takes the field against a foreign state, it is an army with banners.” People in the East just don’t under­stand all the fuss we make over tossing that pigskin back and forth. Oh, they play the game all right—Joe Namath and the New York Jets are our big shakers and movers—but it’s just not the same sight and sound as home. If it’s still in your blood, head out to shea stadium and watch Joe Willie in his white shoes, or catch one of the Ivy League games and see Yale go after Harvard. One of the more spirited East Coast football games, reminiscent of an OU-Texas weekend, is the Army-Navy match in Philadelphia. But there’s still nothing like Bevo or the Kilgore Rangerettes or the Aggie Band.


Unlike Texans, New York­ers do not get in their cars and ride around. Most New Yorkers don’t own a car to start with. Cab drivers think they are the only ones who know how to drive in the city and will tell you any chance they get. Public transportation is still the only way to get around in this town other than your two feet. “Sunday drivers” are looked down upon as tourists or New Jer­sey provincials. The few people who do have cars keep them in expensive garages ($100 and more per month) where they get sideswiped and dented, or they play the alternate-sides parking game (left side Monday, Wednes­day, and Friday; right side Tuesday, Thursday, and Sat­urday), which has caused a lot of city divorces. If the urge to ride around gets too strong, as it can for a Texan who was once welded to his or her car, we suggest renting or borrow­ing a car and heading for the East Side Highway or the West Side Highway (partially under construction at the mo­ment) where you can at least fantasize you’re cruising on Allen Parkway or Stemmons Freeway. There’s also a very scenic drive through Central Park from West 59th Street to 96th Street. One thing for sure, you won’t hit any arma­dillos on these roads.

Straight Chuters

It’s catching on slowly. En­thusiasts of rodeos (and they aren’t all Texans by a long shot) say that attendance has grown three times over in the past twenty years here. An estimated quarter of a million people a year now see rodeos in the Northeast. Its capital up here is cowtown (yes, really), a couple hours’ drive to southern New Jersey, where rodeos have been regu­lar events since 1955. In the city, the madison square garden rodeo is a popular annual affair. Pretend you’re back at the Houston Fat Stock Show or the Huntsville Prison Rodeo. At either substitute you’re bound to realize how you miss the sight, sound, and smell of Charolais, Brahmas, and Herefords.

Meating Places

Just forget the idea of ever finding good Texas barbecue. It doesn’t exist in the form we all know and love. First of all, where is a barbecuer go­ing to find any decent mesquite for the fire or enough space to cook. (Some Argen­tines I know, attempt to bar­becue in their townhouse fireplace.) Imagine how ex­cited we Texas transplants were a couple of years ago when we heard that Dallas boy Clint Murchison, Jr., was opening his Cowboy Restau­rant, 60 East 49th Street. Dubious about the red-flocked wallpaper and the restaurant decor, we were further dis­mayed to find that Clint’s idea of barbecue for the East Coasters tasted like Spam covered in catsup, and sold at prices inflated like a ticket to a Dallas Cowboy game—$6 for a plate of ribs. Also avoid The Cattleman, 5 East 45th Street, a gimmicky, overpublicized place where the ribs taste like cotton swabs dipped in Tabasco.

Better do this: go directly to a good Jewish delicatessen (junior’s, 382 Flatbush Ex­tension, Brooklyn, or pas­trami & things, 297 Third Avenue), or to the belmore cafeteria, 407 Park Avenue South, where all the cabbies eat lunch and dinner, and or­der a brisket sandwich “extra lean.” At least the meat has some juice and flavor. Now we all know that to get really good barbecue you must go home again.

The Big Enchilada

It is a very real and fre­quent fantasy of mine to kid­nap a Tex-Mex restaurateur like Austin’s Matt (El Ran­cho) Martinez and whisk him and his hot sauce away to Concrete City. Lord knows we need him and others like him, because, to be perfectly blunt, there are no good Tex-Mex establishments in New York. For some strange rea­son Tex-Mex food doesn’t seem to fare well once it’s taken across the state line. In a city as international as New York it is hard to imagine why the flavor can’t be cap­tured, but it hasn’t. Texans in the city continue to search for the perfect enchilada, and despite so often being burned (heartburned in this case), we do not give up eas­ily. The best of what’s around now includes: anita’s chili parlor, 287 Columbus Ave­nue, an outdoor/indoor cafe with El Paso canned goods, strings of chili peppers, Dos Equis, and hot chili ($3.75 a bowl), and superb guacamole. el parador cafe, 324 East 34th Street, with its border nightclub atmosphere is un­believably expensive, and ultra-popular with the Seventh Avenue fashion designers and Robert Redford (his grand­father lived on Lake Aus­tin). MONTEZUMA’S REVENGE (yes!), 103 Stuyvesant Street, Staten Island, modest, stuc­coed, inexpensive, has terrific chalupas. pancho villa’s, 1502 Second Avenue (with a branch in McAllen, Texas) has moderate prices, pretty good combination plates, and mariachi music.

Some Texans have totally abandoned the chase, how­ever, settling instead for Sze­chwan cuisine—those fiery dishes from the western province of China similar to Texas in climate and love of spicy food. Or they have dis­covered Chinese-Cuban res­taurants (prolific in New York) like asia de cuba, 190 Eighth Avenue, where the food (picadillo, fried bananas, flan, etc.) is delicious, plenti­ful, and el cheapo; the decor is authentic greasy spoon; and the born-in-Cuba Chinese waiters are garrulous Spanish speakers. It’s going to stay like this in the Big Apple un­less there’s a real Tex-Mex breakthrough. Paging Matt Martinez!

Gringo Chic

SPECTRUM IMPORTS, 2121 Broadway, is filled with Nuevo Laredoish specialties. There is no need to bargain: unlike some Manhattan import stores which mark up hecho en Me­xico articles, Spectrum’s prices are not exorbitant. Items include embroidered Mexican shirts and blouses ($15), pa­per piñatas ($8-$ 13.50), huaraches ($9.50-$ 11.50), hand-painted boxes ($2-$6), tin lanterns ($4.40~$6.40), paper flowers (800-$ 1.25), Saltillo serapes ($15-$26.25), and pottery ($4.25-$75). Fancy-­looking Spectrum isn’t. Its warehouse atmosphere faintly resembles a Mexican market without, alas, the glorious smells and Spanish accents. There’s also the recently opened el mercado, 510-B Broome Street, in the SoHo district. Though well stocked with tin washtubs, colorful sweaters, and canvas-seated lawn chairs, this place is a bit too cutesy and overpriced. Clothes designer Brigitte freed, 155 Bank Street, works out of her apartment making chic skirts, capes, vests, hats, and bags out of fabrics (like serapes) which she buys on trips to Mexico. Her designs are very uptown señorita.

If you’re fond of serapes, those colorful wool blankets that are worn as overcoats in Latin America, take a look at what furniture de­signer PHIL HAIGHT, from San Antonio, is doing with them. He turns chairs, tables, and sofas into striking pieces by covering them in the wildly striped serapes which he gets from Saltillo. Custom-made serape chairs, available direct­ly through Haight (416 East 58th Street, New York 10022) are $750, while serape-covered Parsons tables run $500.

Happy Trails

There are actually Texans living in New York, like me, who entertain the idea of boarding a horse in their apartment. But we all know how near-impossible it is to find even human living space. So those of us who enjoy horseback riding either have to rent horses by the hour at city stables or become chum­my with someone who lives in horsey Westchester County and ride theirs. In the city is CLAREMONT RIDING ACADEMY,

175 West 89th Street, with a large indoor ring and bridle paths through Central Park. Open from 6 a.m. until dark, Claremont charges $9.60 an hour to ride weekdays and weekends and $10 for a half-hour riding lesson. Over on Staten Island, reachable by car or ferry, there is the CLOVE LAKE STABLES, 1025 Clove Road, Sunnyside, a family-run operation estab­lished in 1820, set in a lush, country setting. It’s $6.50 an hour weekdays and $7.50 weekends; lessons are $13 to $15. It is open 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. year-round. Or there is the fancy topping horse farm in Sagaponack, Long Island, within a stone’s throw of the Atlantic. English-style is still proper in the East. Clove Lake allows Western-style riding at $1 additional charge; bareback riding is al­lowed only in the ring, not on the trails. Claremont doesn’t tolerate Western or bareback, so re-think your image if you intend to mount up like Dale or Roy there.

Petro Perfume

Anyone raised along the Gulf Coast, as I was, in the heart of the oil and gas re­fineries, has to miss the sights and smells of petroleum pol­lution just a tiny bit. Even though I know the evils of breathing too much of the stuff, I can’t help hankering for the odors of methane, pro­pane, and other (ob)noxious gases from time to time, or the sight of an onion-shaped storage tank. As children growing up in the Diamond Shamrock, Rohm and Haas, Shell, Exxon (then Humble), Phillips neighborhood, we called this petro perfume “Houston Ship Channel No. 5.” In an attempt to track down these memory makers, I discovered right outside of New York City a flat, marshy stretch of land (not unlike the La Porte-Baytown-Pasadena terrain) in Linden, New Jer­sey. To a Gulf Coast brat, it’s both a familiar scent and a wonderful vista. One of the best of the home look-alikes is Exxon’s linden terminal, dotted with plenty of tanks, pipelines, and pumps. Pew-wee!!!

No Lone Star, But . . .

There can never be another Scholz Garten anywhere, ex­cept in a Texan’s mind and memories. The closest thing we’ve got in New York is MCSORLEY’S ALE HOUSE, 15 East 7th Street, established in 1854 as a neighborhood sa­loon. It still is. (Its walls are plastered with early New York photographs and the planked floors are sprinkled with sawdust.) In 1970 Mc­Sorley’s broke a century-long tradition by allowing women to imbibe there. Extremely popular with’ nearby New York University students and professors, City Hall politicos and actors, McSorley’s has ale and port on tap at 75¢ for two mugs. Sandwiches, crack­ers, cheese, and onions are served at the big, round wooden tables in the back room. It’s open every day but Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Other near-Texas bars: fanelli, 94 Prince Street, in the artsy SoHo district where painters, art critics, and writ­ers (like former Texan Dave Hickey) line up at the ma­hogany bar amid a smoky at­mosphere. P. J. CLARKE’S, 915 Third Avenue, a hangout for richer Texan types, which was once Aristotle Onassis’ favorite. elaine’s, 1703 Sec­ond Avenue, the famed literati saloon where Larry King and Willie Morris are regular fix­tures.

Speaking of beer, longnecks do not live up here. Bring up the subject and New Yorkers think you are talking about Margaux Hemingway or Verushka. Foreign beers are the thing now—Kirin and Heineken are big. Coors is coming on slowly thanks to Paul Newman and other celebs’ en­dorsements. A Pennsylvania-brewed beer, Rolling Rock, tastes faintly like Shiner, and the dark horse of the moment is Foster’s Lager, an Australian beer that comes in an oversized can.


Texans who long to see a prickly pear, night bloomer, cholla, or pin cushion pay dear because cacti have be come quite fashionable as in­terior city “sculpture.” Cacti are very easy to get at­tached to and shops featur­ing cactus exclusively are opening up as fast as a saguaro blossom. One of the best is FAR out cactus, 581 Sixth Avenue, a 1200-square-foot store jammed with cac­tus, some raised in a Penn­sylvania greenhouse, others imported from Texas and California. Cacti range in price from 59 cents for an Epithelantha micromeris to $250 for a pipe-organ cereus. grassroots garden, 75 University Place, also sells fine specimens of cactus. And there’s the Brooklyn botanical gardens, 1000 Washing­ton Avenue, Brooklyn, which has a cactus house that is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It’s been said that New Yorkers and Texans in New York know when to water their cactus by reading the weather forecast in the morn­ing New York Times. They figure when it rains in Texas, it’s time.

True Grits

It was difficult to locate good home-cooked soul food outside of Harlem until we discovered the pink tea cup, 310 Bleeker Street, a marvel­ous, Tom Thumb-sized luncheonette. Big portions of grits, sweet potato pie, pork chops, collard greens, and Southern hash are served at bargain prices. All the waitresses wear pink uniforms, and the bub­ble-gum pink walls are cov­ered with pictures of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Bobby and John F. Kennedy, along with the daily specials (thumbtacked up and hand- penciled on loose-leaf paper). PTC is a real favorite with musicians; Mick Jagger comes here whenever he’s in town, and John Lennon and Yoko Ono often have breakfast here. It is open weekdays from 7 a.m. to midnight and all night Friday and Satur­day. Down the street in an elegant duplex is the posher HORN OF plenty, 91 Charles Street. Their menu includes ham hocks, chitlins, cornbread, black-eyed peas, and candied yams.

Who Was That Masked Mayonnaise?

There is no such thing as a truck stop here; by another name there are, however, diners. Looking like long silver bullets, these Art Deco-ish, all-night restaurants have the identical greasy-spoon quality that truck stops along Texas highways have. Big on eggs over easy and hashed brown potatoes, these 24-hour establishments serve a mixed crowd of New York­ers, usually dock workers, produce people, and some up-towners who like to “slum.” Fashion photographers of late have taken to using them as backdrops for fashion layouts. So recherché. These diners can be found along Eighth and Ninth Avenues between 14th and 34th Streets.

Lost Horizons

There are precious few wide-open spaces around here. New York is a vertical city where one’s view goes up, not across. Small wonder most of us get restless to see an ex­panse of sky or land. Fortu­nately, there are a few places one can go in the city to get an alternative vista: empire STATE BUILDING, WORLD TRADE CENTER, BATTERY PARK, BROOKLYN HEIGHTS PROME­NADE, RAINBOW ROOM, THE CLOISTERS, MORNINGSIDE DRIVE, CENTRAL PARK’S DOG HILL and SHEEP MEADOW, UNITED NATIONS, and GULF & western building. At pres­ent, there isn’t enough food coloring in the world to tint New York City skies blue the way Texans like them.

Fashion Plates

This is going to sound city-slicker ridiculous, but that inexpensive ironware called Fiestaware—the Li­moges of the middle class—which we all ate off (usually out on the patio) is now a big part of the Art Deco craze. Produced from 1936 to 1973 by Homer Laughlin China Company in Newell, West Virginia, the bright-colored dinnerware is the rage among collectors. (Andy Warhol is one of the fans.) Shops that cater it exclusively are spring­ing up all over the city: nose-worthy’s, 304 West 4th Street, the real tinsel, 183 Prince Street, and sassparilla, 1179 Second Avenue, have a varied stock of Fiestaware. There’s even a book out, The Story of Fiestaware (Collectors Book, Paducah, Kentucky), by Sharon and Bob Huxford, that explains the fad of the moment. Prices have skyrocketed, by the way; bowls are $6, glasses $20, platters $15 and upward. Re­member when you couldn’t give the stuff away?

Coffee, Tea, or Pot Luck?

After a day of shopping for school clothes or a prom dress, mother used to steer us to places like Neiman-Marcus’ Zodiac Room (for Pot Luck specials), Sakowitz’s Sky Terrace (shrimp salad and cheese straws), Foley’s Azalea Terrace (turkey mornay), or Frost Brothers’ Taste-setter (margarita pie). Be­sides menus of “ditzy ladies’ things,” these places had loads of cozy charm, an occa­sional fashion show, and cheerful service. New York has few. The most beloved is the women’s exchange, 541 Madison Avenue. It is part of the New York Exchange for Women’s Work, founded in 1878 to provide women with an outlet for their needlework and home-cooked foods. A host of people line up daily for chicken pie with double crust, whipped codfish balls, coconut layer cake, bartlett pear salad. All the waitresses are Irish and smiling. They still sell handmade baby clothes, quilts, and chutney at the Exchange. There’s also MARY ELIZABETH’S, 6 East 37th Street, in the handbag manufacturers’ district, known for its salads, curries, and home-baked breads. It’s a big hit with out-of-town store buyers, a great many of them from Texas.

Old Paint

It is damn near impossible to locate a bluebonnet paint­ing in New York. In fact, no art gallery in this gallery-glutted city specializes in Western art exclusively. What’s more commonly available is early twentieth-century Western art—the Old Masters of the West like Remington and Russell. A few contemporary painters and sculptors are moving into the art scene up here. Kennedy gallery, 40 West 57th Street, is the only Manhattan-based gallery that has a Western department. Besides Remington and Rus­sell, they have a few works by Tom Ryan, Lincoln Sox, Harry Jackson, Frank Mc­Carthy, and Gordon Phillip. HAMMER GALLERY, 51 East 57th Street, handles the Old Masters, including Leon Gaspard and Thomas Moran. COE-KERR GALLERY, 49 East 82nd Street, has a few works of Remington and James Bama. graham gallery, 1014 Madison Avenue, has only Remington and Russell. CORDIER & EKSTROM, 980 Madison Avenue, represents Fritz Scholder. Porfirio Sali­nas, Peter Hurd, Polsky-Morgan, Dalhart Windberg, and the rest of the Western artists better get on up here.

Stompin’ Grounds

Country and Western music fans have been here all along (Kinky Friedman, for exam­ple, has a big New York fol­lowing); they’ve just been outnumbered by lovers of pop and rock ’n’ roll. “It’s the Irish who are really big C&W appreciators,” says Country Music editor Martha Hume, wife of Texan Chet Flippo. “Go to just about any Irish bar and you’ll find the music on their jukeboxes.” In New York the best C&W bar (with bands for dancing) is o’lunney’s, 915 Second Avenue. It is run by a petite Irishman of that name who loves country sounds, and his place is packed on Friday and Satur­day nights with city stompers in beehives and Hee-Haw-style clothes. O’Lunney’s charges a $3 minimum. Sun­day night is strictly bluegrass. Upstairs, there is the raft­ers, where acts like Chip Tay­lor perform. Downstairs, bands like Willie Windsor and the Squaw Peak Mountain Boys play for the two-steppers. Don’t miss the C&W mural painted on the back wall. “It’s really the only bar in the city where you can drink and talk and dance,” says Ms. Hume. Stop by Joyce’s steak house, Second Avenue and 52nd Street, an­other Irish bar with a juke­box full of C&W songs.

The Fintasticks

Those of us born in the towns and cities along the 367 miles of the Texas Gulf Coast who had the pleasure of eat­ing truly fresh seafood cannot crab about what’s available in New York. The fulton mar­ket, 18 Fulton Street, is a long warehouse where both short-order cooks and French chefs from expensive uptown French restaurants come to purchase the day’s catch. The market is located in a dark, dank area on the island’s south side, definitely lacking in salty breezes, fishing piers, sandy beaches, boats, jetties, and bait shops; but the docks and whiffs of freshly caught fish make up for the other accessories. Around the Ful­ton Market are some of the city’s most beloved seafood restaurants, including sloppy louie’s, 92 South Street, which serves even more than the good Gulf gave us—shrimp, striped bass, Long Is­land bluepoint oysters, cod, steamed clams, etc. With pa­per napkins and oil cloth on the tables, this easy, unpreten­tious place resembles the San Jacinto Inn. Crowded daily at noon with Wall Streeters, Sloppy Louie’s closes at 8 p.m. sharp each night. Up­stairs and around the corner is sweet’s, 2 Fulton Street, classier looking and higher priced but with a won­derful selection of seafood.

For more grandeur take a short ride over the Brooklyn Bridge to gage & tollner, 372 Fulton Street (near Boro Hall). It’s like stepping back in time. Replete with gaslights and waiters who wear service pins for their tenure (twenty years for quite a few), G & T is where the wealthy Brooklyn Heights spice merchants used to dine back in the 1890s. You can get scallops fixed 15 ways, oysters 26, clams 42, and potatoes 16.

Dude Duds

When cowboys and cow­girls away from the Lone Star State start itching for the feel of a good Stetson or a pearl-snap shirt there are two stores next best to Houston’s Stezig’s Saddlery Company, Fort Worth’s Luskey’s, and Freder­icksburg’s The Western Shop. They are miller’s harness company, inc., 123 East 24th Street, and h. kauffman & sons, 139-141 East 24th Street. Close to each other, these stores are barny and well stocked with Western clothes and accessories. Kauffman’s Western Depart­ment features Karman and H-Bar-C plaid shirts, Levis, ranch pants, braided string ties, Justin boots, and hand-tooled belts. Miller’s has Lee’s, Tony Lama boots, Simco sad­dles, Dee-Cee shirts, horse blankets, and horsehead spurs. Both places stock Stetsons and make you look and feel back home on the range. 

Related Content