Long Island CityFriday, May 24, 2013
One of the most surprising parts of New York is oft-overlooked Long Island City. It's just a quick subway ride on the 7 train from Grand Central, but it's a trip many Manhattanites never seem to take. But as LIC comes up with more and more to offer, all this will perhaps soon change. Right now, LIC already offers one of the city's coolest one-two punches: a fantastic meal at M. Wells Dinette followed by a walk through vibrant 5 Pointz (you should actually tour MoMa PS1, of course, for the TKO, if you're able to get your act together earlier in the day than I am).
A couple of years ago, I had the good fortune of glutting myself at the original M. Wells with my friend Brandon, who was a cook there. It was an artery-clogging, heart-wrenchingly fantastic meal, so when M. Wells' doors were shuttered, I felt the immense loss to the city's hedonists, who had to relearn how to exist in a world without foie gras grilled cheese sandwiches and bone marrow escargot (insert #firstworldproblems here). But last year, M. Wells finally opened an outpost at MoMa PS1, and while the aforementioned dishes haven't been reinstated on the menu, they have come up with enough goodies to keep their clientele happy in the meantime. On that particular Friday afternoon, we lunched at M. Wells Dinette's cafeteria-styled digs and yes, they took us to school. We feasted on a tasty rabbit terrine bound with pork belly and dotted with figs; a comforting braised poulet with in-season asparagus, spring onions and young potatoes; and a heart-warming chocolate souffle sprinkled with caramel brittle—and every bite was an A+.
After a satisfying meal and a few libations, we were ready for a good stroll—and 5 Pointz had an approximately 200,000 square foot factory for us to walk around and explore. It had been over a year since my last visit, and it was cool to see what new things have popped up on those walls. There are a number of new pieces but these were my favorites: a Dali painting by Zimer, and an intricately detailed piece declaring Fressen & Gefressen Werden—eat and be eaten.
Towards the end of our walk, we came across this piece by Pablo Mustafa, which made me giggle at the irony, considering the day's activities:
The PS1 tag is supposedly a vandal's work on Pablo Mustafa's piece but there are rumors to the contrary swirling about. Whether there is some animosity between 5 Pointz's artists and MoMa PS1, I am not privy to, but as long as they co-exist, I will keep coming by for an LIC fling whenever possible.
How to get there: