Upon 9 a.m. arrival, after dropping our bags off at the Upper West Side hostel and changing, my first choice place to go to was Chelsea Market, where they film Iron Chef America. Somehow I thought I would stumble across Kitchen Stadium and Bobby Flay, or even Alton Brown -- hell, I ran into and chatted up Kevin Brauch at The Drake Hotel once -- but I settled on tomato foccaccia from Amy's Bread instead. After a 12-hour overnight bus ride, it was the best US$2.25 R&R ever.
Chelsea Market itself was very cool with lots of posh bakeries, a high-end milkshake shop, a seafood-focused grocery store and plenty of tables for enjoying a cup of coffee -- but it was all practically empty. Maybe because it was 10 a.m. on a Friday of a long weekend?
I guess I'll never know. While it was fun to check out, I have no pressing need to return next time I'm in Manhattan. Unless, of course, I land a spot on the judges' table for Iron Chef!