I want macaroni & cheese.
Everyone has to stop what they’re doing and watch this because otherwise Thanksgiving can’t start. Thanks.
185 degrees?! Alton Brown (and I) firmly believe that the turkey is moist (and safe) at 161 degrees. And don’t forget that your bird will keep cooking after you remove it from the oven.
After Hurricane Sandy turned Lower Manhattan into a dead zone (no power, cell service, hot water, or reliable ramen purveyors), we sought refuge at a delightful B&B in Harlem. Some 108 blocks and several avenues from our East Village home, we relished the opportunity to take advantage of this charming locale’s shower, internet access, and pleasant innkeepers. While the storm had lowered our expectations, we still ventured uptown with a discerning eye and critical nature.
Street parking is abundant in Harlem, so finding a spot for our car was not a problem. Derrick and Katie, a young newlywed couple, welcomed us at the door. The absence of a bellhop required that we carry in our own bags, which was made more challenging by the presence of our two dogs. This oversight was forgiven, however, when the innkeepers welcomed our furry companions with head pats and belly rubs.
The B&B included a spacious business center with an ample supply of outlets. Internet access was free – almost unheard of in most New York City accommodations – and password protected for security. Derrick was quick to share the code and our computers, iPhones, and iPads were connecting us to news with the outside world.
The business center doubled as a lounge for guests, with a television, Xbox, and dog-friendly couch. We were pleased when both Derrick and Katie joined us for some relaxation, as well as all of our meals. So many innkeepers mind their own business and give their guests privacy. Such behavior can be alarming. Our hosts never left our sides, which kept our concerns that they might kill us at bay.
Along with being the owner of the B&B, Derrick is also the chef. What he lacked in bellhop initiative he more than made up for with culinary prowess. He whipped up a delicious pan-Asian buffet dinner that also included a batch of homemade split pea soup (in case we were scared off by his ethnic cuisine). We cleaned our plates (and then cleaned our plates – so much for busboys) before retiring back to the lounge.
The bathroom overflowed with amenities. A shower, sink, toilet, and towel racks left us to pick our jaws up off the floor. The water pressure was reminiscent of scenes from Spike Lee movies with children frolicking around fire hydrants. The abundance of knobs provided the opportunity to turn things while bathing, a welcome alternative to the boredom that we experienced in our powerless home. The bath mats were both comfortable underfoot and absorbent.
The business center tripled as the guest bedroom. The queen-sized AeroBed inflated in minutes, and the shark sheets were a whimsical touch that left us smiling our way to sleep.
Derrick was back to work in the kitchen for breakfast and served up his homemade bacon with eggs. The wait for our food was quite long, which put a damper on what should have been a pleasant start to our final day in Harlem. However, lunch – an unexpected service at this locally-owned charmer – was both promptly served and delicious.
Overall, Derrick and Katie have acquitted themselves well as operators of this unpretentious bungalow in one of Manhattan’s most historic neighborhoods. From hot water to electricity, this place has it all. We highly recommend a stay here during your next natural disaster.
An insanely huge THANK YOU to Derrick and Katie for taking all four of us in while the East Village remains dark in the dead zone. They and their apartment are fantastic and we’re so lucky to have them in our lives.