That stunning song Alicia Keys performs so well make me think of New York every time I hear it. Elsebie has been to New York, or Manhattan a few years ago for work. I have never been there but the song for me makes me think about scenes of old cigar smoke filled bars cladded in beautiful dark wood and antique leather sofas and art deco buildings.

It is been a tough few months for our family with my mom passing away. But at last things can go back to normal for all of us. Things are still going to be difficult for us to deal with but as the old cliche goes time heals everything.

New York - PikiPiki
Beautiful murals in New York

What happened to us in Manhattan is again a testimony of why the travelling, overlanding and adventure riding community are so special.

While settling into our budget accommodation in China Town, I got an invitation message through ADVrider from David who is also on TentSpace to go stay with him and his gorgeous wife Francine.  They are also the couple behind the Mobius trip report on Advrider.  Hit me with a wet dead fish, I never have given a thought looking at Tentspace for a place to stay in Manhattan.

New York - PikiPiki-Friendly New Yorkers
Welcome to my city! This is my home, the man said to us in loud friendly voice.

That is one of the new wonders of our social media world, again we got the opportunity to meet and befriend such groovy cool people. Ye, ye it is all about the bike and the world but most importantly for us it is also about the people. It is magic for us, we love telling people that to this day, our most treasured experiences was with the people we have met on our journeys.

New York - PikiPiki
David explaining to Elsebie how to make the perfect Ravioli.

There are people with serious skills in this world. Jamie Oliver and that other bloke, what’s his face screamer cook, I believe has nothing on David when it comes to creating food magic. He send us a ‘Whatsapp’ saying he felt like eating Ravioli. We immediately responded “Cool! We will buy some and come over.” Nope, he said we will make it and proceeded to made Ravioli from scratch in the time it took the water to boil! Without blowing smoke up his arse, it was the best damn Ravioli I ever had.

New York - PikiPiki
And to top that he made us Apple pie, also from scratch and no canned Apples, but freshly peeled  Apples!

South Africans for the most part grew up with an American, European influence. So we got all the Miami Vice, Magnum, Friends- type sitcoms and music as well as about everything to do with the Western world. Having seen so many sitcoms playing out in NY and the beautiful apartments it was so cool to hang a few days in one of those beautiful  apartments.

New York - PikiPiki
McSorley’s Old Ale House in New York Manhattan. Apparently the oldest bar in New York

McSorley’s Old Ale House, generally known as McSorley’s, is the oldest “Irish” tavern in New York City.  Located at 15 East 7th Street in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan, it was one of the last of the “Men Only” pubs, only admitting women after legally being forced to do so in 1970″ Wiki

The bartender asked us:  So what would it be?
Us: What do you have?
Bartender:  Beer
Us:  What do you have?
Bartender:  Dark or light

We duly quaff away one of each 😉

New York - PikiPiki-30
Aroma Kitchen & Winebar new York Manhattan, we are dining al fresco.

David took us to his local pizza & pasta joint, Aroma Kitchen & Winebar. Enjoying some tapas al fresco at such a restaurant was a quite a privilege.
Without David and Francine we would never have seen or experience some of these non-tourist authentic places in Manhattan.

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American diners, it’s so darn cool to have breakfast at these eateries. Just love’em. How can people even consider going to MacDonalds and such shitty places?

I think Francine told us there were some 15000 restaurants in Manhattan or NY.  It is amazing, and just the few we visited had really great food. One funny thing we noticed was that there were very few fat people around. Maybe because most people walk in Manhattan or it’s so damn expensive people are going hungry.

New York - PikiPiki
The park where the Friends sitcom intro was shot, this lady set a table for her boyfriend’s birthday. Give this girl a Chivas she rocks!
New York - PikiPiki - Flatiron building
“The Flatiron Building, originally the Fuller Building, is a triangular 22-story steel-framed landmarked building located at 175 Fifth Avenue in the borough of Manhattan, New York City, and is considered to be a groundbreaking skyscraper.”

I will be the first to confess we loath cities and we stay de hell away from them as far as possible. But that said, sometimes there are the ‘must sees’ and some cities worth visiting. Manhattan turned out to be one of them. There is the working everyday part and then the tourist part.

New York - PikiPiki-Little Italy New York
Strange this calm, friendly, everybody knows everybody’s business part of New York was once run by the ruthless Mafia.
New York - PikiPiki -Subway murals
Subway in New York have some beautiful mosaic murals at the stations.
New York - PikiPiki-Strawberry fields plaque Central park
“Strawberry Fields is a living memorial to the world-famous singer, songwriter and peace activist, John Lennon. During his career with the Beatles and in his solo work, Lennon’s music gave hope and inspiration for world peace and his memory and mission lives on in Strawberry Fields.”
New York - PikiPiki-51    New York - PikiPiki-22



Me:  “I am like so exited and all, like I can’t handle this!”

The tourist areas of course are the typical girl/boy dragging the black wheeled suitcase with all their fancy clothes and accessories in the one hand and a selfie stick, Starbucks, water and Ipad in the other.

New York - PikiPiki-New York Sky walk
“The High Line is a 1.45-mile-long New York City linear park built in Manhattan on an elevated section of a disused New York Central Railroad spur called the West Side Line”
New York - PikiPiki
There are some places in Manhattan where clothes optional are allowed, can you damnwell believe that? In the USA, nudity?
New York - PikiPiki-Sky walk Manhattan
I swear this sculpture had me going for a while, I honestly thought it was real!

Tony Matelli‘s underwear-clad sculpture of a sleepwalking man was at the center of controversy on a college campus in 2014, with outraged students launching a petition for its removal. Now, the eerily lifelike figure of a man in white briefs wandering in his sleep with outstretched arms is coming to the High Line as part of the group show “Wanderlust.” ArtWorld

New York - PikiPiki-Grand Central Station
Grand Central Terminal at 42nd Street and Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, United States. It’s an incredibly impressive building and one of the absolute must sees in Manhattan.


  1. Absolutely brilliant! I NEED to go there now!

  2. Michael Theunissen

    Great blog. Brings back memories of 2012 for me. Must get back there ?

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