Salil taught a magic class at Tufts University. I took his magic class. 7 years later we reunited for this ruse in Union Square. (video is coming soon and i promise it is worth its own post).
Salil is not only a magician, although he is pretty talented at that. He is also an ER doctor at what I learned is one of the few public hospitals in Manhattan and serves patients regardless of insurance possession, immigration status, income, and race/religion. Over 80% of its patients are uninsured. We went to the hospital for a quick tour. I looked the part with scrubs and even a stethoscope.
Thankfully I was not called into action. I did learn that Bellevue created the idea of the ambulance which was horse drawn and is pictured above. It’s interesting to think that over 100 years ago, that was truly an innovative idea.
The hospital has been around since 1736. Bellevue has some amazing architecture. They’ve added on space that curves out in a concave manner from the original building which is really beautiful. While the new space seems really disjointed to me, the upside is that the original facade of building is quite protected now.
If you are interested in checking it out yourself, here is a walking tour with photos. http://www.walkingoffthebigapple.com/2011/02/walk-to-bellevue-and-beyond.html
Salil really understood my project, and although it was a shortened week because he had an out of town wedding, I felt like we did a good job of seeing the neighborhood. We went to Pete’s Saloon, which fights with McSorley’s over being the oldest bar. We were told a lot of celebrities hang out there and there are pictures on the wall to prove it.
We also had one of the my top 5 burgers in New York City at Molly’s Pub. We went there after we checked out the hospital (in full doctor garb), and when neither of us felt like having a beer. The bartender said in his thick Irish accent, “well, lads, I guess you’re on the clock.”
Salil was out of town for the weekend and although I made my best attempt to get into Grammercy Park (one of two private parks in NYC), I was not able to make it happen and didn’t do much in the neighborhood. Instead I headed off to Coney Island for the Mermaid Parade. Its one of those incredibly unique NY experiences that I suggest everyone do at least once.
Salil was really a great host, and it was fun staying in Gramercy. One of the best perks about his apartment is that his aunt owns an Indian food catering business and he thus has a virtually unlimited supply of Dal, Butter Chicken, etc. Other highlights include a balcony, a pull up bar, and multiple sets of hand drums (which we played in Union Square)
I’d definitely go back!
Want to host? Email me at thenycnomad at gmail.com
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