Season 2, Episode 6
My New York
Norman rides around his home city of New York while visiting friends; eating pizza with Mario Batali; exploring the city's art, food and culture.
Norman Reedus is in New York City, where he considers home, to catch up with family and friends and see the places he's been missing while on the road.
He rides through the city streets and arrives at his first stop: Washington Square Park. He's invited to play a game of chess with a guy named Cornbread, who bests him. After another round, Norman surprises them both with a win. Norman's son, Mingus, finds Norman in the park and sits down for a game with Cornbread as Norman looks on as a proud father.
Norman meets up with celebrity chef Mario Batali, who arrives on his Vespa. Mingus departs, and Norman and Mario go to Artichoke Pizza for breakfast, one of Mario's favorite spots in the heart of Greenwich Village. Mario calls it the "greatest slice" that isn’t his own. The guys chow down while trading stories of their experience growing up in the city.
Norman is off to Gowanus, Brooklyn to check out a bike shop named Vax Moto. He meets Justin and learns a little more about his work. Right at the bike shop, Norman chows down at Vax Taco, a street cart restaurant. "Bikes and tacos, dude!" Norman exclaims. After lunch, Justin and Norman hit the streets and ride to the end of Brooklyn in Coney Island. The guys take a stroll on the boardwalk and stop to get a photo of themselves on a T-shirt. When they see a sign for a freak show, they're immediately interested. Inside, the guys watch a performer swallow swords and Norman is invited onstage to help pull a sword out of the performer's body. The guys continue to be wowed while learning more about the side show business and meeting an artist-in-residence.
The next day, Norman is headed to one of his favorite coffee shops in Little Italy: Caffé Roma. He enjoys a cup with Buddy, the owner of the café, and learns a little more about the history of the place. Norman's friend Tony Shafrazi, a gallery owner and art dealer, arrives and catches up with Norman. They reminisce and share their stories from the art world. Afterwards, Norman meets up with another friend and restaurateur, Wilson Tang, and enjoys a quick bite of dim sum at his restaurant, Nom Wah Tea Parlor. Wilson shares some stories about the notorious gangs that once inhabited the neighborhood.
In SoHo, Norman stops by to visit artist and friend Sante D'orazio and see his new pieces. Sante even tells Norman about the time Tony Shafrazi once vandalized Picasso's Guernica painting at the Museum of Modern Art to protest the war.
Later, Norman navigates through New York traffic and meets up with a group of bikers who are headed to Bear Mountain for some open road riding and a chance to get away for a few hours. After clearing his head for a bit, Norman's ready to head back to the city to a Russian and Turkish bath house in the East Village with his friend Nur. The guys enjoy being pampered and then sit down for a beer together.
That evening, Norman is back in the spotlight for a charity event in Madison Square Garden. "This city – with all its good and its bad – helped shape me," he says. "…That's why I'm never going to leave."