Sunday, August 5, 2007

More highlights of my NYC trip

Laura and Terry's departure did not happen without a final gift to me: advice to check out Think Coffee--a cave-esque writing quarter masquerading as a simple coffee establishment (but different in a few ways). For one, most cafes have waitresses that walk by and ask if you need anything. This is polite talk for: when are you leaving and/or if you're not leaving, when are you ordering more? Think Coffee (250 Mercer betw 3rd and 4th Streets) is a writer-friendly heaven equipped with rows of outlets, over-stuffed chairs and no waitresses (get yurself to the counter). Live music happens some nights--wine/beer after six. It was my best find, and the free wi-fi beats a New York City library card hands-down (where you only get one hour on the computers anyway). Same thing at Brooklyn Library, FYI. Of course, you can't print here, nor can you peruse books like at B&N or Borders, but they won't let you plug in a lap top.

Here's what City Search had to say about Think Coffee: “This alternative to mainstream coffeehouses is socially conscious, uniquely decorated and spacious enough to hang out and spread out.”

Another good place for writing: Grey Dog Cafe on Carmine Street. Kewlest vibes in the city.

One night I ventured to Williamsburg with Jill and Thomas. It was standing room only at Zebulon, 258 Wythe Ave, for the Afro-reggae music of a Senegalese, NYC, Boston band: Lamine Toure & Group Saloum. Check them out at: Check out other Williamsburg hotspots at
Here's Jill: my sassy, smart, dog-lovin, singing/acting friend. I missed their performance at Luna Lounge on July 31st by just a day (I left on the 30th). Read more about Jill and Thomas' band Musiciens Sans Frontieres (formerly Love Alien) at

When Cliff and I biked to Williamsburg one Sunday, we heard open mic opera at Galapagos Art/Bar Space. (They have a cool back room/cinema room. Look for their film series.)

It's strange to hear operatic singing without the fanfare of stage and costumes in a bar during the afternoon.

One Saturday night, Cliff and I hit the Pink Elephant Club/Lounge at 527 W. 27th Street in Manhattan (loved the eastern-influenced round couches, round tables, and tiled bar), but it was a hike from Brooklyn, so we went back and took a lovely walk below the Brooklyn Bridge in DUMBO and sat on a bench in Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park and looked at Manhattan until our stomachs told us to get to Williamsburg for a late night seafood (calamari and crab cakes) at Surf Bar on 6th Street. The sand-laden floor and outdoor patio plush with white light-lit trees and tipsy, dancing college students was a fine ending to a full evening except that our waitress forgot our order or the cook lost it or something and we got cranky waiting. But it was a nice place to be cranky; plus the free drinks as apology was, well, refreshing.

So, then, I had a birthday in New York on the 20th of July. Angelo and Katherine joined Cliff and me for a Met romp that began at noon and ended at 5. We were almost zonkered by then and had to revive ourselves with Corona on the roof while we visited with Frank Stella's sculpture pieces. I believe we made it through every wing of the Met. Quite a feat for one day. Here's Kath and Angelo at the beginning; still beaming with energy:

After the Met, Cliff and I got in line to see Neko Case at Central Park's Summer Stage. Normally, waiting for an hour on a shady, winding trail would be a breeze for me, but after five hours at the Met, my feet were killing me. I could barely hold myself up. Never mind all that: Neko Case was excellent. The night turned chilly and the moon beamed under her influence. The cap for the evening was: WD 50, a restaurant at 50 Clinton Street. Famous NY chef Wylie Dufresne wowed us with a 9 course tasting menu. Here's a sampling--first dish: tai snapper, cashew, petit pois, tarragon. Others: pizza pebbles, knot foie, sweetbreads, beef tongue, surf clam. Yousa. I wish I could remember the wine as it was worth remembering. We also had a 3 course dessert sampling. One of the desserts: soft chocolate, avocado, licorice and lime.

I had planned on seeing all the botanical gardens that NY offered. In the end, I only saw the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and Wave Hill, not to mention lots of park spaces: Central Park, Prospect Park, Battery Park, Van Cortland Park, McCarren Park and Ft. Green Park. Here are two pics of Brooklyn Botanical:
I have to skip shopping at Sahardis (old world store with glass jars full of candy, nuts, grape leaves, calamata olives, etc), at Hong Kong Grocery in Chinatown (where you can buy salmon heads and live eels) and at an acupuncturist store where I saw dried seahorses for sale, at a candy store on the lower east side, at the Italian deli in Carroll Gardens, and at the Brooklyn Co-Op. I need to skip the visit to the Brooklyn Museum where I saw Judy Chicago's Dinner Party, exploring Manhattan College's library, helping Cliff host a grilled kabob party, going through 42nd Street just after the Lexington Avenue explosion, and another pampered evening with David that involved roses and singing waiters, but I must mention how wonderful it was to see old friends, how blessed I feel to still know them. I wonder if they have any idea.

Here's a rose from David to me to you:

1 comment:

Kat in NYC said...
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