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25 October 2016

NYC Part II: Chelsea Days, Williamsburg Nights

The rain had, if not stopped, then slowed down by Saturday morning, just in time for the arrival to New York of my brother and his wife. I woke up before I was due to meet the rest of my family and so went out inside of coffee and food. I bumped into my brother in the lift and we walked together to Black Seed Bagels, a purveyor of hand-rolled bagels on Elizabeth Street in Nolita. I was feeling a little fragile as a result of the rum punchbowl incident and the bagel with bacon, two eggs and cheese (on a poppy seed bagel, of course) sounded just what I needed.



We got our sandwiches to go and stopped for coffee at the new branch of Café Integral, also on Elizabeth Street. I've been to the original, located inside the American Two Shot store on Grand Street, a few times but the new stand-alone café was excellent. I had a cortado but I hope I'll find time to go back to try a pourover before I leave.


We spent the morning walking around the West Village and Greenwich Village, shopping and trying not to get blown away by the strong winds. Intrigued by the 'absurdly soft' tagline, I stepped into a shop called Marine Layer, and the clothes were indeed pretty darn soft. I ended up picking up a scarf and a sweater and promptly put both on under my jacket. We stopped for coffee at the West Village location of Aussie café Bluestone Lane, which has been on my list for a while. My hangover recovered even more after a very fine piccolo and a cold-pressed juice. The Carmine Street café is gorgeous too with their white-, mint- and turquoise-accented coffee bar.



After dropping into two of my other favourite shops, travel goods store Flight 001 and the amazing bookstore that is Three Lives & Co, we made it up to Chelsea Market, which was incredibly busy. The Halloween decorations were out in full force, which didn't help with the crowd control, but we spent a happy hour browsing in the book shop, kitchen shop and the Artists & Fleas craft market.





We managed to nab a table at seafood joint and oyster bar Cull & Pistol (a cull being a uni-clawed lobster and a pistol being a clawless lobster). To start, we shared a dozen oysters and then I had a lobster roll, which was absolutely delicious. We also shared a bonus steamed lobster 'for the table', which was also very nice.




After lunch, I had a couple of coffee shops to hit. First up was Underline, which, as its name might suggest, is pretty much underneath the High Line. I had an excellent pourover and a peruse of several back copies of Barista magazine, before strolling along the High Line itself. It was, however, super-windy and so not exactly ideal walking weather. The second cafe on my list was City of Saints on East 10th Street. The coffee was really good — so much so that I bought a bag of beans (packaging designed by an artist local to their Brooklyn roastery) — and the baristas were incredibly friendly.




I headed back to the hotel to unload my purchases and caught an amazing sunset over Lower Manhattan. We then took an Uber to Roberta's in Bushwick on the off chance that there wasn't a two-and-a-half-hour queue for a table, but there was, so we got the subway back to Williamsburg and went to Fornino instead, sharing two giant margheritas with buffalo mozzarella and a brownie sundae. Plus, we didn't have to wait for a table.




Our evening's entertainment was a Dracula-themed improv performance by Entirely from Memory at Videology on Bedford Avenue. This was very funny indeed and the Videology bar is a great place to hang out with a (film-themed) cocktail and watch an old movie or take part in a trivia session.





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