i didn’t get out and about as much in may, but i squeezed in a lot in the final two weeks once i was done with interviews and had more free time.
long island city.
you know your friends know you well when they recommend bookstores to you and you walk in and can immediately tell you’ve found your place. that’s how i felt when i finally made it to book culture lic. it’s one of maggie’s favorites, so when i needed to order a book i decided to get it from there so i could check it out. with their tall ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows and all the natural light that includes, it’s a beautiful and inviting space. and on top of that, the booksellers are incredibly friendly and knowledgeable and generally great humans. i went for one book, walked out with four, and will be back again soon i’m sure.
teal was in town very briefly, and we had a lovely sunday breakfast at maman‘s university place location. it was a gorgeous sunday morning and we had a great table outside and it was so nice to catch up with her and enjoy a slow, leisurely meal. i had a breakfast bowl that was amazing and left me full for hours after. maman has multiple locations across the boroughs, so you are never far from their deliciousness.
upper west side.
whenever i am craving a south indian thali, saravanaa bhavan is my go-to. everything they include is always delicious, the people who work there generally leave you alone, and it’s so very comforting.
i first heard about the black dolls exhibit at new york historical society a few months ago, so i decided to make a visit in may before it closed. it is phenomenal, as is the exhibit on the second floor titled “picture the dream”
and if you are on the hunt for books on the uws, shakespeare & company is a great stop. it’s not affiliated with the one in paris, but it has a great collection, the café is cute, and one of the booksellers used to live in memphis and we had a great conversation. i went once unsupervised and once with a friend and had a great experience both times.
maggie and i needed to carbo load before our 5k and 10k, so we had a lovely dinner at benito one. the fried zucchini was perfect, and i loved my bolognese. they also have homemade ravioli and lasagne that sounded delicious, so i guess i’ll have to go back at some point.
a benefit of having a new friend in astoria is that it gives me the opportunity to check out restaurants around the neighborhood, and a few weeks ago we went to loukoumi taverna. we sat in the back [highly recommend] and spent nearly two hours stuffing ourselves with dips and wine and the red snapper special. everything was fantastic, and the service was great. it’s not cheap, but it’s well worth it.
one sunny wednesday a friend texted me to meet him at all’antico vinaio to get sandwiches and have a leisurely lunch in central park. i love sandwiches and central park and all of the things, so we stood in line [or “on line”, if you’re a new yorker] and got our food and had a great afternoon. i had the il summer which was delicious, and he had the odd couple and polished it off so i’ll assume it was also great. fyi be prepared to wait in line outside
after the planned parenthood march maggie and i needed some food, and we quite literally stumbled across the happy veggie restaurant. it’s an asian fusion restaurant with influences from many different countries, and we put together a chinese-malaysian feast that was super tasty. will be back.
we obviously needed ice cream after the happy veggie, and luckily chinatown ice cream factory is right around the corner. they have all sorts of flavors and invite you to taste as many as you like, but when it comes to ice cream i’m pretty basic and went with chocolate that had some cookie bits in it. it was exactly what i wanted. fyi: be prepared for long lines on the sidewalk
we needed dinner the friday night of chrystal’s visit and everywhere we went in chinatown kept telling us their kitchens were about to close until we finally got to wo hop where my man was very excited to seat us. arjune joined us and we had a great time stuffing our faces and enjoying the decor. fyi: they are cash only, so come prepared
during some sunday wanderings while chrystal was in town we stumbled upon orient express and decided it looked like a great place to have a few drinks, and we were right. ronny the bartender was very friendly and made various concoctions for each of us. we sat inside because we had been walking for a long time and wanted to air conditioning, but their outside space looked nice as well.
and what better place for chrystal’s first nyc slice than joe’s pizza? so yummy.
i have been on the hunt for good fried chicken since i arrived in nyc, and as luck would have it i found what i would classify a 3.5/5 at blvd bistro [it helps that the chef is originally from natchez, ms]. the wing and thigh were great, and the skin was nearly perfect, but because you don’t get to choose your pieces my third was a breast which i don’t like. their fries and biscuits were also great, and we all loved chrystal’s potato salad that came with her meal.
i also made repeat visits to llama inn [williamsburg], the sparrow [astoria], veselka [east village], pete’s tavern [union square], fred’s [uws], and the lowery [sunnyside].