The Bars, Coffee & Places of New York, New York
05.08.2013 - 16.08.2013
This has been a long time in the coming but finally i have had the time (over a LONG RV trip) to finish writing & now the internet connection to post it.
Here is the second part of New York. The Bars, Cafes and Places that made an impact.
What only could be described as a black door leading down into the ground, opening the door you will hear the sweet smooth sounds of jazz, the murmur of patrons and the sound of cocktails being made. Descending the steep stairs into the mood lit establishment you will find yourself in one of the best cocktail bars in Manhattan. So hidden that Cassie, a friend who has been in NY for three years didn’t know about it. The cocktail selection is well put together with classics, adaptions and originals. One of the best selection of the cocktail menu is the last item on the first page, “Bartenders Choice”, letting the guys & girls behind the bar do what they do best.
Seeing the sun set on the other side of the world is amazing, seeing it set through the Manhatten skyline is something else. From the roof top of the Wythe Hotel is one of the many roof top bars in the area but it is (in height at least) far above the rest of them.
Leaving with the dread that I will be subject to only drip coffee for the next two or so months I was pleasantly surprised at the fact that you can find some amazing café’s around New York. Many of these places are not far behind Brisbane’s best.
New York has an interesting café-work culture where a lot of creative and even some suits head to a café to enjoy coffee while working on a laptop. This culture is both embraced and rejected. Some places have free WiFi and power boards to connect into. Other have a strict no laptop policy deciding that they want people to simply enjoy their time there.
Most cafes are a strange mix of counter service where you talk directly to the barista who makes you coffee on the stop.
A proper coffee isn’t cheap, with prices being around the $4 mark it is very much on par with Australian prices (neglecting exchange rates).
WhyNot, The Village
Newly opened (about 2 months ago) this relaxed café is quite small in space but big in charm. The two guys who run it are definitely characters bringing a lot of atmosphere to the establishment.
Good coffee and service. Extremely busy. The café is at the front of Ace Hotel, you can walk into the hotel lobby where there is ample desk and lounge seating and free WiFi to allow you to connect it needed or relax and read a book. The lobby is also home to a bar called The Breslin Lobby Bar while we were there coffees were quickly being replaced with something a little stronger.
Toby’s Estate, Brooklyn
The Australian Brand is making its mark over in New York. The café and roastery is located in a very trendy part of Brooklyn called Williamsburg which, to put it bluntly is hipster central. Amazing place and they appear to be doing incredibly well. The coffee is great, what you would expect from a really good Australian Café.
The walk over the Manhattan bridge shows a great deal of contrast between the rougher area of China Town, with its rooftops covered in graphetie and the smart, clean, modern Brooklyn apartments of glass and concrete.
The Theater District includes Time Square with all of its craziness. While we were literally in the mix of it all and in a very convenient location with resepect to the Subway and a lot of other places, it is not where I would like to live or really stay again. That is really only due to the fact that it is quite commercial
Definitely up and coming, the area has a lot of hidden Gems which I couldn’t even describe to you how to get back to, but there was a series of “spaces” which were occupied by artisans of all kinds. These places included a Rap Radio station who also designed shirts and skateboards, silver jewelry designer who made predominantly original pieces, so much so that you couldn’t buy a set of earrings only single pieces, artists and designers of all sorts. The spaces are rented on a monthly basis with no contract so that you can leave your space when ever you wish.
Aka Hipster Central. If you don’t wear thick rimmed glasses and have rolled up vintage jeans, you will feel like you don’t fit it. Despite its being hipsterish it is a really interesting area filled with thrift shops, art galleries and amazing café’s & restaurants. On Sundays they have a market down near the river with amazing food (including the best Pork Belly on a stick that I have ever had).
Manhattan is such a lively area, it is hard to sum up such a large collection of separate areas but it is amazing space filled with Life and Love, Arts and livelihood. There are amazing parts of Manhattan that really separate it from any city i have ever visited, there is an amazing number of parks and green spaces. Not only are these scattered around the city but they are also taken advantage of. On the weekends a there isnt a green area which doesnt have people picnicking, throwing a ball around, basking in the sun or simply walking through.
I have been following this amazing reuse of infrastructure since it first was made public years ago. The project has been so successful that it is now going into its third stage. If you haven't seen or heard about this project you should explore its story. To actually walk The Highline was amazing, to see and experience a pinnacle project like this is incredibly inspirational as to how a small contingency of people can make such a huge impact on an urban space.