A Lazy New York City Sunday
I will never stop being grateful for where I live. My small NJ town is right on the Northeast corridor, meaning access to several east coast cities. While I'm always heading to Philadelphia, New York City is not much farther away. Heading into the city is a family tradition. Many Sundays in my childhood were spent in the car travelling up the turnpike. I would press my face to the window waiting for the skyline to come into view. Getting to the city is even easier now since I can hop on a train and emerge in midtown Manhattan eighty minutes later. So that's just what we decided to do for a lazy New York City Sunday.
The best part about New York City right now is that my brother lives there. It's funny; I always imagined that I would be the one living in the big city. Somehow I landed in this cozy suburban life. This suits me just fine since the city is close enough for a visit and I have someone to see!
For our lazy New York City Sunday, we didn't make many plans besides sticking to the west side. That's an area of the city that I had already spent some time in and wanted to see more. This worked for my brother since he spends most of his time on the Upper East Side. Our first stop was the Upper West Side for brunch. Even though we had to get up ridiculously early to get from the suburbs to a city brunch, it was so worth it. We picked Jacob's Pickles, a fancy, cramped, absolutely delicious little spot. It's basically the size of a little row home and they pack you in at long communal tables. The kitchen serves up southern comfort food and the portions are HUGE. I can never say no to a breakfast sandwich, especially when it's served on a buttermilk biscuit. My ham, egg, and cheese sandwich was the size of my plate and absolutely delicious. Even though I was bumping elbows with strangers, it was such a perfect Sunday brunch spot. The coffee wasn't half bad either.
After brunch, we decided to take a walk around Columbia University's campus. It's a few blocks up from Jacob's Pickles but we needed the exercise after packing away brunch. Plus, if we hadn't walked, we wouldn't have seen Tom's Restaurant. Tom's was the exterior shot for the diner on Seinfeld. Apparently there's a booth inside with a plaque for the show but we definitely didn't need to stop to eat.
Columbia itself was such a quiet oasis on a lazy New York City Sunday. I had never been so it was fun to explore the campus. We wandered down pathways and looked at all the different types of architecture, from the classic to the modern. Definitely something to see if you're in the Upper West Side! Then it was time to catch the subway down to the lower West Side for more exploring!
A quick thirty minute subway ride took us from up to down and we were in the West Village. This area of NYC is one of my favorites: little boutiques, cozy coffee shops, and funky restaurants. The streets are perfect for wandering and those brick buildings are my dream city digs...if only I could afford it!
This area of New York is the kind of place where you can wander and discover the best hidden spots. One of my favorite streets is Bleecker Street. My guys were more than happy to head over there because of Blind Tiger. It's one of the best craft beer bars in the city with plenty of rare drafts. It's pretty tight and gets packed easily (notice a theme in NYC?) but a dreary Sunday afternoon was a good time to visit. Their fireplace was also blazing away so I was in heaven. If you happen to be on the hunt for great food and food shopping in the city, Bleecker Street is a must. Murray's Cheese Shop, Amy's Bread, and Faicco's meat shop are all on one block here. Need I say more? We also stumbled upon a David's Teas shop and I can't believe I didn't get a single thing. Maybe it was because Nick told me I would have to carry it for the rest of the day. Talk about putting the lazy in lazy Sunday!
Another highlight from Bleecker Street was Tacombi. On a cold and wet day, stepping into Tacombi was like taking a flight to Mexico. I instantly fell head over heels for the chips and guac! Again, if you're looking for a spot in the city, add this to your list! The next stop after guac and tacos was Houston Hall for a pint because what else do you do on a lazy New York City Sunday? This big German-styled beer hall brews its own beer. I wish I had taken more photos because it was a pretty fun spot. However, they were playing the NFL playoff games on big projectors and it was LOUD. I think I'm very quickly turning into a grandma since I just couldn't handle it. Or more likely I've always been a grandma and just owning up to it now.
After Houston Hall, we did a lot of wandering around. That's why I love New York City: you can wander around and never run out of things to see. Besides our explorations in the West Village, we also wandered through Chelsea Market, grabbed drinks at Tipsy Parson, and devoured meatballs at The Meatball Shop. Many times the best adventures are the ones you don't plan. This is definitely the case for me and an easy New York City Sunday.