Of course it does.
I feel like I keep seeing these New York Times’ and Curbed articles about people who love the Upper West Side. And then I feel extremely grateful that the prior few bidders on my apartment didn’t know how to fill out a board application and I was – or my broker was, to be clear, because that shit is complicated.
I live within a couple of blocks of the water and two massive parks. I live two blocks from the best bagels in the city (not my words, everyone else’s), I have some awesome bars, Columbia’s sprawling, green campus, an adorable independent pet store that comes complete with an adorable pet store kitten, Book Culture, The Hungarian Pastry Shop, and a Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Westside Market. And lots of trains.
I love my ‘hood and I am very fortunate to be able to live here.
And if I have the means, I’m never leaving.
The Upper West Side Wins
The Hamilton: A Gushing Review
I’ve talked about The Hamilton a couple of times already around these parts. It’s the new whiskey bar that has replaced The ‘Dam on Amsterdam between 109th and 110th. It’s cozy and the bartenders are Scottish and amazingly friendly. Mike, the owner, is incredibly funny and welcoming. He named this spot The Hamilton because Alexander Hamilton was of Scottish descent and he attended Columbia University.
It’s also CHEAP. Especially for brunch. Nothing is over $15 and each dish comes with a drink. So far I’ve tried to the dutch pancake (left), the shakshuka (middle), the biscuits and gravy, and the bacon & cheese burger. My boyfriend once had the egg sandwich and said it was great, so there’s that, too.
As previously mentioned, all of the food was being photographed by the chef’s friend (right), hence how I was able to try the burger.
If a blizzard hits this weekend, and I need to get out of the house due to cabin fever, you will definitely be able to find me here.
(No, this isn’t a paid post. At all. You could say I received a free ¼ of a burger for it, but not really.)
Sunday in the Heights (of Morningside)
After a great Friday night at Salvation Taco and an extremely relaxing and reenergizing Saturday, I spent Sunday morning watching a few episodes of The Leftovers (apparently it gets better after the first couple of episodes that I’d watched, says everyone). After I headed over to Columbia University’s campus where the weekly farmer’s market was – almost bought some of those Pink-a-Boos, but instead went with some apples, string beans, and sweet potatoes, and that little pumpkin (does anyone know how you keep a pumpkin fresh?).
I looked for the For Dummies guide in Book Culture that I’d sold to them last year but they didn’t have it unfortunately. But incase you’re looking for a number of books on Marxism, they have those in spades.
Last on my walk around my neighborhood was the Petco on Columbus Avenue. The beautiful animal above is 2 years old and named Felicia. I didn’t want to adopt a long-haired but she was so sweet and mellow and apparently if you brush them often enough, they don’t shed. So I submitted an application to adopt her. We will see what happens.
I ended the day with a vinyasa and meditation class and a few more episodes of The Leftovers.
Not a bad day at all.
Mornings in Morningside
Because I ran myself ragged yesterday (in the best of ways), I decided to take this morning off from the gym and instead spend 20 minutes or so drinking a Hungarian coffee (coffee with almond extract, cinnamon, and whipped cream) and reading (current read: Spinster) at The Hungarian Pastry Shop.
It wasn’t the suffocating 90* that it is currently and there was practically no one else sitting outside. There were hoards of Columbia students having just moved back into the neighborhood this past weekend already making it their morning routine to grab coffee on the way to their classes though. My neighborhood feels incredibly packed and busy again, but in a good way. Not in the same way that Times Square feels packed. I shudder to think that I almost moved into Hell’s Kitchen.
I think this week I have to make it my priority to take it easy in the mornings, sip coffee outside, read, and go to yoga after work. I probably won’t, but it sounds nice.
Friday night: BANG! Said the Gun had their second installment. It was, again, AWESOME. I highly encourage you to check it out, last Friday of every month. It’s a slam poetry night that originated in London.
Saturday: Yoga, duh. Then I chatted with a lovely International Politics professor from Baruch in The Hungarian Pastry Shop, picked up “Street Justice” for $6 from Book Culture, and listened to the Columbia University band practice out on their quad. Saturday night I celebrated my best friend’s husband’s birthday at Subject, L.E.S. It was a cool place with $6 Abita, but it was too crowded. They also lost my credit card (which I’d just activated that day) until I looked on the floor behind the bar and was like ‘IT’S ON THE FLOOR. RIGHT THERE.’ I don’t think I’ll be heading there again. Also: the Lower East Side on a Saturday night? Shit show. We all know this, but come on. Really, it’s a shit show.
Sunday: I tried out a class at the new 104th/Broadway Yoga to the People. It’s a great place to go for experienced yogis but I wouldn’t suggest it unless you have a solid practice already. I bought the wallet (on the right) that you see above at the street fair on Broadway. It’s from a company called Big Skinny and it’s amazing and so compact. I ventured later on to Brooklyn to see Ghosts at BAM (review coming!) and went with a lovely guy to an Italian restaurant called Frankie’s 457 in Carroll Gardens. Another upside to my new purse? The middle part is the perfect size for fitting Playbills.
And it’s beginning to snow.
I went to a 9am yoga class today, had my ass kicked, and then bought a ring (above) because I’d been eyeing it and had enough Perk points to reduce the cost from $68 to $18 (woot!). After exchanging a dress at Old Navy, I went into JOE in Columbia’s Atrium and it started to snow.
I walked the 15 blocks home in the snow. It was nice. Now it’s time for some Law & Order SVU.