I'm lucky to have affordable travel to pretty much any major east coast city(9 bucks on megabus!) Can I just rave about them? It was quick and comfy with a sassy bus driver. Use them.
New York City. I haven't been since my early 20s and I was itching to go to The West Village. They stole my heart. I think because my reading choices lately have been focused on young artists/writers/radicals in 1960s New York, I had created an unfair and outdated image in my head. One that Greenwich Village couldn't live up to. 50 years later, I could faintly sense the bohemian lifestyle in antique shop owners, delicious local bakers and overheard conversations with struggling musicians. The pages I read didn't portray the same Village, but I did feel a sense of preservation with certain locals. I spent my time listening, drinking coffee, window shopping, record and book hunting and eating...Oh, I ate. New York is delicious. My feet are aching and could tell a few stories of my 10 hour walking expedition.
If you go to West Village, 'SNice had fantastic organic coffee and a full menu of homemade vegetarian delights. They cook in the basement, so the smells of roasted cauliflower and tahini hit me whenever they walked by(which was often). The aromas literally brought me into this place. You won't regret it.
La Bonbonniere..I adore you. I was craving casual brunch food and saw two handsome 30 somethings sipping on espresso and sharing a cigarette outside....sold. It was subtly cool and comfortable, not to mention affordable and unpretentious. The cooks and waiters spoke to me in Spanish(I really need to learn since everyone assumes I'm from Cuba, Puerto Rico or Mexico). I take it as a very nice compliment..all stunning cultures and people.
I got a vegetarian omelette with mexican style house potatoes and coffee.Mmmmmmmm More coffee. I was on a blissful coffee buzz at this point. Perfect people watching with outdoor seating. Nothing fancy or chic and slightly dingy. Precisely why I loved it. I looked it up when I got home, and it's a neighborhood favorite. I chose well.
I did feel anxious in certain parts of Manhattan. Times Square was a personal hell. I don't need McDonald's in neon red lights or gargantuan billboards and advertising slapping me at every step. It was overwhelmingly nauseous and I kept wanting to jump on the train to escape. Luckily, I didn't spend a lot of time in Midtown. It was leaving a bad taste in my mouth and I didn't want to view my time there as awful. I regret not going to Brooklyn. I was limited with time, so my next trip is all about them! I wish I had taken more photos. Or had the best photographer and companion in my dear friend Es.
I got on the megabus and headed back to Baltimore. It was quiet for the first time in two days. It was as if everyone, simultaneously, had realized relief at the same moment. I will miss you New York.