***Special thanks to Jody of New York Notebook for guest blogging.***
For months, it’s been difficult to discern whether or not spring is among us. We’ve shivered on the sidewalk under cloudy skies claiming, “but it’s
March April May!”
then coming home with a sore throat. Nevertheless, spring is piercing the city
with bursts of teasing sunshine and the days of T-shirt weather are beginning
to manifest. Here is New York Notebook’s Guide to Spring… on a budget, of
There’s nothing more Spring-worthy than sipping iced coffee in Washington Square Park. Oren’s Daily Roast (31 Waverly) has got you covered. Also in the NYU adjacent area is the legendary IFC Center. This cinema plays consistently mind-expanding films and serves organic popcorn. This summer they’re playing films such as acclaimed French Something in the Air, Studio Ghibli’s gorgeous From Up on Poppy Hill, satirical documentary How To Make Money Selling Drugs and more. They’re also hosting a Terry Gilliam series until July 20th and a Queer/Art/Film series until August 19th. Did I mention they serve organic popcorn?
There’s nothing quite as enjoyable as eating out in spring weather. If, like many others, you’re seeking the best place to get pizza, then look no further. Prince St. Pizza at 27 Prince Street in Soho is the best I’ve found yet. Their thick crusts of crunchy pretzel bread, sweet sauce, homemade mozzarella and burnt-around-the-edges pepperoni make for one unbeatable (and cheap) slice. If you’re looking for something more scenic, then you’ll love Grimaldi’s (1 Front Street) under the Brooklyn Bridge.
If you’re hungry for something more unique, then try Caravan of Dreams (E. 6th Street). All their food is vegan, which makes for some interesting inventions, such as cold Zucchini Spaghetti with Brazil Nut and Sesame ‘meat’balls, Wild rice and Cremini Risotto Croquettes and Seitan Taquitos. For dessert, avoid cupcake franchise Crumbs and instead go to Prohibition Bakery (9 Clinton Street). Their cupcakes are miniature bites of flavor, sweetness and real liquor of the highest quality.
Probably my favorite thrift store is Atlantis Attic (771 Metropolitan Ave) in Williamsburg. Find designer shirts for as little as three dollars. Beacon’s Closet (92 fifth avenue) in Park Slope is a little more fashion conscious. From here, you can walk to the lovely Prospect Park. It’s Brooklyn’s answer to Central Park and is currently chock full of cherry blossoms, fluffy grass and unemployed hipsters playing Frisbee.
If you’re looking for cocktails, there is no shortage of artisanal, well-crafted and daringly unique drinks. Soho’s Pegu Club (77 West Houston Street) has a cocktail called the Earl Grey Marteani, for lovers of that bergamot-scented savior. Tooker Alley in Prospect Heights (793 Washington Ave) is a dimly-lit period piece of a bar that serves a tongue-burning beauty called the Jala-Piña, made from pineapple white rum, serrano-infused honey syrup and lemon. I’ve not yet been to Pouring Ribbons (225 Avenue B) but I hear amazing things.
And finally, live comedy - the reason I came to live in New York in the first place. I love Sunday nights at The Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Ave) which are hosted by Hannibal Buress and feature upcoming local comedians and cameos from established worldwide names (did someone say Robin Williams?)
The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Chelsea (307 West 26th Street) showcase sharp and witty sketch comedy on Mondays at 9.30pm followed by free stand-up at 11pm. And if you manage to get tickets, you’ll have a blast at their famous improv show Asssscat 3000 on Sundays.
Now, get out there. After all, it’s spring!
Jody is a writer from London. In November 2012, Jody moved to New York City with no job, no apartment, no connections – nothing. She writes about the experience on her blog: www.newyorknotebook.net