I’m a Coloradoan. But half my family, my daddy’s side, is from NYC. I lived in Vermont and Boston for 13 years, and made a habit of visiting my uber New Yorker Uncle Jeff just as often as I could. He lived in Chelsea—not the one you see in Sex & the City episodes, all glam and fabulous—but a cramped, handsome yet dingy and fairly ordinary tree-lined street. He’d lived in NYC forever—he was the best guide ever, taking me to White Horse Tavern and John’s Pizzeria and gajillions of other spots he loved. Broadway, Empire State Building, Public Library, the Met…
On my visits these days, as a Buddhist eco boy, I’ve fallen for a few very different sort of spots:
A. Mindfullest Cafes: S’nice: If you want good veggie food, good music, hipsters galore, good coffee, wireless and a comfortable table from which to run your half-baked media empire, S’nice is verrry niiice, I liiike it a very much! 45 Eight Ave (at West 4th St).
B. Slow Foodiest Hipster Eateries: Diner, just a block or so shy of the Williamsburg Bridge. On my last visit, I went there three times in five days. I miss it all the time. Good, local food. Hip, lovely, Brooklyn waiters/waitresses/clientele. No sign. They butcher their own meat, if you go in for the stuff. Cafe Habana is so eco, their url is ecoeaterydotcom. I didn’t get into it, but everyone local seems to love it so maybe it was the company I kept, that night (an ex-love). They blend their margaritas via bike, it’s hip and colorful and probably wind-powered and shiite. Blah blah blah. Comment why you love it, I was only there once, but it’s gotta be a must-stop for eco-responsible turistas everywhere. Pure Food & Wine: I only went for drinks with a bunch of palz before running over to a Breast Cancer benefit hosted by Pangea Organics at ABC Home. I also checked out the East Village’s Angelica’s Kitchen, lovely and romantic. You can find info re it and a bunch of other organic/vegan type eateries here. Others: Also, here are a few restaurants: Caravan of Dreams (east village) Organic Grill (east village); Grey Dog’s Café (West Village) (212) 462 0041; Souen (Union Square) Bliss Café (Williamsburg, 718) 599-2547); there was also a place in Fort Greene I loved called Smooch.
C: Yoga Studios/Meditation Centers/Churches: I love the NYC Shambhala Center, it’s like a refuge in the scary, non-stop metropolis/state of mind that is NYC. Om Yoga. Virayoga. There’s many other brilliant yoga studios and mediation spots, and churches, but as this cowboy hasn’t been to ’em—please comment and include wwweb site.
D. Bike Rental/Buy: Craigslist, or rent a bike affordably…where? I dunno.
E. Grocery shopping: farmers’ markets (of course there’s a well known one in Union Square). Whole Foods. What else?
Oh, not much of a Bonus, but here’s a video I put together, badly, after my last visit, too long ago. Skip to 2 minutes in: