I think I have a weird relationship with New York. For ages now it has been the city for me. It drives me crazy, as nothing will compare to it in my books, and however nice and gorgeous another city or area might be, my usual response would always be something like this: it is beautiful here, I really like it, but it is not New York. I would always be let down. I did always believe it to be true when I said it, dreaming about the Big Apple and putting it on a pedestal.
This year, even though I still am in love with this dynamic city, I think was the first time I ever really saw it without looking through rose-tinted glasses (as we like to say in Germany, not sure if it applies accordingly in english as well). Meaning that I was disillusioned a bit, seeing it how it really is. This is not to say that I found it lacking or not amazingly inspiring - just different somehow compared to the previous years. I am not even sure why I am telling you this, but I guess I am starting a new phase in my life. I guess New York will always be a part of it, but there might now be room for other cities and places in my heart right up there with the big NYC.
So, here´s my impressions of my wanderings through it all.
I went to NY with my family for christmas time. Especially my brother and I were excited about many of our - sometimes strange - traditions that we realized we have created after having lived in New York for a while as kids and then coming back for several visits after moving back to Germany.
On our first day in the city, we walked up 7th Ave. to get some breakfast at the European Bakery - Landbrot Bakery - but sadly found it closed for some days. We headed to two of my favorite neighborhoods, Greenwich Village and the Meatpacking District. Le Pain Quotidien, a place I definitely recommend checking out when you're in town for either breakfast, lunch, or snacks or just coffee, tea, or some lemonade, is where we finally sat down to eat. Even though my brother was apparently not entirely convinced (he might also just have been irritated with my camera up in his face) we both agreed on the Belgian Brownie to be the best that we ever had, so please indulge and go get one! They don´t really look like much, but their crisp outer layer with the smoothest, softest, and richest inner layer is delicious perfection! (I had four I think within a week).
I also absolutely adore strolling through the Meatpacking District, taking in it´s unique and quite peculiar atmosphere and energy. I love it especially in the mornings, as it is not yet that crowded. Shops don´t open until 10 or even 11 ( I can never remember, I think most open after 10am) and with some good tea or coffee, walking along yet another unique and historic structure, the High Line Park, is wonderfully inspiring and even quite relaxing. The Standard Hotel is of course the iconic statement, hovering above the old railways. I hope to stay there one day. I really appreciate the bold, unapologetic architecture. I even find it beautiful in a way.
NAMES AND NUMBERS:
– If in new York, never miss out on Greenwich Village or the Meatpacking District - but I am sure you know that.
– Landbrot Bakery | www.landbrotbakery.com | for some great European bread, pastries, and pretzels | Find it on 137 Seventh Avenue South
– Le Pain Quotidien | www.lepainquotidien.com | several places around New York | always good for some refueling | the Belgian Brownie is a must-try - I also really like their oatmeal bowls and their breads
– The High Line Park of course!
– The Standard at and above the High Line | wether to stay there (their rooms are amazing), to pass by on the High Line underneath it, or to eat/drink at one of it´s restaurants/bars | standardhotels.com/high-line | 848 Washington at 13th Street