West Village — Best Village?

May 10, 2012 by

Hello, pals!

I’ve been in NYC for a day and a half (came straight from Chicago yesterday), and it’s been one of those covering-lots-of-ground, seeing-lots-of-friends, feet-hurting kind of whirlwinds.

Yesterday I had coffee with my old pal Jacob, got video-interviewed by the amazing Sheena, and then walked from Soho through Nolita to the East Village to hang out at The Redhead with Matt.  By the way, if you’re in NYC and you want Cajun food the way your Maw-Maw would make it (albeit a little more presentational), head to The Redhead at 13th St. and 1st Ave.  They have crawfish boils, even!  And the bartender Casey makes a mean dark and stormy.

The Redhead, Me and Jacob, Fancy Salts at Dean & Deluca in SoHo, Nolita Grafitti

Today, I joined my dear pal Alex for lunch at Artisanal (after nearly having to burn New Jersey Transit to the ground), then went into total tourist mode and took the NBC Studio Tour at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.  Unfortunately, cameras are not allowed on the tour because all the sets are heavily copyrighted, but I did get a few pics in the NBC Experience Store to commemorate the occasion.  I did not run into my idol Tina Fey, but the tours are given by real-life NBC pages.  And I did get to stand in front of a green screen and do a weather broadcast segment (which you will never see, because I did not buy the $30 DVD of myself).  Before leaving Rockefeller Plaza, I stopped into a little Japanese sweet shop called Minamoto Kitchoan.  I bought an assortment of… well… yeah, they were weird Japanese pastries.  Some of them were tasty, some of them I only managed one bite of, all of them were basically mochi and bean paste.  Exotic foods are my blue electric bug-zapper.

Me and Alex at Artisanal

NBC Studio Tour Memories

Weird Japanese Sweets from Minamoto Kitchoan

I didn’t really have an agenda after the NBC Tour (I didn’t really have one before, come to think of it), so I decided to head to the West Village to get Tea at a place called Tea and Sympathy that my friend Evan recommended.  Fun fact, I once directed a reading of the play “Tea and Sympathy,” so I felt like I knew all about it.  I had been feeling before this trip that I really wanted to find a few little places that felt like mine, you know, the places I’d make a point to visit on future trips to NYC.  Chicago is full of my places, so many that there is never enough time to get to them all because I have roughly six-years’-worth of memories.  But this marks my third trip to NYC in five months, and I really feel like I should have some my places here, too.  I have decided that even though it’s really Evan’s place, Tea and Sympathy is now officially the second of my places.  The first, of course, is The Strand Bookstore in Union Square.

Tea and Sympathy

I had some amazing rose tea and delicious onion bhaji, and the atmosphere was adorable.  It’s a really cozy storefront with only a few tables that were all full, so I really felt like part of a neighborhood scene.  Additionally, my server was British and kept saying “cheers” and calling me “darling.”  Sold!  After the tea (and sympathy?  sure.), I wandered directionless around the West Village and sort of developed a crush on it.  There were so many lovely bookstores and fetching shops and intriguing restaurants that I was truly sorry I hadn’t come earlier in the day.

West Village May 2012

Electic homegoods at Mxyplyzyk

West Village May 2012

I don’t know how many more of my places I’ll be able to discover on this trip before Sunday, but I think that the West Village might be my new favorite place to look for them.

Funnily enough, I realized as I walked around that several shops were familiar to me from my solo trip here back, oh, four years ago, maybe?  I even broke down in the West Village and bought my first pair of Toms My sister Angélique and half of my other friends have been trumpeting them for years, but I always thought they looked awkward on me and didn’t match my typical style.  I found a pair I really like, though, and just in time for my aching soles.  Then my new Toms and I took the subway to the bus to Hoboken, to rest up for another day of exploration tomorrow.

My First Pair of Toms took the Subway


Hey, you!


Remember, friends, I’m blogging every day for the month of May, and setting the goal of generating three comments per entry.  If you leave your two cents in the comments below, you’ll be entered to win a fantabulous prize collection on June 1st.  Click here for all the details, and again, thanks so much.

1 Comment

  1. Jean

    I wonder if you could still find that little bakery we visited up the street from Plummy and Mario’s apartment in Greenwich Village? I Googled it . . . it might be Francois Payard bakery on W. Houston/Thompson. The pictures look like it anyway. Have fun exploring!

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