Hey, we’re at the South Street Seaport at the southern-most end of Manhattan island. I like the Seaport because it’s so accessible from Manhattan’s east or west sides. The island gets narrow, geographically speaking and all the subways come to a point here. You can very quickly walk from the east side water front to the west side water front. And there is something about the water and being so close to the East and Hudson rivers that’s just really, really lovely.
The Seaport is just below the Financial District, so it’s a little depressing that there’s a lot of corporate chain restaurants. But if you know where to go, you can find a lot of really cool independently owned places that are slowly cropping up. One thing to know is that some restaurants that are open on weekdays for the after work crowd will close on weekends, so always double-check. There’s a lot of cool art deco architecture to see, some of the most historic buildings are here.
This is a really bright and airy Australian restaurant that’s perfect for brunch (and Instagram). We’ve ordered the halloumi zucchini fritters with a poached egg top, and avocado toast (as one does). And we had this all with two big pots of yellow grass tea.
I found this place on Yelp, unfortunately, which is not very cool. But Yelp is actually pretty good in this neighborhood because a lot of the spots here are open on weekdays but closed on weekends. It’s really useful to double-check before you go anywhere.
Let’s go to a new new espresso place that I really like. What makes a good coffee shop good is a tough question. I think this might be a little shallow of me, but what I look for the most in a coffee shop is ambiance. I can’t really work in coffee shops, so I want a place where I can just sit and relax and having something beautiful to look at. Coffee shops I like are usually comfy and cozy, or modern and Scandinavian. They should still have good lattes, but they shouldn’t be too expensive.
This is a Swedish coffee spot, and they have some pretty tasty pastries. Its called Konditori. Just look at their cookies, they’re huge. They have some juices that are really spicy, like the cayenne cleanse. Its so not tasty but you feel like you’re doing something good for your body. I’m going to have the Swedish roast. Konditori is a Swedish word that describes a meeting place for friends. The act of having coffee is called “fika” which is the name of another Swedish coffee chain in the city. The coffee here is cheap, its $2.50. And you can get lox and spread for only $5.00. I’m going to get the coconut latte.
Have you ever tried a lavender latte? They’re so good. Lavender is hard to like because its used in so many things. But the Swedes are getting a lot of things right.
Let’s walk past The Oculus at the World Trade Center, which I think is such an important part of this neighborhood. I really like The Oculus. There’s a lot of intrigue in its development, obviously because of its history and how the city worked with these commercial developers to build it. Its beautiful, its all white and so unique. And when you’re inside it the space doesn’t feel dark. It’s filled with so much light, there’s light everywhere. And depending on the time of day the light falls on it differently. The best time of day is to go at 6pm, the sun is starting to set and it just combs through and falls on everything just so.
It’s an interesting spot because you see people taking selfies and pictures, and its like you forget why this place is here. And what it means. This is like the last place to take jumping in the air shots.
But there’s a park next to it that’s really nice. There’s a Greek Orthodox Church that was the only house of worship to be impacted by 9/11 and they’re rebuilding it. Very few people come up to this part of the World Trade Center area, which I really like. It’s so different from the main Memorial below. It’s so peaceful.
This place is really popular with people after work, but what’s nice is that on weekends its open and not annoyingly crowded. Treadwell is just cool. It has tabletop shuffleboard, there’s a popcorn machine. When it’s nice out I like being in their outdoor beer garden, but you can also go inside to play vintage pinball. And the beer selection is great, there’s a lot to try.
There’s a place called Asphalt Green. It’s a gym and fitness center. What’s worth knowing about this gym it that it has a basketball center that’s more than just a regular basketball court. Whenever there is an NBA team visiting New York City because they’re playing at Madison Square Garden they’ll come here and practice. All the hotels are nearby, but more importantly they can blackout the court, so there’s privacy.