Friday, July 27, 2007

Finding the SMALL in the BIG (City)

When I first arrived in New York, I couldn't believe the pulse this city moves within each day. It's a wave of energy unlike any other I have ever encountered.

While the "big-ness" of this city is something I appreciate, I tend to flock to the small establishments in my daily adventures. Sure, corporate America is hard to avoid, but what makes New York (and any community, for that matter) is the character of the "smalls" that dot the city.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Think Coffee
248 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10012
I was introduced to Think during my first ever visit to the City last fall, by my friend Matt. Think is engulfed by NYU and is usually full of college and grad students sipping their espresso with eyes glued to glowing Mac screens. I enjoy Think for its large space (hard to find in Manhattan), free wireless internet and think-about-it mission. Fair trade. Organic. Local. What isn't there to love?

St. Mark's Market
21 St. Mark's Place
New York, NY 10003
Located directly next door to my apartment, St. Mark's Market is the place where I buy my (gasp!) groceries. Grocery shopping may be foreign to many New Yorkers, but for me, as an unpaid intern, I try to pick up the essentials to avoid $10-daily lunches. They encouraged me to re-use their aqua-colored grocery bags, a gesture that won over my heart (and debit card) from first purchase. Another great thing about them is they operate on the 24-hour schedule to make sure that any craving at any time of the day (or night) is satisfied.

Strand Bookstore
828 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
Though I wish I was more of a reader, I always love the romantic idea of a rickety quaint bookstore. Strand isn't rickety, and it certainly isn't quaint either; their web site claims they have 18 miles of books! My recent purchase of Harry Potter brought me upon this store that I had passed many times on my way to Union Square, and it reminded me of my one of my favorite place in Portland: Powell Books. The romanticism of these places is what sets them apart from the Barnes and Nobles and Borders of the world. Much like MT Book Co. and Elliott Bay in my other hometowns, I'm sure I'll find myself back at Strand in the near future. (Photo by AntiDiluvian via Flickr.)

The Faucet
Any Tap Water Drive
New York, NY 10001
No, The Faucet isn't the name of some chic club like Butter, Lindsay Lohan's favorite hangout. The Faucet is another name for sink - the same sink all of us brush our teeth and wash our dishes out of. I'm a big fan of The Faucet for this reason: tap water. It seems as though New York City is just catching on to the bottled-water-is-bad-for-the-environment swing, not to mention most bottled water is sold by large corporations that make money off of something that is free. I might have to say this is my favorite stop in NYC. It's cool, crisp and doesn't dent my pocket one bit!


Marysia said...

Nick, I love that you love what I love. Think Coffee Shop, the little bodegas that make grocery shopping a fun experience, Strand (funny, I'm reading Harry Potter currently as well), and woohoo, tap water! All great things about NY that I can't wait to be in the midst of again....In three days!!!

Anonymous said...

yay! nick it is so lovely seeing the places that you love :) i'm glad that you get to go home for a few weeks and read HP7 (its sooo good! yes i'm reading it). good to hear about what you're doing, miss you lots nick.

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