Stroll through City College
Back in June 2011 I made my first solo trip out to New York City from Lafayette, Indiana to interview for a weird, sketchy job and look at apartments with a weird, sketchy broker. This is how every NYC story starts, right? With a roommate who was a student and myself not quite the young professional I hoped to be at that point (aka I did not have a job) we were under quite the budget for our first set of NYC digs. Although I expressed interest in at least seeing a few places in our budget downtown, I knew it would be highly unlikely we could get a 2 bedroom, kitchen, living area, and bathroom in unit in the East Village, West Village, or anything in-between. After a dismal attempt I quickly asked my broker to take me uptown. After looking and not pulling the trigger (with that creep, no thanks), I went back to Indiana, got hooked up with a family friend as a broker (clutch game time decision), brought my sister/roomie with me and WENT HAM LOOKING FOR AN APARTMENT UPTOWN. UWS, UES, Harlem, Columbus Circle—you name it, we saw it. In the end we landed on a small 2 bedroom, 5 story walk up on E 78th Street. It was basically what you would think off as a first NYC apartment. But, hey, the bathroom was in unit so we were happy.
As a 22 year old, being a 15 min taxi ride form the East Village was detrimental to my social life, but I bravely made it work and now have more uptown love than I ever imagined. From E 78th St we moved our little family (Wynne, Fezziwig, and me) to W. 109th St. Here is where I truly came into my own. I have said it multiple times, but the west side changed me. Now, since I am pretending to be an actual adult (I think) I moved down with Fezziwig to a studio in Lincoln Center area for a park side view. The thing about NYC (downtown, uptown, BK, etc) we all have a loyalty to our neighborhoods, but I really think uptown gets a terrible rep. It is all people with babies and shitty food. There are just so many people with babies, I will give the naysayers that, but I live 100 feet from the Central Park, what do you expect? But the food? That we defiantly have. Yum!
With that being said, I took a few of my other uptown lovers for a bar crawl, so you all can see why I love this area of the city so much. Through an alcohol haze, of course ;)
Spot 1: Central Park- Rose, Pooch, CP. What else do you need? No one in the city can say they do not appreciate a good Central Park moment. Living close to my favorite spot in the world (I will be doing a CP only post ASAP) is the #1 perk of uptown living. Let the pregame commence.
We like each other, I swear
Spot 2: Blondies- naturally we started the crawl hungry so we promised Erik wings and we delivered. I actually discovered Blondies (supposedly the best wings in the city, so I think there is not much discovering happening from other New Yorkers) on a bad first date. Many dates later with my true husband (Wynne) it has become our favorite cheap(er) drinks and eats in the city. I would be lying if I said we haven't been at the door before they were officially open a number of times.
Obvi Erik's fav spot
Spot 3: Amity Hall- TBH, there is an Amity Hall downtown and there is not anything particularly special that sets the place apart (although the food, drinks, and service are always good!), but it is around the corner from our old 109th St apt and hosts the BEST trivia night on Weds nights. One time Wynne, Abby, and I (with the help of our friend Eileen) got third and $20 for food and drinks. A score if you ask me. I have never been more proud. We were up against Columbia students, people! Also, you get a free shot if you won best team name. Since Wynne and I felt like that was more our prize to win, we went all out and won free shots 2 times over.
Me trying not to vomit after shots w/ Abby
Spot 4: Rokc- Ok, full disclosure, this was my first time trying Rokc, but I wanted to add it to the list because I have be DYING to visit. Located in West Harlem (W 141st) it is out of the way and not where many visit if you do not live in the area. Unfortunately, because everyone is missing out. Fortunately, because only locals allowed! The food is so good and the drinks are beyond innovative and beautiful (not to mention, tasty and $10 cheaper than something similar downtown). This was my favorite stop on the crawl!
Drinks: Pistachio (pink cup) and Cucumber (in the dehydrated bell pepper)
Shrimp roll and Watermelon cocktail
Spot 5: Red Rooster- Red Rooster is a Harlem staple. Everyone, even outside of Harlem, know about it. Although sometimes overpriced, I think the atmosphere is top notch. Food and drinks never disappoint, of course. This time around we had a wedding parade grace us with their presence. That was fun (and loud)!
To be honest, we had two other stops afterward on the UES, but we are old and were tired (and drunk) so we called it quits. I owe Abby a game of Skee Ball next crawl at Jack Russel’s :)