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Day 12 in NYC: A day off in the East Village & Greenwich Village

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The weather this morning was as predicted: light rain on and off all morning. I used that as an excuse to stay in and get caught up on banking, personal emails, and some website maintenance I’d been putting off. All after I got the blog up, of course.

The only sure thing I had planned was to meet a new friend that I met at the conference for a 6:30pm meeting in Greenwich Village, and dinner after. Other plans were related to the 3 days of use I could get out of The Met ticket and it’s three museums, so all that will mean is one less museum on this trip. I’ll skip The Breuer, which is focused on modern art anyway which, if you’ve been following me for awhile, you know is not my favorite.

I finally headed out just before 1pm. I took a 10 minute bus ride to the Hoboken train terminal to get on PATH. Because of where I was headed in Manhattan – meaning lower – it was the first time Google had recommended PATH, which was good since I’d planned on doing that anyway. PATH trains all stop around 33rd St.

Hoboken train terminal, with the Empire State Building in the background
There it is again, the Empire State Building from the Hoboken train terminal.

I got off at 14th Street. My only plan was to wander the Villages: Greenwich and East. Between the two, they take up the swath of Manhattan that runs north of Houston and south of 14th Street, divided by Broadway. Depending on which definition you use, the West Village is either its own thing or a subset of Greenwich, but is everything west of Greenwich Ave in the same area.

World Trade Center in the background of an intersection
I just love the way random intersections look in this city. You’ll see a few photos like this today. I believe this was crossing 6th Ave at 14th St.
Photo of a large menu hanging in the window
Scaffolding made it impossible to get a good photo of the outside so this will have to do

I took a look at Yelp for possible lunch places. This was rated #1 for the area I was in and, conveniently, was across the street from where I got out of the subway. It’s a rule: if you have an opportunity to eat fresh Asian noodles (or Italian pasta for that matter), do it.

A plate of dumplings with a little side bowl hewn into the plate, with soy sauce and green onions
Amazingly fresh steamed dumplings, these were wonderful
A beef and noodle stir fry with bok choy and onions
A beef and noodle stir fry with bok choy and onions

After lunch I just wandered. This entire area was fun, very livable, somewhat affordable (for NYC that is), moreso the East Village, as seen below.

Map of Manhattan showing rents for each neighborhood
Map of Manhattan showing median rents for each neighborhood for a one bedroom apartment.
A pretty big dog run
This is a dog run in Stuyvesant Square, on 15th St and 2nd Ave in the East Village
Intersection with Empire State Building in the background.
Another beautiful street crossing. This is Broadway at 13th St. That’s 14th St and Union Square in the background.
Sidewalk view of Max Brenner Chocolate Bar
Just seemed wrong to walk on by without at least taking a peak, right?
A sign with Get Your Chocolate Fix in the top half, store hours in the bottom half
Alright, if you insist….
A kettle of melting chocolate
This was in the entrance, just past a little retail area with all kinds of chocolate candy for sale.
Inside the restaurant, big and arity, woodn talbes and chairs
I was surprised how big it was. This was a pretty random time, like 4pm, which might explain the emptiness. I can imagine it gets packed.
Tiramisu served in a preserving jar, with a tiny carafe of chocolate and small dish of fresh blueberries and sliced strawberries
It is so rare to see tiramisu without alcohol on a menu I couldn’t resist. The lady fingers were soaked in espresso. With a little carafe of milk chocolate on the side in case it wasn’t rich enough for you. (I didn’t use it all 🙂 )
Looking inside the jam jar the tiramisu was served in
Layers of yumminess.

It was now just about 5:15. I still had a good hour to kill before the meeting, and remembered that I was still in the market for a watch. Maybe I could find something in this neighborhood? Google to the rescue: a Swatch store on Broadway and Bleecker.

Simple silver watch with a white face, actual numbers for the clock
A Swatch – Swiss watch. It was the first thing that caught my eye when I walked in the store and there were Lots of choices, but I kept coming back to this.

Mission accomplished! And, it brought me to Bleecker Street, which I had been wanting to check out anyway as it’s one of the better known streets of this neighborhood, known for fun retail and nightlife.

Street sign of intersection of Bleecker and LaGuardia
Mostly I took this so I’d remember where I was. The brown signs indicate a historic district.
Tree lined intersection
Looking north up LaGuardia where it intersects Bleecker St. Notice the little park on the right. I took a bunch of these but won’t bore you with all of them, in photos it all starts to look alike. But the whole neighborhood is incredibly charming in real life.
World Trade Center in the background of the intersection
Looking south down LaGuardia where it intersects Bleecker St.
just another tree lined street
Another tree lined street that I loved the look of, off of Bleecker. I don’t recall what is was.
Poster at a place called The Slaughtered Lamb Pub, with a wolf's head against a bright moon
I don’t know why the name of this bar amused me so much but it did. It was on Cornelia St.

The meeting I was going to was in a medical office building on 13th St at 7th Ave. There was a Duane Reade (Walgreens) across the street so I stopped in for a bottled water and travel toothpaste. My friend, Jonathan, was there when I got to the 6th floor meeting space, which was very nice for an AA meeting! It was a gay men’s meeting targeting those “approaching and over 40”; I noticed that I was in the bottom quartile (if not beneath the 10th) by age in the room. The speaker was 43 and most likely the youngest as far as I could tell. But it was a good meeting and I’m glad I went. I rarely seek out meetings when I travel but on the heels of the conference and an anniversary coming up it seemed appropriate.

It was just an hour meeting, and the dinner place Jonathan had picked out was just around the corner. (I neglected to take a photo of him, but you’ll see one in the entry for Day 2 if you care.)

Outside the restaurant, Coppella
Coppella on 14th, Cuban with other Latin influences, open 24 hours.
inside the restaurant
This photo doesn’t reflect how crowded and loud it got. Somehow the noise didn’t bother me although it often does. I think because the noise was all from conversation, so it was just the energy of the people and just made it lively. If there was music playing, I don’t remember. It’s loud music where you can’t hear the conversation that I find annoying.
2 empanadas with a small dish of sauce
Two empanadas: one cheese and corn, the other beef picadillo. Both terrific.
Guacamole with traditional tortilla chips as well as fried plantains
Guacamole with traditional tortilla chips as well as fried plantains
a bowl with beef, tomatoes, white and green onions
Lomo Saltado: Peruvian stir-fry of beef short ribs, red onions, tomato, fries, light soy, ginger, sambal, over rice

I’ve without intention developed a Latin American food theme on this trip. No complaints! This was wonderful and I took half of it home – will probably be breakfast this morning.

the restaurant from the entrance
I took this on the way out when the crowd had started to thin

From there Jonathan walked me to my subway entrance on 6th Ave and we said our goodbyes, perhaps until next year’s conference. I took PATH back to Journal Square in Jersey City and a Lyft from there back to the house. Home around 10:30pm.

The plan today is what I didn’t do yesterday: Fort Tryon, part of The Met 3 day ticket option, and today is the last day I can use it. We’ll see if that happens – it’s quite the ride up the Hudson River. Tonight is Dear Evan Hansen, which will most definitely happen.

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