With Matt, a high school friend of my good friend Dave from Tufts. I had never met Matt before arriving at his doorstep on Sunday evening. He’s an interesting guy who knows something about the world and has traveled to Iraq and Brazil in the past couple of years. He also did his graduate school work in Paris and happens to have a great library. He was away for the weekend, and quite busy during the week, but we were able to grab dinner a few nights and I met some of his friends during my stay.
The apartment’s location is fantastic. I had a commute where I could walk which is something I realize I value more and more. The proximity to incredible restaurants certainly doesn’t hurt and East River park is a great place to run.
There is an energy in the East Village unlike any other neighborhood I’ve stayed in thus far.
I’m transferring all my reviews to Yelp lists like this one about the East Village, but I will continue to give a quick write up on my favorite couple of restaurants from each ‘hood. People have told me they don’t want the blog to become my version of Zagat. I can’t promise I won’t write about food, but I’ll try to write less.
Zaragoza – Great late night spot in a little Mexican bodega. I sat there and had my taco and a little old mexican lady decided that I needed to taste the avocado she had. A bunch of Mexican guys were hanging out drinking Tecate. The owner told me they had been there for 10 years, but not a lot of people know they have hot food. Now you do, so go check it out.
Luke’s Lobster – This place gives my all time favorite lobster roll at Lazy Lobster in Chatham, Cape Cod a run for its money. I’m still in shock that you can get a lobster roll for $16 in New York City, but that is the deal at this little spot. Just won an award — here’s more on the Lobster Roll scene in NYC at the moment.
A guy from California at a bar across the street (Heather’s) that Matt had never been to. Part of this idea is to get out of my comfort zone/routine as much as possible so I went by myself on my way home one night. I ended up talking to a guy and his family (he was visiting his niece who bartends). I told him the idea and gave him a card. The next thing I knew he was saying things like “Hot damn! I’m here with the NYC Nomad.” Then he bought me a shot of tequila, and then I decided it was probably time to go home.
At Mendez Boxing gym. In the spirit of trying new things, I signed up for 3 boxing classes at this gym near work. I had my own personal trainer for about an hour and was reminded of the fact that there is no substitute for someone kicking your ass. I couldn’t understand much beyond “entonces” and “bueno” but I was extremely sore the next day so I guess I didn’t have to.
Films at the New York Food and Film Festival on Water Taxi Beach in Long Island City. If you click on one link in this post, click on this 13 minute short about a store called soda pop stop in Los Angeles. They were sampling things like Lemongrass, Cucumber, and Espresso soda. There were also samples from Fatty Cue, which is a place I’m really excited to try. I’ll probably get to next week when I am staying in Williamsburg.
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