Happy Friday! One of the great things about living in New York is the abundance of people and neighborhoods. Thus, it’s not too hard to find a place to suit your mood. If you wake up feeling hipster, hop on the subway and spend the day in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. If you’re in the mood to strut in your hot new pumps, take a walk down 5th Ave. Perhaps the greatest challenge is actually exploring all of New York’s venues. My recommendation for this weekend is spending Saturday at St. Mark’s Place – it’s a great area for people-watching, tasty food, and bargain shopping.
Take the 6 Train to Astor Place, or the R or W Train to 8th Street, and walk one block east to St. Mark’s Place. You’ll know you’ve arrived (approx 20 seconds into your walk) when you’re suddenly surrounded by street vendors.
First stop: breakfast! If you continue walking about two blocks, you’ll hit Café Orlin (41 St. Mark’s Place at 2nd Ave). Sit outside and enjoy a cup of coffee and strawberry tart while observing the slew of New Yorkers striding along. If you need yet another cup of java afterwards (like yours truly), stop in at the Porto Rico Importing Co. (40 St. Marks Place, b/w 1st and 2nd Ave) is just one block further. You’ll probably get a whiff of the exotic aroma before you see the coffee beans.
Next on your St. Mark’s to-do list: wander. This is the perfect spot to pick up a cheap pair of shades, patterned socks, a neon-green wig, or funky jewelry. One of my favorite stops is Search & Destroy (25 St. Mark’s Place, b/w 2nd and 3rd Ave). If you dig past the creepy voodoo dolls (or not, if that’s your thing), you’ll find some cute vintage tees and Andy Warhol printed canvas totes that are perfect for a daytrip.
Okay, lunchtime! My recommendation is heading to Pommes Frites (123 2nd Ave, b/w St. Mark’s Place and 7th St) to grab some authentic Belgian fries with over 30 sauce options. Or if you’re craving pizza, make a pit-stop at 2 Bros Pizza (32 St. Marks Place b/w 2nd and 3rd Ave) for a $1 slice. I’m a sucker for Asian food, so I also suggest Grand Sichuan (19-23 St. Mark’s Place, b/w 2nd and 3rd Ave). You can get eight soup dumplings for $5.55 at this dumpling joint – a real steal. Clearly dessert will be necessary, so head to Australian Homemade (115 St. Mark’s Place) for a cone of almond hazelnut or homemade coconut truffles.
If you’ve had enough schmoozing, try catching Stomp at the Orpheum Theater (126 Second Ave, b/w St. Marks Place and 7th St) or at the Pearl Theater Company (80 St. Marks Place, b/w 1st and 2nd Ave). The ladder is where the original “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” was performed! Obviously a historical landmark.
Still up for more? Grab dinner at a pub or grab-and-go street vendor. You won’t have the full St. Mark’s experience unless you sink your teeth into a greasy grilled cheese, mozzarella sticks, or roast pork buns. Don’t fret about the calories – you’ve probably worked most of it off by all the walking around St. Mark’s!
Enjoy your weekend, Edsters! If you decide to hit up St. Mark’s, please comment on this blog and let me know of any other good finds!