What’s one of my favorite places to explore outside Cincy? New York City! I used to live in the city back in 2012, so every opportunity to go back—even if for a day—I take it. And since you my birthday happened to be around the time we were in Connecticut visiting family, I figured I’d add an extra day to our trip and spend my birthday in the city.
When I lived in NYC, I spent almost every Saturday and Sunday just wondering around. I figured the best way to learn about the city was by a combination of train to a new neighborhood and by foot once I got there. I wanted to spend my birthday the same way. I first met up with a former colleague at the wonderfully designed Mediterranean restaurant Dez in Nolita.
Next, we continued walking around Nolita, popping into and out of the small retail shops that line the streets. After a bit of shopping, we stumbled across Plantshed, a plant shop, flower shop, and coffee shop all in one. Genius. Plus it was well designed and had great coffee.
Eventually, we stumbled upon the cutest of bookstores, Alabaster Bookshop. It was so small, packed to the brim, and had a lovely old book smell.
After traveling back up to our friend’s apartment in the Upper West Side, we headed to Harlem for my birthday dinner. I lived in Harlem back in 2012, and although it’s a bit different than when I lived there (and I’m definitely not the only person expressing that sentiment), there are a few places in Harlem that are staples of the neighborhood and the people there. Sylvia’s has been in Harlem since 1962, serving authentic and delicious soul food. I first went to Sylvia’s on a high school field trip, went there a few times while living in the city, and couldn’t think of anywhere else I’d want to have my birthday dinner.
Hope you enjoyed my mini tour of NYC!