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I have now lived in New York for almost 3 years. I’m aware that I haven’t seen it all yet, but sometimes it can really feel like it. I take the same subway, walk the same way, shop at the same supermarket. But I’ve noticed a change of scenery is so important, so I’ve put on my exploring glasses and here’s a new coffee shop I discovered! Let’s go inside:
555 Columbus Ave
I’m a plant lady. I love flowers, plants, everything green that can decorate my apartment. So when I discovered this coffee shop inside a plant store, I had to give it a go. And I’ve pretty much made it my go-to spot since then.
The Plantshed café gets their beans from Toby’s Estate (really good coffee – take it from a coffee lover) and the baristas here really know how to make a good cup of coffee. I usually drink Americano (espresso with hot water), but the cappuccino with soy was also really good! And after your coffee-fix you can go straight through to the flower shop to look at all sorts of beautiful flowers and plants. I might have to buy myself a cactus pretty soon…
Let me know if you visit! I would love to know what you think.
As I wrote in vol. I in this series: “When I first arrived to New York I hated it. It was too big, too noisy, too hectic. Too many people. But for some reason that also captured me.” And it can still give me chills (in a good way) when I get that genuine feeling of “Wauw, I live in this amazing city.” As noisy, busy, dirty, and annoying it can be, it is as beautiful, grand, fascinating, exciting, and filled with great experiences.
Here what you further will need to know when visiting:
Save money when you arrive at the airport.
The easiest thing is to just hop in a cab and pay the $60 (approx.) to your hotel, but if you’re up for a train ride this can save you up to $55 (depending on how many travellers you are).
Take the airtrain ($5) to the E-subway ($2.75 for a single ride, but I do suggest buying a weekly pass for $29) which will then take you all the way to Manhattan.
From La Guardia
Take the Q70-SBS bus ($2.75) to Rosevelt Ave., walk over to the E-subway ($2.75) to go to Manhattan.
Take the New Jersey Transit ($5.50) ‘Raritan Valley Line’ towards New York Penn Station. From Penn Station you can access many different subways ($2.75) to go to your hotel.
Feel free to ask me how to get to your specific hotel, and I’ll do my very best to guide you.
Don’t get on an empty train car.
It probably smells awful because of some unknown reason hence no one is in that car. Please do not think “Yes, I can sit down,” because trust me, you will regret it. Also, just a common decency: let people off the subway, don’t block their way, and wait till they’re off till you enter.
Any organic peeps out there?
If you’re looking to go on a full blown grocery trip, or just get some snacks for the day Traders Joe’s is cheapest organic place for groceries. It’s located in several locations in Brooklyn, Manhattan, & Jersey. If you find yourself in Harlem or Washington Heights I recommend checking out Fairway or Gristedes for organic groceries.
Need a taxi?
As iconic as yellow cabs can be (and I definitely think you should go for at least one ride in a yellow cab), please be ware that in any area around 5th Avenue, midtown, SoHo will almost be impossible to get a yellow cab. You can then either take the subway, or take an Uber! Uber is a slight bit cheaper than taxis, but not by much, though they are very convenient when hailing a cab turns into a bigger mission.
Download the subway map app.
If you’re planning to take the subway (which I recommend to save money) you might want to download the Subway Map App. This one works without WiFi access, which makes it very convenient. This map will give you all the information you need about the different trains, where they go to, where you can transfer to another train to get to your destination, and you can also type in your trip in the app to get help on which train to take.
Know what to tip!
Tipping is a must in cabs, at restaurants, and for any other service you might get. As a general rule of thumb, tip between 18% to 20% percent of your bill at restaurants before taxes. Taxis will have a suggested amount when you pay, and you can choose what you prefer. Please tip, your servant might not be payed more than $5-8 an hour.
Hope everyone is doing well! We are now on the other side of the lovele, long weekend. Hallelujah for bank holidays. That is if you have a 9-5 anyway. Not that I’m complaining, but I do admit that these kind of weekends were a slight bit more exciting, when I was employed. I have worked all days, but opposite my former jobs I now absolutely LOVE working. I hope you all had a lovely weekend!
Last week Edward and I had been invited for lunch at BóCaPhê in SoHo by Tipster Eats, which is the coolest hybrid between a food guide and a campaign site offering loads of less-for-more vouchers. Definitely go check out their Instagram to learn more. Might as well save a little money when dining out in New York City. We had a two course meal, starting with freshly made Spring Rolls with chicken and ginger, and then went for a Beef Pho and Bao Burger with Tarro Fries! Yum.
Happy Tuesday. It was such a lovely day yesterday with loads of sunshine, and I embraced it with a workout in Central Park and a picnic with the fam in the evening. Today is less good, but I was never one to complain about rain. In my mind it’s the most cozy weather available in the whole palette of weather. Then I just sit at my desk and listen to the rain drumming on my window, light a candle, and drink my favorite tea. The best time.
But actually I’m taking you back to a day where the sun was shining bright. I was exploring Riverside Park with my parents: a trip to Chelsea Piers Golf Club for some golf training at the driving range, then a walk along the water to the cool restaurant/bar Pier 66 Maritime. We needed a pick-me-up drink and some snacks, so I haven’t tried the dinner menu, but judging from the snacks, service, and vibe it is a must-visit.
My dad had a beer and my mom and I had a ginger beer each, and then we all shared some homemade hummus with veggies, bread, and olives. We sat on first floor (there’s a second floor as well, so you can really get a good view over New York City) on the side of the boat, and it was so lovely sitting there in the sun.
The prices are very normal for NYC restaurants and goes from about $7-$30. They have lunch, dinner, and drinks, and I just noticed that they also do Oktoberfest. We might actually go to that, since Edward has shown great interest in that event. I think beer, beer, and more beer intrigues him.
It’s been raining all night, and I woke up in the early morning hours to the rain pounding on the windows. Now, before you think “That sounds so annoying”, I just want to say, that it’s the most cozy situation I can think of. Listening to the rain. I simply love it. So waking up like that basically made my morning. (Although I don’t want to seem ignorant, because there had been flooding all over New York this morning and a lot of cars stuck, but luckily no one hurt.)
Also, it’s interesting how I have totally switched from that love/hate relationship for Sundays I’ve been writing about many time in here, to literally loving Mondays. I’ve now been working for myself for about three weeks, and I simply love getting up in the morning. I wake up 6.30AM make a cup of coffee, watch morning news. Then around 7AM-ish I get my laptop to read some emails, answer messages on Instagram, or write a blogpost. I start working way earlier than before, and so I also give myself some time for a midday walk, some cooking, cleaning. And then I might work more into the everning hours again. I guess I feel more free, and it’s so rewarding. I loooove it.
Something I’ve also been loving is exploring New York more. I mean, I did move to New York to explore right? So I guess I should take advantage of the time I now have to do so. Last week I got up early, grabbed my laptop, and headed to SoHo to try out Dr. Smood on Broome Street. A vegan café serving many raw options like the raw oatmeal I had. I also got a matcha latte with cashew milk. So delicious. And as I sat there, more and more people came to have meeting or just sit there with their laptop like me.