The last day in New York. We checked out the hotel and dropped off our luggage at Penn Station. We were on the 7th Street. The sun was out with blue sky. We walked down the street to West Village sipping coffee. It was a beautiful day again. It was hard to decide not to take advantage of the weather.
We saw a crew was filming a show on the street. We saw people were carrying huge branches of cherry or something which had a lot of blossoms on. They seemed to be in interior design business or some sort. Every single scene is somebody's life, which we would never see if we weren't there.
It was a long walk, but very enjoyable. Once we hit West Village, the area looked so lovely. We walked by many coffee places. People were enjoying the beautiful morning with coffee at the outside tables. This is one of the cute places I saw.
These are so cute.
Brunch in West Village
We got to our brunch place, Buvette.
This is a cute little bistro packed with people. Because of the summary weather, they opened the courtyard, too. If not, we had to wait for seats. Luckily, we were navigated to a table right away. The waiters and waitresses were moving around like busy bees between the small tables. Despite of the workload they were dealing with, they were nice and friendly.
The interior is so charming. The place is warm and cozy.
It was hard to decide what to order. Their pastries were very tempting, but I ordered a croque madame. The runny egg yolk from the sunnyside sounded good to me. Chad ordered a les oeufs vapeur.
I got my coffee, then I was settled in. More cute things started jumping in my eyes.
Details, details and details..., the coffee pot behind the counter, the bar chair, the items on the shelves, the tiles on the wall... Every single item in this place sets the mood. They just made me feel I didn't want to leave there.
Our brunch was served.
At a glance, I wondered it would be enough to fill my stomach, but it was just right amount. It was tasty and delightful. I felt the dish was prepared with attention its ingredients well deserved. Chad was excited about his new experience, the steamed scrambled egg. I was very happy with their well prepared dishes. This is also marked as our go-to place in the city.
Heading to Chelsea
We left Buvette with our happy stomachs. More walk under the blue sky. After a couple of small streets, we were on Hudson Street. We walked by some grocery stores. Every one of them had colorful flowers. These colors do nothing but brighten your day.
I saw a lot of nannies with babies in strollers on the streets. That is a view I don't have in my daily life. They must have been heading to a park.
We spotted this giant cow sign. They are THE King of Beef! I have no idea there is a such thing, but that is very persuasive. It certainly makes me feel to check it out.
Over the cow, we found Chelsea Market.
I love this industrial look. The details of the iron work against the brick wall is just awesome! It made me imagine how cool would be to live in a mill or old factory building with such elevator.
I cannot make sense of this. It seems just a visual interest rather than an original industrial feature.
These arches of lights are pretty.
I found a couple of "my" fun spots there. The first one is the spice shop. How is it possible not to get excited with these spices? My eyes were wide open and I was picturing all these spices were lined up neatly in small bottles in my kitchen. Imagine how many flavors can be made with them!
They have single spices and blended ones. I picked four blends. Special Salad for dressing. Lemon pepper. Herbs de Provence. These types of blends taste difference depending on who make them. I'm going to find out if I like their versions. The last one is Berbere, Ethiopian spice mix. I'd never seen it before. This is my introduction to Ethiopian taste.
I have a sweet spot with baskets. If this shop is in my area, I'd be in a big trouble. I would get a car full of baskets whenever I go to the store. They also have a kitchen store I enjoyed browsing.
The spot made me excited the most was the fish market. This is how fish are supposed to be sold!
This is good enough to convince me to move into the city. Look how fresh they are!
This fish market doesn't stink like your local grocery store's seafood section. Seafood stinks because it's not fresh just like old meat and produce do. Seafood doesn't smell "fishy" when it's fresh.
I expected this place is local's everyday market, but my impression was more like a tourist spot. At Artists & Fleas, we enjoyed finding many NYC goods from mug cups to magnets, postcards, arts, bags and more designed by local artists.
I saw girls with Artists & Fleas bags on the streets and wondered where the place was. My mystery was solved, too.
Back on the Street
We still had some hours to hang around with no plan.
Whether you are a Christian or not, a beautiful architecture like this catches your eyes.
We peeked a urban garden from the ground.
More beautiful architectual details.
The combination of bricks and iron is so charming.
Then, I received a sign from myself in the unconscious level, LOL.
Walking toward the uptown, I saw signs of familiar stores such as Lowe's and T.J. Maxx. They are not on the ground level. I saw them in the second level, which looked quite strange to me. In my area, they are on the ground level with a big parking lot. They are a kind of stores I come out with a big cart. I wondered what they would do if they want to take home a freezer chest with them? That wouldn't seem to happen here. Then, I realized that most of people here don't have space for a freezer chest, they have different needs. It's a part of urban living. People go shopping by foot. It also made me realize that I'm so accustomed to go anywhere by car.
We were a little bit tired of walking and looking for a coffee place to sit down, then this showed up. This is a fun part of just wondering around with no plan.
Chad asked me the location of the Flatiron the day before, then here we were. He got his answer now.
Since the Madison Square Park is there, we decided to hang out in the park. We stepped into a grocery store nearby to pick up cold drink.
This is a magic of baskets. They make you feel to grab those peaches and bite. The grocery look so appealing. They make you feel you can cook anything with them.
We sat at a table looking at two iconic buildings of the city and enjoyed the soft afternoon sun. Friends, families..., many people were at the park. The concession stand was busy serving those people who were going to enjoy their late lunch and mid afternoon snack.
Despite of being in the middle of the city and right next to the busy traffic, the park was still peaceful. I looked up to find a blank space between the buildings and the branches, then all noises in the surroundings didn't bother me.
Heading to the Penn Station, we took some small streets, where you never see as the city on media. We saw some mysterious exotic stores wondering who would shop those places. They were not appealing, not quite sure what is going on inside. People would just pass by like we did or hesitate to get in. The image of NYC tends to be glam, but the reality is not just glam. Many mom and pop stores from souvenirs, electronics, grocery to pizza and buffet places line up on the street. They make me wonder how they survive.
Our plan was to have dinner before getting on the train since we would get home around midnight, but we couldn't find any restaurant we'd like and were not so hungry either. We had enough fun ... and walk, and were ready to go home.
Once the train got out of Manhattan, it turned dark quickly. We took a nap to Boston. You'd never miss your stop if you get off at the last stop.
We didn't go to Soho and Tribeca area where I found some interesting things before. This would be on the to-do list for the next visit. Just thinking about what to do makes me excited. To me, the city is magical like that.
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