Oh, the weekend adventures continue! Saturday morning I got up with a downtown mission in mind. Grab a NY bagel and check out Strand Book Store. After meeting up with the Scoop St guys Thursday evening they convinced me that I was missing out on the NY bagel scene. I have to agree I’ve definitely been slacking on my bagel eating in the city that is famous for them. I get stuck in my morning routine of an English Muffin for breakfast though and I’m all about eggs and hashbrowns on the weekends. This Saturday was different though and I set out for a bagel experience.
Bagel Bobs was the place to seal the deal! I picked up an Everything bagel with sausage and egg with an orange juice and I have to say it was quite delicious. Over the next few weekends I hope to venture out to some more bagel places in the area, most notably H&H Bagels and Tal Bagels (thanks for the suggestions Dave and Justin!). Stay tuned for my opinions of more New York bagels!
After my bagel I was off to my next destination of Strand Book Store. One of my favorite places in the world, yes the entire world, is Powell’s Book Store in Portland. I spent a countless amount of afternoons, evenings and whole days on the weekends venturing through the floors of bookshelves there. Usually, I’d end up in the astrology section reading one of the hundreds of books they had on the subject matter. Since moving to New York my void for Powell’s in my life has yet to be filled. Barnes and Noble is great and all, but it’s not the same feeling as walking into an independent new and used book store like Powell’s. Whenever I’ve brought it up with my friends here they’ve all suggested I check out Strands and Saturday was the day to finally check it out. It’s located a couple of blocks from Union Square so it was a straight shot down on the 6 train from Uptown.
Upon arrival the front windows and rolling carts of sale books were enough to get my heart going a little bit. As I opened the doors a small sense of deja vu flooded me with a slight glimpse of familiarity. The bookshelves didn’t resemble the corporate side as Barnes and Noble does, which warmed my little bookworm heart. It’s much, much smaller than Powell’s, but let’s be serious.. nothing can REALLY compare to my happy place. I did have fun wandering the shelves browsing the books though. The real test came down when I asked where the astrology section was though and unfortunately I wasn’t impressed… I went to the bottom level where I was escorted to the astrology shelf. There was two small shelves full of the books most of which had been ones I had already read in Portland.. Bummer!! I still had a great time, but I don’t think I will be trying to re-create astrology Portland readings again. For other books possibly, but not the usual!
After my downtown adventure I met up with Chris for another “first” experience in the city, the Central Park Zoo! I will admit it is a little strange being in a zoo in the middle of Central Park looking at Polar Bears, but then again maybe that also makes it even more awesome. The zoo isn’t very big, but they have quite a few animals, some of which I’ve never seen before. Exhibit a.) the very pink bird in the Tropics area, and no it’s not a flamingo and b.) mongooses and c.) a red panda! It wrapped up as a really nice visit on a beautiful day.
Our last destination downtown was P.J. Clarke’s for some mac and cheese and burgers. And yes, we really ordered both. P.J. Clarke’s shares quite a bit of history in the city, being open for the last 125 years. I’ve also been told that they go there in Mad Men among other tv shows and movies I’m sure. The mac and cheese and burgers did not disappoint. They take a different approach than the normal burger joint where you order just exactly what you want on the burger. I had to go for the mushroom, onion, and swiss of course! It’s definitely a place to add to your to-do list if you are in the city.
After our bellies were full, it was back uptown for us before the evening hours!