Saturday, 28 February 2015

Harlem's Hidden Gems

The moment I started to lint roll my socks was the moment I knew that I had gone too far. I feel like I woke up today at 8.30am, (well 10.30am, because I had a mid-morning nap in between) and bought myself an all-day ticket to Procrastination Ville. After what has been an immensely productive week, I couldn't help but drown in a wave of disappointment at the lack of productivity in my professional life but it seemed that the minute I parked my car in P-Ville, there was no getting out, the traffic was fucking insane. Today I managed to do everything BUT what I actually needed to and slyly convinced myself that this was somehow okay. And I guess this is how I ended up perched on my bed, carefully lint rolling a black ankle sock.

When your office is in your bedroom, that Friday feeling kicks in super early, like before the day has even truly begun. By 11am I was already craving a night on the dance floor but knew I had shit to do, so decided instead that I needed a good coffee. Although my block is on the rise - I am happy to announce we have 24 hour police security outside the building - there are still more sketchy deli's than there are artisanal coffee shops. We are not Williamsburg just yet. I desperately needed to start the day with a cappuccino and I already felt disappointed because the easiest place to venture was Dunkin Donuts. Buying a cappuccino from DD is like drinking coffee flavoured milk, so you can instantly understand why I sound so 'first world problems' about it all. I spent about an hour avoiding making the journey to DD by really dragging out writing my to do list, combing my eyebrows and then ordering takeout with the roomies. I promised myself that if I ate properly first I would have the energy to conquer the items on my list and make everyone proud. I didn't actually start tackling said list until about six minutes ago (the first bullet point was to write a post). 

If we were to take a satellite video recording of my day, kinda like how you do when you play Sims, it would go something like this: eat grilled chicken wrap and fries, tidy room, organise jewellery, lurk in the hallway, go for coffee, go to supermarket, clean entire apartment including the refrigerator, take pics for Instagram on fire escape, frame and hang up Prada Marfa poster, lurk some more, clean bathroom sink, make sweet tea and lime infused water, hand wash all black clothing, go to ratchet laundrette and dry clothing whilst whatsapping friends... I mean it hit 6pm and I was absolutely exhausted from doing all of the things that needed doing just not necessarily today, oops! 

By now, you're probably wondering what all of this has to do with the title 'Harlem's Hidden Gems'  but it seems that even when it comes to my writing, I procrastinate. Kidding - I've been trying to build things up for dramatic effect of course. So after my eating marathon, my roomie and I decided that we really did need coffee and he seduced me by mentioning a 'super cute' place a few blocks from us that was supposedly amazing. Of course I needed to avoid doing work so walking eight blocks was no biggie! In fact, had it not been - 4 degrees, I would have walked eighty blocks today I am sure of it. Off we trotted, arm in arm (literally) blending in extremely easily with the kooky locals until we arrived at Astor Place Coffee. Fuck my life is all I could think as we waltzed into this super hipster-meets-artsy-meets-trendy little joint that I had been dying to discover. Instantly before I even took a sip of my perfectly foamed cappuccino, I knew this place was one of those not so hidden, hidden gems, right there on Lenox between the crack dealing deli's (kidding) and nail salons. I was smiling on both the inside and out knowing that I had found my new spot. Oh yea, it was all going to happen here I could tell! It was the perfect place to bring my laptop, while I slyly perved over a handsome stranger drinking an earl grey. Happy as fucking larry I tell you. 

I guess the moral of the story is that when you move to a new neighbourhood be sure to check out all of these little places, even if you don't trust the typeface on the front door. The other night I also night capped at the cutest little bar - Hyacinth's Haven - nestled between two brownstones and covered in fairy lights. These mini ventures were sweet little reminder's as to why I picked Harlem to be my new home, swoon. 

Please note, my guide to the neighbourhood will be up in the near future! 

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