After a long summer hiatus from Manhattan I find it surprisingly easy to tuck away into my own company, in fact my first week in the city was entirely alone and it made no difference to me. It is hard at times still and I can only imagine what the day’s will be like as they grow to feel longer and the sun sets sooner and suddenly its dark when I am leaving for class not when I am arriving home from it.
I like to hide myself in coffee shops when I am lonesome. There are so many places which I feel as though that I can make them my own, and I mean that in the way that I can be alone and feel a sense of comfort in it a place which is excited for my arrival, even if I know no one at all. I will pay the extra money to buy a cup of tea if it means the sadness can be shutout for a moment, and that life can exist in a blissful ignorance of what waits outside the doors. The three cafe’s which I love are Grounded, Cafe Grumpy, and The Grey Dog (which is actually a restaurant, but I enjoy to sit and maroon myself there as well.)
Grounded is a quaint and busy cafe off Jane street in Greenwich village. It is decorated in the most homely of ways, with plants towering every open corner, two large book cases, and a greenhouse-like frosted sunroof that sits above a group of small square tables. I have never met a more calming space and to me I feel as though my mom is on her way to great me. I know that his place will be my own place, where even at my worst I can escape all worries. Even when I walk out the doors I find that the West Village creates something for me. I feel as though it is a place I have known my whole life, somewhere I was meant to be even on the coldest of cold and the darkest of dark days. I am meant to be there in the scorching heat, without an air conditioner. One of those places that is wonderful and comforting at the most uncomfortable of times.
Outside the village, but not far, is my favorite place to be sad because sometimes I know I must be sad to be alone or sad for the sake of recovery sad. I sit at cafe grumpy and read The Wind In the Willows because it has a chapter that somehow manages to take care of my worries, whatever they may be. It is decorated with few plants, but two wonderfully sized windows that allow a perfect view of 20th Street. I also love that the first cup of tea I got there was made in a glass cup, I don’t know why I enjoyed the transparency but it was a wonderful touch to a very heartbreaking sad day. Their cafe extends backwards and there is great deal of privacy even if you are stacked with people around you at every possible table. It reminds me of home, and it is uniquely a place of my own because it allowed me to cry in public. It didn’t feel awkward, or scary, it felt like I was sitting in my living room. The tea was perfect because it wasn’t very strong and I don’t really enjoy strong tea anyways. very plain and creamy, but in the best possible way. I felt as if it were my own place to be my sad self, to be real instead of pushing my thoughts further away. It is almost like the most intimate of journals tucked in-between two large buildings like a baby tooth between two molars.
The Grey Dog
There are two locations of this lovely restaurant which I hold so close to me. I have been to both and found them both equally pleasing. The exact way to describe it is…somewhat challenging, but I think the best way to put it is by explaining my first encounters with it. Last year was the year of loneliness, the kind of isolation that is deathly. Second semester was difficult to return to, and not in the way that you don’t want to leave after christmas break and do school again, in the way that once a month when I visited home, I always cried having to go back. Every month was “It is almost over don’t worry. You can do it.” I desperately wished that home was New York City because I wanted to be home with my family, but I didn’t want to give up school even if it made me miserable. On my weekend sleepovers at FIT we decided to brace the cold and head to SOHO for the day and see what it had in store. We looked in different stores and walked around, but eventually the cold brought defeat and we were starving so our friend suggested this small restaurant which she had been with her sister. In a quick Maps search and a brisk stroll through the wind tunneled streets we found ourselves in the safety of The Grey Dog. We took off our jackets and our hats and placed our orders. We went to our table marked with a pirate bandana and waited. The hard wood and cabin like feel made me, honestly, think I was in Baggers burrow from The Wind In the Willows. The wood was dark and the light was low and I wouldn’t even be surprised if a fire was roaring somewhere and I had not noticed. We ate lunch there and made plans for a cozy movie night and it felt like “wow this is it, this is what it will be like to be independent and to be in school here and to be older” In a way, though I can offer no predictions, it felt like I was truly experiencing what life would be like when I will be in my 20’s and even though at the time I was only 18, It was that moment that I realized that these were my people, the people who I look forward to seeing, the people who I can sing the song of my self. While throughout the year I was abnormally introverted, I was able to laugh and talk without fear once more. It was, truly a place where I was me where I remembered how to be me again. It was refreshing.
Trying to get through the work week and we’re just going to wear our grumpiness on our sleeves thanks to this Custom Tattly by Cafe Grumpy. Yes, it’s shiny and gold but our coffee is black, like our soul.