One of my best friends is currently living in New York and loving the experience, although he is a true Capetonian at heart! I thought I’d ask Piko to share some of the city’s highlights and cool neighbourhoods with us on a monthly basis. I can’t wait to discover more about this vibrant city and I know I’m not the only fan of the big apple. Let’s go…
Thanks Lana for giving me the opportunity to showcase the city I’ve called home for four years. I’m not quite a New Yorker yet but I’ve certainly learnt a thing or two. What I love about this city besides its frenetic pace, is that it is rich in cultural history, architecture and art.
New York is not just a huge, frenzied city – it’s a collection of neighbourhoods, each with its own character and feel. Among my favourites are the East and West Villages, now that the oppressive humidity of summer is over, and the days are sunny but cool, this is a great time of year to jump on your bike or take a stroll and explore.
My first stop is always Tompkins Square Park — a little park with a lot of history. Once the haunt of the beat generation (specifically, a favourite author of mine Jack Kerouac) it still retains its bohemian flair with buskers and artists plying their wares. But it also has communal feel with street hockey teams, gym bunnies and kids-jockeying for position at the jungle gyms. And once you’ve had enough people watching, you can buy fresh farm produce at the green-market!
The Villages are full of quaint stores, little gems each specialising in one specific kind of product — whether its boater hats for those wanting to complete their Jazz Age look (take a look at Pork Pie Hatters) or one of a kind necklaces with a quirky edge from Verameat that could be paired with one of Lana’s great finds.
There’s an endless variety of food and drink – from craft beer to Basque specialties or take-out tacos.
After a long day exploring I generally can think of nothing better than an old-fashioned cocktail and oysters from Jeffrey’s Grocery. Maybe finished off with a scoop or two of delicious olive oil ice-cream!