I had a wonderful and indulgent summer morning doing some of my favorite stuff in lower Manhattan.
I started out having breakfast at the Doughnut Plant on Grand Street. The featured flavors were fresh peach and hazelnut, so I had to try both of course. So amazing — full of flavor and just the right density and sweetness. None better in all the land. Even with just a couple of bites each, I reached sugar overload, which combined with the strong coffee they serve, had me buzzing for a good half-an-hour.
And that was just the beginning…
I knew that just sugar, carbs and coffee for breakfast was going to
lead to an insulin crash soon. (Luckily, I do not have diabetes.) So, I headed to the "Sau Voi Corp"
Vietnamese bodega on Lafayette Street for one of their tasty bahn mi sandwiches. A nice lady makes them fresh for you from the counter, along with delicious iced coffee and other Vietnamese treats. Her sandwiches are lighter than the ones at Saigon Bahn Mi on Mott, but just as
delicious and mad cheap.
Then I headed to my hair stylist Regina at Astor Place for another
perfect cut from her. This is probably the last of the summer cuts for
me, now that the temperature is starting to dip into the 70s and 60s.
A woman ahead of me was getting one of those $20-30 blow-dries that you
see advertised in the windows of hair salons. I’ve never seen one done
before, and it does look like a rather elaborate operation involving washing, pinning, brushing and blowdrying the various sections of hair. Regina
told me that this client gets them done EVERY OTHER DAY from her, which
kind of blew me away. Who has that kind of money, or vanity?
After my cut, I went for the highlight of my morning, a one-hour, full-body massage from a
Japanese masseur at Tamago Skin Care on 13th Street. The man had mad
skills and very strong hands, but I don’t think even he was a match for
the boulders I carry around in my shoulders from all the bike riding
and breakdancing I do. He said to me, while working on my left
shoulder, "This is very bad. You need to come once a week." Yeah,
yeah, if only.
Now thoroughly relaxed, I meandered over the my favorite coffee spot,
Abraço on East 7th Street for a perfect cuppa joe. Abraço is just a
hole-in-the-wall, with barely room for the owner Jamie, an assistant
staffing the super tiny kitchen, and maybe 5 patrons standing in the
entryway. Jamie makes the finest and strongest coffee you’ll find in the City, and does it with
such pinache and good humor.
I finished my decadent tour of lower Manhattan by stopping in at the
Secret Hello Kitty Mall in Chinatown in search of new earrings. I
didn’t find anything that called out to me, and it was jam-packed with Asian teeny-boppers on vacation. Still it’s always fun wandering around down there.
Days like these remind my why I love New York so much.