Wednesday, 7 August 2013

My favourite street in NYC - East 7th

I don't know if everyone in New York has a favourite street, but I certainly do. If I find myself with no plans I will almost certainly partake in the walk I am about to describe.

Now, I will cheat a little bit at the start, because you have to get to East 7th Street from somewhere, so my starting point is Other Music on East 4th Street. Other Music is my favourite record store in the city, it's pretty small and personable and has a great selection, they also put on some free shows during the year which are always fantastic (I've seen Barry Adamson, Lee Ranaldo, Nude Beach, Dum Dum Girls and Chelsea Light Moving). 

From Other Music, we're just a few blocks away from East 7th, which begins at Cooper Square. At 41 E.7th we have our first stop, Burp Castle, "The Temple of Beer Worship", which has a fine selection of beer (kriek or framboise on tap? Yes please) and the quirk of being a "shoosh" bar where the bartenders will shoosh people that are too loud, it means it doesn't get so loud that you have to shout. It's quite refreshing to be in a relaxed, conversation-friendly bar.

The next stop is Abraco, and I can't stress this enough, a cup of drip-coffee from here might just be my favourite thing in the whole world. I will make plans around being able to get here, I wish it had longer opening hours (closes at 6pm) but then again maybe it's a good thing I can usually only go there at weekends.  

Right around the corner on 1st ave is Kim's Video and Music Store, it's much larger than Other Music and while it probably has a similar amount of music it does boast quite the arsenal of DVD/blu-ray. Bonus points for being the only place I've seen a copy of Titicut Follies for sale, I haven't bought it and still haven't seen it but it has been on my wish-list for some time, maybe one day I'll be brave enough to pick it up (as an additional cheat, you could walk up to St Mark's Place and look at 96-98 St Marks Place, the building used for the cover of Led Zepellin's Physical Graffiti). 

The section of East 7th between 1st Ave and Ave A is a food mecca. You have Luke's Lobster and Caracas next door to each other (though I prefer the Caracas in Williamsburg as it's more relaxed and has more room, whilst New Hampshire has spoiled lobster rolls for me a little bit as they are so damn good there, but Luke's does the job here in NYC). 

A spectacular arepa
Alternatively, you can walk along to Porchetta where you can purchase an exquisite pork sandwich. 

Have a sweet craving? Look no further than Big Gay Ice Cream, there's always a line outside at the weekends but you'll soon be slathering away at a salty pimp or other soft-serve wonders. 

Find a bench to enjoy your treat(s) at Tompkins Square Park, whilst also taking note of the Joe Strummer Wall on the corner of E.7th/Avenue A. 

Finally, after walking through the park and hitting Avenue B, take a look to your right and enter the best bar in the city, Manitoba's (recently featured in my No Shit! series). 

My perfect day includes a combination of the above (with a compulsory inclusion of Other Music and Abraco). The total walking distance from Other Music to Manitoba's is less than 1 mile, is there anywhere else in the city that can rival such perfection in so few blocks?

Here's a google map link for directions.

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