New York Magazine offered up a series of lists and maps that lay out 15-17 key spots for ten very different New Yorker stereotypes. They break it down into The Design Maven, Rebel Youth, The Cheapskate, The Hedonist, 8-Year-Old, The Organicist, The “It” Girl, The Lit Guy, The Dog Freak, and The Romantics.
After quickly skimming through the lists and maps, and seeing what places I recognized and/or frequented, yours truly found herself (myself) to be somewhat of a Cheap-o, Romantic Rebel. Hmm. But I’m really not that romantic, OR that rebellious (anymore), for that matter. Cheap, sometimes, maybe. Hmm. But basically, I’m not happy with this label, nor do I really identify with the spots they picked out.
SO, I decided to whip together a quick little Cosmopolatino list (sorry, no map, folks… not yet). Here’s my list of 30 spots (I got a bit carried away) that make up my take on the Cosmopolatino’s meanderings and obsessions… feel free to add and criticize away, because many a spot is missing–of this I’m aware–I had to draw the line somewhere (but be nice… remember, I apparently have a soft/romantic side!)
First, read the original article HERE, and then onto my response…
And in no particular order….
1. Caracas Arepa Bar
93 1/2 E. 7th St, btwn 1st Ave and Avenue A
Cheap, yummy eats with just the right combination of tradition and innovation. Plus a super-cool (and musically/artistically talented) staff, polished playlist, excellent decor, and generally laidback atmosphere.
113 Ludlow, btwn Delancey and Rivington
Cosmopolatino and cosmo-everything else, the Bulgarian Bar is a cultural hodge-podge where Spanish speakers can sing along to “Ingrata” and (phonetically) to many a gypsy tune you’re sure to pick up after a few visits (and a few jumbo-sized Astikas). You end up drenched in sweat by the end of the night, and very likely sore the next day from all your dancing. And happy. Sometimes euphoric.
Ave C, btwn East 4th and 5th Streets
You saw Brazilian Girls play here before they were huge, and now make weekly pilgrimages for Forro in the Dark, Zigmat, and Shitty Shitty Jam Band.
4. Carlitos Café y Galería
1701 Lexington Ave btwn 106th & 107th Streets
It’s either your local bar, or a worthwhile trek from dowtown/across the river, but you know any night you stop in, you’ll find friendly, interesting people, and some sort of artistic stimulation, be it in the form of a poetry reading, live performance, film screening, or the images hanging on the walls.
5. Centro Clemente Soto Vélez
107 Suffolk St, btwn Rivington & Delancey
Whether checking out a play, a party, an opening, or just chillin’ with your artist friends who have their studios there, this old converted schoolhouse always makes for a fun atmosphere. Disclaimer: avoid it during the summer months–there’s no AC!
6. Baraza and then Speakeasy
Ave C, on opposite sides of 9th St.
They go hand in hand, ’cause Baraza gets way too crowded with Wall Street types and sketchballs later on in the night. But the mojitos and margaritas are excellent, perfect to get you warmed up for some pool and dancing (and smoking, cause you still can!) at nearby Speakeasy. Just be sure to be nice to Vito, ’cause who knows what will happen otherwise…
7. Nevada Smiths
74 Third Ave, btwn 11th & 12th
Yes, it’s a sports bar, and cosmopolatinos generally don’t frequent sports bars, but when it comes to fútbol, things get serious. And serious soccer fans head to Nevada’s… usually in full team colors, with optional flags and matracas. Keep good tabs on your friends to make sure fights don’t break out.
8. Lola y Maria
173 Rivington, between Clinton and Attorney
This downtown boutique features super-cool clothing by emerging Latino designers… AND throws some pretty rad events.
You’ve got the membership–though you might be sharing it with a friend or two–but you rarely go. Every few months or so you decide you really want to take up capoeira or boxing, but end up spending more time in the sauna, gossiping with your friends who are in the same boat.
10. Kim’s Video & Music
St. Mark’s Place location: 6 St. Mark’s Place by Third Ave
So you’ve got a Netflix account, and illegally download most of your music online, but still there’s something about Kim’s that keeps drawing you back…. Perhaps it’s that they’ve got a selection (of both music and film) that not even your most cunning (ajem) of friends can locate online.
11. De Janeiro
E 42nd & Lexington and 78 Nassau btwn Fulton & John St.
THE spot to buy cool dresses and tops for under $20 bucks, before they make their way to the boutiques in Caroll Gardens (and get marked up to around $200).
12. Angelika Theatre
Houston and Broadway
The only movie theater you head to without even knowing what’s playing, ’cause you know there will always be something worth checking out. …and where you don’t cringe when forking over $10+ to see a film.
55 Grand St., at West Broadway
The food at this Mexican restaurant is delicious (but kinda pricey), and the drinks are to die for (favorites include the standard or spicy tamarind margaritas, and the white sangria, not to mention the enormous selection of tequilas). Happy Hour between 5 and 7 makes things easier on the wallet. Bonus: the bartender also happens to be a DJ, so the musical selection is always impeccable.
14. Barrio Chino
253 Broome St., btwn Ludlow and Essex
More yummy Mexican food, in the form of chiles enogadas, tacos de nopales, or quesadillas de huitlacoche. But the painfully hot habanero- and jalapeño-infused margaritas are what keep you coming back for moew.
15. Juan Valdez
140 E. 57th St., btwn Park & 3rd Ave; 1451 Broadway at 41st St; 245 Park Ave at 46th St.
You’ve boycotted Starbucks, but work in midtown… Thank GOD they opened up Juan Valdez! Delicious Colombian coffee and equally yummy food offerings like pandebono somehow make the tourists, congested sidewalks, and general monotony not so bad.
16. Tropicalia in Furs
304 E. 5th St., at 2nd Ave.
This East Village record store stocks only vinyl, and specializes in Brazilian rarities. Go to beef up your record collection, or just to hang out and talk music with the friendly DJ owner.
17. Zaragoza Grocery
215 Ave. A at 13th St.
Your best-kept secret, and favorite spot to slip into for a midnight snack of quesadillas or tacos, delivered from a nearby restaurant (which one, we’re not sure…), all washed down with a cool caguama. Just hope you’re the only one there, or things could get crowded.
18. IFC Center
323 Sixth Ave, at W 3rd
Late night screenings of bizarre Jodorowsky films and other artsy gems? Sign us up!
81 S. 6th Street at Berry
You’ve been going here since they opened and always hurumph a bit at the newbies, but somehow it always feels like home when you order a kiwiroska and slide into the hammock, or behind the congas, or into the arms of a slightly sketchy guy who really knows how to salsa.
20. Red Hook Ball Fields
Red Hook Park
Your friends might wonder where you disappear to on weekends between April and October, but they can always find you at the puestos by the soccer fields in Red Hook, stuffing your face with tacos de barbacoa, monster-sized huaraches and horchatas, and topping it all off with fresas con crema for dessert…. only to go in for round 2 a half hour later.
338 Bedford Ave., at S 3rd
Dinner and lunch are good, but Bonita’s the spot for brunch. Go around 2 or 3 the day after a late night out, and all aches and pains will be thoroughly cured. Guaranteed. It’s amazing what chilaquiles or huevos rancheros can do to a hangover.
22. Beacon’s Closet
Williamsburg location: 88 N. 11th St., btwn Berry & Wythe
Where you buy everyone else’s H&M and Urban Outfitters hand-me-downs, as well as some truly original gems to keep your look new and sufficiently eclectic. Not to mention, you can make a few extra bucks selling them stuff from your closet you no longer care for.
23. El Grand Morelos Diner and Bakery
727 Grand St, corner with Graham Ave
The perfect pit-stop after a late night out, this Williamsburg diner in gets pumpin’ around 4am. The tortas and tacos are to die for, and you can keep on drinking if you so desire. Be sure to put a few quarters in the juke box, and say hi to the XoXas in the window.
24. Prospect Park
Celebrate Brooklyn, lazy picnics, and impromptu soccer games (oh my!) +horseback-riding, the farmer’s market, and the Botanical Garden. A huevo. Sure, you love Central Park, but your heart’s in Prospect.
25. Jacques Torres Chocolate
DUMBO location: 66 Water St., btwn Main & Dock St.
The spicy “Wicked Hot” chocolate is just what your body needs on a cold winter day, making it somehow bearable to explore the empty East River waterfront. For those summer days, grab an ice cold hot chocolate (no, it’s not an oxymoron!) on your way to an outdoor movie in Brooklyn Bridge Park, or on your way back from the Floating Pool (LOVE the Floating Pool…).
26. PS1 and then Water Taxi Beach
22-25 Jackson Ave at 46th Ave (LIC) and Hunters Point
Outdoors, good music, cool people, booze, dancing, shoes optional. Little more screams summer than the Saturday Warm Ups at PS1. And the relatively recent addition of Water Taxi Beach allows you to keep the party going well into the night.
27. Terraza Café
40-19 Gleane St., near Roosevelt Ave
Worth making the trip on the 7 train, this tiny Elmhurst spot is one of THE best spots in the city to just hang out in. Good music (sometimes live, with a really tiny stage hanging from the ceiling), and an even better vibe, it’s basically the cosmopolatino version of the Friends coffee shop.
28. Local Project
21-36 44th Road (LIC)
It can sometimes be hot and cramped, yet LP is always a good time. Parties, concerts, film screenings, classes, and art shows are always peppered with an eclectic mix of people, and somehow all these events always combine into one big good ol’ time that frequently carries on into the next day.
29. Trade Fair Super Markets
various locations–see website
This is no C Town or Key Foods… Nor is it Whole Foods or Trader Jose’s, by any means. Trade Fair’s got food from all over the world, organized by cuisine/culture, and for super-super-cheap. Sorry Brooklyn and Manhattanites (and folks in the Bronx and Staten Island), this is a purely Queens establishment. From pao de queijo mix to 10 different kinds of arepas and other tastes from home, Trade Fair’s got it all–and is frequently open 24 hours. Visit their website or their MySpace page (yeah, they’re THAT cool) for detalles.
www.tradefairny.com and myspace.com/tradefairsupermarket
30. Queens Museum
Flushing Meadow Park
It’s a trek and a half to get there, but the museum’s panorama (to scale model) of the city makes you giddy, and the breadth of free events–from openings to the Cinemarosa film screenings and Passport Fridays–make each visit different.
+ shout-outs to Punjabi Deli, Studio B, Rubulad, and Spiegeltent, cause they’d be on our list too, but NYMag already mentioned them, and I chose to save my time and leave ’em out.
Now, let’s keep this thing going… what’s YOUR New York? Where do you fit in the NYMag categories? What’s missing from the Cosmopolatino List/Map?