As I've already told you, New Yorkers are nuts about brunch. Seriously, completely bonkers.
I dig brunch, and breakfast food in general, but there was one place in the city whose brunch I had yet to try (okay, there about 500 billion places, but I'm taking artistic license). That place, is my favorite restaurant in Manhattan and possibly even the city... Cafe Orlin.
You can find it between 1st and 2nd avenues on St. Marks Place (which I'll tell you more about in a wee bit) just under a simple, unassuming neon sign that says "Cafe".
I had made the trek to this beacon of culinary wonder to meet up with my college roommate/dear friend, Lisa, to stuff our faces and catch up on life. I've had dinner at Cafe Orlin several times, in fact it was the first place I ate when I moved to NYC, but I had somehow managed to completely miss out on their brunch offerings! Que triste!
While I waited for Lisa to arrive, I dove right in with some coffee.
Now, I'm normally a tea girl, but the weather was dreary and wretched and coffee seemed like it would perk me up. And boy did it! By the time Lisa arrived, I was so pepped up, we got to chatting and forgot to look at the menus...our poor server.
I ended up getting one of the brunch specials. A delightfully fluffy goat cheese, spinach, and roasted tomato omelet with a deliciously creamy potato salad and lettuce.
Lisa got "Diana's Breakfast": two eggs any style, served with hummus, tabouli, and pita. Not going to lie, I had some gluten-envy with this one.
We sat and talked for hours and basked in the lovely urban, Mediterranean ambiance with all the other brunchers.
The place was all decked out for Christmas, even the light fixtures!
After another round of coffee, which basically turned me into a cracked out monkey ready to run a marathon, Lisa and I parted ways and I decided to walk much farther than actually necessary.
I meandered down St. Marks in the rain. Now for those not familiar with New York, St. Marks is a rather famous street and has a bit more character than the adjacent streets in The Village. Basically, on St. Marks, you can get a hotel, a tattoo, a bong, some organic produce, weed, and a fake ID all before you go to get your taxes done by someone who doesn't speak English. I'm sure it was much edgier in its punk heyday, but St. Marks is one of those spots that makes New York, New York.
I tried to capture some of it for you, but St. Marks must be experience...if only for the myriad smells.
Did I forget to mention you could also buy socks?
Even good old Trash and Vaudeville had their Christmas spirit out and sparkling.
I headed on toward my trusty old West 4th Street stop along the slick and wet cobble stones of The Village and got all nostalgic for my college days.
I wandered through my favorite old lunch spot, Washington Square Park, and wished that it was sunny and warm so I could lay in the grass reading and wasting time.
Along the way, I met some squirrels.
New York squirrels are real jerks. They have spent their whole lives having food handed to them by humans and are therefore not afraid of you at all and far too agressive! There's even a guy who sits in the park on sunny days with food and lets them just crawl all over him... and they do so as if it is their right!
This little guy cooperated just long enough for me to take a picture and then proceeded to make a terrible sound and chase me away.
Perhaps he has been trained by the chess players who are normally battling each other in this corner of the park to protect their turf.
After being chased out of the park by the demon squirrel, I decided it was time to get myself home. I mean once the nature has turned on you, it can only go downhill from there.