This wasn’t originally a contest, but there was definitely a winner. Yes, there were outside factors, such a weather/cupcake consumption, that coloured our opinions – but in the end I know where I’d go back.
Greenwich Village was not originally on my hit-list for this trip, but it was a nice day and a walk through the area sounded like a good idea. When I travel I try to do new things, just to keep things fresh. Sometimes you find places you like and sometimes you don’t.
The Village was a “like” for me. It wasn’t as busy as Times Square, the buildings were nice, and it had the original location for Magnolia’s.
I spent more time wandering around, enjoying the mostly empty streets and the quiet and pretending I lived in one of the buildings, instead of taking pictures. Apologies to those who like photos – sometimes I’m so busy being in the moment that I forget about capturing it on film.
It felt wrong to take a photo of the building that served as the exterior for Carrie’s apartment in “Sex and the City“. You got the impression that the people who lived there were not fond of existing in such a famous apartment. I did, however, take a picture of my friend in front of the building, because it *is* a famous apartment, dammit, so if you live there you have to expect that.
I had no qualms about the “Friends” location, though. I only wish I’d gotten a coffee at the shop. […Actually, it appears that I didn’t take a picture of the “Friends” location… Hmm… maybe it’s on another memory stick or something… Well, you can watch “Friends” and look at the outside shot of the building, and that’s what it looks like.]
I just started watching the series (I’ve seen episodes but nothing close to the whole thing) and every time I see the exterior of Central Perk I think “I was there”. It’s the little things, people.
Other than the two buildings and cupcakes, we had no other plans for the area. Courtney and I just wandered , walking in random directions until we finally decided that it was time to get back to Times Square. It was the kind of side-trip that makes you realize, ‘yeah I am on vacation’.
As for Williamsburg, well there were issues from the start. It was raining and it was 11am (the time was actually more of a factor than the weather), but there were vintage shops in the area and we were determined to check it out and have a good wander-around.
The rain meant that walking wasn’t as fun. It was just rainy enough for an umbrella, but thankfully it wasn’t as rainy as it would get later on that day. We passed by Barcade (which sounds awesome – beer and arcade games!), but since it wasn’t yet 12pm we decided to wait until later for a visit.
We continued walking until we reached the first vintage store on our list. The only problem was that the store didn’t open until 12:30 and it was currently 11:30. We looked through the windows and decided we’d have to visit later, when it was actually open.
So we continued to wander in the rain. We came across another place, but it didn’t open until 12. The best decision, we decided on, was to find a restaurant and hope that everything would be open after our meal.
We went to a Thai place, but (surprise, surprise) they weren’t open until 12pm. Instead of standing around we walked to another place – a Chinese restaurant.
You all know what’s coming – right? Not open until 12.
So if you’re going to Williamsburg, don’t go until after 12pm. Just to be safe, maybe you should wait until late afternoon.
In the end we decided that we were tired of walking in the rain and waiting for places to open, so we went back to the subway, travelled back to Manhattan, and were seated at Hummus Kitchen with a glass of sangria each by 12:30pm.
Dear Williamsburg, you seemed nice, but it was not in the cards for us that day. Maybe another time – maybe not. Let’s see where life takes us.
Brooklyn later redeemed itself with the Brooklyn Flea Market in Fort Green, which we visited on Saturday. There were so many cool things there, but not many that were suitcase-friendly (large metal ampersand, I’m looking at you). I should have taken pictures, but I was too busy grabbing snacks (a common problem). It was a great place to wander around and in a nice neighbourhood.
(Endnote: I read on Wikipedia that Williamsburg is “an influential hub for indie rock, hipster culture, and the local art community”. This probably explains it – Williamsburg is way too cool for me. Also it’s the setting for the show “2 Broke Girls”, which hurts. That show is AWFUL – so awful that I’m not even going to link to it.)