On the corner of 129th and Lennox Ave in Harlem, you’ll find the Lennox Cafe hidden away.
As soon as I arrived I went over and the lovely servers were great. After flying for 20+ hours I didn’t want to make decisions and they made them all for me. I needed a freshly squeezed OJ to pep me up and an everything bagel with plain cream cheese.
I hadn’t got out any US cash yet and they were very sweet and gave me the two items even though I was slightly short. The next time I was back in I made sure I gave them a big tip.
The second time I visited I got the deliciously fresh and sweet OJ and a raisin and cinnamon bagel with plain cream cheese. I was more decisive on this day! I took my bagel into the city on the subway and ate it on 34th street in one of the little parks.
I’ve visited New York a number of times now and this time I wanted something a little different.
I usually stay in midtown and a friend offered for me to stay with her in Harlem – an area I haven’t explored, apart from Donosaur Ribs. Mmmm ribssss….
It’s given me a whole new perspective on the city and I’m very glad I accepted.
I’ve walked all around 129th to 125th on Lennox each day to get the subway. I even walked right to 40th street through Central Park!
I had an incredible dining experience at Sylvia’s, great bagels & OJ at Lennox Cafe, a beautiful pizza at Babbalucci’s and enjoyed wine to soulful sounds at Red Rooster in the wee hours.
Come to think of it, Sylvia’s gospel Sundays and Red Rooster at 2am were so of my fave experiences so far on this trip! Probably because they are both so authentic. Sylvia’s is full of locals coming in to eat soul food & listen to the gospel after Sunday church. At Red Rooster, the music was incredible and everyone was grooving. We were the minority and it came complete with a dealer out the back and a line up.
You get a few funny looks from the locals but I’ve always felt safe. There’s even a Michelin starred sushi restaurant across the road too! Unfortunately it’s closed Sunday for lunch when I wanted to dine.
There’s always fun characters on the street, laughing and having fun with their friends. Of course, there is the sad side too, the homeless and those who can’t afford to live well.
A new perspective and one I am thankful to have had.
We lunched at Babbalucci on my first day in New York for a group lunch. It’s a cozy Italian restaurant nestled away around 127th on Lennox Ave.
I had all but chosen the eggplant parmigiana but then I found the pizza menu! Man, do they have an impressive pizza menu. I’m not a massive pizza fan but these had such unique flavours I couldn’t not! I finally chose the Honey Pie, a white based pizza of ricotta, mozzarella, gorgonzola and hot peppers (jalapeños), spicy salami with a honey truffle sauce.
It was amazing, the flavours all melded together well and the truffle with the seeet honey at the end finished it off. The pizza was traditionally cooked to perfection in a wood fire oven with a crispy base.
Miguel had a pizza with duck prosciutto on it. It was very dark and had a sweet sauce on it, a very interesting combination.
After hopping into bed at 7am I slept until about 10 when John and Chrissy got up.
Jay came home in a fluster, her card wouldn’t work in the cab and the cabbie was waiting downstairs for payment. Not only did John run down and pay for her cab but her bought her a coffee up too.
We all sat around and chatted, I was trying to keep my eyes open. Eventually Jay and I tried to nap again for a few hours but my berrocca had kicked in and I had no luck falling asleep.
It was my NZ/ Aus bday so I skyped my family and opened some of my lovely gifts they had sent over. I told them I wish it would snow.
We had pre-booked a brunch with a bottle of champagne, 8 welcome cocktails and a pitcher of mimosa so was eager to get there.
I’d lost my stockings and Jay didn’t have any so we rushed to the chemist to grab some before the brunch. Coming out of the chemist, it started to snow. I squealed I was so happy.
When we arrived at Hotel Chantelle, they didn’t have our booking, didn’t know about the event and weren’t going to honour our vouchers. Plus the kitchen had closed. What a mess. We mucked around waiting for ages and they finally said we could order breakfast, they’d keep the kitchen open. Long story short, when they finally honoured our vouchers we ended up with HEAPS of alcohol, too much in fact so we invited people over to drink it with us.
When we went to leave they true to charge me for all the alcohol. Then they screwed up the receipt, then again. Then my card wouldn’t work so I had to run to the bank. By now the snow was falling heavily and everything was white.
Back upstairs at the bar they’d screwed up the bill again! I had to find the me manger myself. Not impressed.
We met John back at the apartment for some drinks then went out for more drinks. We went to Harlem for ribs – holy moly they were good. They get their own blog post too.
We kicked on back in midtown for some drinks and walked home at midnight which turned into my Northern America bday.
Home for a decent nights sleep before our last day in NYC.
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