New York can be a strange place to visit. You see millions of people in an urgent rush to do whatever shit it is that they are doing and you may find yourself thinking “what is so important? Should I be that busy? Is there some shit I should be doing that I’m not?”
In fact, this is probably true even if you live in NYC. There is so much cool shit to do that you have to work hard to make sure you are doing the best shit and not wasting your time with the… not best shit? Whatever. What I’m trying to say is that the best things in NYC are best found with a little guidance. So, today I present you two great things in NYC. If you live in NYC, you should go and enjoy a new little something , if you visit NYC then here are two great spots to include in your plans , if you have no plans to come to NYC then this is even better: “experience” these two awesome spots from the comfort of your phone/computer and feel cultured and smart for having done so. Life is so easy.
Hi-Collar specializes in lovingly prepared high quality coffee. They also specialize in impossibly intricate versions of normally simple food. Order the pancakes and marvel at the number of steps involved. Oh, there is more, they also specialize in the Japanese Jazz age.
Maybe that is too much for one brain to take in all at once. Hi-Collar is a type of Western-inspired Japanese Cafe known as a kissaten. You don’t have to remember that word because it will probably be useful exactly zero times in your life, but just know that this is a thing that exists. Kissaten. If you go to Japan you will find many more of them, in other parts of the world not as much. They specialize in coffee and traditional western dishes prepared in a very Japanese way. Kissaten. Got it.
Honestly, you don’t need to know any of this. What matters is that Hi-Collar is a beautiful escape. It is the type of place where the outside world melts away and time stops while coffee beans are worshiped into producing coffee that is bomb-as-fuck . Careful thought is obvious in every last detail. Cups, plates, flatware, side dishes, syrup holders: all wonderful. I won’t even talk about the bathroom. Go to the bathroom. Appreciate the bathroom.
Hi-Collar will make you love jazz even if just a little tiny bit. That is what this place really offers. Beyond the excellent edibles Hi-Collar offers you an all too brief step into another life. A life where you have time to sit and read because your coffee is going to take a while as hot water is syphoned through freshly ground beans . A life where everyone is all smiles and loves what they do. A life where you listen to, understand, and appreciate jazz. That is why I want you to know about Hi-Collar. You can eat and drink deliciously at so many places in NYC, Hi-Collar complements deliciousness with concinnity.
214 E 10th St New York, NY 10003 --- East Village b/t 1st Ave & 2nd Ave
If you are aware that matcha is a thing that exists and is very fancy, then the only thing that will surprise you about Ippodo is that you can actually afford to go there. The space feels like a museum. You may find yourself afraid to touch anything and putting your arms behind your back for no really good reason besides that everything looks impossibly expensive, ancient, or both. Seriously? I’m allowed to be here? Shouldn’t I be wearing a suit? A tux? I don’t know, a space suit? What outfit is special enough to let me be in a place like this?
Watching the process of your drink being made is worth the price alone. It is like you are paying for a little show and they throw in a free beverage at the end as a little parting gift. How nice. If you are aren’t a matcha fanatic then the quality is so far above your standards that it hardly matters . But isn’t it amazing that you can come hear and taste some of the best of the best as if you were knowledgeable of all fine things? Well, if not, don’t worry. Ippodo clearly wants guests to leave pleased and they have a secret weapon to make sure that no one leaves unhappy: say hello to the matcha slushy.
Yes! I love it. Sure you miss out on the beautiful matcha preparation show, but the matcha slushy is unequivocally delish. Natural sugar, matcha, slushy ice, and a sprinkle of matcha powder on top. I want a matcha slushy machine in my home.
Let me tell you. It is hard for me to share Ippodo because it is my secret weapon. When meeting for coffee in midtown, expectations of quality are normally nonexistent. So think how you can wow whatever fancy friend of a friend contact you are connecting with when bringing them to Ippodo. Or perhaps you are visiting and want to offer your group some relief from the nightmare that was Times Square. Look at what a worldly, intelligent, and attractive human you suddenly are.
So. Ippodo gives you options. You can come for the extremely high quality matcha, the museum quality space, the preparation show, the matcha slushy, to show off your knowledge of fine things, or just as an excuse to wear your space suit out of the house. Ippodo is attainable luxury in all of its attainable-ness and luxury-ness.
125 E 39th St New York, NY 10016 --- Midtown East b/t Park Ave & Lexington Ave
Kids can’t read, right? I’m pretty sure that means I’m safe swearing with impunity here. Unless you are reading this site aloud to your children. In that case: I don’t understand your parenting style but I FULLY support it ↩
If you have already been then… go again? But also feel like a pretty cool NY person ↩
Seriously, you need to make plans if you are visiting. There is no way you will manage to do even half of the things you are planning because there will be a million other things that catch your eye ↩
No, no I do not mean Ippudo. Ef that place. Don’t even get me started on broke-ass Ippodo. Oh. Oops. Heads up to the parents out there, don’t read this footnote to your kids, it includes harsh language and broke-ass over-hyped ramen shops ↩
I wanted to go for a more divine metaphor there but I was afraid the kids wouldn’t get it. I’m also trying to up my hyphen game so… you know… ↩
Yes, they do syphon coffee. They also do aeropress and excellent pour overs. Somehow the aeropress costs more than the pour overs though?!? I would love them for that reason alone ↩
If you are a matcha fanatic then, well, respect. That is a pretty cool hobby ↩