This weekend, I was lucky enough to hang around at three downtown locations, all of which were very different and had their own special flair. Oh, and don't worry! I will be posting one of my much-anticipated writing experiments sometime soon (maybe even at the end of this post).
Friday, I had an undeniable urge for shrimp. Unfortunately, all the uptown restaurants were too upscale for my student wages, so my friend and I ventured downtown, picked up two more friends, and headed over to City Crab. Their atmosphere was lively; the greeters joked with us and everyone was chatting in the low light. We mounted some stairs and headed towards a long table, where we took a photograph of our thumbs* (seems to be something of a theme by now, isn't it?) and ordered some food.
I overall believe that this restaurant is a great place to gather snippets of conversation, but the rooms are loud and crowded at dinnertime, so as a writer who wants to sit in the same place for a while, you may not want to set yourself up there. On my own part, I ordered something I couldn't actually eat (buffalo shrimp, way too spicy) and had to send it back - they were nice enough about that, but the waiter seemed tense throughout our meal. That may have just been a personal experience, however.
On Sunday, another gorgeous weekend day, I began traversing downtown on a school scavenger hunt project (looking for Mark Twain in the Big Apple), and then decided to stay because the weather was so nice. I marched into a small smoothie shop called Mom's Cooking. The name is somewhat misleading - I have never seen my mother make mango/peach/pineapple smoothies - but the products were excellent and the woman behind the counter was cheerful and accommodating. Plus, the little shop had a lot of great signs and interesting layout items; I am not an artist, but I bet that you could have just as much fun sketching that store as you would writing in it.
I felt that I could sit there all day, but there is not a lot of seating to stay at. If they were busy, you might have to skedaddle after a short while. The atmosphere was really calming and it is a really cute hangout for a nice day.
Later that same day, a friend of mine met up with me downtown and we comparison shopped for sushi. We finally decided on Iron Sushi, which is a long restaurant with a calm Japanese feel (although I believe that the waiter and cook spoke Chinese to one another; please correct me if you find me wrong). There were not a lot of people there and, while my friend dined on her sushi, we overheard a radical conversation about time travel and monsters from a couple sitting a few tables away.
In short, the atmosphere encourages writing and I believe that you could sit and drink tea for a while in that shop. Though, like any restaurant, at a certain point the owners may want you out, the restaurant was well-lit and had great wallpaper (multicolored and patterned).
Finally, although I did not actually get to write in this place, I want to recommend going to the Cure Thrift Shop. They have really great items and more than a little kitsch. The picture featuring the olden time bicycle is the top floor while the bottom floor has a wealth of clothing options. And all of the money goes to diabetes cure research, so you won't feel guilty about spending some cash there (I did, and I think I will be heading back to donate my winter clothes - give a little, get a little). It is also downtown, but I highly recommend; it is worth the hike if you're from uptown!
*That photograph of us at City Crab will be forthcoming - my camera had died and I have to get this photo from my friend.
This post is growing longer and longer, so I will make my writing a separate post to come later this week! Sorry to disappoint you, people who have read to the bottom of this post already.
A bit of bad news. I have officially quit writing for ScriptFrenzy 2010. I just could not bring myself to write a screenplay; I thought my idea would fit seamlessly into a script format, but alas, the ideas will not jump from my brain onto the page. I feel self-conscious around my characters to the point of awkward silence and listlessness. So, good luck to everyone who is continuing!
Read more of my writing in strange places reviews.
And check out some more posts featuring my photography.