They say that to officially be a New Yorker you have to have lived here at least 10 years. I think that to officially be a New Yorker, you have to have at least one restaurant you consider home.
(That, or your Seamless delivery person is the only other human besides your parents whose number you have memorized.)
To have “your spot” in this city is like declaring a safety zone during tag. It’s a comforting answer to the eternally stressful question, “Where should we get dinner?,” and it’s an automatic reflex when asked, “What’s the best place to go for drinks?”
Jerry, Elaine and George had Toms. Friends had Central Perk. Were there newer fictional restaurants being buzzed about? Surely. Was the television equivalent of the New York Times’ food critic writing about the hottest chef in town? I’d assume so. But time after time these characters found themselves in the comfort of the same booth at the same place.
One website gets it: Knowlita, a site that offers both sweatshirts and art, sells prints of restaurants in the Nolita neighborhood that many New Yorkers (according to the Royal They and the Royal ME) spend far more time in than our own kitchens. I, for one, know how to use the toaster at Sant Ambroeus Lafayette far better than my own…
(If this guy looks familiar that’s because he’s the stylish Alireza Niroomand.)
…and Leandra dresses like the staff at Jack’s Wife Freda so that no one blinks an eye when she goes behind the bar.
(If she looks familiar that’s because she’s Maya Jankelowitz from a previous It’s Kind of a Funny Story.)
This week, Knowlita’s resident artist Massimo Mongiardo has finally captured the two beloved downtown spots, in addition to a slew of others like Café Gitane, La Esquina, and The Smile. Which is perfect, because it means I can finally bring a little bit of home to the walls of my unoccupied kitchen.
Maybe they’ll do my Seamless guy next!
What about you? What’s your spot? Can I come?