Locale :: The Hungarian Pastry Shop
I love New York but it can be tiring. Since moving here I understand more than ever the need for quiet sometimes. However, the city is full of pockets of light, both figurative and literal and I love it for that.
One of my favorite quiet places I have found is the Hungarian Pastry Shop at 111th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. It can be crowded, but it is usually with people coming in and out to order pastries, people quietly reading and writing at the tables, and scattered conversations.
It's a place for words. The bathroom walls are full of writing and I'm told Madeline L'Engle used to go there to write. Its right across the street from St John the divine, a great place to wander and look at architecture and the rotating art displays there, as well as the permanent sculptures outside and in the facade. There is a poets' corner at the cathedral , dedicated to American poets throughout history. The place is quiet and strange and sublime and when the organ is echoing through the place, it is so holy.
The Hungarian pastry shop has excellent pastries and drinks and no internet last time I checked. It's great. It feels like a slice of a different world. I recommend going on a morning and taking your time there. Bring the journal you've neglected too long, or the book you've been meaning to read.