Boogie on Bleeker

Most of my early memories of New York center around around Bleeker Street. It cuts right through the middle of the West Village, and I remember my fascination of the look and romance of the area. Small French restaurants, understated trendiness, and with all the history of writers and actors and cool people, who wouldn’t want to soak up a little local atmosphere. Unfortunately the open topped tourist buses moved in ( mainly to accommodate Sex & the City’s Magnolia Bakery ) soaking up more than their fair share, and the street became commercial rather than captivating. But even though we found alternatives to the historic and good Johns, I still went back regularly to buy tea and recently noticed things starting to change. Amy’s Bread moved in, as did Murray’s Cheese and gradually hat shops and designers and new restaurants started to appear.

On the weekend Sean & I were on the hunt for a new coffee spot on the lower west side, and were not having a lot of luck until we heard the harmonizing of an archipelago group in front of Amy’s. We’ve seen these guys before in Soho – they just pick a spot, start singing, and the traffic stops. Just as well, as otherwise we might have missed Roma’s. While we were having a James Brown moment, we suddenly saw the square pizza in the window. Yes, square! The pizza counter at the front opens up to restaurant tables and a small garden at the back, and we were soon ensconced with a couple of glasses of pinot grigio and the special of the day – margherita and buffalo mozzarella. Having come to appreciate pizza late in life and then exclusively the thin New York style, I was totally impressed with the rustic, real tomato deliciousness of this pizza. Is that a word? How also do you describe the crust? It wasn’t so much a crust, for me it was somewhere between a really good foccacia bread and a croissant – light, chewy and wholesome. Good grief, what have I been missing? And that’s without talking about the tiramisu…

The great thing is that New York is constantly evolving, and whether you are looking for music or mangiare, the good things in life are undeniably linked.

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