Girlfriends In The City

A few weeks ago, I went in to visit my cousin Olivia for a night of red wine, followed by dinner at a Mexican and Mediterranean fusion restaurant cleverly called Mexiterranean, and for breakfast, bacon, egg, and cheese on everything bagels. It couldn’t be topped.

Keeping up this momentum, I stopped by a coffee shop in Crown Heights called Little Zelda to speak to a new acquaintance on a random, pleasant Thursday. In order to do this on a weekday, I had to first make my way into the city. Per my usual, I at least attempted to navigate the city by train, and managed to make it into Grand Central before taking an interminably long escalator ride into the bowels of Grand Central Station. It went so deeply underground that I swore it was nearing the outer circle of Dante’s Inferno. From there I became completely lost while trying to find the Long Island train due to Grand Central’s affront towards proper signage, before finding the surface and calling an Uber. 

Little Zelda was exactly what you’d expect it to be: a cute coffee shop with a pin board for roommate listings, wedged between a Yoga studio named Arise and other types of artisal shops to wow its millennial patrons. I have never seen the show Friends and even I know that this is the type of coffee shop that could have passed as the set for Central Perk. Outdoor seating was in full effect now that Spring was upon us, so I cracked open my book and took a seat inside, watching the group of friends on the sidewalk live out a main character moment right in front of me. My mug of chai latte remained scalding and foaming at the table in front of me.

It was all and all a pretty typical jaunt into the city for me, getting mildly and harmlessly lost in Grand Central because it’s not a venture out of the house unless I “get turned around.” Fortunately, I would have far greater success a few days later.

Saturday was a point of pride for me. I took the train into Grand Central, took the shuttle to Times Square, and then took the correct train to my destination entirely on my own without getting lost in what was an unprecedented feat. I did get briefly turned around while walking, causing me to encounter the same smoking woman twice as she informed me that she “received the readings” and “had something important to tell me,” about my future presumably. While curious, I did not stop due to stranger danger, another thing that would have made my mother proud.

I arrived early at the restaurant that I was set to meet my friend at and stood outside in the giant line for nearly an hour. She joined me and we chatted, drinking tea and coffee as we waited in line. The restaurant was her idea: Breakfast by Salt’s Cure, a restaurant popular amongst the kiddies on Tik Tok. (What did people do before Tik Tok? And when did Tik Tok become society?)

Salt’s Cure stays in business by being famous for their oatmeal griddle cakes. Completely unsure of what an oatmeal griddle cake was, I ordered one anyway. As it turns out, it’s basically a pancake topped with powdered sugar and, depending on what you order, walnuts and chocolate chips. We split the banana walnut griddle cake and the chocolate griddle cake, which tasted like warm, buttered perfection with a mimosa to wash it all down.

Over our girdle cakes, there was much talk of bookish things, obviously.

On my way into New York City, I eavesdropped on the Italian conversation being had in the row in front of me in order to practice my Italian comprehension. On my ride back into Grand Central I was passed a clipboard by the woman sitting next to me to sign the petition to end “The Evil Chinese Communist Government.”

I managed to get back home just as easily as I’d left it, exchanging downtown for uptown and retracing my steps. 

Between my proper use of the subway system and my waiting in line for a high-end brunch place in the Village, I’m getting my New Yorker moves.

The Tragic Queen,


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