My friends would categorically classify me as a morning person. One of my best girlfriends likes to joke that by the time she’s out of bed on a Saturday morning, I have gotten up, read a book, run a marathon, and baked a pie. While I am not THAT much of an overachiever, I do savor the calm and quiet of an early weekend morning, before the rest of the city is on its feet. My weekend morning ritual is working out and then sitting in a quiet cafe corner and savoring a good book. Here are a few of my favorite spots, and favorite reads. (Article originally published on Elana Lyn)
A Little Taste Cafe – This teeny-tiny coffee shop is located in the heart of the Flower District in Chelsea, so walking there is a treat in and of itself. Order a latte, sit at the counter, and dive into Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates. It’s a modern treatise on racism, and should be required reading for all. Read this if you enjoyed The Color of Water by James McBride.
Matcha Bar – Matcha Bar’s second outpost in Chelsea is the perfect spot if you’re looking to branch out from coffee (but not willing to sacrifice the caffeine fix). It’s a bit quieter than some of the city’s other matcha spots (Chalait is a zoo on the weekends). Grab a matcha macciato and dive into It’s Kind of a Funny Story, by Ned Vizzini. It’s an incredible look into the mind of an NYC teenager afflicted with mental illness, and is both poignant and laugh-out-loud funny. Read this if you enjoyed The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon.
Cafe Grumpy – I love the quintessential NYC coffee shop vibe of this Chelsea cafe. This location is surprisingly spacious, and has an outdoor garden that is perfect as the weather warms up. Grab a cappuccino and dive into Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee. It revisits the adult life of one of literature’s most beloved characters, Scout Finch (now a 26-year old woman). Read this if you enjoyed To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (honestly who didn’t?).
Happy Bones – This NoLiTa gem has three little tables but a whole lot of style. It gets quite crowded on a regular basis (my theory is that people swing by for coffee while waiting for acai bowls at the neighboring Two Hands), which makes early morning prime-time for grabbing a seat. Order a flat white and dive into Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert (of Eat Pray Love fame). She tackles tapping into our own unique, creative energy in order to live a more fulfilled and inspired life. Read this if you enjoyed The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.
Pushcart – Not only is Pushcart next to one of the best new ramen spots in Chelsea (in my humble opinion), but it has a sunny wraparound counter that is the perfect spot to stake out in the AM. Grab a chai tea latte and dive into It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War, by Lynsey Addario. It’s an often-haunting memoir about Addario’s lifetime as a wartime photographer, which took her from Afghanistan to Somalia to Mexico City and back again. Read this if you enjoyed The Job by Steve Osborne.