Maria Chimes In: Episode 10 – Seeking Refuge
In this week’s segment of Maria Chimes In, we chronicle our favorite haunts to seek refuge when the city transforms into the concrete jungle, aka, for a fleeting period loses its dreamlike appeal. As NYU graduates, we reminisced about our time spent in Greenwich Village, in the midst of Washington Square Park, and surrounded by historic buildings, there was seldom a time we couldn’t find a cozy, quaint spot to forget about the day’s challenges. We could muse for hours about our hopes and ideas for our future selves, but the lighting, of course, had to suit the particular occasion.
We rambled on about how libraries and bookstores remain near and dear to our hearts. With a library like the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library – or just Bobst – Strand Bookstore, and McNally Jackon Books all in walking distance, being surrounded by books was our safe haven. We might have overdone the obsession by hailing taxis to the New York Public Library, or trekking all the way up to Columbia’s Library to sit in mammoth-sized leather armchairs, but to each his own, right?
Our lives can take us into unfamiliar territory; the daily stresses of urban living can take its tolls. Despite our adoration for the city that has left its indelible mark on our spirits, it is essential to have an escape — a lesson we learned early on. We recognized that if we couldn’t leave the city all together, we could reclaim ourselves in the European-style tea houses, like Bosie Tear Parlor in the West Village or the PATH Cafe on Christopher Street. If the downtown madness ever gets to be too much, the Upper East/West sides will always be reminders of New York’s historic relevance; not all of Manhattan has been overridden with trendy bars and kitschy night clubs, and when the time comes, there will always be a place that will welcome you with open arms. Find it, and make it yours.