spring green on the west side

the only thing i like even more than sunday brunch is finding time for saturday brunch and leisurely, sun-filled strolls through the city.  gifted by 20-degrees warmer than normal weather for this time of year in the city, my weekend started out idling in the cafe gitane over at the jane hotel–surprisingly friendly and unharried for this much-hyped, ambience-heavy manhattan locale–on a day so lovely that it felt good simply chatting in the sun on the hotel’s front steps the thirty minutes or so for our table (brunch, what are you gonna do?).  the high-ceilinged, mint-walled cafe is like something out of jeunet’s film, amelie, but i mean that in the best possible way.  checkerboard floors, vintage details, waitresses in matching green retro shifts, and french-moroccan food–if it weren’t all done so impeccably and with such a welcoming air, it would be downright prissy but instead feels warm and refined.  after a friday spent gorging myself, i felt i did the place a bit of a disservice having only an iced mint tea and yellowfin ceviche salad, but will soon return for one of the rum punch cocktails or spicy bloody marys, the avocado toast, spicy olives and oranges, and likely one of the couscous concoctions.  but even so, it was perfect. pics courtesy of katie sokoler for the gothamist

then off to the highline park for the first time this year, which will surely be more lush and scenic once all of the greenery comes back to life or is replanted, but was a fine way to wile away part of the afternoon, all the same.  ambling back south toward the subway through the meatpacking into chelsea, i stopped to peruse the menu at the new colicchio and sons which looks fairly excellent in the expansive new space by this celebrity chef, and finally we ducked into chelsea market and considered moroccan poufs and spanish wines before succumbing to the james perse pop-up sale to scoop up a few super-soft tee shirts for what they should cost instead of what they do.  unexpected bonus.  i know that the weather will change overnight and we will find ourselves back in cloudy, cooler, rainy days but on a weekend so clear and bright it was hard to take pictures outdoors, with nyers’ moods lifted enough that everyone seemed courteous and leisurely, happy to yield right of way on the sidewalks, it’s hard not to feel lucky.

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