Today is the 15th anniversary of my move to New York City (!!!), so in honor of my anniversary, I’m going to list five things that characterized my early time here in the city.

1. DTUT: when I first moved here, my boyfriend (at the time) and I stayed with his brother on the Upper East Side, at E. 83rd Street and 1st Avenue. It took a few months for me to find a job, so in the meantime I spent A LOT of time hanging out at a nearby coffeeshop, DTUT. Back then the place was located on 2nd Avenue near E. 84th Street (it’s since moved a few blocks north). The place was very cozy and filled with lots of lounge chairs and couches. I’d go in the morning and get either a bagel and cream cheese or a quiche, and of course coffee. Then I’d spend about three hours sitting there reading, writing in my journal, reading the newspaper, and doing crossword puzzles. Mind you, this was in 2001 and 2002 and I didn’t have a smartphone to entertain myself with (though I think I had a laptop then…I honestly can’t even remember). I have such fond memories of all the analog time I spent there.

Photo from Pinterest

2. Upright Citizens Brigade: the boyfriendĀ I moved to NYC with was very into the comedy scene, and when we first arrived in town we spent a TON of time at UCB, which was at the timeĀ located on W. 22nd Street in Chelsea. I saw the four founders perform there quite a bit, as well asĀ so many of the comedians that pop up here, there, and everywhere. I especially likedĀ ASSSSSCAT, which is still a Sunday night staple of the theater.

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 28: (L-R) Original founding members Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh attend The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre Presents: The 15th Anniversary Del Close Improv at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre on June 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)
(L-R) Original founding members Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)

3. Peter McManus Cafe:Ā UCB shows were most often followed by drinks at McManus, a favorite local watering hole of the comedy players. The bar still stands today; I’ve popped in there on occasion over the years and it’s comforting because not a single thing has changedā€”even the bathroom still has that disgusting continuous cloth towel contraption for drying your hands.

Photo credit: American Public House Review
Photo credit: American Public House Review

4. David’s Bagels: when I first moved here, there was a David’s Bagels located on the UES not far from where I was living, and I ate there quite a bit. There was also an E. 14th Street location close to my apartment when I lived in the East Village, so I went there almost daily back then.Ā To this day, David’s Bagels are still my favorite bagels in all of NYC! It looks like they only have one remaining location, by Stuy Town, but they oftenĀ land on “top NY bagel lists.” I especially like their veggie tofu cream cheese…there’s just something special about it. Their bagels are SO DAMN GOOD, especially when they’re hot out of the oven!

David's Bagels are literally everything. Photo credit:
David’s Bagels are literally everything. Photo credit:

5. Ludlow Street: my former bf and I moved into our first apartment together after four months of crashing at his brother’s UES place. We found a one bedroom apartment on the Lower East Side at 150 Ludlow Street, between Stanton and Rivington. The neighborhood was so different back thenā€”we lived there right around the time it was just beginningĀ to evolve into more of an upscale, clubs-and-condos sort of area. It was grittier and more hipstery, and we spent time in places up and down the streetĀ like Luna Lounge, Motor City Bar, Barramundi, Local 138 (which still exists), and Max Fish. Pianos actually opened up while we were living there, and I felt right at home in their upstairs room because the view out the window was almost exactly the same as it was from our apartment, just shifted a few doors down.

My first NYC apartment was located at 150 Ludlow Street. Photo credit:

Thanks for taking this little trip down memory lane with me!