I rarely go above 27th Street. Downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn is the undisputed nexus of culture. It is populated by bars, restaurants, cafés, boutiques, everything one desires. But growing up far away from New York, on the other side of the world, Manhattan to me was the Manhattan of the movies - uptown. It was Diane Keaton and Woody Allen overlooking the East River, it was the glittering, transcendent windows of Bergdorf Goodman, it was the plush little corners of Central Park that transport you to a place far away from the bustle of the city, it was Audrey Hepburn wearing a floor-length Givenchy gown and pearls, eating a croissant outside Tiffany's. Heck, it was Blair and Serena sparring outside The Met.
Ever so often, I find solace in heading uptown, walking past the fantastical windows, sipping espresso while watching the crowds. My friend Darius and I visited Ralph's Coffee Shop, located at the Ralph Lauren flagship on 5th Avenue. The coffee was good, the conversation was better.