City Guide: The Grey Dog

Anyone who lives in downtown Manhattan has been to, or at least heard of The Grey Dog. It's everyone's favorite "microchain" (a concept NYC is famous for) and the perfect place to grab an affordable bite and glass of wine, served un-ironically from miniature mason jars. Plus, Ilana gets fired from her job there in Broad City's Season 4 premiere, so it's basically the most famous spot in town. 

Of their four locations, I often find myself at the University Place digs, blending in with NYU students who fill the cozy space with their refreshing energy—beaming with excitement for life after college (fact not speculation: I've eavesdropped on enough conversations in the close corners of the cafe to confirm this statement). There's something grounding about being an outsider looking in, remembering that time of my life. It wasn't too long ago, but long enough for me to feel old when asked by new grads when I turned the tassel.

It makes me wonder what life in NYC as a college student would have been like. Would I have appreciated it in the same way I do now? Would I have been overwhelmed by its complete departure from my sheltered suburban upbringing? Would I have passed any of my classes? Rhetorical questions because truthfully, yes. My need to succeed was deeply ingrained in me by my Lawyer Parents and it wouldn't have been shaken by the tempting distractions of this beautiful city. 

But, I digress. 

Point is, I get some of my best writing done here. While some may need quiet to focus, I love finding my center in between strangers' conversations, listening to my favorite circa 2008 music blasting loudly over the speakers, and sipping budget-Cabernet. Finding comfort in my nights at The Grey Dog has made me realize just how important spots like this are. They provide that small feeling of familiarity in a city of 8 million. It's a big city, but small businesses like this make it feel more like home. 

Do you guys have any favorite spots like this in the city? Would love to know!