A Brunch State of Mind

On a regular morning, breakfast marks the start to a new day. From a bowl of oatmeal to a cup of Greek yogurt, the first meal is meant to fuel your body for the day ahead at a time when you may be tempted to crawl back into bed. Over the months, I’ve learned that as much as I would like to sleep in for a bit more, getting up just 15 minutes early and having that extra time for myself is my pick-me-up: a little something that gets me feeling more lively and puts me in a better mindset for the whole day. Even when I would be running on five hours of sleep (or less), I try to stick to my routine of eating a quick breakfast while catching up on my emails, reading the news and listening to whatever music my heart desires. Believe me, though – there are definitely those days when I hear my alarm go off and refuse to take it seriously (and then days when I just don’t hear my alarm at all). It seems that whenever I need coffee the most, getting up in time to look presentable and grab coffee is impossible. Where’s the weekend at?

On weekends, breakfast brunch is the most important meal. It’s the perfect chance to indulge in some good food while catching up with your friends; it’s a conscious effort on my part to break away from the weekday routine. In between school and/or work during the week, we deserve to relax after all. For me, brunch is that chunk of time I carve out to kick back, breathe, and appreciate. In the past year, trying out new brunch places was my way of exploring New York City as I walked to different neighborhoods and discovered something unique about each. New York is not all skyscrapers. You could easily go from a pleasant street of charming brownstones in Greenwich Village to a sophisticated spot full of fashionable boutiques and restaurants in Soho within a block (Side note: It’s also quite fascinating to see another side of the city on weekends – without all the hustle and bustle, and considerably fewer men in suits and ties).

The truth is, New York really is of multiple personalities: elegant, industrial, chic, ethnic…you name it. Naturally, that is what pops into my head whenever I get asked the “what do you love the most about New York” question. The city has it all, even in terms of brunch alone. There are endless, and I mean endless, brunch options across different neighborhoods. Whether you’re craving the classic Belgian waffles or the ultimate Southern comfort food, whether you’re in search of a hipster atmosphere or simply a space to unwind, and whether you’re in the mood for a short stroll down the block or an adventurous subway ride, you’ll end up somewhere you wished for.

So right after the blizzard this past winter, I trekked through snow just for brunch. This probably makes me a true brunch enthusiast. But let it be known: I also had my worst brunch experience in the city. Long story short, if there’s ever a wait at your favorite brunch spot, do NOT give in to the brunch place across the street that has no wait even if it has good Yelp reviews. Lesson learned: there is no wait for a reason. If you’re the type who would rather not wait, make sure to hit your spot a little earlier next time to beat the crowd (i.e. for Jack’s Wife Freda, get there by 10:30 am and you should be good). That aside, however, having a brunch state of mind has allowed me to take time to pause, de-stress, appreciate my surroundings and get to know the city that I’ve come to call home. Life is busy enough, so why not let a brunch mentality help us recharge? Xoxo, KT

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