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Sunday Morning Coffee: Brooklyn Bagel & Strangers in the Park

Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Co. on 63 E 8th St. New York, NY 10003

Other locations in Chelsea, Astoria-Ditmars, Astoria-Broadway, Astoria-30th Ave.

*This review is not sponsored or in collaboration with any affiliation. All opinions are my own. Due to COVID-19 and most locations being shut down or only service Delivery or Curbside, I will not be reviewing Atmosphere, Quality of Service or Aesthetics unless necessary.

Ordered: Everything Bagel with Veggie Cream Cheese ($4.30) + Bottled Water ($1.50) + Draft Iced Latte ($3.75) = $9.55 (+tip and tax)

Favorite Features: Brooklyn Bagel on E 8th has a small outdoor dining section outside of the store. The seats were spaciously set and perfect for the nice day outside.

Other: This location and all of their other locations offer Pickup and Delivery options. There is no in-store dining at this time.

Student Discount? None

Good Morning y’all. Excitement is high but motivation is low. Let’s talk.

Over a week ago now, I moved back to NYC to a tiny apartment deep in East Village with a girl I met on the internet before coming to NYU.

As weird as it sounds, I’m living my literal dream.

The street we live on is noisy, with drunks stumbling along the pavement at 3am, grabbing a slice of pizza at the 24 hour pizza shop below us, and screaming to the high heavens for no foreseen reason. There’s an old, deflated balloon that’s been hanging off the tree limb in front of my window since I got here. The first day I was here, Amelia tried to teach me how to longboard on the street outside our apartment. The people at the outdoor restaurants and shops next to us cheered me on and gave me tips when I struggled to balance. The man on the second floor has a cute dog. The upstairs neighbors have a very specific sex schedule. It’s humid and hot as hell here, so the straight hair that I arrived with has since gone back to its natural state. The owner of the bodega down the street is a very nice man, says “come back tomorrow or whenever, and pay me then” to the kid who walks up to the counter with 9 bags of Doritos but not enough money to pay for them. It’s loud outside on Saturday mornings, but it's quiet on Sundays. It’s busy on Monday nights, but it’s still on Thursdays. Each night you can hear the faint sound of trumpets and saxophones down the street along with cheering and clapping as the neighbors gather to dance together. Every night is a celebration when you’ve made it through another New York day.

Friday night I finally had the chance to experience some of New York’s finest outdoor dining. With a couple coworkers at my internship that I’d never seen in person, we went to Cacio E Pepe on 1st Ave. It’s so odd to see people you’ve only ever met and talked to via 4x6 Zoom frame, in real life.

Saturday was a lazy day. I meant to do a lot of things, but none of them wanted to get done. Saturday was also the day our couch came. Together, Amelia and I struggled to pull a 120 pound couch box up our 3 flights of stairs and then assemble it. Should we have done that? No. But nevertheless, we have a couch.

I also went to Madison Square Park that evening, for fresh air and some writing. Jazz bands played in the park, while little kids splashed and ran away from their parents on the playground. I sat there, writing out my goals for the year and staring up at the buildings around me. Squirrels continually tried to fight me. Those damn little things aren’t afraid of anyone.

That leads us to Sunday. I got kind of a late start to the day, not because I woke up late, but because I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I got up and showered around 8, and was ready to start my day by 9:30. But I wasn’t sure where to go or what to do yet. Eventually, after figuring out all my favorite local small coffee shops were closed still, I walked to Brooklyn Bagel to grab my Central Park favorites: everything bagel and veggie cream cheese, water and draft latte. Around 11 I made it to the park and walked until I found a good spot on a giant rock next to the baseball fields in Central Park South. There, I watched a big group of middle aged guys with thick New York accents and a whole stack of playful insults to spew at each other, play baseball while I ate my bagel. One of the guys comes back from relieving himself in the woods behind us and gestures to me, “Oh I heard you gonna share?”

“Oh really? Not sure about that”

“Yeah those kids that just walked by said you were a nice girl and you were gonna share. Those girls right there”

“They must’ve lied cause I’m really mean actually”

He laughed and told me to have a great day as he went back to the field and started shouting at the players while holding his maybe-4-year-old daughter.

When I finished eating I walked to a new spot just a little farther than the one I was at, to move away from the sun that was beating down on my back. I sat there and read my book for about 2 hours, while people-watching intermittently between chapters. One woman who had jogged the circle at least 4 times, stopped to speak to me on her 5th round.

“Can I ask you a question?”


“Who does your highlights? I have a friend who wants to get them done and she has your coloring but is afraid the dye will come out brassy. But yours looks more like caramel.”

“I actually got them done at home in Missouri.”

“Oh okay. Are you just visiting?”

“No no, I moved here for school about two weeks ago!”

“Are they in person”

“No mine aren’t, I’m just doing online classes from here!”

“Oh that’s fun. Have a good day sweetie.”

She jogged away in her all black velvet sweat suit, black sunglasses and black Designer fanny pack--her blonde ponytail swinging back and forth. She had to be at least 65.

I moved to my third location after about 2 hours of reading and found a nice shady spot by a bridge. I journaled for 20 minutes, talked to my dad on the phone and then moved to my fourth spot when the Central Park Rats decided to make an appearance.

I ended the day with a long phone call to my mom in the fourth spot, then walking to Dunkin for a Pumpkin Spice Latte and going home.

Oh, sweet, busy, intrusive mind, be put to rest for the day. Made some Annie’s white cheddar mac n cheese for dinner and fell asleep around 9. It’s the little things.

Back to work, there’s shit to do. Dad, how was your coffee this morning?

Piper Page

Sunday Morning Coffee

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