Day three - Dinosaur Jr, etc.
Checked out a couple of spots that I really wanted to go to yesterday. First, we stopped in at Oren's, a coffee shop near Lan's apartment that he frequents. It was reasonable, but I got the impression that great coffee wasn't their main focus. They had an enormous four-group Marzocco (it looked like a GB5, but it was hard to tell). I had an Americano, and the barista waaaaay over extracted the shot. Plus, I have to say that when I got to a place that has frappes and all kind of sweet drinks on the menu, I kind of take it a little less seriously.
Immediately after that we went to Joe, whose tagline is "The art of coffee." I had a macchiato there, and it was really nice. Joe has five locations, and is really well-designed as far as their menu and the layout of the store. I would definitely go back.
Then we went over to Shake Shack on the Upper West Side (71st/Columbus, I think). Wow. As a business, these guys are doing pretty much everything right. They make a great product, the space has a great aesthetic, friendly staff, and somehow they've managed to make being extremely busy and having a huge line part of their image and appeal. I had two shack burgers, fries, and a lemonade. It was all very good.
After eating, we made our way to Central Park, where Saviors, The Walkmen, and Dinosaur Jr were playing a free show as part of their summer concert series. Can't beat that, right? I've never heard of Saviors, but they were a really solid metal band from Oakland with lots of tattoos. The Walkmen were of course great, but Dinosaur Jr. rocked our asses off. These guys are a group of super-talented professionals who know exactly what they're doing. They were totally on fire.
I've had a few recommendations for coffee here in NYC, and I'm looking forward to checking them out today. I really want to check out Counter Culture (and possibly the throwdown on Thursday), Gimme Coffee, Ninth St. Espresso, Stumptown, Kaffe 1686, Stumptown, and Intelligentsia. Any other recommendations are very welcome. Let me know!