Bohemia Blog by Agent Kevin Christopher Martinez
As a Manhattan Resident since July 2010, I have seen a lot of changes come to the streets and my own apartment buildings in Washington Heights, the place I have called home since moving here.
With the addition of restaurant chains, the most noticeable addition has been the homegrown restaurants and bars that have made Queens and Brooklyn neighborhood favorites, and have finally started to pop up on the Streets of Uptown Manhattan.
As the area not only appeals to artists, actors, hospital residents, recent graduates of one of the 5 Universities that are located above 96th street, not having to trek on the subway all the way down to the UWS or Midtown to have a drink or light bites with friends is a welcomed change to the neighborhood.
I want to touch on two local spots that have caught my eye, and they just so happen to be on the same block.
The first is Kazaa Wine Bar, a place that opened up a little over two years ago, and while it has a feel akin to a Brooklyn bar with its decoration and ambience, it has the flavor of Washington Heights as well from its patrons. You will find those locals that have called Washington Heights their home since their parents first moved into the buildings when they were built before WWII, to the new transplants from the Midwest or the South, who decided to give New York a shot and landed up in Washington Heights because of its affordable rents.
The best thing about Kazaa is their Happy Hour (Everyday 4 – 8 p.m.) Everyone is always looking for a good Happy Hour. With great beers, wines, and one of my favorites – Sangria – you could keep the pitchers flowing while also having a great environment to wind down from the day.
They also have some great Bar Bites to keep you full, and they are much more decadent than just bar nuts. My personal favorite is their flatbread of the day – you can never go wrong with that!
The second bar is Pocion – which is Washington Heights first and only Vegan and Organic Food and Bar. From the owners of Pick & Eat, another healthy eats restaurant that focuses on fresh foods and ingredients in their sandwiches, salads and soups, they have gone one step further and given you the nightlife experience, while not compromising on your health.
While I could go into a ton of my favorite eats at this place, I don’t have to look any further than their Vegan Empanadas. You won’t even know that there is no meat in them, I promise.
Then, while all of their Cocktails hit one or more of your Spirits desires, I don’t think you can go wrong with Oxigeno, which starts with Gluten Free Vodka, and is mixed with Coconut water, chia seeds, beet juice and lime tonic. I am telling you, just try it and thank me later.
So, as things continue to blossom uptown, I feel like soon we are going to have to stop heading Downtown to go out, and start focusing, not only on the great rental prices, but the top Nightlife Hotspots that Uptown Manhattan has to offer.