jessica kane union square east village city of saints overt nyc follow the girl

“I believe that coffee is the glue that keeps this city together.” When it comes to coffee, croissants and all other members of the carb family our girl Jessica would know best. So far, her diary has covered the need-to-know basics of navigating a dynamic neighborhood like Union Square (just remember you read it here first!). Now we’re heading a little further downtown into the East Village, an area of the city known all to well for a truly creative cast of characters (with fun restaurants, music venues and shops to match!). We were thrilled to hang with Jessica over a cup of coffee at East Village favorite City of Saints for a few more truths on the city’s coffee scene, the East Village neighborhood and a Spring Saturday in the neighborhood. Check out our full catch-up in her third diary entry below.

jessica kane union square east village city of saints overt nyc follow the girl

Oh coffee – how we love it, hate it and need it! How is coffee apart of your “city routine” and how did you first come across City of Saints?

My daily coffee keeps me sane — both because I’m addicted to caffeine and because I love the ritual. It’s also my personal reward at the end of a tough workout class. During the week, I either grab a cup of street coffee or get some at the office, and that’s when I know it’s time to get to work. City of Saints is my favorite afternoon escape since it’s right across the street from my office — plus they carry the best pastries, which is essential for me. A colleague mentioned a new local, one-off coffee shop when they first opened and I’ve been going ever since!

Carbs, uhh we mean croissants (same difference!) are essentials for us too. But let’s face it: coffee is so much a part of the city lifestyle. Has that been true for you and what’s your earliest memory of drinking it? Do you have a go-to coffee order?

I believe that coffee is the glue that keeps this city together. It has also become the mechanism that introduces me to new people, reunites me with old friends and sparks creative and inspiring conversations. The culture that exists around grabbing a cup of joe is so enchanting and comforting. Which is what coffee has meant to me since a young age. My parents would grind up their beans at night, and the smell actually triggered that it was time to go to bed. Then their freshly brewed pot in the morning meant it was time to take on the day. I believe I started with Starbucks Frappuccinos like every Southern California teeny bopper. Now I’m a sucker for a great cup of cold brew.

jessica kane union square east village city of saints overt nyc follow the girl

That’s interesting! Do you think City of Saints has brought the neighborhood together and how do you think it is a reflection of it’s residents? Downtown generally is home to so many different kinds of people! So would you say it’s a good place for people watching? What’s the craziest or coolest thing you’ve seen in this particular part of the neighborhood?

It’s quirky but also polished, which seems like a good reflection on the area it exists in. Union Square is a tourist destination but it’s also the epicenter of Chelsea, Greenwich, the East Village, West Village and Flatiron. It has a few characteristics of each neighborhood, so I can’t really nail down a concrete vibe other than calling it a eclectic melting pot. City of Saints isn’t typically a “post-up-and-simply-observe-your-surroundings” type of place, because it’s generally locals. If you want good people watching, you go to Union Square’s subway station. That’s where you really see the heart and soul of the city. From the performers to the average New Yorker on his or her commute, you really feel like you’re a part of something bigger down there.

jessica kane union square east village city of saints overt nyc follow the girl

Speaking of heart and soul, what gets you moving on a Spring Saturday in the neighborhood? 

You can find me: Likely with my sister in a barre class, then eating brunch so early it’s technically still breakfast and shopping in Soho.

My off-duty uniform: Work out clothes, especially if I have errands to run that day.

Off-duty drink: Chocolate milk. It’s the nectar of the gods — and makes me feel a million times better than any alcoholic beverage will.

Meal of choice: As in meal of the day? Breakfast. As in menu option? Pancakes.

Spring resolutions: Become a more punctual person and never spend a day completely indoors.

Jessica’s Diary: March 23, 2016, 8:45PM – I remember when I graduated from college and I’d already put a cap on my time in New York. “Two or three years tops,” I’d say to myself and to anyone else who asked. But every day it gets tougher to leave. We’re so oversaturated with options, experiences and opportunities, I think I would be bored in any other city. Plus, I have the luxury of living with my boyfriend, being across the street from my sister, having a family that visits insanely frequently and being extremely close to my boyfriend’s family, who live a mile away. Calling myself lucky would be an understatement.

Check back tomorrow as Jessica shares her final diary entry featuring a beloved culinary staple in the heart of the East Village.

Photos by Bridget Badore for OVERT NYC