Everybody has a ‘first New York’. It’s simply the first thing that comes up when you think of the first time you visited this city. A book has even been written about it and it’s a fun question to ask when you’re meeting new people. Based on my own empirical research: cabdrivers will give you the most extraordinary answers…so try it, it’s fun.

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My ‘first New York’ may not be as spectacular as for example the cabdriver who won a green card and only used a boat and his two practically bare feet to travel from Africa to New York…..but I think it’s worthy mentioning because of the place my Manhattan “defloration” took place: Toby’s Estate.

Imagine: 10 hours after arriving on JFK, unpacked luggage, finally back in the arms of my biggest love – so big I decided to give up my humble Holland’ life for an ‘us’ in New York’ – jetlagged and wandering down 5th Avenue. I was overwhelmed by the city and the thought this wasn’t a vacation: I arrived to stay. So kind of wiggly of all those emotions, we walked down 5th

tobyAvenue and I saw this cute coffee place. To grab my first take-away coffee in New York, I opened the door and I remember how soothing the peaceful environment was: it almost felt like home. Great croissants, great coffee, great staff and…. a semi secret bookshop at the end of the counter.

The book club offers a selection of literature and lecture. The store also has beautiful salon table books about travelling, fashion or whatever you whish for. The cash register is hidden to create the perception of a home-library. So, take your coffee to the Monaco book club, sit between fresh flowers and enjoy the vibe. Read a book. Buy a present. Feel at ease and escape from the commotion for a few minutes like I did when I realised the Island was home.



160 5th Avenue (b/w W20 and 21st)


Capuccino&croissants to consume between fresh flowers and books.


For a peaceful mind of state.

Monday – Friday  7:30 AM  – 9 PM
Saturday  9:30 AM – 9 PM
Sunday 9:30 AM – 8 PM

my first new york

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