The harpist, guitarist and singer-songwriter shares her favorite spots for smoothies, solo drinking and Sunday music — plus the perks of hanging at the Brooklyn Applebee’s
It’s hard to find a place that really mercifully transitions from day to night. I like the flexibility. It’s a perfect hangout spot, everyone that works there is nice, and a lot of their drinks are housemade or locally made. I do the ginger ale, or sometimes I’ll request a half-and-half ginger ale and kombucha. That’ll wake ya right up.
There’s this once-a-month music series upstairs, Sunday Sounds, started by a friend of mine, Jess Best. Then my friend Josh Smith took it over. It’s two or three acts, all donation-based, super cozy, and they do super sweet, intimate intros. I feel like I’ve never gone and not seen a great lineup. I love to do it with just myself and a guitarist, stripped-back. Because it’s such a small room and people sit super close, you get the chance to do something a little more intimate and try out new stuff.
61 Bergen St, (718) 875-1150, 61local.com
Every place that is dear to me in Brooklyn is dear because of how I choose to live my life. So my current favorite spot is the Taco Bell across the street from the studio where I’m recording my album… right by the Kings Theatre. [It’s] a lot of long days, a lot of late nights. If you’re singing all day, you’re going a little crazy, you can’t hear the sound of your own voice anymore… should we hit the cantina? It’s one of those fancy Taco Bells that sell booze. It comes out of a machine like a slushie, and they put skittles in there! You can feel yourself getting hungover as you’re drinking it.
I shouldn’t be advertising for free for a chain… but that’s my current moment right now. Hanging out with my band, recording, working super hard, then letting loose at Taco Bell.
1032 Flatbush Ave, (718) 484-8082, tacobell.com
Cheryl’s Global Soul
The best post-Brooklyn-Museum lunch spot is Cheryl’s. It was one of the first places I went when I moved to Brooklyn. You go in through that curtain and you feel like you’ve just walked into a tent or a camp mess hall — but a very elegant camp mess hall. It’s teeny and warm; they have a beautiful backyard. I don’t really fuck with brunch, but to get very great pancakes, waffles — your breakfast stuff — I do that at Cheryl’s.
236 Underhill Ave, (347) 529-2855, cherylsglobalsoul.com/
I really like Birdy’s in Bushwick. You just really don’t know what you’re going to get.
Depending on the day, depending on the time of day — sometimes I’ve gone there and read a book in a casual fashion, and sometimes you go in and it’s packed to the gills with people, like, in gowns. You just never know.
1215 Myrtle Ave, (347) 365-2677, facebook.com/birdysbushwick
The most convenient combo out there. I didn’t even live near there, but I used to commute [to Greenpoint] to bring my laundry and sit and drink and read. I don’t really get into [the arcade games] enjoy the energy. One of my favorite activities is drinking alone and reading a book, while also possibly watching sports. This is great for that because, while it’s not sports, people will be playing games around you — I’m near it, but I’m not a part of it.
860 Manhattan Ave, (718) 475-2055, sunshinelaundromat.com
I also, for that reason, love the Applebee’s in downtown Brooklyn. You get a beer that’s as tall as you and watch a lot of basketball and just feel very anonymous. People aren’t going to Applebee’s to meet someone new. They have brought their people with them, so you’ll never get hit on. You’ll just sit alone — it’s the best.
I don’t go to chains, but I do like to go to chains in Brooklyn. There are so many local places I do patronize, but it is fun to go somewhere where you know what the fries are going to be like — all over America.
395 Flatbush Ave, (718) 834-0800, applebees.com
One of my favorite bars. They have the deepest booths. You feel like you’re in an old tap room, and it’s dope — great beer selection, predictably low lighting, kinda loud. I’ve written some songs there. You can just sit and hunker down.
191 Smith St, (718) 522-3172, fawknerny.com
MeMe’s Healthy Nibbles
It is so good. There are like 600 different types of smoothies —I am Alive, I am Energized, I am Content… it’s so cute. It’s the lunch spot. My best friend Dorothy and I used to go there constantly. The food is amazing.
707 Nostrand Ave, (718) 493-1375, memeshealthynibbles.com
Feature image: Ben Curry
[This interview has been edited and condensed.]