I moved to New York from the West Coast 20 years ago, but only this summer was I introduced to a little-known fact about the island of Manhattan: If you take the A train all the way to its northern terminus, you wind up in Seattle.
Debark at 207th Street and amble in a northwesterly direction, and your steps will carry you to the sort of neighborhood hangout that calls to mind, to be more precise, the city of the Space Needle circa the early ’90s. There’s one counter for some very good coffee, and another with a considered selection of craft beers on tap.
Leonard Cohen and Soundgarden tend to be ruminating and roaring from the sound system, and through the windows you can see the rim of Inwood Hill Park, an actual forest that looks as dense and towering as some old-growth pocket of the Pacific Northwest. The park juts up next to the spot, by the curving shadow of the Henry Hudson Bridge, where the currents of the Harlem and Hudson Rivers meet.