well, get ready for a ton of photos. seriously. i’m sharing so many with you because this place is absolutely beautiful. it’s like walking into an old, english library. or a museum. or an early 20th century men’s billiard room (without the billiards). well, it’s actually all three rolled into one. and it is perfect.
a few weeks ago, i planned to meet someone here for fika, not knowing anything about it. but, it was closed because of some renovations going on to the building’s exterior. based on it’s name, i somehow knew that it would be amazing, so i was quite disappointed i didn’t get a chance to go.
but, today i was doing errands downtown and realized that it would be perfect to walk across the street and explore this fantastic place where my expectations were already set as high as the roof. however, this time, in no way, was i disappointed. in fact, my expectations were majorly surpassed. i mean majorly.
i walked into the battery park book exchange & champagne bar and it took my breath away. that’s right. i said, book and champagne in the same sentence. now, if you’re like me, those two things together indicate a little piece of heave on earth. but, there is not only champagne, there is coffee. so, i could totally visit and call it a fika.
i walked through the doors and was absolutely awe-struck. there were books everywhere. from floor to industrial, exposed-pipe ceiling. it was dark and cozy. there were books and crannies every freaking where. have i said that before? books. and books. and more books. immediately, i knew that this place was made for fika. the idea is to come in, find a book, buy or exchange a book, read a magazine, chat with someone, do some work alone – and all the while, sip on coffee or champagne or wine. i had absolutely died and gone to heaven.
i wandered and wandered, around the corners, up the stairs, between bookcase after amazing bookcase. i must have looked like a tourist in new york city for the first time, craning my head upwards with my jaw hanging wide open. in complete awe.
i got stuck in this one place. there were books, and sofas, and a table. and there was a buddha statue. in that moment, i knew that these things all symbolized things that ground me, that center me in life – books, words, and spirituality. it was a sacred little moment there. surrounded by the warm, burnt orange walls, and the dark wood bookcases filled with any book title you could imagine, and the little buddha, staring back at me with such peace. i vowed right then and there that i would return here – to spend an entire afternoon, or an entire day. multiple times.
as i sipped the best pumpkin spice latte that i’ve had this season, i felt a peace rise up from within my soul. the kind of peace that reminds you that you are where you are supposed to be – maybe not just physically in that moment, but in general, in life. i knew that this place tapped into a deep longing and love of mine – the love of words and spirit.
yes, this book exchange and champagne bar delivered this beautiful, unique experience. oh my gosh, i can’t wait to go back. but, for now, i’d like to share with y’all all the photos i took of this place. they don’t do it justice. you truly have to make your way down there, and give yourself some time and soak up every bit of the atmosphere. i’ll meet you there, ok?