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For Atmosphere, Language, and Coffee

4-5 Italian, Food and Drink

During my Italian studies, on an expedition to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, I stopped by this establishment for a coffee break, because I thought I might get to speak or at least hear Italian. The place was bustling, extremely…

Kinokuniya Storefront

5 Japanese, Bookstores/Libraries, Shopping, Kids

This enormous three-level Japanese bookstore is centrally located in the middle of Manhattan. Kinokuniya’s wares are not confined to books. The store also sells magazines. It sells comics (lots). It sells stationery. It sells gift items.  A café…

Dahesh Bookstore, Book-Lined and Welcoming

5 Arabic, Bookstores/Libraries

This is a bookstore and publishing company that I visited a couple of times back in 2009, when it was located at 57th Street and Broadway. At the time of this writing, Dahesh was in transit to a new location, so…

4-5 Greek, Bookstores/Libraries, Shopping, Kids

The Greek Music & Video Superstore in Astoria has a lot more than just Greek music and videos. They have Greek religious objects, Greek books for children, Greek flashcards, clothing with Greek on it, and more!

A View of Arthur Avenue

4-5 Italian, Neighborhoods

Arthur Avenue, the main strip of Little Italy in the Bronx, is beautiful and charming and worth a field trip (or multiple field trips). Take the B or D subway to Fordham Road, walk 10 minutes, and you are in a…

Café Riviera, Greenpoint

4 Polish, Food and Drink

Café Riviera in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, has Polish employees and Polish desserts and Polish customers. I traveled here in search of people to speak Polish to, and it was a highly effective strategy. I took my grammar book with me, studied…

Heidelberg Restaurant

4 German, Food and Drink

This German restaurant and bar, located on Second Avenue near 86th Street, is in Yorkville on the East Side. Yorkville at one time was heavily populated with German immigrants. I went during off hours, sat at the bar, and…

Fifth Ave. Between Ovington and Bay Ridge Aves.

5 Arabic, Neighborhoods

According to 2000 census data, there were 24,000 Arabic speakers in Brooklyn, with a third of them residing in Bay Ridge.  Take the R train to Bay Ridge Avenue (and Fourth), walk over to Fifth Avenue, and you will be…

Bollywood Music

5 General, Hindi, Korean, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Neighborhoods

This is a fantastically polyglottal community in northwestern Queens. Take the subway to Roosevelt Avenue/74th Street and you will find yourself in possibly the most diverse community in the world.  You can hear massive amounts of Spanish along…