Awakening NY: Bringing the New Wave to the Old School

Greenpointers was invited for a tour and to taste the healthy offerings at the cafe at Awakening NY, the new yoga complex on Manhattan Ave between Driggs and Nassau.

The tour of the space, led by owner Mariola, was impressive. The two floor yoga studio was vast. The first floor with it’s cafe, massage room and large yoga studio is finished.

There we met her son Max, who quite cleverly stacked the yoga mats to make a perfectly relaxing reading perch for himself. Why can’t all young men be as polite and friendly as Max?

The lower level was still under constructions with plans to open in September. Along the way we ran into a few construction workers on break. The room smelled of cigarettes.

“Don’t smoke in here, or I’ll kill you,” Mariola said half joking. We all laughed, but I wouldn’t put it past this crude badass Polish-American business woman, who formed Belvedere Properties. You know which ones – the only new constructions developments in Greenpoint that don’t stick out like sore thumbs and may actually last for the next hundred years. The building where Awakening is located is her first eco-friendly development.

While we ate a delicious and healthful lunch, Mariola talked about her personal transformation that she wants to share with everyone. She aspires to introduce yoga to those who have never done it before, like the Polish immigrants in the area. But she also wants the yoga center to be a place where the “new wave” (aka hipsters) can come together with the old neighborhood. As we chatted, there was a good mix of customers coming in for yummy shakes. And considering the below the belt commentary on our facebook page, there is definitely room for improvement in the “sense of solidarity” department in Greenpoint.

Now let’s talk about the shakes. We tried shake after delicious shake. My favorite was the CocoaMocha, made from banana, cold brew coffee, chocolate almond milk, peanut butter and honey. Does it get any better than all of those things in an icy cold shake? The answer is no. And it is a huge energy booster. I started talking double speed after the first sip. I will be back for that one.

Food-wise, I really enjoyed the Olive Club, with chicken salad, avocado, tomato, escarole and olive tapanade on Farmer’s Rye bread and the Soulfood, a side of quinoa with toasted almonds, chopped kale and roasted tomato vinaigrette.

Everything is made in-house and all sandwiches, wraps and panini have vegan and vegetarian options available, like the TLT, which is avocado, romaine, tempeh bacon, tomato and jalapeno mayonaise. I know a few veggies who would drool over that one.

Greenpoint needs a hospitable, laid back and healthy spot for lunch and Awakening delivers. I thought it would be cool if they integrated some old polish favorites into the menu, maybe with a new twist?

The ladies laughed, “Polish food isn’t healthy!”

Kielbasa isn’t healthy? Could of fooled me! What about Kale Pierogies? Ricotta Blintzes? Shakes spiked with vodka? Maybe they are right.

Check out the rest of Awakening Cafe’s menu.

Awakening NY
607 Manhattan Ave

About Jen G

After living in NYC my entire life, I found the strongest sense of community in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Running this blog is truly an honor and the best part is meeting its readers in real life. Everyday I am energized by smiles and inspiring conversations with fellow Greenpointers who tirelessly do and create incredible things that are good for our community and share the same love I have for life here. If you see me walking with my little dog "D" - please say hi!

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