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247 East 14th Street
T Swirl Crepe 1 Crepes East Village

“Everything is good here,” a customer told me when she saw me staring at the menu. She pointed to her dining companion. “She’s had the Tuna Nicoise three times!” One of the Manhattan Sideways members followed her advice, and immediately understood why the woman had ordered the same thing thrice. The carefully rolled crepe was alternatively crispy and soft, with delicate folds of batter and crunchy vegetables. Though the cone was jam-packed with ingredients, the result was still light and fresh. Each layer of the crepe brought a different sensation and the carefully placed paper holder caught any falling bits of the finger-food.

T-swirl crepe follows the Japanese crepe tradition, which I had no idea existed until I visited the 14th Street eatery. The batter is made entirely with rice flour, which not only produces a gluten-free treat, but also helps keep the condiments from leaking out. These simple adjustments to the French design allow T-swirl to create decadent, artistic menu items, which are also on display in the window in rows of glass globes like prize orchids. There are both savory and sweet crepes, and customers can wash their meals down with milk shakes, including red bean and matcha flavors. The entire experience is a taste sensation, a successful and delicious collision of cultures.

T Swirl Crepe 1 Crepes East Village

More places on 14th Street

Lost Gem
Babycastles Gallery 1 Event Spaces Art and Photography Galleries Workspaces Non Profit Organizations West Village


Babycastles, randomly named in honor of a Japanese pastry, is a gallery and community venue for video game designers. However, according to Todd Anderson, one of the members of the Babycastles collective, Babycastles is about more than just gaming. It is an “incubator” of fresh artistic thought, a place to go with unconventional ideas to be welcomed by individuals who can see those concepts into fruition without red tape and hefty price tags.Using his own story as a case study, Todd told me about how he moved to New York from Chicago in order to pursue digital poetry, a relatively new genre that plays with the interaction between technology and language (for example, using a keyboard to control the delivery of a poem in the same way a conductor guides an orchestra). Todd turned to Babycastles, inquired about hosting a monthly poetry event, and was met with great support. He found a home for his art, and has been invested in Babycastles ever since.Sharing a building with Hack Manhattan, Babycastles hosts a wide variety of events for all ages including concerts, lectures, game launches, and even yoga. The Babycastles team curates exhibitions that spotlight independent video game designers and define their work in the larger context of fine arts. Oftentimes, custom game cabinets are built to accommodate the works on display.Game creators and other artists are invited to apply for the Babycastles residency program, which allows them to take advantage of the bright, sunlit co-working space and receive inspiration from an artistic community where they can freely test their latest ideas. For an application to the program, check the website; new members are admitted regularly.