Pupper West Side: The OG Pupper West Sider Talks Travel, Self-Care, and Da Capo Espresso

Name: Manny.

Age: Pushing 13!

Breed: Jack Russell Terrier.

Profile/history: I should point out that I’m the OG Pupper West Sider. The inspiration for this column, if you will. My Mom writes Pupper West Side and after many requests from my Grandma, I’m fi-nally being featured. Long ago, a college boyfriend of Mom’s decided a puppy like me would make a great birthday gift. I should pause here to clarify a couple things. First, it is generally not a good idea to give someone years’ worth of responsibility for their birthday, especially when they’re a college student. Second, despite that misstep, Mom and I have had a great run together. The old college boyfriend is long gone – he was a bad seed, so good riddance – but we’ve spent the past 13 years having tons of fun and adventures together. Mom is married now and I’m crazy about my Dad.

Daily routine: Each morning, I (impatiently) wait for my heart healthy breakfast – usually boiled chicken with oatmeal, carrots, and green beans. I used to spend weekdays alone lounging on the couch, but nowadays my parents are working from home. I’ll spend the morning curled up next to Dad in a big chair while they sip coffee and send emails. My favorite activity is an intense session of fetch, chasing tennis balls in Central Park. I’m not great at giving up the tennis ball when I bring it back, so Mom brings a second ball to bribe me to drop the first one. This is where my HIIT exercise comes in each day as I sprint back and forth. We’ll have dinner together as a family and then take a leisurely evening walk in the park before settling in for a show. We were hooked on ESPN’s “The Last Dance” a few weeks ago. Saturday and Sunday mornings, we walk down to Da Capo for cappuccinos and biscotti. The espresso there is fantastic and I enjoy people watching from the bench outside. Afterward, we’ll walk through Central Park or a stop in a bookstore. These days, I’m looking forward to The Strand Bookstore  reopening in Book Culture’s former space on Columbus Avenue.

Loves: Traveling! I love planes, trains, and automobiles. Also hiking. We’ve taken some great trips to Acadia National Park in Maine, Beaver Creek and Crested Butte in Colorado, Santa Fe, and of course, back home to Texas for the holidays.

Does not love: Fireworks and thunderstorms. I can’t stand them. Without fail, you’ll find me shaking and panting in the bathtub or deep in the back of a coat closet.

Favorite store/business on the UWS: Da Capo and any of the neighborhood bookstores.

Favorite treat: Anything my parents are eating.

Favorite park spot: The beautiful green lawn on the north side of the path as you enter Central Park from W. 86th Street. There’s a large sloping lawn that is fenced in and it’s great for playing fetch as well as sitting outside with a good book or enjoying a picnic.

What’s been your approach to self-care over the past few months of quarantine? I’ve tried to create a good balance of productive projects and leisure activities. For instance, I’ve been helping Mom with occasional home repairs and cultivating our small but thriving herb garden of rosemary, basil, and cherry tomatoes. After a hard day of watching Mom plant while I try to sneak bites of potting soil, I’ll relax with a leisurely bubble bath and a good book. I recently finished Curtis Sittenfeld’s new novel, “Rodham”.

Read all our Pupper West Side interviews here!

If West Side Rag readers are interested in becoming pet owners, we encourage you to consider adopting or volunteering to be a foster parent with one of the many shelters and nonprofits based in and around New York City. These include but aren’t limited to: Muddy Paws RescueAnimal Lighthouse RescueAnimal Care Centers of NYCNYC ASPCAHumane Society of New YorkBideaweeSocial Tees; Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue and Animal Haven.

COLUMNS | 9 comments | permalink
    1. Cato says:

      Cute pup. But for those of us not up on the last two minutes’ jargon, could you translate “OG” into English, please?

    2. Manny is one sassy and adorable pup! It is a pleasure to learn about the author’s own canine asset to the Upper West Side. Excellent column. Looking forward to next Tuesday.

    3. Phil S. says:

      Brings back memories of our 17 year old Jack Russell who passed on two years ago. They are incredible dogs.

    4. micki says:

      I adore Pupper West Side. I love the West Side Rag, but the first thing I go to is th PWS.
      Thanks for the fun of talking to a dog!

    5. Sarah says:

      Lovely to meet you, Manny! You’re very dapper.

    6. geoff says:

      these dog stories remind me of the amusing scripts for the TV show ‘Pen15’.

    7. Pico’s Mom says:

      He’s a love! What is OG?

    8. harold says:

      probably the only subject article that makes any sense on here