Last night, Broad City held the raucous premiere for its fifth and final season. The episode, told almost entirely through the pair's Instagram Story broadcasts, honors a momentous occasion: Abbi's 30th birthday (Abbi Jacobson's real birthday is next week, on February 1st).
To celebrate, she and Ilana decide to go on an all-day walk through Manhattan, "from the tippity top to the tippity bottom." Of course, their jaunt quickly devolves into chaos, not limited to Ilana falling down a manhole (my #1 New York fear!), an unusual run-in, a phone drowning in a river, and being chased by mall cops. Here are a few local highlights from their venture.
The journey starts at Abbi's apartment in Astoria, where she and Ilana take a (delayed) R train, then the 1 into Manhattan. Their walk begins in Inwood, and eventually they find themselves in front of the Morris-Jumel Mansion, the oldest house in Manhattan. "This has just been here! The whole time, sitting there!" a flabbergasted Abbi exclaims. The Morris-Jumel Mansion is the former residence of Eliza Jumel, once the wealthiest woman in the United States, and who was rumored to have been kicked out of France, among other things. Oh, and apparently her ghost is said to haunt the property! In recent years, the Mansion has made headlines given that Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote parts of his musical Hamilton in the bedroom of Aaron Burr, Jumel's former husband.
From there, Abbi and Ilana make their way through Harlem. The walk from Inwood to Harlem alone takes about an hour and a half, so stopping for a bite before moving forward is key. Their pick that day is Marcus Samuelsson's Harlem mainstay Red Rooster. The restaurant, named after the former speakeasy of the same name, serves up incredible comfort food not limited to shrimp and grits, crab cake sandwiches, and a porcini pasta with injera. They polish off their four plates, and find some time to livestream Abbi's "finger-skating" routine on the table (narrated by Ilana, of course).
Russ & Daughters Cafe
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Check out Abbi & Ilana at Russ & Daughters Cafe on @BroadCity! Yasss bagels & lox queens! 🐟♥️🥯@ilanusglazer & @abbijacobson 🐟🥯♥️ The new and final season starts TONIGHT at 10pm on @ComedyCentral. #AppetizingSince1914 #RussAndDaughters #BroadCity
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The next leg of Abbi and Ilana's trip, from Harlem to Midtown, turns out to be a fraught one: Ilana falls into a manhole, where surprisingly she doesn't crack her phone (her ankle has seen better days, though). She can't keep walking in her beautiful but unwieldy 3.1 Phillip Lim shoes, so she and Abbi make a stop at the "Midtown Mall" (Manhattan Mall) to buy a more comfortable pair... only to get chased out by mall cops. They hurry along to brunch at the Lower East Side staple, Russ & Daughters Cafe, a spot that's 100% worth the wait. There's nothing on this menu that isn't a revelation, from wasabi-infused fish roe to chocolate babka French toast. The two are joined by Ilana's sort-of boyfriend Lincoln, as well as Jaime and Johnny, his new boyfriend, for a boozy brunch. It's heavenly, even though the birthday blues hit Abbi while she's there.
I think I remember warmer days—yesterday's rain-drenched, wind-whipped 50-degree spell doesn't count—where leisurely strolls through waterfront parks were possible! This lower Manhattan park, with its sweeping views of Brooklyn and the Statue of Liberty, is where the pair end their walk. Their respective phones both suffer terrible fates as well (death by river drowning and death by a former friend angrily smashing it). So they're left to enjoy it, and a triple rainbow they spot on the water, without the all-seeing gaze of social media informing their followers what they'd seen.