Last year around this time, Jim and I were visiting New York as tourists. Well, we were working but during our off time we were tourists, seeing Broadway shows, eating out at restaurants, staying in a beautiful hotel on the 44th floor and joking that if there were anywhere else in the US we could live, it would be NYC, having no idea that a year later we would be residents of Manhattan. But here we are, me working up near Harlem and Jim working in Times Square, taking advantage of everything this bustling city has to offer (too much so sometimes) while trying not to miss Seattle too terribly much. What we always have to remember is that things can change in a very short period of time, so enjoy everyday where you are, live in the moment and, on the positive side, realize that there might be another adventure just outside your door.
Ever since I moved here in April, I have tried to remember to absorb everything around me and not just walk through the streets with blinders on. What people who don't live in Manhattan might not realize is that each neighborhood has its own character. I've been exploring mostly the West side because that is where I lived in temporary housing and where I now live in our permanent abode.
The Upper West Side feels like a suburb of the city. It's where Columbia University is, it's where Riverside and Morningside Parks are, so lots of trees everywhere, and it seems like every other woman on the street is pregnant. The trees, the wide sidewalks with restaurants, cafes and bars give it the feeling of a family oriented neighborhood that could be Anywhere, USA. But, it also has a very international feeling because Columbia students come from around the world. If you make it to NYC, do take a quick trip up to 116th street and walk around the beautiful urban campus. If you take the 1 subway from midtown, 42nd street, or 34th or even Columbus circle, you'll be there in about 15 minutes. Walk around campus and then walk South on Broadway and pick one of the many restaurants, French, Korean, Japanese, or do you want a burger? It's all there, and while the restaurants may not be of Per Se caliber, the quality is good, the service is decent and you'll enjoy a tasty, unrushed meal. Keep checking back to www.eatdrinksound.com for restaurant suggestions all around the city.
Once you've finished eating, you should walk over to Central Park and make your way back to midtown through the park. Though there are always a lot of people there, it seems calm and peaceful compared to the streets of the city. If you have some time before your Broadway show in the evening, stroll over to Ninth Avenue. This is my neighborhood and it is filled with restaurants. The quality varies so you have to be a little careful in your choice. I'll be adding new Ninth Avenue, and near Ninth Avenue, restaurants to eastdrinksound so keep an eye out for my recommendations.
The final suggestion I have for you today is to go to Center Bar in the Columbus Circle shops, in the Time Warner building. If you walk in the front door, to the right you'll see the huge naked man statue just in front of the escalators. If you're at the naked woman just look past her and you'll see the guy. Head up the escalators (okay rub his um, well you know, that's why it's all shiny, everyone else has rubbed it) and alight at the 4th floor. Center Bar is right in front of you. Cocktails are not cheap, but you get an amazing view of the edge of Central Park and some of the classic buildings just beyond the park. It is a favorite of ours when the grunginess of Hell's Kitchen gets to be too much.
I hope you'll find my adventures in the city interesting. I'll do my best to actually keep at my writing this time. Hey, I'm studying creative writing at NYU, I have to write!
Here are a couple of city pictures.
Empire State Building
One of the many Eggs Benedicts I've had in NYC.