What I love about cities is how different the neighborhoods are. In one town there are multiple sections that have a different landscape, different people, an extremely different vibe, different restaurants, different cadence and different things to see. Some are more residential while others are more commercial. Some have grit and some are bland. Some capture sophistication and others are edgeless. There are neighborhoods that I adore and others that if I never went there again that would be fine with me.
When we were in Shanghai, having a car take us around the city for 6 hours gave us a compressed version through the window of how each neighborhood felt and changed as we drove from area to area. When we first moved to the city many moons ago, we would walk the city on the weekends, explore as many neighborhoods as possible, we wanted to just take in as much as humanly possible so we could truly know our city….and we do. We have done and do the same thing with Los Angeles when we are there and we continue to do that when we travel.
The first time we landed in the city, having a diploma for only a few months and a new job in hand, we found an apartment on 28th and Madison, where we could walk to work. Who knew that the neighborhood was overrun with SRO’s, drug dealers and prostitutes. It was a very different city back then, another thing I love about cities is their everchanging landscape, as now that neighborhood is a very different place. We stayed at a family friends apartment on 79th and Park during the few days, we were there to find an apartment. I still remember taking the bus up Madison Avenue from 23rd Street and being in awe of the size of the buildings. It was clear how different the UES was from Madison Square Park. I felt as though the buildings were going to fall down on us as I peered out the window of the bus and looked upward. It was exhilarating. I couldn’t believe that I was going to be able to build my life in NYC.
Last night I was in Clinton Hill looking at something then I went to Gowanus to have a few drinks at the Threes Brewery and then went to the Lincoln Center area to meet a friend for dinner. The extreme difference between Gowanus and the UWS is drastic. I am much more suited to Gowanus. Both neighborhoods have changed over the past decades although the UWS still hasn’t figured out how to have a decent restaurant. I woke up this morning thinking about NYC. I just love this city more than any other place in the world and I am insanely lucky to call it home.