From the West Village to Midtown: The crowds turn locals into neighbors
By Julia |February 17, 2012 - 10:59AM
My move from Greenwich Village to midtown happened due to life circumstances: I took over the lease on my mother’s apartment when she moved to Florida and I was splitting up with a boyfriend.
At the time, I thought my block—55th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues—wouldn’t be very neighborhood-y, but I was wrong.
It turns out that the people who live in the area (as well as the doormen) are much more in touch as a community than when I lived downtown, perhaps because so much of the regular foot traffic is corporate and touristy, it makes people who actually live here seem more friendly and bonded.
And while it was a bit hard at first getting used to Midtown crowds, parades, expensive groceries and continual street fairs that block traffic, the neighborhood—which also gets into pedestrian lockdown when dignitaries and their security entourages stay in all the hotels nearby—more than makes up for it.
For one thing, it's great living within walking distance of Central Park. Before I lived near the park, it wasn’t on my radar as a New Yorker. Now, I can’t imagine daily life without this sanity-saving dose of greenery and animals.
During my regular walks, I’ve spotted raccoons, a bullfrog, turtles, fish, ducks, swans, geese, chipmunks and even a wolf once.
All that said, I’ll still always love downtown. It’s still my favorite neighborhood when it comes to dining, going out, wandering around and exploring different streets and neighborhoods. Living in Greenwich Village was very convenient for that.
Midtown is filled with a lot of business lunch-type places that are often average and expensive, but there are a few places that stand out.
La Bonne Soupe (where I recommend the Steak Hache Au Poivre, the Poulet Roti and, of course, the cheese fondue); Osteria del Circo, which is delicious, friendly and worth the price (it has an excellent thin-crust pizza); The Modern at MoMa, which is expensive but delicious and beautiful; and Armani Ristorante, which is perfect for drinks and small plates (especially the meatballs), or a relaxing cappuccino break from shopping.
Since my office is in SoHo, I get to experience the best of both Midtown and downtown. I like living and working in different neighborhoods. Otherwise your daily experience of living in New York City can feel very limited.
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