Confessions of a Neighborhood Blogger

We love NYC: Bloggers share what they adore about their neighborhoods

By Virginia K. Smith | February 14, 2017 - 1:59PM 

Neighborhood bloggers will be the first to tell you what needs changing in their corner of the city. But they're also the first to send valentines, especially to the little-known gems that make it the singular place it is. We asked some of the city's best chroniclers what—or who!—they love about where they live, and they were all-too-happy to sing their praises:

"Everyone in Tribeca knows—and loves—Hamilton Rogers. He works in security at the Whole Foods store, greeting patrons at the Greenwich Street entrance with a smile and a fist bump. He makes the city feel like a small town in the best possible way. [Editor's note: There's a post on Tribeca Citizen about why Rogers is a treasure.]" —Erik Torkells, Tribeca Citizen

"I love that Astoria is undergoing exciting changes without losing its heart and soul. Only in Astoria can you get fantastic tacos at Chela’s & Garnacha, superior cocktails at bar Sweet Afton, and enjoy great art at Socrates Sculpture Park."—Emily Rios, We Heart Astoria

"I've got a secret. It's a place largely undiscovered and intentionally so, and it has very little aesthetic appeal. Yet its seclusion amid industrial wasteland is also its attraction, at least to certain types of oddballs such as myself. It's called Railroad Avenue, and it's a road that runs along Newtown Creek and whose western portion deadends at the Dutch Kills tributary. Thus, it never comes into contact with the main residential areas of LIC. Its isolation is its lure, and when I first rode it on my bike all I could think was, 'This is where I'd hang out with friends if I were a teenager—nobody would ever find us.' Of course only teenagers, with their restless boredom and desire to leave the confines of their everyday life, would have the time to find a place like this because it's also not easily accessible. Nevertheless, even those who are a bit older and are searching for remnants of ungentrified cityscape will appreciate this road and its environs, all set against a distant backdrop of skyscrapers." —Andrew Kleinberg, LICTalk

"I am obsessed with Syndicated, which is a new cinema-cum-restaurant on Bogart Street. It is simply beautiful, I love its classy look combined with Bushwick warehouse grit. And the movie tickets are only $3 so how can you not go." —Katarina Hybenova, Bushwick Daily

 Flowers at Wave Hill. (Photo by S. Jhoanna Robledo)

Flowers at Wave Hill. (Photo by S. Jhoanna Robledo)

(A garden in Wave Hill. Photo credit: S. Jhoanna Robledo)

"My newest favorite place in the neighborhood is Capri Bakery, which has been a staple in El Barrio for over 30 years and now has a spot right on 149th Street in Melrose just a half a block from Lincoln Hospital. There's something about the delicious and beautifully presented sweets here that's addicting and makes you come back for more. If you're looking for a romantic setting, then it's Wave Hill in Riverdale overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. The modestly sized garden offers plenty of romantic settings. The New York Botanical Garden goes without saying as being an iconic location with plenty of hidden gems tucked away. If you're in the nautical mood, then head over to City Island for a romantic getaway at one of the many restaurants there and enjoy the beautiful ambiance. Last but very not the least, head over to Arthur Avenue for a taste of Italy in what is New York City's truly authentic Little Italy. Forget Mott Street in Manhattan, this is the real deal going strong for over a century. I guess what I'm trying to say is that in an amazing borough like the Bronx, there's so much to do and love that it's hard to just pin it down to one." —Ed García Conde, Welcome2TheBronx

(Snowy Carroll Park. Photo credit: Katia Kelly)

"I could fill a page about all the things I love about my neighborhood of Carroll Gardens, but the heart of the community is Carroll Park, with its majestic old trees, beautiful plantings and wonderful playgrounds.  No matter what time of year, this is where the community comes together and friendships are made." —Katia Kelly, Pardon Me for Asking


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