About a month ago, I wrote an article documenting New York's most famous neighborhoods. The premise of the article was to stereotype the neighborhood into a single person or couple. This week, I decided to expand this growing list to include a few more neighborhoods in Manhattan, as well as some Brooklyn neighborhoods. Here we go:
Williamsburg: The hot shot professional lives in what he thinks is the most sought after, neighborhood in New York. At the end of the day, he has it all -- space, location, a pace of life that more down to Earth than Manhattan -- all at a price that was "too good" to pass up. After stepping out of the glossy new high rise that he calls home, this new Brooklynite can be found thriftng at Brooklyn Flea, dining at Pies and Thighs, or possibly venturing to Ft. Greene, DUMBO or Cobble Hill (only to see his newly married/pregnant friends) -- as long as he stays out of Manhattan. Throughout his weekend, he wears a Brooklyn Nets hat with pride and will be the first to tell you how amazing Williamsburg is!
Upper East Side: This 72-year old widow lives in Penthouse B of a massive co-op. She is a lifelong New Yorker who still smokes a pack of cigarettes a day. Her live-in keeps the apartment in tip-top shape and knows Gloria almost better than the widow knows herself. Life in the apartment is quiet other than the occasional dinner party she throws for surviving friends and family. She is a registered Republican and feels rather progressive for supporting marriage equality and Michael Bloomberg. She has seen New York rise, fall, and rise again, from her crystal palace so many feet above the city streets. She doesn't tolerate children well, but loves her standard poodle...Charles.
Upper West Side: This Jewish (spiritual more than religious) middle-age yogi is proud to call one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in New York City home. She takes pride in the fact that her neighborhood is just that -- an actual neighborhood, She has welcomed several Organic Avenues, Just Salads, and even a Trader Joes with open arms, while maintaining her strong distaste for name brands. This former two pack-a-day smoker's lifestyle has slowed down a bit after her two kids (now in their early to mid-20s working/living downtown) moved out. Part of her is envious they get to live a life she lived just a few decades ago. The other half is terrified knowing how much she got away with when she was her children's age. She distracts herself with work and travel bug. This loving and devoted wife and mom is the knot that ties this family together.
Ft. Greene: This Ft. Greene resident shares many similarities to that of his Williamsburg counterpart -- a passion for vintage finds, indie music bands, and weekends spent aimlessly between Oslo Coffee and weekly gigs for the band he manages. They differ however when it comes to age, income and career paths. This Ft. Greene resident is younger than his southern neighbor and probably makes less money. He doesn't like how pretentious and expensive Williamsburg has become and finds comfort knowing his neighborhood hasn't reached that point yet. This skinny, long-haired twenty-something works in the creative industries and has a real appreciation for the neighborhood he calls home. That being said, he hates the G train.
Bushwick: Similar to the Lower East Side, this Bushwick girl's favorite color is black Unlike the LES, she probably rolls their own cigarettes, attends warehouse parties on a weekly basis, and has seen a few of her friends get mugged. She comes from an upper middle class family that refuses to pay for a $3,000/month apartment in Manhattan, and does not entirely understand the meaning of a New Yorker's description of an "up and coming" neighborhood. She doesn't mind the distance from Manhattan or the lack of amenities -- those will come with time. Right now she enjoys the $1.50 tall boys from her bodega and the rumbling sound of the J train as it crosses by her apartment. She will live in New York for a long time and will soon reminisce about her Bushwick days.
DUMBO: The TriBeCa of Brooklyn shares many similarities to its Manhattan cousin; however, there are a few growing pains that this youthful resident is experiencing. DUMBO is a 31-year-old bachelor who found what he thinks is a sick (overpriced, but still very nice) deal on a converted loft building. During the weekends he spends his time watching football, playing in the ultimate Frisbee league he helps run, and jogging through newly renovated Brooklyn Bridge Park with his Rhodesian Ridgeback named Molly. He works on Wall Street so having quick access to the train/city is a plus. As he fights his way through the blossoming stroller culture, he thinks how nice it would be to finally settle down and start a family of his own. At the same time, he loves the financial and social freedom bachelor life presents. Eventually he'll get married, but insists in making his new-found neighborhood a lasting home.
Hell's Kitchen: As a resident of the premier gay neighborhood in New York City, this 28-year old consultant finds joy in late night parties, endless drunk brunches, and even the occasional trip downtown to a Michael Cohen party. Once he gets back to his glossy high-rise building (which he rarely spends any time in), he quickly trades the suit for a tank top and heads to a local watering hole. He gets looks on the street from other guys and loves it. He has only lived in the city for a few months, but can tell he will be here for a long time. There are few places in the world that make him feel as happy as this city. He will attend weekly "Looking" viewing parties. San Francisco is the only other city that he could possibly call home.
Park Slope: This mother of two (soon to be three) aimlessly strolls down 7th Avenue, pushing her kids, ages four and six, while her husband finishes up his day at the digital marketing firm he now runs. They rent out the two floors of their brownstone to college students, while keeping the backyard, and first three floors for their growing family. When she isn't out grocery shopping, shuttling her two kids around town (by town I mean the greater Park Slope area), or slowly finishing her children's book, this loving wife and devoted mother enjoys weekly wine-filled dinners that are "just the girls." She has not been into Manhattan in over a month. She is the glue that holds her beautiful family together and could not be any happier.