Harlem

Boundaries of Harlem map Photo by: http://metrostage.com/harlemqt.htm

Boundaries of Harlem map Photo by: http://metrostage.com/harlemqt.htm

Harlem….the history of the black mecca of the world is really inspirational. The community of this neighborhood is incredible and the vibrance of the culture that has come out of this neighborhood is incredible. From music to basketball to art to writing, Harlem has been inspiring artists to rise out of the hard times for centuries. The atmosphere is incredible and right now Harlem is going through a new renaissance and a new revival of the streets of Harlem that allows for the neighborhood to start to prosper not only culturally but also economically.

APARTMENTS

Yes, Harlem has been known for violence and gangs. Now it is getting better however, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. East Harlem is now the mecca for the crime in the Harlem area and for that matter the whole of New York City. The neighborhood is also home to the largest amount of jobless New Yorkers.

Like most places, one has to be familiar with where you should go especially at night. So really Harlem is getting better however, just realize that this has been a rocky area for centuries and you just need to familiarize yourself with the neighborhood so that you can keep yourself safe. You just need to know what you’re getting into if you move into the neighborhood. If it was me….I would look elsewhere to stay especially when I move to New York City firstly. Because, knowledge is power and knowledge is safety and the only way to know if you are truly going to be safe in Harlem is to actually be acquainted with the neighborhood. Living closer to Broadway is a tip I have read over and over again if you are going to actually live in Harlem. Also Lenox and 8th (FDB) are certainly nicer areas of Harlem.

Thanks to Bill Clinton who established the headquarters of the Clinton Foundation on 125th St. townhouses are indeed replacing older buildings. This is obviously in the ‘safe zone’ areas. Median Rent for a 1 bedroom in the area (nakedapartments) is 1,750. The cheaper rent is definitely a great factor to live in this neighborhood. On Craiglist I found rents everywhere from about 700 to about 1400. Obviously a steal in the grand scheme of things these days.

Top No Fee Apartment Buildings (nakedapartments.com)

  • 2300 5th Ave
  • 630 Lenox Ave
  • 66 Saint Nicholas PI
  • 529 W 151st St
  • 625 W 133rd St
  • 3671 Broadway

THE RANAISSANCE

The 1920’s was a powerful time in Harlem history. This was the famed renaissance time period. The movement was empowered by strong black leaders and allowed America and the world to see that the blacks were in fact gifted. This fact was something that the community at large didn’t want to hear however, the renaissance proved the world wrong and the world was forced to listen, read, and watch in awe as strong individuals such as

Apollo Theater during the Renaissance Photo by:http://coursesite.uhcl.edu/HSH/Whitec/xhist/HarlRen.htm

Apollo Theater during the Renaissance Photo by:http://coursesite.uhcl.edu/HSH/Whitec/xhist/HarlRen.htm

Langston Hughes created a spark that spread far and wide. A famous quote from Alain Locke epitomizes this time period, “Negro life is seizing its first chances for group expression and self determination.” This renaissance gave the black community pride for their race and is really the moment when Harlem became the black mecca of the world.

NIGHTLIFE 

Apollo Theater is a common household name, and it is the NYC’s home for R&B and soul. Ever heard of Ella Fitzgerald? Why of course you have…she was launched to her historic career at this theater. Today you can hear the prodigies of these great talents still performing every night. And if you are looking for great tappers…yes I said tappers, check out Showman’s Jazz Club which has weekly tapping shows. Or obviously (the name) they have jazz and blues shows the rest of the week. P.S. the cover is free during the week and only $5 on Saturday and Sunday.

Other:

  • Phuket Lounge
  • Rooftop 760
  • Shrine Bar
  • Bier International
  • The Corner Social
  • Ginny’s Supper Club

CHEAP EATS

Beurre & Sel is a delicacy shop which is cheap!!! Who doesn’t want to live off cookies and french delicacies? Or if you want “real food” try southern delicacies like fried chicken at Country Panfried Chicken. And hey this is Harlem and in NYC terms that means it is cheaper than most so……eating is easy.

Other:

  • East Dumpling House
  • El Aguila
  • Levain Bakery

SHOPPING

When you only got 5 dollars in your pocket, come thrifting at Harlem. Okay I admit you probably should have over 5 but stillColumbia U Consignment is one of the premiere thrift stores in the area. Dig around and you can find some AH-mazing deals. Trunk Show Designer Consignment has deals such as 60% of Chanel. So basically it’s every girl’s dream. The streetwear shop Harlem Underground is where you can really feel the vibrance of community and translate that into your own closet. And speaking of local vibrance Bebenoir has DJ’s spin in the windows. This is an own private label and the clothes are as vibrant as the community. 

There are plenty of great skin and hair -care stores in the area. Carol’s Daughter and Sade Skincare are two of the most well-known. um…yeah and you know how I was just talking about every girl’s dream well….Brad Pitt shops at Carol’s Daughter. So yeah. Just let that sink in. Maybe your eyes will meet his while your shopping for fragrances and he will leave Angelina for you….who knows.

And obviously we know the goods like H&M and Target. We got to have the goods.

BASKETBALL

My favorite topic! Maybe you thought I was just a dancer but even dancers can be obsessed and play basketball. Oh and by the way Harlem is HOME of streetball. So yeah expect a lot of links.

Rucker Park is considered by ESPN at one of its “Top 100 Sports Arenas in the World.” That’s nuts. Rucker Park has a tournament every summer which hosts the best streetballers from around the world. But more than that Rucker Park makes great players and helps to keep young boys off the streets. At Rucker Park it is hard and tough streetball where toughness and flash is something that is a time honored traditioned. So many greats come to Rucker Park to have fun including my favorite Kobe Bryant. Watch him go crazy here. But there are also greats who played at Rucker Park religiously.

The greats who just come to play is a crazy huge list including:

The list could go on and on and on and on. But having these great players come to Rucker Park to the community and show the community their greatness, is probably some of the best moments of the residents life and it truly shows them that they are capable of greatness too. Michael Jordan created a Breakfast Club Event at Rucker Park which was a clinic for the kids. Dwayne Wade was there…watch him having fun with the kids here. It’s for the kids, for the nicknames, for the fun, and for the pride.

Skip to My Lou playing in his streetball days Photo by:http://streetball.com/photo/rafer-alston-streetball-wallpaper

Skip to My Lou playing in his streetball days Photo by:http://streetball.com/photo/rafer-alston-streetball-wallpaper

But that list up there is only the players who made a couple trips to the park. ESPN came up with an unranked list of the 24 best players who played at the park on a regular basis. Perhaps the greatest streetball legend is “Skip to My Lou” or Rafer Alston who actually made the leap from streetball to the NBA. Watch him on And1’s tape here. What really surprised me in this 24 player list was the NBA legends who were on it. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving, Connie “The Hawk” Hawkins, and Nate “The Skate” Archibald. These are some of the greatest players in the NBA ever. I never realized that they were religious streetballers too. Other names on this list include: Herman “Helicopter” Knowlings, “Jumpin” Jackie Jackson, Earl “The Goat” Manigault, Earl “The Pearl Monroe”, and Frank “Shake N’Bake” Streety. 

Watch the Blackout here for more Rucker Park documentary. (Lebron still is the worst though)

THE PEOPLE

Other than these basketball legends there are many talented people who have came out of Harlem.

  • Lil Mama
  • Al Pacino
  • Arthur Miller
  • Duke Ellington
  • W.E.B. Dubois
  • A$AP Rocky (and the mob)
  • Tupac
  • Bill “Bojangles” Robinson
  • Louis Armstrong
  • Puff Daddy
  • Marx Brothers
  • Alicia Keys

And finally Barney, Neil Patrick Harris, calls Harlem home today.

 

NEXT WEEK: Tribeca

 

Hell’s Kitchen

Boundaries of Hell's Kitchen. Photo by: en.wikipedia.org

Boundaries of Hell’s Kitchen. Photo by: en.wikipedia.org

 

Don’t worry it’s not as scary as it sounds….in fact, Hell’s Kitchen is the set of one of the most beloved musicals of all time, West Side Story. And because I just love it so much watch more here. Yes I know, I know, the musical is about gang violence however, today’s Hell’s Kitchen is much less crime ridden than it was in the past. It is basically the new haven for gay activity in the city. So basically the gang violence has transpired into more of a “feeling pretty” way of life–though this way of life is less visible than the pride in West Village.

Tony and Maria singing Tonight in West Side Story. Photo by: deadline.com

Tony and Maria singing Tonight. Photo by: deadline.com

Hell’s Kitchen’s former identity was built around it’s reputation for fighting, for “rumbles”. This is probably the reason for it’s name because the inhabitants blood boiled hot as hell. Now the city has put in the money to increase the reputation of this storied neighborhood. Billions have been put into the area for new apartments and parks such as, The Clinton Community Garden, in order to revamp the area from his former hell (This revamp came hand in hand with Times Square restoration).

APARTMENTS

Something about the old reputation of Hell’s Kitchen that makes it a great past for the current resident is that the housing prices are lower than other parts of the city. Because of these low costs and the nearby Broadway Theatres many aspiring actors call Hell’s Kitchen their home. Living in Hell’s Kitchen you get a real city feel. There is seldolm any green areas to trick you that you’re not in the hustle and bustle. However, the closeness to Midtown allows you to reap the benefits of a cheaper apartment while being close to iconic staples such as Central Park.

Sudio apartments average (nybits) is approximately $2,849. Continuing with nybits.com’s averages 1-bedroom (3,905), 2-bedroom (5,192),  3-bedroom (7,166), and 4-bedroom (7,648). Naked Apartments states that the median rent for a 1 bedroom is $3,150.

Top No-Fee Buildings (nakedapartments.com)

  • 505 W 37th St
  • 1 River PL
  • 610 W 42nd St
  • 557 10th Ave
  • 453 W 37th St
  • 450 W 42nd ST

NIGHTLIFE

With a history as crazy as Hell’s Kitchens you already know the nightlife is very lively. Gay bars are something else in this neighborhood and one of the very beset is XL Nightclub,

XL Nightclub, Cabaret & Lounge. Photo by:http://www.gaysocialites.com/2013/01/17/changes-coming-to-nycs-xl-nightclub/

XL Nightclub, Cabaret & Lounge. Photo by:http://www.gaysocialites.com/2013/01/17/changes-coming-to-nycs-xl-nightclub/

Cabaret & Lounge. With 2 dance floors and a 200-seat cabaret theater the place is a riot and definately something worth experiencing at least once. If you need some Therapy after you show off some of your “best” dancing skills at XL try the bar, by the same name, where you can drink things like Freudian Slip and feel high class and educated. And Don’t Tell Mama about the songs you will sing at this Theater District cabaret. And hey! there’s no cover charge (just a 2 drink minimum) so come sing your little hearts away. Escape into South Africa at Xai Xai Wine Bar and immerse yourself in the 100 South African wines.

 

I’m going to leave you with one last option….Fairytail Lounge. Where you can don your best glitter and drink off of centaur manniquins.

CHEAP EATS

  • Amy’s Bread (Sutton Foster is a frequent customer)
  • Blossom du Jour (vegan comfort food)
  • City Sandwich (Portuguese)
  • Donna Bell’s Bake Shop (opened by Pauley Perrette)
  • Gazala Place (Druze cuisine)
  • Sergimmo Salumeria (all things italian)
  • Tehuitzingo Deli and Grocery (2.50 spanish delicacies)
  • Totto Ramen

SHOPPING

Shopping of Hell’s Kitchen allows for inhabitants to keep their flair and stay away from the out of reach designer clothing. It’s quirky, take Fine and Dandy for example. Want a typewriter, a trophy, or menswear? Then this ecclectic shop is the place for you. Grast is quirky more in it’s location, it sells clothing in the Port Authority subway station. And every weekend find the unique quirks of the hood by attending Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market.The flea market is located on 39th and 8th and trust me when I say you will absolutely find something you want.

Immerse yourself in the theater atmosphere and head to The Drama Book Shop where manuscrips, reference materials, and vocal scores fill the bookcases. You’ll truly feel like you are in the prescense of Tony award members.

The River

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum exhibits a 1943 aircraft carrier and is centered around wartime history. This museum is one of a kind and to further your time around the water at Pier 96, you can swim (make sure to check the schedule) and have a great time while surrounded by history. I have not yet visited these landmarks but…. I have high recommendations of both experiences by a New York native. Other piers along the Hudson have special features and it is recommended to walk along these piers and see what you can

DANCE!

We all know that dance is something I’m passionate about. And Hell’s Kitchen has some of the most historic and worldwide known dance centers and academies. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre is one of the best dance companies in the world. I have had the privilege of taking a workshop with Ailey II and watching them perform. It was the most enlightening of my dance experiences in the past 17 years! They are incredibly beautiful, down to earth, and inspiring people. They even have classes for real people, not the incredibly beautiful Ailey dancers. People can take classes in courses like ballet, zumba, African, contemporary, and much more. My advice…take one of these classes and your life will be changed forever!!! Ailey came into prominence when they performed Revolutions, which exemplified African heritage. Also, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE go watch them dance at the theater. Their bodies are truly made by god. Super Fans can save on tickets, see the website for more information on how to become a super fan.

 

Members of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Photo by:http://columbiaspectator.com/arts-and-entertainment/2013/12/05/alvin-ailey-dance-troupe-stages-winter-show-honor-its-namesake

Members of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Photo by:http://columbiaspectator.com/arts-and-entertainment/2013/12/05/alvin-ailey-dance-troupe-stages-winter-show-honor-its-namesake

Broadway Dance Center has been a premiere venue where New Yorkers come to take dance classes since 1984. The Center is a haven for workshops, classes, and programs. In order to take classes you must register online and arrive 45 minutes early to class. There you will get a free ClubCard and will get your photo taken. After that all you have to do is sign into class and dance your little heart out. This card provides you with discounts at businesses throughout the city. Single classes are $20 a piece and a 6 month class bundle is only $17 (other rates are provided on their website.)

 Mikhail Baryshnikov’s art center is also located in Hell’s Kitchen. This center opened in 2005 and hosts arts performances of all forms. Watch Baryshnikov perform in Giselle here.

 

NEXT WEEK: HARLEM 

 

 

 

Morningside Heights

Morningside Heights Boundaries Photo by:http://www.oocities.org/harlemgals/maps.htmlMorningside Heights Boundaries Photo by:http://www.oocities.org/harlemgals/maps.html

Can you see the ivy? Columbia University all but holds Morningside Heights ransom. The best and brightest college students in the United States fill the streets of Morningside Heights. The academia surrounding the streets of the neighborhood invite intellectuals of all kinds and there is always something to experience as you coexist with the ivies. Yes, there may be other colleges in this neighborhood but no one questions that Columbia is king.

APARTMENTS

Due to the academic undertone of this neighborhood the amount of students and teachers who live in these apartments is enormous. This makes the neighborhood a great place for first-time buyers, YOU, and young families. This area has great deals.

Back in the day, Morningside has been known for it’s crime. However in the past decade the crime has been cleaned up greatly! The closeness of Harlem to the neighborhood was a large factor in this high rate of crime and thankfully, Harlem’s crime rate has also dropped dramatically. Helping this neighborhood become one that you really should consider moving into.

The median rent for a 1 bedroom apartment, based on nakedapartments, is 2,595. The top no fee buildings include: 454 Manhattan Ave, 314 W 105th St, and 302 W 114th St

NIGHTLIFE 

As the college crowd is around this neighborhood, the bars will be filled. But amidst the college students there are real neighborhood citizens so you won’t ever feel out of place. Because in New York City there is a place for everyone. Mix with the coeds and the regulars at 1020’s, where cheap beer is high in quantity. Heights Bar and Grill allows you to waste away your time on a nice day sipping margaritas on the rooftop. And if karaoke is your thing, and if you have enough drinks it’s everyones “thing” (Watch Lauren Graham sing here), visit West End. Even the tone deaf are welcome…

CHEAP EATS 

Seinfeld has made Morningside Heights a tourist destination with Tom’s Restaurant. The food may be average but, the appeal is the draw of this historic restaurant. Don’t you remember “Monks Cafe”?

Tom's Restaurant Photo by: http://tomsrestaurantdocumentary.com

Tom’s Restaurant Photo by: http://tomsrestaurantdocumentary.com

others: 

  • Toast
  • Columbia Cottage (FREE wine and cheap CHINESE)–my heaven
  • Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread
  • Max SoHa (treat your date to some world class lasagna)
  • M&G Soul Food Diner
  • Appletree Market
  • Fairway Market
  • Absolute Bagels
  • Taqueria y Fonda
  • Roti Roll Bombay Frankie
  • Pisticci
  • Alouette
  • Koronet

SHOPPING

Century 21 is famous for selling high end fashion at cheap prices, making it a girl’s heaven. The Shoe Tree allows the residents of this town to get nice shoes at a good rate. There is fewer clothing options to be found but in good news since this is a college neighborhood the streets are filled with book stores, guilty this is my favorite form of shopping. Labyrinth is full of scholarly literature, it is a place where you can search through the bookshelves and find inspiration and new knowledge. However, if you really want to buy books Book Culture is a better bet. This is a store that tries hard to capture the nostalgia of the past, when books weren’t sold only in chain bookstores.

Odds and Ends: fix your iPhone, after a night at 1020’s perhaps?, at Fix My iPhone at 1501 Broadway at West 47t Street, 12th floor. Unless it’s water damage, the phone CAN be fixed. Shop for furniture at two Housing Works Thrift Shops where the proceeds help homeless New Yorkers who have HIV/AIDS.

PARKS

Catch the sunset atop the Riverside Drive viaduct…as close to heaven as the living can get. Grant’s Tomb exhibits much Civil War history, and presents a lot of information about the battles. Outside the building there is a mosaic-covered bench that dates to the 60’s. History is a large part of the academic corner of the city. The courtyard of Union Theological Seminary let’s you escape into a world that is far unlike the city life. It is really not meant for you and me to visit, more of a student thing, but sweet-talking your way into the courtyard can be extremely tranquil.

 

Me at the Hudson River. Which can be viewed by the viaducts. Photo by: Jill Fritz

Me at the Hudson River. Which can be viewed by the viaducts. Photo by: Jill Fritz

Riverside Church and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine are two iconic churches that are on the streets of this neighborhood.

ACADEMIA PERKS

Yes, living near universities has tremendous perks. You are near a cultural hub where dozens of speakers and performers would die to do their thing at. Especially, such a prestigious school as Columbia. Two perks in this vein are The Miller Theatre and Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery. Both venues bring in professionals and also exhibit students works to the college students, as well as, the community at large.

Free? We all like that don’t we? Well….at the Manhattan School of Music the put out many concerts by there students, who are all destined for the Lincoln center orchestras, for free. So see the prodigies while they still have baby faces.

 

My advice…look into adult classes at Columbia. Learn from the best and you don’t even have to take an entrance exam!

NEXT WEEK: HELL’S KITCHEN

Upper West Side

Upper West Side is high class but normal Photo by:http://www.nycinsiderguide.com/manhattan-neighborhood-map#axzz3K2OceUUI

Upper West Side is high class but normal Photo by:http://www.nycinsiderguide.com/manhattan-neighborhood-map#axzz3K2OceUUI

 

So I’m just going to warn you this week that I might get a little biased. I am a dancer and the Upper West Side is home to the storied Lincoln Center which is home to national powers such as the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theater, and Juilliard. Ballet in New York is the premiere ballet setting in the United States and in the world. All 90’s girls should remember their idols, the Olsen twins, dreaming about dancing in the ballet at Lincoln Center in their straight to home video show. Remember their song? here.  They’re just too cute. Obviously, when even the greatest twins of all time are dreaming about being a ballerina on the Upper West Side, the arts are what set this neighborhood apart from the rest of the city.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Ballet Party…this book is only a penny on Amazon!! Photo by:http://www.amazon.com/Ballet-Jewelry-Invited-Mary-Kate-Ashleys/dp/0590293990

Mary-Kate and Ashley Ballet Party…this book is only a penny on Amazon!! Photo by:http://www.amazon.com/Ballet-Jewelry-Invited-Mary-Kate-Ashleys/dp/0590293990

Enough of me gushing for the time being…the Upper West Side is like the Upper East Side with it’s high price tags. Unlike the East Side the West Siders are more down to earth and normal, less Blair Waldorf and more of a family neighborhood. But the beautiful, residential, and quiet neighborhood can make it worth the work it will take to budget. The parks that fill the Upper West Side make it feel like you are at peace amid the hustle and bustle of the city lights. Even amid the brownstones it is rather quiet, and the street life is pretty mute.

APARTMENTS

Yes, even without the stuffiness the apartments on the West Side do hold a lot of clout in real estate and the prices are pretty high. The median rate for a 1 bedroom apartment (nakedapartments.com) is $3,017. These apartments do have the benefit of safety and they are very well located in the city. So if you are willing to shed the big bucks the West Side is the perfect place to bunk down.

Top No Fee Buildings

  • 145 W 67th St
  • 2380 Broadway
  • 666 W End Ave

NIGHTLIFE

The nightlife in the Upper West Side is pretty tame due to the amount of families and richie riches living there. However as the years turn the West Side is becoming more and more hip. Cafe Tallulah, AG Kitchen, Casa Pomona, The Dakota Bar, Park West, and Corvo Bianco are just some of the bars that are making there way into the hearts of the hip west siders. These places are set on a goal that is to bring color to the streets of the Upper West Side. And feel free to play beer pong at Jake’s Dilemma. However, if you are in the mood for a nice glass of wine as you wind down the night or as you have necessary girl talk the Vanguard Wine Bar is the place for you. It has an open-front area where you can soak up the night new york city air. If a show is necessary for your night on the town, Broadway Varieteaseawaits you. There are fun burlesque dancers for you to gawk at and performances that are worthy of a Broadwayish stage.

CHEAP EATS

Pickles anyone? Jacob’s Pickles is an old-fashioned Jewish deli on Amsterdam Avenue that is full of pickles, they are basically in everything! If pickles aren’t your thing, or if you want to take a break from the legumes try Gray’s Papaya. Where you can expand your taste pallet with a hot dog and a papaya drink for only $1.95. If you’d like something other than pickles and hot dogs, there is a Thai Market that will fulfill your Asian taste buds to the extreme. A 3 course meal is reasonable at the Telepan which has specials like lobster for an excellent price.

OTHERS:

  • Hungarian Pastry Shop
  • Taqueria Y Fonda la Mexicana
  • Zabar’s Cafe
  • Metro Diner

SHOPPING

Shopping on the Upper West Side does not have as much acclaim as the East Side does. So let’s focus on where you can get good bargains. Let’s go thrift shopping, ala Macklemore. Housing Works Thrift Shop, Green Flea Market, and St. Francis Thrift Store are the places to go in the Upper West Side if you only have $20 dollars in your pocket. 

The major chains have also sprung up on the streets of the Upper West Side. And no I’m not talking about the clothes, I am talking about my most favorite store in the entire world Barnes & Noble. There store on these streets is a superstore and is frequented by high profile authors. However, my favorite store went down a tad in my books when I heard that Shakespeare & Co, my absolute favorite place in Paris, got kicked off the streets when the big boy, Barnes & Noble arrived. But loyalty is loyalty and books are books and Barnes & Noble can never fall from the top of my lists of stores.

Shakespeare & Co. in Paris….too bad it was killed in the U.S.A. Photo by: Me :)

Shakespeare & Co. in Paris….too bad it was killed in the U.S.A. Photo by: Me :)

The Shops at Columbus Circle is the equivalent to the high end Upper East Side. This is the area that the ritzy natives come to visit, and the normal people come to window shop. It is a modern mall however, and holds stores such as Sephora that are dear to every young woman’s heart.

PARKS 

The Central Park is also tied to the Upper West Side Village (see Upper East Side). This massive park provides many Upper West Siders a great place to relax and take in the nature. Besides Central Park there is Riverside Park and the Hudson River. Riverside Park is a great park to view the waterfront. There are a large amount of sports courts, a skate park, and is a great place to ride on bicycles.

MUSEUMS/LANDMARKS

The Cloisters is the only museum in America that is completely about the medieval ages. It is located at Fort Tyron Park and is completely outside and the medieval art is located throughout the gorgeous walkways in the courtyards. It is like stepping outside of Manhattan. The American Museum of Natural History is one of the greatest cultural museums in the United States. The museum has information about the history of animals, humans, and the universe. Rose Center for Earth and Space and New York Historical Society are two other premiere museums located on the Upper West Side. The Time Warner Center, the CNN building, is also located here and is the epicenter for the news of the world.

CNN Building view from Central Park. Photo by: Me

CNN Building view from Central Park. Photo by: Me

LINCOLN CENTER 

Yay! Finally the Lincoln Center, now I can gush to all of you. Organizations that call the Lincoln Center there home include: The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, The Film Society of Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Juilliard School, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center Theater, The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, New York City Opera, New York Philharmonic, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, and the School of American Ballet. 

Julliard, the holy grail of performing arts school. There is a lot more than dance at Juilliard, yes I know. It is a premiere drama school, and many other arts, I know. here. But I’m sorry I’m going to focus on the history of the dance division. The dance department is tremendously special because modern greats like Martha Graham and Jose Limon have actually been faculty at this great school. So if you want to see these crazy kids leap on the stage or perform an inspiring shakespeare (yes I do like drama and other arts too), Juilliard offers free music, dance, and drama performances weekly in Lincoln Center.

The New York City Ballet. Like Mary-Kate and Ashley sang to us, it is one of the absolute greatest ballet companies in the world. The New York City Ballet is dedicated to preserving George Balanchine’s ideals. Balanchine was recruited in 1933 from London to come start the New York City Ballet, and the world was never the same. Balanchine created much of ballet techniques. He is literally a god in the ballet world. Today, the company has 90 dancers (all fed from the School of American Ballet). Watch a day in the life of the ballerinas of New York City Ballet here. The Ballet performs every night, and it is on my personal bucket list to see one of these shows. During this current season each Monday the ballet sells tickets for $29 for people 29 and under. That is crazy and amazing!   And all young men and woman MUST take advantage of this insanely amazing opportunity.

Other amazing opportunities at the Lincoln Center: 

  • New York Philharmonic open rehearsal (tickets $18)
  • Student Rush Tickets: $13.50 for certain concerts
  • MyPhil: 35 years olds and younger can see self-selected series (at least three) of the Philharmonic for $32.50
  • New York Philharmonic in the Parks: annual free summer concerts
  • New York City Opera: $25 tickets after individual ticket sales begin (certain number for the season)

Yearly Events at Lincoln Center:

  • Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (Feb.)
  • Toast of the Town Food & Wine Festival
  • Lincoln Center Festival (July/August)
  • Lincoln Center Out of Doors
  • Midsummer Night Swing
  • Mostly Mozart Festival

 

 

NEXT WEEK: MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS

Upper East Side

Upper East Side boundaries. Photo by:http://www.cityguideny.com/viewpage.cfm?colid=4362

Upper East Side boundaries. Photo by:http://www.cityguideny.com/viewpage.cfm?colid=4362

The Upper East Side is the epitome of class and the upscale epicenter of New York City. From real life Serena Van der Woodsens and Blair Waldorfs to Madonna the streets of the Upper East Side are filled with the elite. Blue-blooded socialites are at the heart of the Upper East Side and likewise nannies are very prevalent in the area and a great job for the newcomer to NYC.

APARTMENTS

The Upper East Side is known to be ritzy and quiet. However, you can live on the streets of the socialites at virtually any budget. The median rate (nakedapartments.com) for a 1 bedroom is 2,450. And the lowest shares on Craiglist are about 1,109 and up.

Top no fee buildings:

  • 1306 1st Ave
  • 1593 York Ave
  • 400 E 74th St

MUSEUM MILE 

A big way that the Upper East Side is so valued is due to the cultural establishments on the streets. Becoming a member of these museums grant free entry any time and also exclusive parties and offerings that differ from museum to museum. If you don’t want to pay for a membership, however, most museums have deals on different days of the week that make entry fees cheaper.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met) is one of the most prestigious museums in the world, it even is home to Bellini’s Madonna and Child. There is a suggested donation of $25 for adults at the museum. Sundays at the Met are exciting because they have different lectures and sessions about the exhibits within the museum, and the extra lectures are included with the entrance fee. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is another one of the major art museums in the world. The museum is a showcase of cubist, surrealist, and abstract expressionist work. On Saturdays from 5:45-7:45 the museum’s entrance fee becomes pay what you wish. Another top museum on the mile exhibits more controversial and contemporary art, this museum is the Whitney Museum of American Art. OTHER TOP MUSEUMS:

  • Asia Society: Friday 6-9 free
  • the Jewish Museum: Thursday 5-8 pay what you wish
  • Society of Illustrators: Free on Tuesdays from 5-8
  • Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum: $15
  • The Frick Collection: Sunday 11am-1pm pay what you wish (children are not admitted)

EXHIBITION HALLS

Based on the reputation of the Upper East Side intellectuals and artists from all over the world leap at the chance to share their ideas and talents in the Upper East Side’s exhibition halls. Greats like Alvin Ailey and Merce Cunningham have danced on the stage of 92nd Street Y, where modern lectures, live music, and dance performances still take place. The Groiler Club is a exhibition space as well as a library. French Institute Alliance Francaise is a Gallic cultural center that holds theater, dance, and music performances as well as teaches class and holds a diverse French based library.

BARS

The Upper East Side is known to be quiet and more low key than the rest of the bohemian parts of the city. Yes, the socialites do indeed go out but there version of a night out, is way  too expensive for most of us, for instance Bemelmans Bar. But if you must drink with the big leagues such as Robert De Niro and Quentin Tarantino a legal cigar bar called Lexington Bar and Books. In recent years, some more well priced and community establishments have popped up. Earl’s Beer and Cheese, The Penrose, ABV, and Guthrie Inn have become the hotspots for the youthful Upper East Side inhabitants.

CHEAP EATS

Ritzy eateries fill the streets but if you know what to look for eating in the Upper East Side is manageable, and you don’t have to spend $105 for a three course meal. Sushi is a big deal on the Upper East Side. These places can get expensive but they are delectable. Haru is one of the lesser expensive sushi places on the block.

  • JG Melon’s: Burgers
  • Cascabel’s: Mexican
  • Atlantic Grill: Seafood
  • Dylan’s Candy Bar (owned by Ralph Lauren’s daughter)
  • Cafe d’Alsace
  • Luke’s Lobster: authentic family lobster from Maine
  • El Paso Taqueria: Mexican
  • Uskudar: Istanbul based
  • Shake Shack: Burgers $5
  • Le Pain Quotidien: Sandwiches (cash only)
  • Lady M Cake Boutique
  • Naruto Ramen 
  • Lill’s Noodle Shop and Brill
  • Mimi’s Pizza
  • Bagelworks

SHOPPING

Madison Avenue and Barney’s New York is what shopping in the Upper East Side is known for. EXPENSIVE. I suggest that you go to other neighborhoods or go online to do your shopping if you live in this neighborhood. However, what is more fun on a lazy weekend day than walking around and looking at the luxurious clothes and possibly seeing celebrities in their natural habitat. But for us normal people stores like Housing Works Thrift Shop and BIS Designer Resale provide hand-me-down Madison and Park ave apparel that we can actually afford.

For other necessities try Eli’s for grocery’s and Make Meaning for all your DIY needs.

CENTRAL PARK 

The views from apartments onto Central Park are one of the reasons that Upper East Side real estate is so incredibly sought after by the elite. Central Park is enormous and the epicenter for feeling one with nature for New Yorkers. It is also a great place to get a workout in. There are circuit classes that are run for free at the park. Spots in the class fill up extremely fast but if you secure a spot you are going to get one of the best workouts at the best bargain in the city. Play Out is a class that focuses on cardio and strength whereas, Bliss Out is inspired by the techniques of Yoga. Even if you don’t take a class many New Yorkers come to walk and run and make the most out of the elaborate green space.

Activities

The Zoo, is only $12 and a staple of the park. From Red Pandas to Polar Bears the zoo has everything an animal lover wishes for. In the summer the park is a flock of activity. There are Summerstage Concerts, a free Central Park Conservancy Film Festival, and the famous Shakespeare in the ParkAt Shakespeare in the Park, lucky audiences have gotten to see Meryl Streep’s genius for free. 

You can also rent boats near the Boathouse restaurant. You can rent paddleboats for $12 every half hour or try a Venetian Gondola ride for $30 every half hour.

Within the park there are certain areas of green space that are special. There are the

Me in Central Park in 2010 Photo by: Jill Fritz

Me in Central Park in 2010 Photo by: Jill Fritz

Strawberry Fields, a quiet zone, where you can honor John Lennon near the place of his death. You can feel the reverence for this great performer from all the people who come to vist. It can get touristy but it is a great place to honor this great man. Sheep Meadow is more for the local crowd. The meadow is on the southwestern edge of the park and it is where New Yorkers go on hot days to lay out in there bikinis and soak up the sun. Belvedere Castle is on the highest grounds of the park and it is an excellent place to bird watch and pass time on the weekends. Conservatory Garden is a six acre formal more European garden amidst the greenery. This garden is located on the east side of the park, nearest to the Upper East Side.

On the rocks of Central Park. Photo by: Jill Fritz

On the rocks of Central Park. Photo by: Jill Fritz

Obviously, Central Park is a tourist spot but it is figuratively and literally run by the locals.

xoxo gossip girl

 

NEXT WEEK: UPPER WEST SIDE

Midtown

Midtown is in the center of all the hoopla of NYC. Photo by:http://www.nycinsiderguide.com/manhattan-neighborhood-map#axzz3K2OceUUI

Midtown is in the center of all the hoopla of NYC. Photo by:http://www.nycinsiderguide.com/manhattan-neighborhood-map#axzz3K2OceUUI

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

Midtown…. all the hustle and bustle…. and the tourist sites. Midtown is where Times Square is, where the Empire State Building is, and where all the tourists gather to see the sites.  Midtown is where many New Yorkers come to work, however thanks to all the tourists it lacks a homey feel. The sheer number of tourists make Midtown the highest neighborhood for crime in New York, but it is mostly petty crime.  But if you can handle the tourists, living next to some of New Yorks greatest landmarks can make it seem like you are living the dream.

APARTMENTS

Look at EasyRoommate.com, shared apartments rent in Midtown can be as cheap as $800- $1,200. Nakedapartments.com has many Midtown apartments for rent, on the cheaper side, between $1,495- $2,000. A huge positive for these apartments is that they are near Grand Central Station, so you are close to one of the greatest hubs of transportation in the country.

ATTRACTIONS

Midtown is the glorified center for New York City attractions. The New York Public Library is home to many of the intellectuals in the city. Celebrity readings are frequent in the library…and for the Sex and the City addict Carrie Bradshaw’s staircase, the one she ran out of her wedding on, is on the right.

Me just being Carrie at the New York Public Library. Photo by: Jill Fritz

Me just being Carrie at the New York Public Library. Photo by: Jill Fritz

Bryant Park is behind the library and a great place to get away from the skyscrapers of Midtown. Free outdoor movies, yoga classes, fencing classes, and readings take place in the park in the summer, whereas a beautiful ice skating rink makes Bryant Park it’s home in the winter. Eloise’s home The Plaza Hotel is a ritzy place to have brunch, or a great place to walk through and see the majestic chandelier. The Empire State Building and The Chrysler Building make the streets of Midtown there home. You’ll gawk at the impressive architecture that looks like it touches the sky. Rockefeller Center is the place to be during the Christmas holidays, from the lighting of the tree to the historic ice-skating rink. The Center is as much aligned to the Christmas season for New Yorkers as Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. St. Patrick’s Cathedral is church fit for kings, or at least the place the Clinton’s used to visit on Sundays. But most importantly it is the spiritual home for the Roman Catholic community in New York. The United Nations and the 192 nation flags are also located in Midtown. 45-minute tours are offered Monday through Friday from 9:45 am to 4:45 pm. Perhaps the most known landmark is Times Square.

Sneaking pictures with the Naked Cowboy in Times Square….watch out they get angry when you don't pay :/ Photo by: Jill Fritz

Sneaking pictures with the Naked Cowboy in Times Square….watch out they get angry when you don’t pay :/ Photo by: Jill Fritz

The square is the heart of Midtown and has Broadway tickets for sale in the center of the square while most of the theatres circle around the square. The tickets they sell at the square are 50% off the retail price. Times Square is a great place to people watch, just be wary of the people in costumes who will do anything to get their money for having their picture taken. Oh and don’t forget…the ball drops at midnight.

NIGHTLIFE

Nightlife is known to be slow in Midtown because of the tourist appeal. La Birreria is a bar on a roof where you can drink a beer, unwind, and see the beautiful views of Madison Square Park and the Empire State Building. Other bars include: Asia de Cuba New York, San Martin Restaurant, Seppi’s, Asiana Restaurant and Bar, Country, Icon Restaurant, Ole Restaurant, Koi, Lasagna, Megu, Meson Sevilla Restaurant, and The Black Duck. New York Comedy Club with it’s two drink minimum is on the streets of Midtown.

Dance Clubs

  • 300 New York
  • Club Cache
  • Club Shelter
  • Gypsy Tea NightclubSchool
  • Strata
  • Chetty Red
  • Culture Club
  • LQ (Latin Quarter)

SHOPPING

Shopping is expensive in Midtown. But the expensive stores make for a great activity even if all you do is try on the clothes. Midtown is great for window-shopping with the girls and just looking at all the extravagant clothes that you will never be able to afford. Macy’s is probably one of the most affordable stores in Midtown. With 9 floors it can feel like heaven. Macy’s has sections for clothing, cosmetics, housewares, furniture, and more. This shop is also the site for the Thanksgiving Parade that 44 million watch on their home television before eating turkey, turkey, and more turkey. Bloomingdales 

is a pricier Macy’s, and getting a Little Brown Bag is one of the most New York City things you can do. Bloomingdales is 125 years old and houses 8 floors of expensive and magnificent merchandise. Barneys New York is a magnet for celebrities to come to shop and the window displays are super extravagant. Bergdorf Goodman is high-end to the

Pretending I'm a bride and that I'm rich at Bloomingdales. Photo by: Jill Fritz

Pretending I’m a bride and that I’m rich at Bloomingdales. Photo by: Jill Fritz

extreme. The home for Bergdorf Goodman is an old Vanderbilt Museum and the dressing rooms even have Central Park Views. If you want to be amazed by diamonds, Tiffany & Co. is the place to go. Security personal guard the engagement rings and you will feel transported into another world. Have you ever seen the movie Big? Remember when Tom Hanks plays on the big floor piano. You can mimic Tom Hanks in FAO Schwarz, a magical play land. Another magical play land in Midtown is Toys “R” Us Times Square where you can ride on a Ferris Wheel or play in Barbie’s Dream House. M&M World is a great place to also let out your inner child. With tremendous statues made out of m&ms and a wall full of m&ms that you can mix to make your own special bag.

 

Hey I'm movie star Tom Hanks. Photo by: Jill Fritz

Hey I’m movie star Tom Hanks. Photo by: Jill Fritz

CHEAP EATS

  • Hallo Berlin German Food Stand
  • El Sabroso
  • D&S Market Place
  • Woorijip Authentic Korean Food
  • Margon
  • The Picnic Basket
  • Park Italian Gourmet
  • Num Pang Sandwich Shop
  • Rudy’s Bar and Grill
  • Xi’an Famous Foods

 BROADWAY

The theaters of Broadway are in the Midtown neighborhood. Broadway is an amazing place to go see some of the most talented people on earth. Shows are constantly changing on the stages of Broadway. Currently, The Book of Mormon, The Lion King, Wicked, Aladdin, The Phantom of the Opera, Jersey Boys, Les Miserables, Matilda, and Kinky Boots are some of the most popular plays that are on stage. You can even see greats like Idina Menzel in If/Then.

Derek Kleno and I after he played Fiyero in Wicked in 2013. Photo by: Jill Fritz

Derek Klena and I after he played Fiyero in Wicked in 2013. Photo by: Jill Fritz

 

NEXT WEEK: UPPER EAST SIDE

 

Greenwich Village

Boundaries of Greenwich Village. Photo by:http://www.nyglobalrealestate.com/west-village.html

Boundaries of Greenwich Village. Photo by:http://www.nyglobalrealestate.com/west-village.html

PERSTARE ET PRAESTARE 

New York University logo. Photo by:http://www.natcom.org/NYU/

New York University logo. Photo by:http://www.natcom.org/NYU/

This village is the living grounds of New York’s elite college students, the home of New York University. Students flock the streets and the collation of minds make discussions and cultural entertainment options educational and inspirational. But even with all the college students, don’t forget this is a real neighborhood. Stars like Britney Spears, Leonardo Decaprio, Julia Roberts, and Cher all own property in the village. So if you want to live amongst brilliant minds and some of the biggest celebrities of all time…Greenwich is the place for you!

 

APARTMENTS

A downside to this village is that the desire to live here is so GREAT that the rental space is limited; thus making rent a little steeper than other New York City neighborhoods. Overall the cost of living is 21% higher than the rest of the neighborhoods in New York City (areavibes). Areavibes also states that the rental rate average in the village is 60% higher than the rest of the city: 1,872.  However on this site there were a tremendous amount of apartments within this range and if this is the neighborhood you want, there are many ways to MAKE it happen but it will take more to find the perfect apartment for you.

ACTIVITIES

WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK, WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK, WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK. This park is one of the most visited attractions in the whole city and is known for the mini version of the “Arc de Triomphe” in Paris and the fountain. It has been

the scene for hippie riots and today there are still a lot of street artists entertaining everyday and it is a very exciting place to people watch. Another get away spot in the village is Jefferson Market Garden, which was once the site of a women’s prison, but is

Washington Square Park. Photo by: gawker.com

Washington Square Park. Photo by: gawker.com

now the home to a beautiful Victorian public library. So grab a bench and sit on the peaceful benches of the magical garden

Thanks to NYU and the New School being built in the village there are a bunch of good priced entertainment. The John Tishman Auditorium at the New School provides lectures, readings, and other cultural events that are open to the public. And as the opportunity to give readings and lectures at the auditorium is very revered, usually the readers and lecturers are prominent figures in the world.  NYU’s fine art museum, Grey Art Gallery, provides visitors a relatively cheap way to view exhibitions on art and social dynamics.

Forbes Galleries are free ways to be awed. The galleries are on the ground floor of the Forbes Publishing Company and are homes to 1,000s toy soldiers and 500 or more toy boats. Let your inner childhood spirit free as you gawk at the galleries.

For the moviegoer, cheap theaters in the village are Angelika Film Center and Cinema Village.

 Another staple of the village are the outdoor basketball courts called “the Cage”. Thousands of spectators come to watch some of the best street ball in the United States every summer. NBA players who got their start at the Cage include, Anthony Mason and Smush Parker.

 Off Broadway Theater

  • Minetta Lane Theatre
  • Players Theatre
  • Monday Night Magic
  • The Accidental Pervert (hilarious)
  • 13th Street Repertory Company
  • Rattlestick Playwrights

NIGHTLIFE

Jimmi Hendrix used to be a regular on the stage of Le Poisson Rouge. Now however the club is more of a collection of classical rock and indie rock. Other celebrities known to make an appearance on a Greenwich Village stage include Aziz Ansari at the Comedy Cellar. The self proclaimed, “Jazz capital of the world” resides on the streets of the village. Blue Note, rather pricy, has late night groove series that require reservations. A staple of the villages has to be Café Wha? In the 60s this place was the hangout for most of the hippies who inhabited Washington Square Park. Today, live bands perform after 9pm every Wednesday through Sunday.

CHEAP EATS

Because of the high cost of living in Greenwich, one must learn to eat on a budget. In the village there are a tremendous amount of cheap eats if you know where to look.

  • Bar Cerrera (Spanish)
  • Francois Payard Bakery (Subs)
  • Olive Tree Café (Mediterranean)
  • Two Boots to Go-Go (Pizza)
  • Joe (coffee)
  • Sacred Chow (Kosher)
  • The Kati (Indian)
  • Cozy Soup n Burger
  • Tonnie’s Mini (bakery)
  • Think Coffee
  • Grey Dog’s Coffee
  • Café Tasia (Asian, Thai)
  • Peanut Butter & Co. (American, soup, subs)
  • Red Bamboo (veggie, Asian)
  • Artichoke Basille’s (Pizza $4)
  • Mamoun’s Falafel (24/7 $2 falafels)

SHOPS

Greenwich. These celebrities are fans of E. Vil…666 above the door…despite the cryptic look of the store the graphic tees are very popular. Midwesterners will know the stores such as Burlington Coat Factory (THIS ONE IS THREE LEVELS) and Urban Outfitters; even in the glamor of the city you still have these great choices for decent priced clothing.

There are stores like Annie Sez and Beacon’s Closet that are known to sell clothes and accessories for a whole lot cheaper than department stores. For example, you can get Christian Dior for $25 at Beacon’s Closet…that’s just insane.

Purdy Girl is a staple for the Greenwich young women and sells flirty dresses and office attire at great prices. Make Up For Ever completes the pretty girl look. You can even create your own palettes at this cheaper makeup store. And for the boys Flight Club is a haven for those who love Jordans and street wear.

 

NEXT WEEK: MIDTOWN

East Village

east_village

SEASONS OF LOVE

One of the most popular Broadway Musicals of all time, Rent, takes place in this formerly punk neighborhood of New York. As notfortourists.com states East Village is, “downtown’s most livable neighborhood”. With all the former wild ties to the punk culture, East Village has now turned into a more upstanding neighborhood but that doesn’t mean that all the edge of the punk and bohemian movement has left the area.

 APARTMENTS

The apartments of East Village are some of the most affordable in the entire city of New York. This is somewhat due to the influx of college students, parts of NYU and Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, which are a part of this neighborhood. There are small studios and one bedroom that even have stabilized rent. If you had a 2 bedroom share the rate would be from about to 1,100-1,700 per month (nyhabitat.com). Craigslist confirms this data, unless you want a Brownstone that can cost as much as 8,000 per month.

These prices make the East Village very livable especially for the out of state movers. And with prices so low you still get a great area full of atmosphere and culture.

 CRIME

“East Village crime index is 60% lower than New York City’s average…” (areavibes.com). Areavibes.com goes on to state that, “East Village is safer than 82.9% of New York City

neighborhoods.” Numbers this good deserve a trophy, and make this Village a great place to start your life as a New Yorker.

 ACTIVITIES

East Village is known for its stand up comedy, they house some of the best places to enjoy stand up in the city. UCB East always has a show going on, and the shows only cost $5! Other places to watch great comedy include: Beauty Bar Comedy and Comedy as a 2nd Language. Other interesting sites in this neighborhood include New York Marble Cemetery; the cemetery has no gravestones and is populated by many viewers interested in ghostly histories. And if you’re in the mood for some cheap and great theatre; look no further than Theater for the New City, which offers a variety of shows for only $10. And whatever you do, don’t forget to relax with a book, play with a dog, or take a leisurely stroll at the famous Tompkins Square Park.

Museums to Visit

  • Museum of Jewish Heritage ($12, or free every Wed. from 4-8 p.m.)
  • Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space ($5 suggested donation)
  • New Museum of Contemporary Art ($16 or pay what you wish Thurs. 7-9 p.m.)
  • Ukrainian Museum ($8)

NIGHTLIFE

When people such as Home Alone star Macauley Culkin hang around the East Village nightlife, you know the Nightlife is spectacular. Culkin himself has been seen in Cabin Down Below Bar. This bar’s entrance is through the pizza shop above and springs to life well past midnight to keep all the youthful partiers going. Another hidden gem is Nublu, which has only one outside advertisement, a blue light.

If you’re looking to be entertained look no further than the Boxcar Lounge. Every Monday they have a showcase that features a pianist and the staff singing 20th century songs, so warm your vocals up because every other Monday entrance is free! And if you want to dance the night away, along with the burlesque showgirls, Trash at Webster Hall is your place to go! Every Friday it is only $10 admission that starts at 10 p.m.

 Famous cocktail bars: The Summit Bar, Death & Company, and PDT

CHEAP EATS

Cheap, Cheap, Cheap!! The streets of East Village are filled with stops that will satisfy your food cravings and won’t leave gaping holes in your pockets. Caracas Arepa Bar makes handmade grilled cheeses, and every pita that is made is made fresh from scratch every day. For another basic meal one can check of Crif Dogs, grilled and deep fried hot dogs of your choosing. Another signature restaurant is the Sigmund Pretzelshop, which sells pretzels in all their sundried glory. If you have the drunchies…look no further than the relatively cheap, Eastern European food selling, 24 hours a day operating, Veselka. This is sure to satisfy all your needs when you are leaving the clubs at the wee hours of the night.

Other

  • Hummus Place
  • This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef
  • Zabb Elee (Thai)
  • Whitmans (Burgers GALORE)
  • Mile End Sandwich
  • Robataya NY
  • Mercadito (Brunch)
  • Prune (Bruch, an hour wait)
  • Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter
  • Big Arc Chicken

SHOPS

Vintage. Some of the best vintage shops in all of New York City can be found in the East Village. Fabulous Fanny’s, Metropolis, and Local Clothing all have tremendous vintage clothing, for relatively cheap pricing. The East Village is a place to be an original and these places hold original vintage clothes, not simply vintage Prada clothing. However if you are looking for high-end second hand shops, Buffalo Exchange is one of the best in the business. Even better than the cheap and high valued items, 7 for Mankind jeans for $25, is that you can sell your old clothing there for cash, and ALL brands are welcome. Cheap jeans can also be found at a low price at the quality store Dejavu.

Strand Book Store. Photo by:http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/travel/destinations/2008-01-09-nine-bookstore-destinations_N.htm

Strand Book Store. Photo by:http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/travel/destinations/2008-01-09-nine-bookstore-destinations_N.htm

Records and bookshops flood the streets of the East Village bringing the bohemian atmosphere to the streets. Other Music has a tradition of selling great Indie Records and is a major scene for the musically inclined. For the book works, Strand Book Store, has 18 miles of books and two million discounted books in its shelves.

 

NEXT WEEK: GREENWICH VILLAGE

West Village

Boundaries of West Village. Photo by:http://www.nyglobalrealestate.com/west-village.html

Boundaries of West Village. Photo by:http://www.nyglobalrealestate.com/west-village.html

BOHEMIA?

Do you want to live in the same neighborhood as Harry Potter? Or maybe the famous Olsen twins? Then look no further than the West Village. As nakedapartsments.com states, “Perhaps more than any other NYC neighborhood; West Villagers are obsessed with their neighborhood”. West Village is packed with culture, and with a large wealthy portion of it’s demographic West Villagers still manage to obtain a homey, bohemian, European, everyone knows everyone feel while they walk down the cobblestone streets. But don’t be surprised if the real Carrie Bradshaw comes walking down the streets….

Downside? It may take awhile for you to get used to the streets, which are based on an off the grid street pattern that can make even the most direction centered people confused.

Waverly Place crosses at…Waverly Place?!

APARTMENTS

The West Village is filled with low to mid-rise buildings. These apartment rooms may be small however; they have architectural charm that makes up for the size of the rooms. I looked at sites like Craigslist, Easyroommate.com, and Nyhabitat.com and each of these sites had prices for shared apartments that ranged from 1,100 to 1,800. If you would want to rent your own 1 bedroom apartment in the Village it would cost on average 4,262 (nybits.com). A 2 bedroom would be on average 4,568 (nybits.com), and a studio apartment would be on average 3,775 (nybits.com). These prices may be grand however; the locale and the opportunities that lie in the West Village make up for the small, expensive apartments.

MOVEMENTS

West Villagers have made their presence know in history by being at the epicenter of major movements in the city. The Gay movement started with a bang in this area. The 1969 riots were based at the Stonewall Inn. Today, the gay population has moved north however their mark is forever present on the village. Gay bars, go-go dancers, and drag queens are frequent in the area.

Another movement that is present in this area is the preservation efforts. Since 1969 most of the area has seen little change. The need to preserve the history is seen in the tree-lined streets and brownstones that are a fixture of the area. The only change that has been recent in this area is in the meatpacking area. High-end stores and nightclubs have now replaced the slaughterhouses.

ACTIVITIES

FOR FREE? You heard it here; enjoy fine art at Algus Greenspoon, Maccarone, or Gavin Brown’s Enterprise. These galleries represent a wide range of art collector’s that are sure to wow.

Working out in the city can get expensive, unless you know where to look. There are recreation centers all throughout the city that cost, at a sixth month rate, either $50 without an indoor pool or $75 with a pool. In the West Village there is, Tony Dapolito Rec Center (1 Clarkson St), which offers a pool and a great workout facility.

There is a significant theatre that lays on the streets of West Village, this theatre is called Cherry Lane Theatre. This theatre is one of the oldest off-Broadway theatres in all of New York. This theatre has tremendous stake in the theatre world as being one of the best off-Broadway theatres as well. From the stage to the screen, the IFC Center is a cheap movie theater. It has three screens and shows indies, classics, and midnight cult shows. It is also common for many actors or directors to come here to premiere their new works.

Parks to relax in:

  • Abingdon Square Park
  • James J Walker Park
  • Jefferson Market Garden
  • The Church of St Luke in the Fields

NIGHTLIFE

Cabarets are a big draw in the village. The Duplex, the city’s oldest cabaret, and Marie’s Crisis are a couple of the beset cabarets in the whole city. At the Duplex, there is even a singing waitstaff on the ground-floor! Drag Queens, while they frequent the Duplex, multiply when you step outside the cabaret and into the gay bars such as, Stonewall Inn and The Monster. These places have high energy dance music that will get even the most shy person onto the dance floor. Jazz music is likewise a major draw to West Villagers. Places like Smalls, Village Vanguard, 55 Bar, and Zinc Bar allow for a wide range of jazz listeners to appreciate. Legends like Miles Davis even played in places such as the Village Vanguard.

Bars like Fiddlesticks (56 Greenwich Ave) allow partiers to have a cheap night hour with $5 happy hour Monday through Friday. Other bars such as the Rusty Knot, Highlands, and Blind Tiger Ale House are frequented and loved by the locals. And if you ever want to take a short one night trip to “Paris”, one can try Vin Sur Vingt which can transport you to the city of lights.

Jamming out in a bar in the West Village. Photo by: Marie Fritz

Jamming out in a bar in the West Village. Photo by: Marie Fritz

GOOD EATS

Who would wait in line for an hour for a burger? Those who want to have a legendary burger experience at the Corner Bistro. You’ll almost forget about the slowness of the line with the Yankees on the T.V. and $2.50 drafts, and when you taste the burger you’ll understand the hoopla. There’s also the dynamic duo of Amy’s Bread and next-door Murray’s Cheese that will be able to satisfy all cravings, even open until midnight on weekends. There is talk of an addictive Raisin Samolina Loaf at Amy’s Bread, which also serves sandwiches and giant cookies, which all villagers must try.

Local foods also are represented largely at two restaurants, Dos Toros and ‘Ino, in the village. Dos Toros is a spinoff of the owner’s restaurant Taqueria. This smaller restaurant still has all the tacos and quesadillas to satisfy the spicy side of your diet. ‘Ino on the other hand is tiny, but if you are able to grab a spot their sandwich heavy menu is delicious. Outside the local foods there is Taim, which is home to exotic smoothies and Israeli food combination. Only here will you have both a falafel and a smoothie bar.

For a fancy night out you can try, One if by Land, Two if by Sea.

SHOPS

High end shops frequent the streets of the village, Marc Jacobs shops have made it it’s permanent home. The celebrities of the village have to shop somewhere right?  Shopping for cheap in the village is not easy, but that’s what online shopping is for right? Nice shops include C.O. Bigelow Chemists; a cheap apothecary, Darling; vintage clothing, Considerosity; gift boutique, and The Ink Pad; the only store in the city dedicated to stamps.

 

 

NEXT WEEK: EAST VILLAGE

Welcome!

Have you ever felt like you were destined to live in another place? How about the city that never sleeps? Hello, my name is Marie and I live, begrudgingly, in the state of Wisconsin. That’s right, the home of the cheeseheads. I am a 20-year-old college student who hears the bright lights of the city and the sounds of Broadway calling my name. After I graduate, I plan to move to New York to either live or go to graduate school and then live. According to the Moving to New York online guide, a quarter million hopefuls move to New York every year so I thought that I would share my findings on the city with you, my future neighbors!

What do I have to say?

This blog will go through the neighborhoods of New York and detail both the HIGHS and

On our water taxi ride to see the Statue of Liberty. I'm the blonde one :) Photo by: Jill Fritz

On our water taxi ride to see the Statue of Liberty. I’m the blonde one :) Photo by: Jill Fritz

the LOWS of moving into that section of the city. Topics I will cover include: apartments, dining, nightlife, shopping, etc. A lot of the information will deal with the costs of these events and how to be cost efficient in the big city. In order to move to New York one must be driven and will need to work hard to carve out a place amid the 8 million residents that will feel like their own slice of the city. I am speaking to those young hopefuls, like me, who want to experience the chance to live in the GREATEST CITY ON EARTH.

 But why…

Knowing the details about New York, or any city for that matter, is a sink or swim situation when you’re planning to move your entire life there. In order to stay afloat in the city you need to know the ins and outs of the many different neighborhoods so you can make the right decision of where you will have your cozy new apartment and where you will have your morning cup of coffee. The more you know, the more you will be confident when you move to New York. I will be learning right along with the rest of you, so feel free to leave comments that can help!

 

NEXT WEEK: WEST VILLAGE