Battle of the Boroughs (and Nabes too)

My best friend in New York just moved back to Manhattan from Astoria.

This is the same gal who went from the East Village to Ditmars Blvd a year ago. In that time, we both decided not all neighborhoods or boroughs, for that matter, are created equally.

People are just so much nicer in The City she says.

I nodded agreeingly. Thinking back to those times when strangers in the city would do some of the kindest deeds out of the blue. Like the diner in a West Village restaurant who offered to give me cab fare because I ran out of cash, or the Fruit Stand Man who would let me pick up free produce just before he packed up for the night. Of course, there’s the deli man, the flower guy, and the doorman.

Having just moved to the ‘Burg six months ago, I realize I miss those daily Manhattan-esque exchanges. They were small but sweet. Simple, yet refreshing compared to the hustle bustle of the City.

Maybe it’s just me, and maybe Williamsburg needs more time to grow on me, but there’s something definitely missing along Bedford Ave compared to my days back on Broadway and Amsterdam. In theory, I like the idea of Brooklyn over Manhattan. There’s something more subtle and understated about Brooklyn. Yet Manhattan remains my first love.

I wonder will Brooklyn ever win me over? If not Williamsburg, Park Slope?

I’ve seen and heard of people who get absolutely defensive and protective over their NY neighborhoods, almost as if it were a Yankees versus Mets affair. I can barely decide between two boroughs, much less neighborhoods.

I wouldn’t even know where to begin. I wonder what makes a person fall in love with their neighborhood?

And how do you get over a hood like Manhattan?

4 Comments so far

  1. Daragh Mc Grath (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2006 @ 8:19 am

    You see it’s wierd, as an Irishman, all I remember hearing about New York City was how loud it was, how brash and arrogant it’s people were etc. This isn’t just something you hear about in Ireland, it’s an opinion that a huge amount of people have about New York City.

    As a complete and utter New York nut, I love the place, I can’t agree with any of these opinions in the slightest. New York is one of the warmest, friendliest, most helpful places in the world, and New Yorkers just rock!!

    Dublin / Ireland, the land of the hundred thousand welcomes, is no longer that in my opinion. We’ve become very materialistic, unfriendly and unwelcoming! It’s called progress, I think, but, New York is one of the most progressed AND progressive cities in the world, so, maybe someday we’ll come back around to your way of thinking!

  2. Stella (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2006 @ 11:26 am

    Hi Daragh,

    Thank You for that! And New York loves you too ;)

    Once someone asked me ‘What do you love so much about New York?’

    I replied, ‘The people.’


    Everyone within hearing distance looked suprisingly shocked!

  3. DeeM (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2006 @ 11:51 am

    You don’t get over a hood like Manhattan. Just like you never forget your first love. :)

  4. Daragh Mc Grath (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2006 @ 12:01 pm

    Yeah, I’ll be a NYC resident (and hopefully NYC metblog blogger) within the next two years hopefully!

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