Change

23 Jan

Change is in the air.

We (finally!) have a new president, big things are happening for both Isaac and I at work and we’re moving.

No, sorry Lydia, not upstate.  But we are moving on up, uptown in fact, to the Upper West Side.

Our two years in Bay Ridge were an experiment.  After living together in an apartment that more closely resembled a small watercraft (with a very small kitchen) than a place to live on land, we decided that space trumped an easy commute.  We packed up and moved to the far, far reaches of Brooklyn.

At first it was joyous; a new neighborhood with new quirks and so much good food to explore.  But as the months dragged on and my job, especially, became increasingly intense, the hour or more spent each way commuting to and from work has become too much.  And so, when an email popped up on my BlackBerry from a co-worker who was vacating a small (but not that small) two-room studio a block-and-a-half from Central Park, we jumped on it.

And now, finally, more than a month later, just about everything but our furniture and the stuff in the refrigerator is back in Manhattan.  Neither of us know much about the neighborhood, but we’re excited.  It seems like real New York, grown-up New York, 24-7 New York.  I can’t wait to live in that world again.

Because, while there are things I like about Bay Ridge, the cons more than outweigh the pros.  The neighborhood’s seeming inability to understand that some people work past 5pm is frustrating.  The simmering racial tensions get to me, not being able to get a beer without being subjected to bad ’80s hair metal karaoke pisses me off and the intractable meat-head and screechy-girl culture is utterly exhausting.

And while, yes, I know these complaints make me sound petty, and some old school Bay Ridgers are probably mumbling under their breaths,  “Well good riddance! Get back to Manhattan you yuppie!”  there are things about BR that I will sorely miss.


First and foremost, the Freds.  I just can’t see the UWS being populated by a group of friendly, fuzzy roaming cats that like to sit in your window and serenade you with their mewows.  Second, the food.  It’s hard to imagine life without easy access to Polonica‘s amazing clear borscht with uzkami and Pegasusavgolemono.  I’ll also miss the wealth of ethnic groceries dotted around the neighborhood.  Finally, I’ll miss Owl’s Head Park and its amazing ability to be 20 degrees or so less sweltering on the hottest of summer days.

But, we’ll be within walking distance from Central Park.  And Fairway.  And Lincoln Center. And, in a pinch, my office.  And Isaac’s office.  It’s going to be good to be back in Manhattan!  And, the kitchen is super teeny tiny, so all of you that loved those old original posts from back when we had 12 square feet of countertop in the kitchen, you’re in luck!  Cooking is going to get interesting again.

So, once more, I’m asking you join us in exploring another New York City neighborhood through our lens.  I think it’s going to be fun and exciting and full of delicious food.  Our first lunch at Barney Greengrass was incredibly delicious, and hopefully only the first of many.

16 Responses to “Change”

  1. Christina January 24, 2009 at 8:08 am #

    I’ve always loved the Upper West Side. If I were ever to move back to Manhattan, that’s where I’d want to be. Enjoy it, and congrats!

  2. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) January 24, 2009 at 11:32 am #

    Ah, but you are happy — and you will love the Upper West Side. And you will still love going upstate. So it sounds like the best of all possible worlds, and I am thrilled for you and Isaac.

  3. Lucy January 24, 2009 at 2:42 pm #

    Congrats on having made a decision to cut down on your commute! We are still in our apartment with the boat kitchen but wouldn’t give it up for anything. Photograph no. 4, the one with the gnarly almost anthropomorphic trunks that go across the field like surface pattern and the little lamp post in the corner is just wonderful. L

  4. Ulla January 24, 2009 at 3:11 pm #

    Welcome back to Manhattan!
    We should have a blogger meet up:)
    Love your writings on new york and look forward to all adventures you will share with us in your new hood:)

  5. EB January 25, 2009 at 5:43 pm #

    This might be my favorite photo set of yours. I really do miss NY in the winter.

  6. lucy January 26, 2009 at 12:36 pm #

    I just stumbled onto your blog and I love the pictures you took, especially of the owl in the tree! Being from Toronto and only been to New York twice, once when I was 5, just passing thru the airport and once when I was 15, when I went to Connecticut I was wondering where these photos were taken exactly?

  7. ann January 26, 2009 at 5:25 pm #

    lucy — They were all taken in Central Park except the street scene and the apartment building which are near Lincoln Center and the Museum of Natural History. Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Miriam January 27, 2009 at 9:59 am #

    This blog is going to make me even more ridiculously nostalgic for NYC than it already does! I love that area. I had a 12 sq ft Morningside Heights kitchen, in the teeny entryway of my 2-room apt, that actually produced amazing things. Your pictures today remind me of a time just before the holidays one year when I was at the Museum of Natural History and it began to snow, big huge snowflakes, and I walked home and it was the first time I’d ever heard quiet in Manhattan.

  9. Julie January 27, 2009 at 3:28 pm #

    What a great bunch of pictures. You make New York City look so incredibly romantic which of course is how I always thing of it.

    Yay for no more long commutes and hip hip hooray for more NYC to explore. (You know how much I love being able to prowl New York vicariously through your walks and rambles!)

  10. ann January 28, 2009 at 6:47 am #

    Christina — We finally have internet so I can say, yay! Thanks! So far we’re enjoying it very much.

    Lydia — Thanks! I can’t wait to see how much time being this much farther north cuts off the drive. So exciting!

    Lucy — I love that photo too. There’s something very “Narnia” about it in a way. It was the best day in the Park ever.

    Ulla — Blogger meet-ups are always fun!

    EB — Not today you wouldn’t. Ick! It snowed overnight and now, just in time for everyone to go to work, it’s changing over to freezing rain and rain. Good times!

    Miriam — You know that’s what I’m here for, right? Just kidding! But glad to be providing a little respite for daydreaming in your day.

    Julie — I do it all for you! I’ve spotted a great new painted advertisement on my new commute that I need to take a picture of. It’s really cool.

  11. Sadaf January 28, 2009 at 4:40 pm #

    Wow your Bay Ridge posts made me nostalgic. I lived there for five years, several of them on Shore Rd, which was my favorite. The commute was always a drag, but I miss the neighborhood so much. Best of luck in your new home!

  12. Mary January 29, 2009 at 10:35 am #

    Awesome. Wasn’t there an article in The Times recently about small kitchens? http://bitten.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/17/anatomy-of-a-minimalist-column/?scp=4&sq=small%20kitchen&st=cse
    Ah, there it is.

    Best of luck to you in your new digs. I’m looking forward to reading. I made homemade goat cheese during our Cincinnati snowstorm this week and I thought about the complete stranger in NY who shared the recipe with me.

  13. WillB January 29, 2009 at 9:34 pm #

    OK fess up – you just love to live out of cardboard moving boxes! And it sounds like a lot of one-pot meals in your future… But it looks like it’s going to be fun! Looking forward to more wonderful pictures. Congratulations (again!) on your new(er) home!

  14. ann January 30, 2009 at 6:30 am #

    Sadaf — Shore Rd is awesome. You’re right. Now you’re making me nostalgic! And I only left last week!

    Mary — Oh that’s so cool that you made goat cheese and thought of me! That’s high praise. I love the internet!

    Will — You caught me, I do love living out of cardboard boxes. Yeep, when I look through the lens of this blog it really becomes clear just how much has been going on around me the last few months. I need a vacation!

  15. bloglily February 12, 2009 at 4:08 pm #

    Ann, I know I am very late to this — but I just wanted to say that these photographs are really so beautiful. And I am looking forward to hearing about what you produce from that tiny kitchen. There are some truly wonderful MFK Fisher essays where she talks about living in Dijon, in a weird and incredibly difficult kitchen, but not really caring very much because the food was still so good. xo

  16. ann February 16, 2009 at 11:13 am #

    Lily — Thanks. It’s funny to me that I’ve never mentioned on here how much I love that MFK Fisher book you sent me. Just love it. And yes, whenever I think about my tiny kitchen, I think about her tiny kitchen in Dijon too. Its such a nice continuity to the past…

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