Moving up in the world
Like Wednesday before me and probably like many after me, I’m giving up my beautiful, convenient dowtown surroundings for the dubious pleasures of residing uptown, Harlem to be specific. A weekend spent grilling in a friend’s lawn convinced me that I can no longer live without a little place to step out of my apartment without being run down by a car or an NYU student. And so, on September 28, I’m packing my pots and pans and other paltry possessions and heading to 128th Street . Fifth Avenue, mind you, but 128th Street nonetheless (to the apartment in this house!).
I am experiencing a deep panic that comes back a few times a day over giving up such access and proximity to everything. But this isn’t a neighborhood we’ll ever be able to really afford, although I suppose we could stay in our walk-up shoebox forever. When there’s nothing worth living in for less than $750,000, it’s time to move, even if it’s just to another rental.
And although I’ll be just a few blocks from the good express train, which can whisk me down to Union Square 24 hours a day in just four stops, I’ll no doubt become estranged from the little places that have made this feel like home to me, and that have been the subjects of many posts here on Eat.
- Goodbye, Manhattan Fruit Exchange. Considering your location on the far west side, I’m unlikely to set foot in your glorious market on the weekly basis I became accustomed to this summer. I won’t miss your cash-only policy, but your prices are the best in the area. More cheap morels for everyone else!
- Farewell, beautiful Murray’s Cheese! I’ll make it a point to frequent your location in Grand Central, but it won’t be the same as waiting for my number to be called in your gloriously stinky Bleecker Street shop.
- I’ll try to continue going to Porto Rico once a month for the fabulous, inexpensive coffee, even if just to the little Thompson Street location. (If you live in New York and brew coffee at home, this place is worth the detour and the lines.)
- I know it’s not the city’s best, but I’ll miss Bagel Bob’s for their 35-cent bagel special on Monday afternoons. I suppose I should be eating high-fiber cereal anyway.
- I’ll even miss the awful Garden of Eden, which tried to swindle me every other time I entered the store.
- I don’t shop at Broadway Panhandler anymore after practically being gay-bashed by their crazy security staff a few months ago, but it’s the best cookware shop in the neighborhood, and it had its moments over the last three years. Is there a good place in Harlem?
Balducci’s, Gourmet Garage, Jefferson Market, Citarella, even Whole Foods Union Square…I went to every one of these dumb places for some item or another. Don’t get me started on my precious gay thrift shops, Angel Street and Housing Works, where I’ve found so much cookware and furniture.
But of course the biggest loss, and the one that stings the most, is the Union Square Greenmarket. We’ve had our ups and downs, but there’s no better place to be in the hazy days of late summer and the crisp days of early fall. I can get there in 20 minutes from my new place, but will I? I won’t have the luxury of dashing up three blocks at 6 pm for dollar bags of tomatoes and corn. It will have to be a planned excursion, one I’ll have to think about in advance. That’s likely to be the biggest change in leaving University Place—no more running out on a whim to the shops that have fed me and clothed me for three years of my short life.