Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Let's Hear it for New York

"In New York,
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There's nothing you can’t do,
Now you’re in New York,
These streets will make you feel brand new,
The lights will inspire you,
Lets hear it for New York, New York, New York."
-Jay-Z, Alicia Keys
My trip to NYC this weekend became a trip down memory lane because for the first time since I lived in NY, I actually stayed at a downtown hotel.  I work in NYC a few times a year, but I am usually put up at a midtown hotel.  Given that I am an NYU grad, it was such a pleasure to be back in my old stomping ground.  I am a bit of a downtown snob as I don't like to go above 14th Street. So, here a few photos of my downtown existence from my time at NYU along with a few anecdotes:
This was my very first apartment in Manhattan at 5 St. Mark's Place between 2nd and 3rd Avenue.  I list the entire address because those who know NY will understand that this is probably the most chaotic block of St. Mark's Place.  The apartment was cramped with two girls living in a one bedroom with a lofted bed.  Ah, the joys of a NY apartment:  no space, high rent, and lots of people living in one room. The building used to have a huge pop art mural on the West side of the building, but it is now painted an unsightly white.  Check out the steamy Susan Sarandon/James Spader movie, White Palace, to see what it looked like.
I lived in NY so long ago that I was here when the show, STOMP, first opened.  No one had ever seen anything like it before and it was the talk of NY, now the idea seems pretty commonplace.  If you saw Step Up 3D, there are a lot of similar choreographic ideas.  What is old is new again!
The 2nd Avenue building of Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.  This houses the Grad Acting and Dance Departments and it has a legendary history as the rehearsal hall for Broadway shows like West Side Story.  I owe a lot to the grocery store below for selling me a bagel and a banana everyday for fifty cents.  I was so broke, but they kept me fed while I was a student.
There's now a security desk at the front (What?!), so I couldn't get in.  We used to only have an elevator operator for protection.  Yes, the elevators are that old in this building that they have an operator and an creaky, retracting door. In fact, 111 2nd Avenue is getting a major facelift in the next few years and I imagine it is much needed at this point.
I used to curse at this bakery for baking while I was in ballet. The delicious smells would waft up to the dance studios.  Yes, a dancer thinks about food a lot and this certainly didn't help, but their Hamantaschen was to die for.
For any Tisch student, 721 Broadway is the heart of your existence while you are at NYU.  It was nice to see that door again.
I can't believe that Webster Hall still exists.  I was there when this club opened.  It stole the thunder away from a dying Palladium club, former home of Club MTV back when MTV played music videos, not reality shows.  The Palladium was torn down for NYU dorms.  "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."-Counting Crows.
My love affair with NY really began my senior year at NYU when I moved to the West Village.  I used to look downtown from the corner of Christopher Street and 7th Avenue and see the Twin Towers.  Alas, it's just an empty skyline now.
This corner makes me weep with joy and nostalgia.  I loved this neighborhood and it brings back incredible memories each time I walk through the streets.  I fell in love for the first time in this neighborhood and nothing can ever top falling in love in NY. Watch the "I Heart NY" episode of Sex and the City, you will get it with that first falling leaf.
Ah, my old apartment building.  I paid $705 for a rent-stabilized studio that was the size of my master bathroom in my current home.  You don't understand the meaning of space until you have lived in a Manhattan apartment.

My tour of the Village ended with as all good NY things do with a street fair!  What do you want to buy? Clothing, food, jewelry all in three city blocks.  Some of the best bargains and trendy clothes are found in these NY fairs.  So, be sure to find your treasure the next time you stumble upon a NY street fair.

I hope you enjoyed my tour of nostalgia, memories, and my poor college years. Even though I grew up in Massachusetts, I will always consider Manhattan my heart and my home.

Finally, I want to thank The Cooper Square Hotel for hosting my stay.  I am not sure what made me happier about the hotel:  the location, the glass of wine upon my arrival, or that huge bed to jump into.  I can guarantee, I will be back.  


  1. sigh.... You just took me on a tour of my last love affair with NY. I fell in love with downtown and the West Village while doing our show, just before I left. I had that long conversation with you about it on the phone, while I sat on a bench at W. 4th & W. 10th in the W Village. :( sigh...


  2. this makes me miss new york love it!



  3. Right? There is nothing better than Fall in NY! Sigh.


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