When I first rolled into New York City on a Greyhound from the Martha's
Vineyard ferry terminal back in 1981, I never dreamed I would spend at least
the next 26 years of my life here. I was crashing on the floor of my former
college roommate's studio apartment in the far West Village and I hoped, as
I meandered about those maze-like streets, that downtown Manhattan would someday be my home. After protracted periods of life on the Upper East and West sides, I finally settled in Greenwich Village with my family of five. With an office in Soho, downtown is pretty much my full-time stomping ground.
Mornings are perfect at Balthazar in Soho, where the locals meet for blazing hot coffee, bread, and pastries baked at the Balthazar Bakery next door. Farther west on 12th Street, the new Cafe Cluny has a quiet neighborhood feel and plenty of free newspapers to peruse while ... [more]
Andy Arons, Gourmet Garage
Lower East Side
The East Village is home to immigrant families who have lived in the affordable housing here for generations (paid tribute to in the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and Katz’s Delicatessen, both on Delancey Street). The newly upscale profile of the East Village is headquartered on Rivington Street and embodied by the Rivington Hotel and restaurants like teany. An exploration of the East Village should be done on foot: walk east on First Street at mealtime where you’ll stumble upon Prune. East Village landmarks are Washington Square Park, New York University, and the Strand Bookstore; Tompkins Square Park and Chinatown (visit Pearl River Mart, a Chinese department store) are nearby.