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
Clinton, the phoenix of Hell's Kitchen, is a mixed residential and commercial neighborhood that runs from 34th to 57th Streets, west of Eighth Avenue. Old, sometimes charming buildings host restaurants on their first floors and the last of many of the reasonably priced New York City apartments above. You will see retired men and women walking their dogs in pajamas by chic new eateries. Clinton is home to Alvin Aileys American Dance Theatre, offering outstanding performances and dance classes to the general public, and the Actors Theatre Workshop.