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
Murray Hill is a small residential neighborhood whose good side is blocks of former carriage houses from the 20th century and whose bad side is lackluster post-war apartment buildings. Here you could have discovered an interesting apartment ten years ago; what remains today are lots of large residential buildings without charm or doormen, and local services that cater mostly to residents: small grocery stores, hardware stores, non-remarkable restaurants, and nail salons.