When we chose a neighborhood to be ours, peace and quiet was a big consideration. We did our homework; scoured almost every section of Manhattan, and decided the Upper West Side would be convenient, quiet, more laid back than other parts of the city, and easy to live in.
We loved downtown. We still love downtown. But generally speaking, many areas below 23rd street are busier. Not as busy as midtown, but nonetheless–still busy. Busy means noise, stress, less sleep and eventually more wrinkles and dark circles. And I am anti plastic surgery.
I walked through Greenwich Village yesterday as I frequently do, and realized how much more exciting it is than the Upper West Side. I did already know this, but sometimes I choose to forget. Often, Mike and I are downtown for dinner and of course the nightlife is more substantial. But even during the day, there is more of the action and energy that I love so much about New York.
On West End Avenue, the most exciting mid-day event is a group of dogs getting into a scuffle, or better yet, a child riding a bike WITH a helmet and training wheels.
We didn’t choose our apartment based on the trendy, cool, or hip possibilities. We chose it because it felt like home. Even though I often dream of living in the loft in TriBeCa or the brownstone in Chelsea with a backyard, I am satisfied with a quick jaunt on the 1 train. Just 20-30 minutes later, I can pretend I live on Harrison or Greenwich Street, or 21st street and 9th avenue in Chelsea. For now. Who knows what the future holds?
There’s a funny thing about the streets I like downtown: they are on the quieter side too. Perhaps it’s just my old, boring, no-longer-wild self, settling in to the noiseless nooks and crannies in the city that never sleeps.