We have been staying in New York for a week, wandering the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn (and accidentally Queens), scouting locations for an event that we will host here in 2019, and the miles that we have walked top that of even London. The best way to see a city is on foot, in my opinion, because you can see how the neighbourhoods flow into each other and get a different taste of each of them. Last night, we walked from Brooklyn back to our flat in Chelsea. This morning, I started from the flat and ran 100 blocks straight north to the heart of Harlem. We’ve done laps around Midtown and Central Park, frequently popped to the Village and back, knocked on doors (more like rang buzzers) of churches and met so many friendly people.
I have hundreds of images from this trip in a variety of formats: digital, iPhone, Instax, 35 mm film. And there are still 24 hours in which to take more photographs! For the way that I think, the easiest way for me to share my view of New York is to post about each neighbourhood. So hold onto your MetroCards, and let’s go!
I have only the one picture from Queens, and it was taken from the AirTrain on my way from the airport. I haven’t been to the Northeast of the States in a decade, but upon seeing the houses and cars covered in snow, I was hit by a wall of nostalgia. Queens looks typical of a city in the Northeast, and not like what I think of as New York City at all.
Chelsea is where our flat is, so I have wandered the streets in the snow and sun, in the light and the dark. It is conveniently situated between Midtown (where everything touristy is) and the Village (where everything cool is). I don’t find a lot of flavour in its own right, but the architecture is quite a cool mix of art deco and modern buildings jutted up against each other.
I’ve also included the Flatiron Building, technically in its own district, because it is my favourite building in the City.
Greenwich Village (Manhattan)
I took my mum to a cafe in Greenwich Village on Mother’s Day, and we walked from her hotel in Chelsea. It was easy to see where Chelsea ended and the Village began, and the sun blazed despite the frigid air. Greenwich Village on a Sunday morning is busier than London, perhaps because it feels like a place for living and not for working.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters (Greenwich Village)
This cafe was not where I would usually take my mother, especially for Mother’s Day, but we did not have much time to spend together before her flight. It had a coffee bar that doubled as a real bar, was dark and full of hipsters on computers, and had walls of exposed brick (which is basically just synonymous with New York). The coffee was good and larger than London, but the cafe was quite busy for early on a Sunday morning, so I didn’t feel quite able to relax and enjoy as I would have liked. But the delicious coffee went a way to make up for it.
And to be honest, my favourite bit was the fact that I could see a Dog Wash from my seat.