new york city

World Cup Fans in NYC

While I haven’t been watching much of the World Cup, I do appreciate the effect it has on the city. I love walking by fansВ clad in their nationalВ colors, spilling out of bars or huddling around TVs in shop windows.

It makes me feel like I’m in another country—pretty much any other country than here, where this kind of communal viewing is common.

Today I stumbled upon an amazing site, Global Soccer, Global NYC, that wonderfully illustrates this phenomenon. Its founders,В Braden Ruddy, Owen Dodd and Rob Navarro, depict NYC soccer fans watching matches in gathering places (usually bars and restaurants) relevant to their home countries. The photos and accompanying text give a nice snapshot of the countries, their teams and NYC’s immigrant communities:

Ghana vs. Germany, Papaye Restaurant, The Bronx

Ghana vs. Germany at Papaye Restaurant, The Bronx

Argentina vs. Iran at Boca Juniors Steakhouse, Elmhurst

Argentina vs. Iran at Boca Juniors Steakhouse, Elmhurst

Croatia vs. Cameroon at Veslo in Astoria

Croatia vs. Cameroon at Veslo, Astoria

Uruguay vs. Costa Rica at La Gran Uruguaya Bakery, Jackson Heights

Uruguay vs. Costa Rica at La Gran Uruguaya Bakery, Jackson Heights

I’m definitely going to be keeping up withВ Global Soccer, Global NYC.В (And checking out some of those bars and restaurants!)

(Images viaВ Global Soccer, Global NYC)

Let Summer Begin!

Aaron_Rose_1

It’s finally here: the weekend that officially marks the start of summer! (At least, in my book.)

Anyone who knows me—or occasionally checks in on me, here—knows that I’m a total summer girl. I live for long, sunny days; beach weekends; steamy weather; and as much time in the sunshineВ as I can possibly manage.

I’m having a very-NYC Memorial Day weekend: going to a friend’s BBQ in Brooklyn, tomorrow, and to the beach (Rockaway) on Monday—as long as the weather holds out.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend! And until next week, some interesting links from around the web:

The photo above is from an awesome-looking exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York: In the early 1960s, Aaron Rose photographed Coney Island beachgoers. His intimate portraits have a romantic, nostalgic feel. (The very effects that we’re always tryingВ to create on our snapshots with Instagram and other photo programs!)

This even earlier shot of Coney Island, from 1947—can you believe the crowd?!

Speaking of Rockaway—have you seen this proposal to bring a glampground there?

Um, this has to be one of the craziest ballet photos I’ve seen!

For those of us superstitious about 8s and 4s—this made me laugh.

(Image via by Aaron Rose, via the Museum of the City of New York)

Why I Stay in NYC

Traffic on 42nd Street with setting sun

At the end of last week, I came across an interesting question from WNYC: Why do you stay in NYC?

As they put it:

In one of the first episodes of our new show,В Death, Sex & Money, we talked to aВ freelance documentary producer whoВ came to New York in the 80s, but isВ now finding herself priced out, feeling broke and tired. And if you read the comments left by our listeners, you’ll find that many people can relate.

A recentВ Gallup pollВ found that 41 percent of New York residents would move to a different state if they could, and 16 percent are planning to move in the next 12 months. Do you want to leave? If not, why do you stay?

It’s definitely a thought-provoking question—and one I’ve actually asked myself, recently.

As a native New Yorker, I always believed that I’d live in the city forever. Most likely, in Manhattan.

But during the past few years, many dear friends have left the city—including my best friend, who departed to London, with no plans of returning.

For most of my twenties, I was fine living on what felt like the edge of poverty. (My Washington Heights studio eating up more than half a month’s take-home pay? No problem!) But lately I’ve been wondering whether it might be nice to have a larger—much larger—place one day. With outdoor space and multiple rooms and ample areas for entertaining. (Sure, some of those exist in the city, but they’re likely out of my price range!)

And there have been occasions when I returned home from a trip and felt like my wanderlust hadn’t been satiated. Each time, I thought about how easy it would be to just put my stuff in storage and travel for months—no kids, spouse, mortgage or car to worry about. But each time, I stayed.

I don’t regret it, at all. Because when it comes down to it, it’s really been no contest, for me. I have many reasons that make NYC the place where I want to be, more than anywhere else, right now. Among the stronger:

The food. That sounds cliche, I know. But when your cravings come from all over the world, it’s nice to know that you can find a place that cooks that cuisine authentically and affordably. (In the past few days, alone, I’ve eaten Filipino, Bolivian, Colombian, Sichuanese, Jamaican…)

Ballet. Sure, you can dance anywhere in the world. But I’d argue that in NYC, we have some of the best teachers and accompanists, and can take their classes every day of the week. Plus, I’ve worked really hard to get back into ballet shape after several years off. I really didn’t want all that work to go to waste, again. Plus, many of the top ballet companies make their way through the city, and it’s awesome to have access to theirВ performances.

The 24-hour lifestyle. When I lived in Boston, right out of college, I hated that the bars closed at 2 a.m. Now, a decade later, I don’t go out drinking that late. But I really do appreciate being ableВ to grab the subway or a good meal at any hour.

My parents, who also live in Manhattan.

meme and e at the met

These two, who live just north of the city.

mal and peter

This dude—who was also born and raised in the boroughs, and has all his loved ones there.

heather and evan

Knowing that I’ll always have opportunities to see my good friends who don’t live in the city—because at some point, everyone has a reason to come to NYC.

That’s what’s keeping me here, now. But as more friends get married, have kids and buy houses—real houses with lots of rooms and outdoor space!—outside the city, I’m wondering if any of those factors will outweigh those above.

(Top photo from Getty Images, via Pinterest)

Wooden Houses in Greenwich Village

There are days when my beloved city feels like an overwhelming mass of concrete—street after crowded street of brick and pavement. It’s not a wonder that even the most die hard of us New Yorkers often need to escape.

When I’m outside the city, I can’t help but marvel at scenery that feels a bit foreign: open expanses of grass, rolling hills, more trees than IВ can count. Plus, adorable wooden houses in rustic styles—a-frames, cabins, barns—that you never see in the city limits.

That’s why I was intrigued when I stumbled upon a listing for “Wooden Houses of Greenwich Village,” a talk from the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. Seriously? Wooden houses in Manhattan?

Apparently, there are a few! And they’re adorable.

This one, at 17 Grove Street, was built in 1822. (Love the red shutters and molding!)

17 Grove Street

And over at 121 Charles Street is another, which was transported downtown, from the Upper East Side, in 1967.

121 Charles Street

77 Bedford Street was originally a wooden house, though parts of its facade are now brick.

77 Bedford Street

The histories of these buildings are fascinating—read more about themВ here, on GVSHP’s blog.

I’m, unfortunately, not in the West Village all that often, so I haven’t stumbled upon these houses by chance. Though I know that once the weather gets warmer, I’ll be seeking them out to see for myself, in person.

(Images via the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation; found via the NY Times)

Happy Valentine’s Day

While I’m a firm believer in showing love for those you care about every day, the romantic in me appreciates that there is a holiday devoted to love. (At least, this year. On other V-Days, my feelings have run the gamut from sad to excited to indifferent to content.)

This afternoon, my sister, parents and I were on a group text, sharing our V-Day plans and photos and cards we’d created for the holiday. I got the warm-fuzzies hearing the nice evenings they’d be enjoying. And my sister must have been feeling the same, because she wrote:

Glad we all have so much love and happiness in our lives! Best fam ever!!!

Compared to how snowy and miserable it’s been, NYC was 40 degrees today, which felt positively balmy. Seeing so many people walking around carrying bouquets of flowers added nice pops of color (and a bit of spring) to a city that’s felt iced over and gray for weeks. I couldn’t help but smile at the scene—not to mention at this brilliant sign I stumbled upon at Columbus Circle.

Hope you had a wonderful V-Day, as well!

#foundlove

Upper Manhattan, Cloaked in Fog

There’s a running joke in my family that I’m completely oblivious to most things that are going on in the world around me. That “joke” once again proved itself to be true, this week.

Apparently, yesterday morning, all of NYC was covered in fog—and I had no idea until I stumbled upon these amazing fog photos.

This one, of the George Washington Bridge and my neighborhood, Washington Heights, was my favorite:

nyc fog photo

Semi-related: speaking of the GWB, have you seen the Jimmy Fallon/Springsteen tribute to the Chris Christie “Bridgegate” scandal? It’s too funny!

(Photo from USA Today WeatherВ via Time Out New York)

Humans of New York

Sometime over the past few years, you may have stumbled acrossВ Humans of New York.В Photographer Brandon Stanton shoots New Yorkers wherever they happen to be when he runs into them: on the subway, in parks, on the street.

His photos are gorgeous, but the heart of his work is really in the quotes he collects from his subjects—they dispense bits of wit, wisdom, humor and poignancy.

I’m still waiting to come across a portrait of someone I know.

Or maybe myself in the background of one.

Today, theВ Humans of New YorkВ book comes out. I’m looking forward to seeing Stanton’s photos in the printed format and seeing what stories he’s chosen to feature.

Until then, enjoy scrolling through the Humans of New York blog—believe me, you can lose yourself in it for a while!

Here are just a few photos I really liked; be sure to click through to read what the subjects have to say:

We just finished singing Beethoven’s Ninth

I’m dealing with the aftermath of a really horrible breakup

Whenever I did a show in the park, Doris would

We’ve been married 31 years

It was easier than I thought it’d be

(Humans of New York photos by Brandon Stanton)