Over…there

24
Aug
2008

Last night I went to have dinner with Johnny and Kevin and a few of their friends at a truly wonderful restaurant called Flatbush Farm in…Brooklyn. And the night before that, my friend Sivan and I were hanging out and having great Indian food (well, by US standards anyway) in the Jackson Heights area of…Queens. It is amazing what psychological barriers we have in place for all sorts of things. I remember coming to New York as a kid and later living here on a university co-op assignment at the age of 19. In those days, Manhattan WAS New York, no two ways about it. And there was something off-putting to me then about leaving Manhattan. And there was something even more off putting about the idea of actually living outside of Manhattan. You don’t travel hundreds or thousands of miles to move to New York just to live outside of it, I reasoned at the time. And I was not alone in my assessment. The media and culture at the time were similarly Manhattan focused and dismissive of the other boroughs. Of course, as the economics of living in Manhattan became increasingly perilous, more and more people moved out and New York seems to me today to be a much more decentralized place in terms of where it is all “happening”. If anything, I notice a little reverse snobbery from Brooklynites these days when they are forced to leave their beloved borough for “…over there”. In any event, if I move back to New York, I will feel much more comfortable living in any number of neighborhoods spread out through the boroughs …of Manhattan, Brooklyn or even Queens, anyway. You couldn’t pay me to live in the Bronx or Staten Island.