2.2.2014

Debate

So, the first bit of our apartment hunting trip has been a major success. I think? The very first place was…perfect. As in, what-am-I-missing good. Was someone murdered in a closet? What is going on here? I don’t even really want to talk about it, because obviously that will jinx the entire thing and it’ll be rented out from under us before I’ve even typed this out. But I court danger, so there you go.

We’re applying for it, but it’s in Brooklyn Heights and we’ve been pinging back and forth between whether we want to be IN Manhattan (and thrust ourselves into the rush) or revel in the neighborhoodiness of Brooklyn. We go out a lot, but strollers and brownstones are our collective love language. (Clarification: we will not be pushing the stroller anytime soon. I just like what they do for the local color.)

So (currently) the neighborhoods in the fight against Brooklyn are Chelsea and the Upper West Side. The former has Murray’s. The latter has Levain. It might seem strange to characterize neighborhoods based on bagels and cookies (respectively) if one is paleo, and…it is. But I am powerless. Because look.

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Levain isnt any easier to deal with. It harbors the best cookies in the world, but be aware that you’re going to scale the heights and plumb the depths of human achievement in the space of 20 cubic feet. Walking down the stairs into the bakery feels like entering the bowels of heaven, if that could be a thing. Racks on racks on racks of cookies cooling, and a butter-and-sugar smell that lingers on your clothes like benevolent cigarettes. How wonderful, you think, that this little shop has seen so much success, that Yelp and word of mouth have combined to make these transcendent cookies such an attraction. So you hand over your four dollars, mostly cheerfully, because the cookie is the size of a small steak and can be easily shared with another adult or two. But then you turn to fight your way back up the staircase, trying to regain the street, and the strangest phenomenon occurs: people you approach forget that your matter cannot pass through their matter. In the excitement of getting downstairs, they stand two abreast on the steps, holding hands and debating the merits of chocolate and chocolate chip. Pro tip: save your cookie until you get outside. Holding it in your hot little hands will give you the tangible promise of salvation you’ll need to say “Excuse me” nicely to each confused individual.

Anyway. If you live in NYC, visit a lot, or just generally have opinions, please share. How do you feel about being all up in vs. right outside of the hustle of things?

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  • http://muchtomydelight.com/ Jenn from much to my delight

    I’ve done both. I’ve lived on the UWS and then right on the outskirts in Hoboken, NJ and Astoria, Queens. UWS was actually the dullest neighborhood i’ve lived in (sorry UWS–I do love you Zabar’s!). Must say–I’m an outside Manhattan girl. I work in the city, so I’m in the thick of it everyday, but I LOVE retreating to the slower-paced streets of an outer borough by night. But there’s nothing slow or suburban about boroughs of Bklyn and Queens–they each have plenty to do, see, eat, hear and experience.

    • http://www.jbound.com/ Julie

      We’re both going to work in Manhattan also, so I think living in Brooklyn will be our balance. The more time I spend there, the more deeply I fall in love. You’re right, it’s not slow at all; just a little deceptive when you first get there, compared to the push of the city.

      • http://www.leanerbythelake.com/ eileen | leaner by the lake

        I work right in the heart of the loop in Chicago and it is sort of the best thing ever to have physical distance between where I spend the workdays and where I feel at HOME. Our neighborhood is very much what you friends are describing here and so I give Brooklyn a thumbs up for you! The quiet is just so nice. And now with the invention of UberX and all the wonders of public transit, there’s no reason to ever feel like the city is out of reach should one want to traverse there on the weekends. But, I will say, really none of my friends go (truly) downtown on the weekends, unless we’re planning a specific event or dinner. We all tend to hang in our little neighborhoods, discovering new restaurants and spots to cozy up close to each others homes.

  • http://www.betsytransatlantically.blogspot.com/ Betsy Transatlantically

    I used to go to the waxing place just upstairs from Levain (is that TMI?) and my reward for putting myself through the pain of beautification was always a treat from the bakery :)

    p.s. brownstones and strollers and dogs are my love language. I am an UWS girl all the way. my husband’s love language is lofts and exposed brickwork/ducts and 3am Chinese food delivery, which definitely puts him below 14th St. we are SO incompatible.

    • http://www.jbound.com/ Julie

      Yeah, there’s basically no hope for you as a couple. Sorry dude. You can come stay with me to ease your pain and I’ll take you to Levain, but no scones!! Only cookies.

      • http://www.betsytransatlantically.blogspot.com/ Betsy Transatlantically

        well that’s helpful. thank you.

        :P

  • http://syddavis.blogspot.com/ Sydney Davis

    good luck!! Apartment hunting sounds fun, especially in NEW YORK!! May the odds be ever in your favour

    • http://www.jbound.com/ Julie

      Thanks, Sydney! The search definitely feels a little Hunger Games-y, but we haven’t actually killed anyone yet. So.

  • http://www.leanerbythelake.com/ eileen | leaner by the lake

    Go to MegFee.com and check out her LOVE AFFAIR with Brooklyn. It makes me swoon :)

    xx. cheers to cookies and bagels and finding a new home. i love it.

    • http://www.jbound.com/ Julie

      I haven’t read her website in a while, but I remember loving it. I’ll have to head back over :)

    • http://www.pinkoclockblog.com/ Megan @ Pink O’Clock

      I second this!

  • a$hley

    totes biased and predictable vote for BK heights so we can be brooklyn besties starting this fall.

    • http://www.jbound.com/ Julie

      Obviously should have mentioned that we were weighing this heavily as an important factor.

  • http://jaybirdblog.com/ Alicia | Jaybird Blog

    I know nothing about New York, but I’m pro-strollers and sweet tree-lined shade. It also helps me when home feels like a refuge, a place far away from work and its hustle and bustle.

    • http://www.jbound.com/ Julie

      This is what I’m thinking. Home has to be calm.

  • http://www.pinkoclockblog.com/ Megan @ Pink O’Clock

    Excited for you!

  • http://www.sarainlepetitvillage.com/ Sara Louise

    LOX AND BAGELS, LOX AND BAGELS!!! That’s what my life has been missing!
    Personally, I’d pick Manhattan, because if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere ;)

  • meganflynn

    Figuring out where to live in a new city is so overwhelming. I do like your priorities, though.

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