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.
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?