Monday, March 08, 2004


I've always had a thing for the city. In high school, I began taking the bus by myself into New York City to roam around. Right after college, I moved into a two bedroom apartment in Sunnyside, Queens with my high school buddy, Sandy. I have lived in other cities, but NYC always calls me back.

One of the things that I've always loved about the city is its ethnic neighborhoods and all the great foods. You can get dim sum on Mott Street then walk a block into Little Italy for espresso and a canolli.

Though our neighborhood is in transition, there is still a large Jewish population around. Some Hasidum and some old European Jews. For Purim, my son brought back hamantashan from pre-school last week. I'm in love with these triangular almond flavored cookies with the dollop of apricot. Never quite gotten used to gefilte fish, but hamantashan are amazing.

The city still has its ethnic neighborhoods with their unique foods, but it has changed a lot since the 80s when I began exploring.

On Sunday, I checked out the new mall in the Time Warner building at Columbus Circle. A mall in New York City. It's just wrong. This one is especially bad. It's a mall of super high end shops. Armani. Coach. Burberry. A man's shirt in Pink goes for $130. Bored now.

I used to work in Columbus Circle in the Trump building, formerly the Gulf and Western building. I was a young editor at Simon and Schuster on the 16th floor over looking the park. Around the corner was a great independent book store, the Colliseum; it closed down a year ago. The new mall has a Borders.

And all over the city, small, inexpensive clothing stores are shutting down (RIP Canal Street Jean Company). It's all super expensive SoHo boutiques or the Gap. It's the mallification of the city. Bored now.

In 1987, my first job as an editorial assistant at Simon and Schuster paid $15,500. Because the city was so much cheaper back then, I could pay rent, buy beer, and buy funky clothes with that salary. $15,500 today wouldn't cover rent.

I'm mourning the old, funky, down on-its-heels city from the 1980s. After Hours New York. Desperately Seeking Susan New York. I'm drowning my sorrows in a large glass of milk and a couple of hamantashan.

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