It’s nice to be able to walk into most bars in the city and order a “Brooklyn.”
It’s nice to be able to walk into very specific bars in the city and order a “Chelsea.”
Robert Moses ruined thousands of lives so you could take a car service from Carroll Gardens to Williamsburg. And then Sufjan Stevens wrote a symphony about it or something.
Why would anyone want to spend the afternoon enjoying the waterfront (taking in a concert? having a nice meal?) when you could drive from 14th Street to 125th Street in ten minutes (depending on traffic)? Thanks again, Robert.
Rosemary’s Greenpoint Tavern
Is it weird when one group of bar patrons is wearing the clothes that another group of bar patrons gave to the Salvation Army 20 years ago?
Generations of UES private school students have shouted “Cuba Libre!” at this Platonic monad of a dive bar, learning how to drink while their parents shop just down the street at Barneys.
Opening up in 1887, it would be tough to pin the gentrification of Williamsburg on this “best of the best” steakhouse. Go for the porterhouse, stay for the misguided refusal to serve “microbrews” at the bar (because good beer is for pansies).
One of the first fancy restaurants in the entire country, the Delmonico steak is still a legend. As are its trademark Baked Alaska, Lobster Newburg and Eggs Benedict. What have you invented today?
The Kentile Floors Sign
One of the most frequently photographed signs in all of humanity hasn’t really helped that much with the business it’s advertising, but it is a cool-ass sign.
New Yorker Hotel Sign
No, that’s not the building where Malcolm Gladwell irritates the fuck out of Henrik Hertzberg, it’s a hotel that once boasted the largest barbershop in the world.
“I am much better looking than Don Delillo.”
“I am not as good looking as Paul Auster, truly.”
The Cosby Show
Brooklyn Heights is a fantastical place filled with magical sweaters and valuable life lessons and a thousand wise grandfathers to show us the way.
Park Avenue is a claustrophobic soundstage that turns child TV stars into criminals and drug addicts. Whatchoo talkin’ ‘bout my residuals are gone?
Starting an intellectual literary journal actually is a pretty good way to get laid, despite what you might think about nerds, et al. Well done, boys.
The Paris Review
Q.E.D. (Granted, it’s easier to do when you have money from the CIA.)
The best baba ghanouj in the world, right there on Atlantic Avenue.
The best smoked fish sampler in the world, right there on the Upper West Side.
Kyp Malone’s Head
Long before it graced the cover of Spin, the TV on the Radio co-vocalist’s distinctive Walt Whitman-meets-Cornel West noggin could be seen up and down Bedford Avenue, smiling kindly at children and dogs — if Williamsburg had a totemic icon, it would be Kyp’s head.
Jim Jarmusch’s Head
“Excuse me sir, could you take off your box-shaped polar bear fur hat so I can enjoy this screening of your last good film, Down By Law?”
Film A: Forced, hyper-verbal elegy to the beauty of indecisive youth. Film B: Mannered study of a Brooklyn childhood gilt with the razor wire of failure. Film C: Nicole Kidman’s on board? Fuck yeah.
Film A: Forced, hyper-verbal elegy to the beauty of indecisive youth. Film B: Mannered study of a Barcelona adulthood gilt with the razor wire of failure. Film C: Chris Eigeman’s onboard? Again?
Nathan Handwerker’s little frankfurter stand that could has been around for almost a century and has expanded into a nationwide chain, with franchises and products all over the country. Nathan’s is also responsible for the elevation of a hot dog eating contest to a “sport.”
Katz’s Pastrami Sandwiches
Yes, yes, Meg Ryan faked an orgasm here. The corned beef is really good, the pastrami is even better. For fans of Bruno Kirby memorabilia and lines.
“Hey, check out my Mermaid Parade Flickr stream!” “No. This 25-year-old Coney Island celebration of fun-loving freaks and the weird sunburns you can get wearing a narwhal costume has been documented enough.” “Wow, you’re a dick.” “I know.”
Village Halloween Parade
There isn’t much that is more fun than getting drunk and going to watch the Village Halloween Parade.
The Friend from Whose Roof You Can See the Empire State Building
Wow, what a great view, pass the Olde English.
The Friend from Whose Terrace You Can see the Empire State Building
Wow, what a great view, pass the Olde English Special Reserve.
With its charming wooden pedestrian level, swaying suspension wires and thronging tourist masses, it’s the Sunday afternoon brunch of big-city bridges.
With brutal cement and steel cages for pedestrians and cyclists and its stark neo-Classical columns, it’s the capitalist’s cold power lunch of big city bridges.
Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower
As part of the condo-conversion of Brooklyn’s tallest building, its iconic clock was recently fixed to help keep pace with the changing times.
The Met Life Tower
Madison Square Park’s Venetian clock tower was the tallest building in the world for four years after its 1909 completion. It never lost track of time, but is still being turned into condos.
Many of the rides, freaks and fairs of yesteryear have left, worried that their grimy beachfront circus is being irreparably Disney-fied. Manhattan offers a hopeful precedent though.
The sex shops, peep shows, bars and brothels of yesteryear, long re-cast as tourists traps, seem poised to take back their land. First up: Virgin Megastore closing next month, reopening (hopefully) as a Virgin Pornstore this summer.
Park Slope Food Co-op
Like so many good things in New York: hated by those who depend upon it (because they have to work there), resented by those who aren’t in on it (because they’ve never had to work there).
Union Square Trader Joe’s
It’s not quite work, but shopping here is a serious time investment, and violates the tenets of Manhattan’s latest Brooklyn import: localism.
Teeming with industrial waste and (possibly) mutants, this slimy and scenic reminder of industrial Brooklyn is slowly becoming Park Slope West.
Eighth Avenue between 30th and 40th Streets
Littered with trash, angry drivers and confused travelers stepping out of Penn Station and the Port Authority for fresh air during their lay-over, this noisy and smelly reminder of the Manhattan of small-scale manufacturing shows no signs of change, for which we’re thankful.
The French import is often seen filming childishly quirky and creative indie fare outside his apartment building in Greenburgwick.
The Brooklyn import was recently seen converting his West Village home and studio into a luxury condo tower.
Says Bed-Stuy’s slain obese street king: “At my arraignment, note for the plantiff/Your daughter’s tied up in a Brooklyn basement.”
Says Harlem’s slain diminutive street king: “I drive up and down Harlem blocks, iced out watch/Knots in my socks, cops think I’m selling rocks.”
Just around the corner from Atlantic Center, appropriate since this incontestably hip one-stop Everything Institution is basically the Target of culture.
Except just try to get a drink after a movie around Lincoln Center.
Brooklyn Heights Promenade
On your right, beautiful water views. Also viewable from the prohibitively expensive apartments, on your left.
Hudson River Park
Long, narrow, fun to bike on, filled with sunbathers, and bordering the island’s West-lying body of water. Like Chile!
An acquaintance who lives up Lafayette Avenue from 40 Acres and a Mule HQ reports that Mookie can sometimes be seen stalking the sidewalks of Fort Greene, dribbling an invisible basketball and popping jump shots at Don’t Walk signs.
The Lower East Side has also been known to send the occasional scion to NYU film school to learn one-eye-towards posterity camera movements.
True, he founded the Village Voice and stabbed his wife on West 94th St, but in his later days Brooklyn Heights neighbors reported many sightings — he was generally muttering — and he probably learned to brawl on the mean streets of Eastern Parkway.
Ol’ Skunkie, meanwhile, probably decked Mary McCarthy at one of Philip Rahv’s cocktail parties. We would have, anyway.