A few Manhattan blocks
We moved offices about a month ago - about 6 blocks south, 2 blocks east - a 15 minute walk. I can still get off at Broadway-Lafayette, which was the stop I’d get off for the old office when I didn’t feel like waiting for the closer Q to 6 transfer. All in all, probably as close as offices can move.
But it’s different. Surprisingly different. We moved from East Village to Soho, neighborhoods that could not contrast more in appearance or personality. I used to dodge trannies and dislocated folks from the meth lab around the block. Now, I weave around tourists and pretty people. Instead of stumbling into little Japanese izakayas, now I’m off to fancy sandwich shops.
These are the obvious surface differences. You drop anyone down into these neighborhoods, and they’ll have similar observations. What I found really, really interesting was how this tiny move has affected my sense of place.
I thought I knew the Soho-Village-Chinatown trifecta fairly well as I’ve lived, worked, and hung out around our current office for over 4 years. I’ve worked within 1 mile both east and west of here, lived 2 blocks away at my first New York apartment, and shop in Soho all the time.
Even with all that background, I’ve had a bunch of gaps to fill. I had to learn the 1) quickest route from the subway, and am still learning 2) funnest routes from the subway. I love both food and coffee and find myself still trying out places before I settle on my favorites for lunch and coffee breaks. Closest post-office? No clue. If I get caught in a rainstorm one day, where should I duck in for an umbrella? Shrug. Favorite after work meeting place? Would love to get some suggestions.
I’m just kinda awed at this. If you’ve spent anytime here, you know New York will floor you from time to time. You think you’ve got it down and it manages to reveal something new. You shift a few blocks of space or time, and you’re in a completely different place. It’s been a nice reminder recently of all there is to explore and experience here - even just in the everyday act of going to work.
Thanks for keeping me on my toes, New York.
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- mrowensmith said: Christen - If you are interested in delicious tea in SoHo check out In Pursuit of Tea (aka Cha) at 33 Crosby Street. It’s the sister-company of the client I worked with in Berkeley. If you go, tell Mary, Ana, or Sebastian that I say hello.
- christenduong posted this