New York is a city of moments in a collection of stories. Inside a bookshop, at the corner of a street, up twenty floors of a skyscraper, and in the basement of a factory. Stories are unfolding by the second, only a few of which you will ever be let in on.
This is Bedford station's northwest exit on the L in the heart of hipster Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Running parallel to Manhattan, the avenue is dotted with quirky restaurants and shops. On a Saturday night, you'll find a slew of manhattanites getting off here for drinks and dinner. Manhattanites annoy locals because they buy up apartments and drive up the rent, so you now see a new trend moving east - an area with abandoned factories turned artist lofts. And so Williamsburg has become iconic in popular culture the way West Village did, with Bedford station now somewhat overcrowded with tourists. For me, I always saw the station one degree removed from dinky South Williamsburg where I used to live (although even that area now has been gentrified in a matter of years). But I would still come by on my weekend strolls, sitting down in a cafe with my book and coffee, and maybe a camera too.
1515 Broadway. Apart from Williamsburg, Times Square was my second home. I made the trip across the Williamsburg bridge on a daily basis, through these doors and up 49 floors. I had Monday morning meetings in our EVP's glass corner office, where I would stare through the floor-to-ceiling windows at the huge W on the top the W hotel thinking that it was so ugly. In the summers, we would eat on the 7th floor rooftop overlooking the square, with a huge 10-floor Pepsi poster board of Beyonce as a backdrop. When we got sick of the "Lodge", we would go out, dodging the tourists through Times Square to maybe Hell's Kitchen for really cheap, but really good Thai in the dinkiest of all places.
The Walgreens in Times Square was my favorite overpriced convenience store. I stopped there all the time on my way back to the 42nd BDFM stop, stocking up on necessities and occasionally prepackaged foods when it got really busy. It was always an endless internal debate deciding whether I should wait on the overcrowded first floor with three cashiers or the less crowded second floor with one, and I felt like I totally won it when I picked the right one because New York does that to you sometimes. And Times Square was probably the only place in America where people would forgive you for being too busy to say sorry when you ran into them.
Maison Premiere, a famous cocktail house and oyster bar, was first introduced to me by a friend from college. I only just realize now returning from Paris that it should be "La" Maison Premiere and not "Le" for the feminine object Maison. The venue has now just opted to drop the "Le" all together. It's a tiny place with impeccable service and oysters that are to die for. My favorites are the Cotuits from Massachusetts. Might I also mention that I had the best bourbon of my life there with rosé and scotch.
And I'll leave you with this Williamsburg cheese shop. My then bestfriend and flatmate had shown me this place once, but that's not the point. She was always on top of the best new things to eat and shop in the area, splurging with the excuse that we had to live a little. We used to get bagels and coffee together on lazy Sunday mornings, go out for drinks on top of a factory with a view of the Williamsburg bridge, sip Trader Joe's three-dollar bottles of wine at night while watching Netflix, among other stupid things girls in their early 20s would do. We were crazy about life, crazy about eachother, in that tiny 500-square-feet apartment where we were paying way under marketprice because her rent was stabilized. We joked (or half-joked) that she would never move out of there and that I would live there forever too. She told me not to leave New York, and I told her that I loved New York too much to ever leave. But then of course, I did.
to be continued...