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New York • Downtown, Back to Roots

May 20, 2011 by Joan Nova in Travel Retrospectives | 17 Comments

Life is interesting. The buildings that my parents lived in on Cherry Street when they met and married no longer exist. Neither does the building on Oliver Street where I spent the first few years of my life. Like many others, my family moved to Brooklyn, later to Staten Island and, ultimately, to Florida. In those days migration was a pretty well-trodden path…New Yorkers moved to the suburbs, “Brooklyn or the Bronx”, but it was still apartment living. When the time came for a ‘one-family house’, those in the Bronx moved to Long Island; those in Brooklyn moved to Staten Island or New Jersey. It was just that simple.

Even though I was born on the Lower East Side and lived in 2 outer boroughs before moving to FL 16 years ago, I spent many years totally entrenched in midtown. My office was in the Helmsley Building which spans Park Avenue from 45-46 Streets. I commuted and socialized in midtown zip codes.

But now when I return to NY, I return to my roots. You see my New York friend base all live south of Midtown…they’re in Chelsea, the West Village, East Village and Lower East Side. I rarely go above the ‘twenties’ and I’m totally enjoying it.

Last week when I was in NY and walking around town, I was struck by the uneven vistas. I mean that in a good way. In FL, everything is so manicured and building-coded…beautiful, restful to eye, yes, but hardly what one could call ‘interesting’.

If you’d like to see photos full-size or read description/location, click Flickr (and then click on thumbnail prints).

Coming Soon: This trip I did venture to the northern-most borough, The Bronx, and beyond. I’ll be posting Arthur Ave, The Little Italy of the Bronx, and restaurant reviews. I might even throw in a pizza stop in Staten Island.

NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!

17 Comments

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  1. connie says:

    Great photos of a nostalgic visit. So wonderful to remember the past.

  2. Nice photo’s! Love NY and always enjoy it. It is sad in a way that things change, but luckily you were able to find the good side of it and enjoy that also.

    Regards,
    Patricia
    Patricia Turo recently posted..“Who’s Bad” Michael Jackson Tribute at the Meyer- in WPB FloridaMy Profile

  3. norma says:

    We really had a good time. I always enjoy your pictures.

  4. Foodiewife says:

    What a well written post that gives me some interesting info about you! I’ve been to NY only once, and that was about 30 years ago. Great photos!

  5. OMG….My grandmother lived in the buildings where these photos were taken. Directly across from Vanella’s in Chatam Green on Park Row! They actually look like the view from her terrace. THank you for the flooding of memories

  6. sippitysup says:

    I don’t know if I ever told you this. But Ken and I used to keep an apt at Jones and Bleeker. We still lived in LA, but Ken’s work took him to NYC a couple of weeks every month so the apartment, though an expensive extravagance, seemed to make sense. But then 9/11 happened, his office building was right next door to the towers and was damaged. Well, we had the New York scared right out of us. We gave up the apartment. It even took a few years to feel ready to go back to NYC. But we did and I am glad we did. We see it now through the eyes of a visitor. But sometimes the memories flood back and I feel just as you described here… GREG

  7. Tia Aurora says:

    My elementary shcool was just down that street, a block or so from Park Row, And China Town, I can almost smell the delicious food. Visions of ducks hanging in the windows.And Masies’ the cashier at the movie on Park Row, where for a dime you spent all of Saturday. Great fotos Joni

  8. Oh Joan…it’s o wonderful to hear you talk about NY-a “native New Yorker”. All the places you mentioned bring back so many memories of many visits there. I still love the place. Thank you for sharing your lovely memories and pics.
    Peter G @ Souvlaki For The Soul recently posted..Lime- Yoghurt and Olive Oil CakeMy Profile

  9. doggybloggy says:

    you were so close to where I live you might have passed me and not even noticed…
    doggybloggy recently posted..Migrating Feast Episode 1 &amp 2My Profile

  10. Marie says:

    Can’t wait for the food post, I know it’s gonna be good!

  11. In what seems another life, I ventured to NYC on business frequently for many years, between from LA. Flight AA40 several times a year. I stayed in midtown at Parker Meridien most of the time. I always felt the most at home there, and have amazing memories. Your pics are great. I love the black apt. with the red door. That’s so me.

  12. Back home…its interesting how things change even while our vivid memories remain. Looking forward to the Little Italy review! And the pizza one too. Have a good weekend
    Kitchen Butterfly recently posted..Girls Scout Thin Mint Fudgy BrowniesMy Profile

  13. Jonny says:

    see now you were on our turf and we didn’t know! would’ve loved to have met you! ahhh, next time, right joan? and it’s funny, when we were in florida, i actually loved seeing the “evenness” of the landscape. flatness, colorful ranchers, palmtrees… the contrast to brooklyn made me happy. i guess sometimes you want what you don’t have?

    amy and jonny
    Jonny recently posted..Gallic Gastro-Classic- Chicken in Tarragon Cream SauceMy Profile

  14. Joan!
    I didn’t know this was your home. What a change to Florida! We have been to NYC only once for five days and barely scratched the surface. I was in awe regarding how different it was than what I expected. It was thriving with life in a bigger than life kind of way. So beautiful. So vibrant. So uniquely different than any other city in the world. Completely different – and I have been around! So, why Florida? How did you get there?

    I have been in a super slump lately after the Eat Alberta conference we put on here. I knew I needed time to catch up – but didn’t expect it to take this long. I have hardly posted all year, and my reading and commenting used to be daily with tenacity and I wouldn’t miss anyone’s post – but I am just overwhelmed. I am trying to get back and do better as this morning. Visiting here am overwhelmed with how much I have missed, but excited by it at the same time. I hope I am back!
    :)
    Valerie
    A Canadian Foodie recently posted..Zone Three Alberta Garden May 20- 2011- May 24th Long Weekend and We’ve Only Just Begun!My Profile

  15. Joan,

    I really enjoyed this post and the pictures!! On to catch up with the others. Your blog is a restful respite for this busy mom of 3!

    I’ve traveled to many countries in Europe and to Hawaii. I’m from D.C….but I’ve never been to NYC!! Can you believe it? As a food blogger…I’m dying to go now more than ever!! :)

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