Sunday, September 22, 2013

A congested country

Hours after my visit to Brooklyn's arcadian Clinton Hill on Friday, I was in Manhattan to meet a realtor who would show me two small apartments on the Upper East Side (UES in local lingo).

But not before a reported signal malfunction caused a spectacular rush hour snarl up on the uptown-bound 4 trains, and platforms were packed, up and down the lines that are shared by the 4, 5 and 6 lines. (According to the MTA, in 2012, an average of 5,380,184 people rode the subway every weekday.)

Forty-five minutes late, I changed trains, took the F, waited forever at Bleecker and then headed uptown on a 6 train, pressed flat like a squooshed anchovy in an oil packed can, whizzing past stations where people watched the passing train - suddenly express, not local -  with open mouthed disgust... A trying start to many weekends.

The realtor, Ana-from-Serbia, was very nice (we've encountered some real lizards), but the apartments were not for us. I'd have been sawing at my wrists within weeks.

Our budget just does not deliver UES bang for the buck, and, in all likelihood, we'll land somewhere in Brooklyn or Queens.

Or Harlem. I hope Harlem. But that is today's adventure.

I leave you with Upper East Side blue. Eat your heart out, Beijing.


  1. Please look at Hudson Heights (Washington Heights), GH

  2. Dear Marie:

    Why not take a look at Lincoln Towers, on the West Side of Manhattan, just behind Lincoln Center? The prices are reasonable (by Manhattan standards) and the apartments are large, with lots of green space around them and large terraces. Many of the apartments come with a dedicated parking space. Public transportation is great from there to anywhere in the City, and it's a great location for rushing the opera, etc. at Lincoln Center. Downsides are the apartments are "post-war" and functional rather than funky, and the kitchens are small. But I think you know how to contend with a small kitchen, and a large terrace is the bonus. If you do look in that area, and walk by the building at 165 West End Avenue, you will notice that there is a plant nut on the third floor, whose terrace is woefully overgrown with his beloved plants. That would be me.

    Good luck with the house hunt! There's nothing worse than moving, but once you are settled, I'm sure it will be wonderful.

  3. There were sixteen looking at the apartment at Lincoln Towers our broker took us to see...we were each given 2 minutes by the listing broker! Harlem is good and the little village of Hudson Heights :-)H

  4. Have you had a look at the Ditmars Blvd area in Astoria? It´s worth visiting and having something to eat in one of the Greek restaurants... I used to live there years ago and rents were reasonable at that time. I´m sure you would love the yards full of flowers!


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