On One Reason To Move To Washington Heights: No Fear of Ever Being Seen in Embarrassing Airline Giveaways Like New York Magazine

08Mar08

In which The Gay Recluse ponders New York Magazine’s “Best of New York” Special Double Ish.

Recently, through a series of startling but ultimately mundane machinations we’d rather not get into because it involves that most hideous of modern chimeras (i.e., frequent flier miles), we happened to receive in the mail (we know, gross) a copy of New York Magazine. Though we hadn’t looked at the print version of this in perhaps 100 years, we occasionally like to scroll through The Daily Intel, and so dipped into the “Best of New York” (Special Double Issue) with a sense of curiosity that quickly turned to real fear as we were exposed to the most idiotic, superficial and artless “Best of New York” list imaginable, dominated by upscale mall venues and a cheeky, nostalgic prose designed (we suppose) to make readers think they’re cool. For example, NYM asks us: “Is there anything more heartening than a Sunday-afternoon bagel and lox from Russ and Daughters? Do notes ever sound more intimate than when they’re coming out of a sax at the Jazz Standard? Is any other symbol more evocative than the interlocking N and Y on a Yankees Cap?” Umm, yes, yes and yes? Equally nauseating are the many Brooklyn venues described in the cutest possible terms, e.g., “Homage,” a skateboard shop in Williamsburg where “staffers are quick to learn your name,” and “Pacific Standard,” a “literary bar” with a “frequent drinker program”? Barf.

By this point, we were officially afraid as we remembered that we, too, live in Manhattan and are known for being the best in at least one important category, which led to the following disaster scenario: namely, what if something in our neighborhood was included in this embarrassing list? Would it mean the “end” of Washington Heights, Manhattan’s most forgotten and ruined landscape? Would we suddenly be infiltrated with crass legions of nouveau riches and their Brooklyn-based offspring? (In short: those soulless people on Bravo’s new “hell-avision” show The Real Housewives of New York City?) (Zing!)

Thankfully, the answer is no! (Phew.) Of the 210 (or so) “best of” entries, not a single one came even close to mentioning anything in Washington Heights! Harlem had two entries, but they were both safely south of 125th Street: 1) Soha Style, a modern Bombo-stool-aesthetic store (Zzzzz) on 116th Street and Fifth Avenue (near The Kalahari) and 2) Sundial Schwartz, a mirror-repair shop on 118th in East Harlem. All the rest are safely miles away.

Rejoice in the breakdown:

Manhattan
Downtown/Financial District 5
Chinatown 2
Lower East Side 7
Soho 15
East Village 12
West Village 28
Grammercy/Murray Hill 12
Midtown East 4
Chelsea 5
Hell’s Kitchen 7
Midtown 31
Upper West Side 12
Upper East Side 7
Harlem 2

Brooklyn
Williamsburg 12
Dumbo 4
Ft. Greene 1
Prospect Heights 2
Park Slope 5
Cobble Hill 3
Boerum Hill 3
Brooklyn Heights 1
Red Hook 3
Flatbush 1
Borough Park 1
Ditmas Park 1

Token Gestures
Queens 5
The Bronx 1
Staten Island 2
New Jersey 1
Long Island 1
Connecticut 1
Westchester 1
Internet/Phone 14

159th Street
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