By Bohemia Agent Sean Garner
As a California boy at heart, the hardest part about living in NYC– for me– has been finding a place I call home that allows me to have a fair amount of peace and quiet. “Waittttt, what do you mean?” You natural city dwellers yap back in response, as if the word ‘Quiet’ has never been in your vocabulary. Now I know this may sound absolutely bonkers, but in other places of, well, the entire world really, having silence is a totally normal thing. You see, they don’t need to pay 25 dollars for a Yoga class in order to finally hear the inner workings of their heads without the competing sounds of car horns, construction and that annoying neighbor belting Britney at the top of his lungs (Bless him).
Now in all seriousness, and before you write me off as some new age Hippie, I too have come to accept since moving to this city, that ‘quiet’ is basically an impossible thing to find. It has become something we all sacrifice in order to benefit from all the other wonderful things the city has to offer us. That is the reality. HOWEVER, I have made it my own personal mission to do the best I can to simulate a peaceful way of living and truly cherish those even semi-quiet moments—and no, earbuds playing my favorite slow jam while riding the train doesn’t really count.
Moving Uptown was the best choice I could have made. Now I admit, I first tried both Astoria and Crown Heights and, while both fit my budget and were certainly more tranquil than midtown, the commute to work and auditions for me was basically making me contemplate a new career altogether. Forget it. I knew I needed to be closer to the hustle and bustle in order to be successful but truly I didn’t know if living on the island was really going to go well for my own personal sanity. I have to admit, I am pleasantly surprised!
Not only is their generally less foot traffic compared to the areas most people immediately associate with Manhattan, but some of the beautiful brownstone-lined streets in Hamilton heights create a sense of serenity completely on their own. Additionally, there are plenty of places that I have found easy, immediate access to every day that completely allow me to ‘recharge.’ I can take a stroll down to the Hudson River and check out the northern portion of Riverside Park or Riverbank Park at 145th. Even further north, there are more options like Fort Washington Park and one of my personal favorites, Fort Tryon Park. A trip up there to the Cloisters is a must!
Now, is there really any truly ‘quiet’ neighborhood in Manhattan that allows you to be in the heart of midtown within 20 min? Not that I know of. If you find this magical Unicorn of a neighborhood you be sure to let me in on your secret. Knowing that this is the case, my girlfriend and I have found that leaving the city for little day/overnight trips is probably the best medicine there is. I highly recommend it! Now if you proposed this to me before I lived uptown, I would have laughed. That would have sounded like quite the task. Well, not for us Uptown folk! Pick up a Zipcar from one of the easy Uptown garages, and Hop right on to the George Washington Bridge and you are out of the city in literally 15 minutes on your way to some gorgeous upstate Bed and Breakfast. Now you’re feeling real cute, huh? Not so fast, you've still got to come BACK! However, now you’re coming home to an awesome neighborhood and you are at least a little more ready to appreciate all of the things we have readily in front of us here in Manhattan. Now you can resist the urge to be overly cynical about not having that ‘quite time’ you so desperately need to function.
Yes Uptown Manhattan, you help keep this Cali boy from heading back to the beaches of the West Coast.