Uptown Our Town
Posted on June 29th,2015

By Bohemia Agent Michaela Morton Bennett Park

You may have noticed that your uptown friends are starting to go all Brooklyn on you — crowing about their favorite hotspots, telling you to make the trek uptown rather than kowtowing to Bushwick's magic sway, referring to "the Park" and meaning not Central or Prospect but one of the five or ten others that make uptown so magical.

"But I've never been above 96th!" you say.

"It's dangerous!" you cry.

"It takes too long!" you bemoan.

Friends, enough un(wo)manly whining. Here are four reasons we uptowners are loving life this summer:

Parks for Days – Google this craziness. Marcus Garvey, St. Nicholas Park, Ft. Tryon, Hood Park, Bennett Park, Morningside Park, Unit Garden. You want green? We got green, from the craggy & sweeping, to the manicured medieval, to the amped-up-with-an-ampitheatre & playing host to Harlem Arts Fest. Plus, farmers markets, CSAs…all manner of ways to get your local green(s).

Cliffs – Proven: breezes & views & 10 degrees cooler (and if you're moving, way cheaper than hitting the Piers downtown). Get on higher ground!

Commute – Seriously, this is what Google maps is for. Find out for yourself how far 30-40 minutes can take you — friends are always shocked when they emerge at my stop (181st on the A) to find treetops rustling, the best bagels in the world wafting their scent down the street, and only 30 minutes behind them for a 120 block commute!

Neighborly Buzz – Guys, there's no other way to describe this: people uptown talk to one another. My rate of conversation with coffee shop neighbors, passers-by, families, dogwalkers, seatmates at the sidewalk cafes, and (lumping it all together) locals in general has jumped high since I started hanging out in Harlem. Broad avenues and big sidewalks are super conducive to chatter (check out Jane Jacobs' on "the dance of the sidewalks" if you don't believe me), and my clients are always remarking on how I seem to know everybody. Spoiler: I don't. But my butcher does call my cell phone when gizzards are in (please, don't ask) and my neighbors tell me stories in the elevator and one time I read a guy's screenplay at the coffee shop and it wasn't half bad. 

All this plus you'd weep just a little if I told you what I pay in a big beautiful 4BR with an eat-in kitchen. Next time, don't make excuses — come uptown!

Leave a Reply