By Bohemia Agent Peter Dagger
Not too long ago, I was paying a fortune to live in Midtown. My apartment was a fifth floor walk-up above “The 24-Hour Tattoo and Bodywork Station” (which despite its name, did not actually offer tattoos, and the type of bodywork provided was of a less than savory variety). My bedroom just barely fit a twin bed, and I would awake every morning at 6am to the sound of my Craigslist roommate’s demonic cats scratching on my door.
With some hesitation, I made the move Uptown to the beautiful neighborhood of Manhattan Valley- my bedroom now fits an adult-sized bed- and I couldn’t be happier with my decision! Located at the very top of the Upper West Side, Manhattan Valley is adjacent to both Central Park and Morningside Park. It has sports bars, a jazz club, a gay bar, and restaurants with every cuisine you can imagine.
Not only is the real estate cheaper uptown, but so is everything else. Delis, drycleaners, and groceries all exist without the luxury tax of living downtown. Oh, and one more thing: LUNCH SPECIALS. On weekdays, approximately between the hours of 11am and 3pm, something magical happens. The sky opens up, a choir begins to sing, and you can find yourself eating a kick-ass meal for a fraction of the cost the same exact meal would be for dinner. Here are some of my favorite lunch specials in the neighborhood:
Tum + Yum
917 Columbus (between 104th and 105th)
The Special: Appetizer and Entrée, $7.95
The newest Thai restaurant to arrive in the neighborhood, Tum + Yum has a gorgeous wood-paneled dining room that is perfect for a lunch date. Try the drunken noodles with a spring roll on the side!
Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too
366 W. 110th (between Manhattan and Columbus)
The Special: Entrée and a Side, $6.95-$7.95
One of my favorite soul food restaurants, Miss Mamie’s feels like your sitting in an old-fashioned southern kitchen, while looking out onto Morningside Park. Try the smothered chicken and collard greens!
936 Amsterdam Ave (between 106th and 107th)
The Special: Sandwich, salad or fries, and wine or beer, $12
The Ellington is a classy neighborhood spot with farm-chic décor and outdoor seating that serves up classic American fare. Try the Ellington Burger with a side of fries, and wash it down with a can of Modelo!