E.B. White famously claimed that when you settle in New York, you embrace it with the intense excitement of a first love and absorb it with the fresh eyes of an adventurer. But when you live in the city, even just for a short time, the intensity of the adventure doesn’t fade into a fling; your excitement and absorption grow into a committed relationship with your surroundings.
It’s not hard to figure out why. Block after block, you encounter gorgeous brownstones and handsome apartment buildings standing alongside jazz joints, rock clubs, galleries, bistros, specialty markets, boutiques, theaters, performance spaces, art houses, curio shops. All tastes and predilections are not only represented, but indulged unashamedly. And it takes a village, indeed, to nurture and support them all.
A favorite with the brainy set is a hole-in-the-wall magazine shop at the corner of Sixth Avenue and 11th Street, just seconds from Lang. It’s an overwhelming place, filled to the rafters with all the heady publications you could ever crave. Other legendary literary outposts include the Oscar Wilde Bookshop on Christopher Street, the first gay and lesbian bookstore in New York; and the 12 miles of books at the Strand, where everyone is exceptionally well-read and friendly.
But you’re not just a villager. You’re now a restless resident in constant search of what can’t be had anywhere but in New York. As White noted, this “accounts for New York’s high-strung disposition… its dedication to the arts, and its incomparable achievements.” So you’ll want to check out the contemporary art scene in Chelsea and Williamsburg; the poetry clubs and consignment shops in the East Village; the hipster haunts in the Lower East Side; the culinary wonders of Chinatown. And don’t forget about midtown and uptown…when your parents visit.