dimanche 12 août 2007

New York City August 2007 - East Village

Here it is, mylittlechicks, as I told you, this post is the first of my New York’s trip diary. (from 29th of July to 10th of August).
I hope it’ll make people who don’t know yet feeling like going there and I hope i won’t be too boring for others !
Anyway, your comments are welcome !
Obviously, I’m going to star with telling you about “my” neighborhood, which was East Village, east of Manhattan, as you can see on the map :

New York City (New York State) is composed of 5 borroughs : the bets known Manhattan (the “real New York” for Europeans), Brooklyn, the largest, below Manhattan, on the right, one of the most crowded city in US. The Queens, above Brooklyn, the Bronx, above the Queens and Staten Island, below Manhattan, on the left. Harlem is a part of Manhattan.
Manhattan is an island and is composed of a lot of neighborhoods (few are written on my map).
Manhattan is actually divided into (from up to down) Harlem (in the north), Central Park (or “The Park”), Upper West Side (west of Central Park), Upper East Side (east of Central Park), Midtown, just below Central Park where the most important and the tallest buildings are, Times Square etc and, Downtown.
Downtown is divided into several neighborhoods which have changed a lot for the last 20 years : Chelsea and the Meatpacking District (become very importants areas of galeries of art), Greenwich and the West Village, trendy and rich neighborhood (a lot of gays with a lot of money live there), Tribeca (just below West Village) where real estate has become very expensive since Movie Stars start to buy apartments there, Soho, neighborhood of artists ans shopping, Little Italy, very nice small part of Italy, step by step devoured by the octopus Chinatown, which extends now from Financial District to Soho and East Village. And, the Financial District with Wall Street and the World Trade Center become Ground Zero. And, then, East Village, where I stayed in the apartment I rent to a New Yorker.
There are no very tall buildings Downtown (except in the Financial Distric) as they can be Midtown : Towers are in the Financial District and, most of the time, they are offices buildings. Downtown’s neighborhoods are shopping and living areas (well, for people who can afford an apartment in Manhattan...).
East Village, “my” neighborhood looks like that :

And that :

East Village was known to be a drop out area and had been pretty dangerous until the end of the 80s. It’s become more and more “bourgeois” for 15 years (like the whole City) and it’s now pretty safe.
However, the “special spirit” of East Village can always be felt with tatoos and piercings shops (a lot of New Yorkers, even women, wear tatoos, – I even saw one with all his face covered by tatoos !), with drop out or “lost” people and homelesses. I saw a lost couple who was sleeping in the street, on the sidewalk or in the Tompkins Park. Homelesses are got away from the park at night by the NYPD. It’s sader than anywhere else because you feel than you can easily become a homeless in a city like NYC... That could happen and that could happen very quickly.
East Village is a very nice and very creative area. A lot of “Latinos” live there and spanish is spoken a lot.
People don’t hesitate to express themselves on the walls !

Very small shops (in the basements) are also very creative. I liked this cute dog very much !!

Everywhere in Downtown in the morning, you can see the metal plates opened. Very steeply stairs go to shops’s stocks or restaurants’ kitchens (not always very attractive !!). There are often floodings in these basements (it happened during the big storm last week).

What you can see in these basements is very different from what you can imagine a huge town like New York City. Europeans think that NYC is a very modern city : not at all ! Some stuffs are very old in this town and facilities are actually very often timeworn (big problems of plumbing, electricity etc).
For example, New York City is also that :

Mountains of garbage bags (here is a small sample) put down every night and taken away every morning. Which means that in summer, with heat and humidity, mylittlechicks, sorry to disappoint you, but it isn’t always smell good in NYC’s streets !!
But they have this splendid king of garbages trucks :

East Village is also known for its private little gardens cared by people of the neighborhood : These people are very creative to care of their small green areas !

And, then, as it was summertime, we could see everywhere children and teenagers playing soccer, basket ball or base ball on sports grounds which made me think of West Side Story !

Well, mylittlechicks, I hope you enjoyed the sighseeing tour !
Tomorrow I’ll show you my loft !

1 commentaire:

stephane a dit…

Nice! Ad very useful for me since I'm moving there soon. Thanks! Stephane