Tuesday, October 18, 2005


You can grow up NYC and still be surprised by seemingly obvious things in the city. As a native New Yorker, I'd always taken pride in avoiding Midtown, visiting the area occasionally, only to walk through Barneys and sigh at the shoes I will never own and scowl at the 14-year-olds buying said shoes and remarking how cheap they are now that they've been reduced to a mere $400... But now that I work in the area, I've been forced to confront the fact that it is not the barren wilderness I'd once imagined it to be. For example, today was my first time in the new (or new-ish, at this point) Grand Central Station. It's gorgeous. But, more importantly, it's got the goods, and the goods are Two Boots pizza. I got a slice of "Mel Cooley" (pesto, ricotta, red pepper, sundried tomato, and mozzarella) and it was spectacular. Real and spectacular.

In case I tire of Japanese grocery snacks and vaguely Cajun pizza, my father notes that there is a Chipotle in Midtown, too. This I may have to investigate. Maybe it'll even have free burritos, but I'm not counting on it.

From what I can tell, Midtown is good for the following things:

1) Reminding one's self that not every wealthy person in Manhattan is a model/actor/hipster/dilettante with her own Nolita boutique and favorite speakeasy private-club restaurant in DUMBO. Some wear crisp shirts and get up before noon. For reasons I could not explain, I find that refreshing.

2) Relatedly, Chicago nostalgia. Walking around Midtown, I'm always half expecting to turn a corner and see Fox and Obel or the Bloomingdales home store, or a horde of peppy women in track pants and North Face fleeces. Midtown may represent New York to the world, but to me it's a bit of Chicago in my hometown.

3) Buying cheap underwear at H&M, thus furthering the quest of the laundry-free existence. I'm totally serious--laundry is no fun. The whole "laundromat as bar/lounge/literary salon" concept has not yet reached my otherwise trendy part of Brooklyn; nor, to my knowledge, has my building's dryer been repaired.


Dylan said...

Chipotle is an abomination! Thick, moist off white rice on a burrito? Not thanks, I like my maggot facsimiles on the side. Brown rice is the only permissible way to go.

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...

Chipotle burritos are better without the rice, anyway.

Anonymous said...

a) unless you want to wait like an hour, i wouldn't recommend going anywhere near the chipotle in midtown during lunch (unless it is raining, than the wait is only ten minutes)

b) letting slide just how long two boots has been in grand central (they have one in your new borough too, y'now). more than the mel cooley i prefer to get one night tripper and one red. of course then i need to down like a bottle of listerine, but hey, you have to suffer for slightly cajun pizza, right?