When I moved to New York from Seattle over a year ago, I came with few pieces of advice and even fewer dollars. When you first move to New York, you just want to live in Manhattan, so I did.
This meant I settled into a windowless three-bedroom share on the Lower East Side -- on Essex between Stanton and Rivington -- across the street from restaurant-bar-lounge Beauty & Essex. Well, I shouldn’t say it was completely windowless. I did have one window that looked into my roommate’s bedroom.
I felt like I parachuted down into the middle of a partier's dream. No place in Manhattan is ever quiet, but Lower East Side noise is as if the loudness itself is having a going-away party with all its closest friends while simultaneously taking steroids and drinking vodka-Red Bulls.
At any given hour, I could walk less than a block to anything from a speakeasy to meeting "Jersey Shore" wannabe’s at a bridge-and-tunnel bar.
Except, I wasn’t here for the party. I was here to work 18-hour days on movie sets as a production assistant. At 5 am, I wasn’t drunkenly balancing between my high heels and my friends. I was fighting those exact drunk people for a cab to get to movie sets.
I tolerated it for awhile.
Sugar Sweet Sunshine bakery, uber candy store Economy Candy and jumbo-sized bags of foam earplugs helped balance out the Lower East Side’s endless supply of party goers.
I didn’t even make it a year before I moved. The same cheap rent haphazardly took me to a three-bedroom share in Brooklyn Heights. I took it as a sign that my new apartment was across the street from a Crumbs cupcake shop and that my new bedroom had natural light.
I’m not fighting for cabs with drunks these days. Part of the reason, to be clear, is that just a month after I moved into this apartment, I got a new job in the entertainment business where I don’t have to work crazy hours and leave before sunrise.
I can choose from the 4,5,2,3 and R trains to get where I want to go, and, yes, cabs do come to Brooklyn, in case I want to take a cab.
My street only stretches three blocks, but I’m near the Brooklyn Heights promenade, two grocery stores and a bubble tea place.
Brooklyn Heights is convenient, but my absolute favorite has to be that I can call Lucali’s Pizza and during the time it takes to pick up some wine and walk to Carroll Gardens, they’ll usually have a table ready and waiting for me.
I like living in Brooklyn Heights. I really do. But, sometimes I miss the noise. I more often miss Sugar Sweet Sunshine. Crumbs just isn’t the same, so every once in a while, I will go back to the LES to get my cupcake fix.
Maybe I'm being too harsh on the LES, but the bottom line is that I was living in the middle of the party when I wanted absolutely nothing to do with the party.