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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Drawing the Line

Juniors, in Brooklyn
Photo by myself, of Junior's on Flatbush Avenue in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

When people mention Junior's, it's usually about the cheesecake. I've never eaten there, but Mark has, and he says the cheesecake is the only good thing on the menu.

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Certain places are known for certain things. Junior's is remarkable because it's been known for years, despite being outside Manhattan.

There's also Sylvia's in the Harlem (Soul Food), Peter Luger's in Williamsburg (steak and their trademark steak sauce) and Dominic's in the Bronx (Italian). Then there are whole neighborhoods that are known for their fare, such as Flushing, Queens (Korean and Chinese), and Astoria (Greek).

It used to be that people rarely got out of Manhattan for anything. Host a party in Brooklyn and you'd only get Brooklynites. People would talk about Brooklyn or Long Island City as if they were faraway lands. I know what it's like; I was the Manhattanite for a long time.

It's different now, or maybe it's been changing and I only just noticed, or maybe it's because I moved to the other side of the line. So many people now live outside 'the City', that it's questionable where the boundary lies. A lot has to do with affordability - few people can afford to live in Manhattan, without parental subsidies or roommates.

A lot has to do with the status of the outer boroughs now, which are much less homogeneously 'ethnic'. There are nice neighborhoods, great restaurants and stores, no crowds, affordable apartments (although prices keep rising), and all the comforts of Manhattan (neighborhood bars, 24 hour delis, gourmet markets, etc).

Perhaps I'll eat my words someday, when Brooklyn becomes so distilled that it has no character at all. Til then, I will enjoy myself.

5 comments:

Tammy said...

I LOVE cheesecake! My sister works at a restaurant that has amazing cheesecake. whenever she wants something she brings me a piece of cheesecake to bribe me. LOL

Columbia said...

Hi Kitty-

I went to school at Pratt, which is about a mile from Juniors. I've been there to eat once or twice, but was let down with the food and service. My mom's cheesecake is pretty killer too, so while Junior's is good it ain't the best. ;)

I was much more willing to leave the city for XYZ when I was a little younger. It's the trip back that's a killer. Getting in at 1:00 to have $7 beers stopped being my idea of a good time.

I'm also finding that the idea that you get more space for your dollar in the boroughs seems to be less true each week. Pretty soon the only affordable place will be in North Dakota. I wonder if there's a Fairway there. :-\

kitty said...

lol, Tammy.
Whoever decided to put those delicious foods together, 'cheese' and 'cake' was a genius.

what a great bribe!

kitty said...

I so hear you, Columbia

It used to be that NYC was the place for artists, musicians, writers and tradespeople. Most of the time, they were starving artists, musicians, writers and tradespeople. There is no longer room for the middle class.

NY will soon be the place for the upper class who appreciate the arts. It's really sad.

Tammy said...

She's divorced so when she needs any handy work done she bribes my husband with a six pack. He had to move a washer up 2 flights of stairs for her last week so she got him an eight pack because he had to do it himself. I prefer the cheesecake though.