Lower East Side

The New Museum is sandwiched between two very gritty buildings on the Bowery. It’s a modern white building housed in the epitome of old New York, the Lower East Side. The downtown neighborhood is also one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city.

Regardless of the hipsters and yuppies giving it a less than edgy vibe, I still love the Lower East Side. Old tenement buildings; bars, cafes, coffee shops and social hotch potch of residents make up the neighborhood’s character. It’s also home to Katz’s, which has the best pastrami sandwiches and The Sunshine Cinema where I loved to watch indie films.

As I walked through, the Bowery listening to Florence and the Machine, I decided to finally make the voyage to the New Museum. When I arrived, they told me to visit the top floor observation deck. Views of the city still excite me.

My most touristy outing I ever had in New York was going to the top of the Empire State Building. I was sixteen at the time and thought it was beyond cool. When I actually lived in the city, going to the top of the Empire State Building never interested me. I labeled it a tourist activity.

Instead, I would partake in the most quintessential of New York activities, admiring the city from the top of a rooftop. Being on a rooftop of an apartment building says, ” Hey you made it.” I have fond memories of having parties on Lower East Side rooftops, while rain clouds threatened my the sunny disposition. I’ve also been locked out of a rooftop, which was nerve wracking. Looking back, it was glorious.

I took the elevator to the top floor of the museum and stepped into the observation deck. I roamed around taking pictures. To one side there were the red brick co-op buildings of the Lower East Side, the Williamsburg Bridge and the projects, while the Financial District was on the other side. The Village and with the buildings of Midtown towered ahead. It gave me a deep feeling of serenity in the high-strung wonderland.

While standing there in the town, which inspired so much of my creativity, an epiphany struck me. I need to move back to New York. As of recent, I’ve been calling California home again. Personally, I never found the outdoorsy and car centric culture of Southern California appealing. It served me well. However, when I left New York, my heart stayed in the city. Therefore, my goal became shinier than the holiday lights of Grand Central Station. It was time to work hard and move back.

I had a wonderful time at the New Museum, observing modern art and staying cultured. Staring at the Manhattan from the museum observation deck was more than inspirational. It reiterated that New York is where I belong.

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