Monday, July 21, 2008

Eastward ho!

After 11 years of living on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, I am heading east. Not east with a capital “E,” or east as in the Upper East Side, that foreign land of Irish pubs and Australian Ugg boots. On August 15, I will leave the shores of the Hudson and head over the East River and through the woods of Randall’s Island to Astoria, Queens.

Astoria, Queens: The land of $1200 spacious 1-bedroom apartments, ample street-side parking, and landladies that tend tomatoes and figs outside your door. How exotic! Only recently have I come to realize that my 350-square-foot, $1600 studio may not be a steal. Can I now abandon my prayers to the parking fairy, begin snacking on the foliage?

Georgia Ewen-Campen, another Manhattan transplant with a new lease in Astoria, sums up the transition as moving to a new city within one that’s familiar. “I’m kind of excited to explore a new place that I don’t know [within] New York,” she said.

The 28-year-old trans-borough New Yorker—Ewen-Campen also lived in Park Slope, Brooklyn for two years—laughs now when she thinks about her initial fear of crossing city lines. “It’s funny to think of how unsure we were moving to Brooklyn,” she said of her first move out of Manhattan five years ago. (She returned for grad school in 2005.) Now, many of her friends make the daily commute into Manhattan from across the East River.

So I suppose my journey across the Queensborough will follow a well-charted roadmap. I’ll also have a seasoned guide.

“You’re going to love the pace here,” my boyfriend Luke, a four-year resident of Astoria, has maintained. As we’ve plotted our cohabitation over this past half-year, Luke has introduced me to the pleasures of lazy Sunday lunches at the Il Bambino panini joint, home-cooked octopus dinners from the Greek fish markets, and jogging under the night lights at Astoria Park. To him, the place has a laidback “European charm…not counting the fake Greek columns and plaster of Paris.” It’s still Greek to me.


Rocco Rocks NYC said...

Speaking of Greek, I think the most Greek thing I saw in Astoria was Athens Square Park. Check it out.

It's filled with Greek statues like Athena and Aristotle -- and there are even fake Greek columns!

blogtester said...

i remember that sounding really interesting from your beat report. I'd like to see that park myself.

I love the "eastward ho!" headline.

Solo Diner said...

Welcome to the neighborhood! I love il bambino's chicken cutlet sandwhich. Also, check out JJ's restaurant a few blocks down. They have really good sushi!

swingnow said...

astoria's great. you're going to love it.

Luis Carlos Montalvan said...

Hi Jenny,

What a nice place you have found! How far is it to school via subway?

Candy - You made me chuckle with your dining reference. Go spend time with your beaux!

Aline Reynolds said...

Hey Jenny,

I also got a kick out of the "eastward ho" headline. Very catchy!

I'm sure no longer living in Manhattan will take some getting used to, but it sounds like, through this blog, you will make good strides towards getting acquainted with your new neighborhood. And, besides, you have your beau by your side :)

GL with the move!