East Village Cliches and Micro-Blogs

New York City is often exactly what you expect it to be: gritty, dirty, beautifully decked out in graffiti, and yes, exasperatingly touristy and posh. The East Village is my favorite neighborhood, cliched as that choice may be. But what neighborhood choice wouldn't be cliched at this point? And who cares if New York is becoming a cliche of itself? When you project enough expectations, hopes, shattered loves and broken dreams onto a city, you're bound to see it emerge from pop-culture mania as something more than itself. Yet somehow, New York is never less than what you hope for - it never disappoints.

So lose yourself along the East Village's narrow, tree-lined streets and refuse-filled gutters, under the facades of buildings that have seen better days yet are predictably charming in their bohemian decay, and in the countless shabby-chic restaurants, underground bars, and cafes. It's okay to be cynical about the "yuppification" of the cities we love, but let's not allow that cynicism to kill our ability to enjoy their charms.

New York has very distinct neighborhoods, each with its own dedicated micro-blogs. If you want to explore new eateries, skip the typical meal guides like Yelp and Urban Spoon (which I love, by the way), and get recommendations from a neighborhood-specific blog, like EVEats (all things food-related in the East Village). And if you're looking for a gift, avoid tourist traps and go for something more New York-esque - explore the local shops for unique gifts that your friends and family will actually use.

You can get a fantastic taste of East Village life at EV Grieve, an EV-dedicated blog that features the most local of local stories: missing parrots, battles between newsstand vendors and the city, and a constant stream of updates on local construction and demolition projects. This is probably my favorite recent post (beware, it's gross but curiously amusing).

Yours truly, one neighborhood stroll at a time,


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