For most of the time we were in NYC, we stayed in a hotel on the Upper West Side. It was a great home base that had good subway access and yet was away from the dense tourist areas. It felt low-key, somewhat residential, and relaxed. There were little girls walking alone to school, parents pushing strollers, and boys riding skateboards. There were still plenty of things to do, but the calm atmosphere made it a nice place for walking around and enjoying the scenery.
There were also a ton of mom and pop grocery stores in the area, along with big well known ones like Zabar’s. After a while I had to admit to myself that I really couldn’t go into every natural grocery store that I encountered, like I’m inclined to do in other places, or I’d never get anything done. Still, it made me daydream about the joys of living in a place where I could just wander outside from my apartment for an avocado or bunch of figs from a sidewalk seller.