New York Lost And Looking

by CLAIRE WILLETT · March 24, 2008

st marks

Whilst lugging our gut back from Blue 9 Burger (we like their Medieval take), we were stopped by a pair of excitable young Jerseyans, who wanted to know a) if there really was a Chick Filet in one of the NYU dining halls, b) which subway would take them to Times Square, and c) which watering hole would (temporarily) transport them. We could help them out with the first; yes there is a Chick Filet, and it's in the Weinstien food court at 5-11 University Place. Regarding the second, at first we were tempted to reply with a snotty chuckle and much head-shaking, but then, in part due to our own abashedness regarding South Shore beat-downs, and in part because, origins and naiveté aside, they seemed like nice boys, we thought the better of it. Then we thought that really, we had no idea where to send them. All we know about TS is to avoid it; we've only ever scuttled through it, heads on our Keds lest the glare trip us into the fathomless folds of a Mickey-Moused mama. And then we thought (well, no, first we sadly informed the gentlemen of our inadequacy) about how much of even Manhattan we don't know, and how the boroughs -even the reputedly gentrified hipstery enclaves, might as well be Nova Scotia, or Kyrgestan.

And then, as we turned on to our street, we thought about how we don't even know who St. Mark is, or why his street doesn't lead to St. Mark's Church. At this point we panicked, hightailed it over to the Strand, and bought The Street Book: An Encyclopedia of Manhattan's Streets and their Origins. Now we know that the street was named after Peter Stuyvesant's chapel of the same name, but that won't help us off-island. Anyways we guess our point (apologies for the rambling --all this non-required reading is making us introspective) is this: when someone says he loves New York, which part is he referring to? Which part are you, when (if) you say it. And do you know anyone who can unequivocally say he loves it all (apart from Tailor Made)?