The Center of It All

There was a time probably not too long ago where I would have agreed with the notion that New York City was the center of the universe. Like any good native New Yorker, I was never bashful about proclaiming the greatness of the most excellent city in the history of human civilization. I pretty much spent my entire four years of college venting about how awful Atlanta was in comparison. (In fairness, it really is pretty terrible in comparison.)

Now that I’m a bit older and things have changed in my life I no longer view New York with such affection. Sure, there are some things that are unsurpassable. For instance, all pizza outside of the area is just a pale imitation. And even though I will likely live the rest of my life away from New York, I will never become a fan of any sports teams not located in the five boroughs, unless they play in a shared football stadium just outside the five boroughs.

But as I said, things are different now. One thing that’s different is that when I do go home it’s not to the city and to its many bars, but rather to Long Island to see my family. More than that, there’s something about New York and its environs that seems so old and decaying. Sure, the city still has a vitality and life to it, but for some reason it feels different. Maybe it’s the pack of hipsters that I drove through in Williamsburg that made me see the city differently. This is an area of Brooklyn that not even ten years ago was . . .  shady at best, but is now inhabited by horn-rimmed glass wearing white people who are predominantly not from New York City. I’ve never been one to lament the cleaning up of New York, but I sort of miss the old neighborhood.

All that being said, it was good to be back in the city a few days back. For the first time in my life I actually got to spend a night in a New York hotel room. When I made the reservation to stay at “The Milford,” I have to say it didn’t ring any bells for me. Then when I walked up to the building and saw the sign for the Milford Plaza, that’s when it hit me:

If you are over the age of about 35 and grew up in New York, you no doubt are well acquainted with this commercial. If not, well, you missed out on a classic.

Needless to say the lobby didn’t quite look as fancy, and the room was . . . quaint. Throw in a bathroom roughly the size of a closet, and the hotel had a rather cozy feel. Mind you this is not a complaint, as this is what one expects of a hotel located on Broadway.

So New York may not have the same pull for me that it once did, but it’s still a nifty place to visit now and then.


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