When I first moved here two years ago, I read that New Yorkers tend to be creatures of habit; favouring a lifestyle within their 5-7 block radius. At first I scoffed at that but it's totally true. I mean if I really think about, in this city you'll rarely (if ever) find an apartment that's not within immediate vicinity of a supermarket, a laundry, transport options, a doctor, a pub - all the basics that you'd really ever need within an easy walking distance.
But there comes a point when you've got to wonder if you're becoming just a little bit too predictable. Case in point, when we venture out for some after-work drinks. We rarely, if ever, plan on where we're going. Even when the elevator hits the ground floor and the doors open, we still spend those few anxious minutes staring at each other, and then off into space, trying to think about where we want to go. And it's all a pantomime in the end, because we usually end up going to the same two or three places. "If I have to walk more than two blocks, it's too far," is often something you'll hear us say.
That may sound precious but it's really not, because the good thing about working in Midtown Manhattan of course is that we are totally spoiled for choice within a two block radius. If we want Mexican, Italian, Asian, German, American, pub grub - it's all right there on our doorstep. And if we really wanted to branch out, there's a subway station right there to whisk us somewhere else on the island, and with connections off-island too.
Judging by my credit card statement, there are a number of stand-out favourites that warrant our regular patronage: Lcl at the newly-refurbished Westin Grand Central; Osteria Laguna (where I pretty much have the menu memorised); the lovely Patsy's Pizzeria (which closed by my old apartment and reopened right by work...SCORE!); the Mexican staple of Sinigual and the Latin/Asian fusion place Zengo (where I still haven't tried the margarita, even though the restaurant keeps emailing me invitations to join their tequila club). Then there's the glamorous yet also probably hideous Campbell Apartment hidden away in Grand Central Station; the oompah Bavarian goodness at the crazy Hofbrau Bierhaus (which I'm surprised hasn't killed me for real); and the heady wine and amazing charred peppers at La Fonda Del Sol (plus they have Pedro Ximenez on the menu there and that makes me happy, always).
No wonder I'm slow off the mark exploring my new neighbourhood - I'm too busy (lazy?) to venture too far from work. But with all that choice so close by, would you complain?