Search for Tranquility


I woke up today feeling very insecure and drained.  I went outside hoping to refresh by sitting at the South Street Seaport beside the reflections of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.  This was not beneficial, there is too much calamity, and tumult around there. Very touristy, commercial and crowded. I decided I had to find a place to find some peace and quiet; so I started walking.

As I walked I decided to take note of all the quiet, tranquil streets I came across. Not only will it give me future reference where to run away to, but also I am moving soon and would like to know where I would feel most comfortable.  I’ve attached a map of my walking tour.  You can tell what areas I found most interesting because of the meandering that occurs on the map instead of just straight paths.  I also have compiled my list of the nicest streets I crossed, they are as follows:  Franklin, Beach, Collister (I believe these are in TriBeCa), Macdougal, Minetta, Cornelia, (I believe these are in West/Greenwich Village?), and then the absolute best area of all was Morton, Barrow, Bedford, Commerce (it’s a little section within Greenwich Village, fantastic) and finally a little further up, Charles, Perry, Bank and Jane.  So what made these streets so great?  Well, first and foremost, they were quiet, I actually felt calm there, not many cars nor people.  Secondly, they were actually visually appealing, not trash-strewn, cobblestone streets often, tree-lined, old not-too-tall brick buildings with interesting architecture, lack of crass commercialism, small independent shops, no corporate garbage, it actually had a soul, also it was a very hot day and these streets tended to be airy and shaded, much cooler than other places.  That small area in Greenwich Village was by far the best though, nice winding cobblestone streets, beautiful architecture, quiet and full of flora.  There was even a small music school somewhere down the street so there was the sound of classical piano music softly floating down the street.

The only bad part of the journey was encountering crowded commercial areas, and also the fact that I was walking for close to 4 hours without eating in very hot weather, I became a little out of it, having a difficult time walking in a straight line, thinking that the Empire State Building was stalking me. I kept seeing it peaking out from behind buildings at me, lurking around street corners, it was definitely after me.  Eventually I got to 14th street, emerging from the wilderness of real New York, into civilization, the first sign of which was seeing a McDonald’s on the horizon.  Another thing about the journey, there were no subway stops I came across until 14th street.  And streets seemed to intersect themselves; which I can now relate with Cosmo Kramer about, it truly does feel like it must be “the nexus of the universe.”  Well at least now I know where I want to live, although I am sure it takes millions of dollars to have the privilege to do so.

(Started at Water Street, went down to the Seaport, saw it sucked, decided to go search for tranquility.  Ended up at 14th street about 4 hours later.)
(I believe this is Collister Street, it is in TriBeCa, look at that architecture and cobblestone streets, and the lack of people.)
(Here’s another view of Collister, I believe the cross street is Beach)
(Ah my favorite, the corner of Commerce and Barrow, this is the best area I’ve been in in NYC other than Brooklyn Heights)

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