In the News: Middle Class in Manhattan

••• A New York Times article on “What is middle class in Manhattan?” includes this: “In Tribeca, Karen Azeez feels squeezed. A fund-raising consultant, Ms. Azeez has lived in the city for more than 20 years. Her husband, a retired police sergeant, bought their one-bedroom apartment in the low $200,000 range in 1997. ‘When we got here, I didn’t feel so out of place, I didn’t have this awareness of being middle class,’ she said. But in the last 5 or 10 years an array of high-rises brought ‘uberwealthy’ neighbors, she said, the kind of people who discuss winter trips to St. Barts at the dog run, and buy $700 Moncler ski jackets for their children. Even the local restaurants give Ms. Azeez the sense that she is now living as an economic minority in her own neighborhood. ‘There’s McDonald’s, Mexican and Nobu,’ she said, and nothing in between.” Hmm. Nobu hasn’t represented the high end in years, and the Mexican restaurants are hardly worth mentioning. But on another point I totally agree: Going to St. Barts is one thing; talking about it is another.

••• Mike emailed that a sign in the window at 300 Spring (at Renwick) says that a restaurant called Cherrywood Kitchen is coming to the space. (I guess Graf Bar & Restaurant failed to launch.) Wait, when I Googled “Cherrywood Kitchen,” I not only discovered that Eater already mentioned it two weeks ago, and also this: “Midtown Lunch notices that the Goodburger on Maiden Lane is becoming a location of Clarke’s Standard, the PJ Clarke’s spinoff that’s opening several locations across town. That Goodburger has been closed since Sandy.”

••• The New York Times profiles J. Crew’s Jenna Lyons, who recently came out of the closet (and who currently lives in Tribeca). Every time I think I can justify disliking her she mentions her dentures, and I like her all over again.

12-14 warren••• I noticed recently that construction is happening at 12 Warren, but when I asked whether DDG Partners had ever decided to incorporate the existing building or not, I didn’t hear back. The LMCCC says it’s a goner: “The five-story brick building at 12 Warren is now under demolition, with crews completing interior removals and deconstruction through March 2013.” The new building will be 12 stories; maybe we can get a rendering….

••• The LMCCC also says Leonard will be closed between Church and W. Broadway for the next two weekends, due to work at 56 Leonard. “And as superstructure work begins, crews will install a tower crane at the site in mid-February.”



  1. I hope Ms Karen Azeez hangs her middle class head in shame for not knowing that “Nobu hasn’t represented the high end in years, “

  2. Gosh, your denture comment was so spot on! I feel the same way.
    Fashion icon? No way. A woman who has struggle and advanced herself? Yes and she should be applauded for that.
    But the thought that J Crew and Ms. Lyons are the futile soil for which we breed affordable style is ….dentures aside, laughable.

  3. “Mexican restaurants are hardly worth mentioning”? Zounds, have you not tried Burrito Burracho, my good man? To paraphrase Daniel Webster defending Dartmouth, “it is a small restaurant, and yet there are those who love it.”

    (Uhhh, actually you might have been the one who told me about Burrito Burracho in the first place :-) )

    If you were thinking of MaryAnn’s when you wrote this, well, I heartily agree.

  4. @Noah: Chastened! I was indeed thinking about MaryAnn’s…. Can we agree that Tribeca is not generally known for its Mexican restaurants?

  5. @Erik: Upon reflection, I would agree with you. Having only one (or two if you are a Little Bigger Place fan – I myself waver on that status) restaurants representing a particular cuisine does not make a neighborhood known for it.

    (There’s also Chipotle, which is a chain and not real Mexican so it doesn’t really count either. Though it’s awesome. Have they gotten their liquor license yet?)

    BTW certainly didn’t mean to chasten :-)

  6. @Noah: Chasten away! I make mistakes all the time. And I haven’t been to Burro Borracho in a while — I got nervous when the sign outside starting touting very American food — so I’m happy to hear it’s still worthwhile.

    Never actually been to the Chipotle on Murray, so no clue about its liquor license. Anyone know? (The Broadway/Reade one has beer and margaritas.)

    The big news in Mexican food, of course, is El Vez coming to the Conrad….

  7. Happy to report that the tortas are still awesome and the tamales are still cheap at BB.

    And happy to hear about El Vez!