My dad works on 57th and 3rd. Heart of midtown, border-lining the Upper East Side. Having been born and raised in the bronx, trips to Manhattan felt like a privilege sometimes, just because there really was no reason for me to be there. I didn’t go to school there, I couldn’t afford any of what the stores there had in them, and none of my relatives lived there. My dad was the only one in my family subjected to hopping on the number 4 train and riding it down to 59th and Lexington.
Once I was old enough to start working jobs, most of them were located on the Upper West Side, and that area of Manhattan soon became my second home. I slept in The Bronx and did everything else before or after work on the Upper West. I got used to the vibe and people Riverside to CPW had to offer, and so whenever I DID find myself on the other side, the stench of “old money” and pretentiousness was quite pungent. I did everything in my power to avoid the UES as I did Times Square and 34th street: like the plague. Until I started working at a restaurant directly across from Bloomingdale’s. I couldn’t take the orders of the Real Housewives of New York try-hards because their Chanel No. 5 posed as a threat to my existence—death by old lady perfume overload. Rush hour on the Upper East Side seemed to just always come with voices taunting me, saying: “Out of my way, peasant. I make more money than you, thus I am more tired. Move”.
While the Upper West Side holds a special place in my heart, I can’t forget my dad, and the fact that he makes his hard-earned living on the dark side. There are many cons to hauling ass to the East Side just to be met with stone-faced (literally, stone, because botox) bitchiness from women, and a condescending attitude from men too handsome and rich to look at me. As for the case with surprise visits to my dad’s office, on 57th and 3rd, the pros outweigh the cons.