I love my neighborhood. Where else can you wait on line at Othello's Deli with gruff scruffy men reeking of Pall Mall, picking up their egg sandwiches with mayo, and then see a trim young guy in an Armani Exchange t-shirt walk in, brushing past with a crisp "Excuse me"?
Where else can you walk past a tiny Greek corner restaurant that used to be a private social club and now has signs advertising vegetarian offerings? Then a few paces away see young Williamsburg/Greenpoint hipsters lining up around the block to get into the Bohemian Hall Beer Garden?
Where else do Italian grandmas sweep their patch of sidewalk while their next-door neighbors sit on the stoop smoking and discussing their latest off-off-Broadway project in twangy Midwestern accents?
Unfortunately, my beloved neighborhood has been "discovered." Astoria is the new Park Slope, rife with transplanted Manhattanites looking to buy and real-estate venturers driving the market sky high. We've been in the same tiny 2-bedroom since we moved here, a decade ago in August, grad students, newlyweds without kids or steady jobs. We're spilling out the seams but have to stay put a little longer, I suppose.