Over the last few day, I've been spending some time up in Harlem, mostly doing research for my cartoon Cafe con Leche. I have to admit, I mostly avoided the neighborhood when I used to live here long ago. What I discovered is a vibrant, afro-centric community filled with wonderful architecture and open, welcoming people. Contrast that with the cold, distant feel of my downtown neighborhood of Battery Park City. Not saying that all of Manhattan is cold (most NYers are quite nice), but downtowners are generally about as cold as a block of ice.
Case in point: this morning, a woman cut me in line at the coffee shop in the World Financial Center in my neighborhood. I kinda lost it at that point. I gave her a piece of my mind, and she didn't seem to care. So, I took my coffee (and two packets of Equal) and walked off. Just then, I realized that I might be able to use this incident in my cartoon. I couldn't wait to get home and write about it. So, I guess living downtown has been great from a cartooning standpoint, but I definitely wouldn't want to live here on a permanent basis. Give me Astoria, Williamsburg, or Harlem anyday.