I have never been one of those New Yorkers who thinks that the City begins and ends with Manhattan. Indeed, I have lived in four of New York City’s five boroughs – Brooklyn, Staten Island, Manhattan and Queens – with the only borough that I haven’t lived in being the Bronx. Now, admittedly, my outer borough experiences as a resident of those boroughs took place before I started writing this blog, so understandably, my posts here have been overwhelmingly Manhattan-centric. But with the creation of this page (and its sister Dairy Free Brooklyn page), I pledge myself anew to exploring New York City’s many neighborhoods, spread all over its boroughs, to report to you on the food there and what is going on of interest to the dairy free universe.
To start with, let me begin to build a framework so that we have an idea of what sort of things there are to explore and where.
Queens. I lived in Flushing, a section of Queens, from 1994 to 2002. And honestly, I never felt completely at-home in Queens. It is a sprawling borough, and while between the subways and the buses, it is possible to get around there, it always felt very hard to get from place to place there for me (of course it didn’t help that the subway lines to Queens always seemed to be closed for repairs on the weekends). The best thing about being in Flushing was undoubtedly the easy access to really good Chinese and Korean food. For much of the time that I lived there, I was a vegan, and my favorite was Happy Buddha, a restaurant which closed for renovation during my time living there which seems to still be around! My recent forays to re-discover the awesome Chinese food there have introduced me to local stand-outs like Biang! I look forward to going back for more.
Staten Island. Between college and post-college years, I lived on Staten Island from 1980 to 1989. It has been so long that I am sure the restaurants and diners that I knew during my time there have long since disappeared. Plus, I was so poor during my student and post-student years that I pretty much always ate at home. The one place I remember that is still in existence is the Road House – a friendly inexpensive place where we used to go for Italian food, burgers and pitchers of beer. I have a great deal of fondness for “the Island,” but it feels pretty far away from Manhattan. I will have to find some occasions to visit.
The Bronx. I hear good things about the food in the Bronx, but at this point, I am wholly ignorant of it. I will have to hop on the subway sometime and experience the Bronx up close.