We've become so chi-chi that we now have named our small sections of the city, a la NYC. They have SoHo, NoLita and the Upper East Side. We have BeLo 3rd and The West Side, and will undoubtedly have more hyphenated acronyms before we're done. But I'm happy, thrilled even, to see the changing face of Hudson.
BeLo 3rd has a pretty creative and savvy group of organizers. They took a decided geographic negative (being below Third Street) and turned it into a chic moniker. Perception is everything, and soon what was a vast area of nothingness became the darling of the gallery set. In fact, along with the antiques and art galleries, Hudson has become quite a foodie mecca, and BeLo 3rd has become Restaurant Row.
One of their more popular events is "Taste of Hudson", where Warren Street is closed off the street to traffic and numerous Hudson restaurants and caterers set up under a big tent, right in the middle of the street in front of my office. Customers come from all over, buy "BeLo Bucks", and spend them on various small portions at different vendors' tables, so for $5 or $10 you can get a pretty good sample of what a lot of great cooks are doing. And they are great cooks. In fact, if you eat on Warren Street any given day, you'd be hard pressed to get a bad meal.
So here we were, sitting at cute tables under a billowing white tent, in the middle of the street in front of the Girly House, where not that long ago, for the same five bucks, crack was the main dish. And although the crack was also heated, it just didn't have the same panache as Taste of Hudson's offerings. At one point all those bad memories came rushing back, and between bites of tasty morsels, I turned to another old-timer and commented "Do you believe we're sitting here in the middle of the street, on the 200 Block of Warren, eating catered food with tourists?" We were laughing so hard we nearly lost our lunch.
Ain't life grand?