By Richard Kriheli

Dearest Upper West Side,

You want more, I hear.

Word reached me about your average rent hikes, and I’m bummed. Look, I may be playing out of your league, living half a block from Central Park, but you should be fighting for me to stay, especially with the current economic climate. You won’t bring me to my knees but please allow me to get some words in:

Listen, I’m a New York lifer. I left Queens for you in 2006, and my heart was yours ever since. My take is modest: a brownstone walk-up complete with creaky floors and theatrical neighbors. They found bedbugs in another unit in my building. Did I run? Nope. I hoof two flights and two blocks just to wash my clothes. Do I whine about it? Nope. I just continue to sing your praises any chance I get. My wallet is twice as thick as the average native and still, you’re giving me the cold shoulder. But I’m not that Rich.

I’m no fool, though. I knew what I was getting myself into. I knew you were high maintenance. I hung tough, supporting your eight-dollar-carton-of-ice-cream habit. But now I have another to support. See, five months ago, I became a dad to a dashing little boy born in your jurisdiction. He knows only you. I don’t want to let the little dude down, but I’m growing wary about the prospects of a future with you. Yes, you have the neat little playgrounds, water fountains, museums just a stone’s toss away. You even have a handful of passable public schools despite preposterous zoning restrictions and overcrowding.

Yet, your stance is unwavering and you’re making it hard on me. I need to expand my living space but at an average 35% spike? Ouch! You’re letting me down. But I gotta say: I may be disappointed, but not intimidated. See, I’ve got options. If you can’t accommodate, others will. Lately, Brooklyn’s been sweet-talking me and making googly eyes at my kid. I’ve noticed that a stroll down Prospect Park West is virtually indistinguishable from my morning jaunts down Central Park West. The price points there are no picnic either, but something tells me they’ll be far more amenable when I make my move.

But before it comes to that, I want to give you a chance to change your mind. I’ve been eyeing those Upper West Side 10024 tees for my little guy. But there’s only so much I can give. Let’s grab a coffee at Lalo sometime and square things out, OK?

You want more?  So do I.



Richard Kriheli, a West Side Rag columnist, is a lifelong New Yorker and an Upper West Sider since 2006. He likes to say he’s a writer, but works a day tech job in digital advertising to take care of bills until his words can. When he’s not slaying emcees or fighting crime, you can find him masterminding a novel. Follow him on twitter @kriheli.