I was a high school student in Great Neck during the late 60s and early 70s. Often my friends and I traveled to the wonderland known affectionately as the “City.” We bounced around 34th Street and subwayed it down to the village and then up to west side off of Central Park. During those times the city throbbed with life and raw energy. Manhattan’s beat captured our attention and imagination. Yet, these were turbulent times, owing to the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War protests. Change was on the horizon. The city lost its romantic character during the financial crisis. Over the years Manhattan has changed, sometimes for the best. Some of my favorite hangout spots have vanished, though they have been replaced by new ones. Communities have grown while others are on the verge of extinction. Some residents of Astoria and Prospect Park are not too thrilled that a part of Manhattan has transplanted itself in their backyard. No matter to me; I like the new East Village as well as parts of the outer boroughs that evoke a nostalgia for Manhattan’s lost romanticism.