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In defense of 'seedy' Eighth Avenue

"If Disney has taken over Times Square, then Eighth Avenue is its sooty back lot," The New York Times said on Thursday.

Calling the area near Wednesday's shooting, 37th St. and 8th. Ave. part of "Manhattan's Seedier Side," the Times was pretty down on the apparently not tourist-friendly area. Like tourists are so comfortable anywhere in this city?

The Times hesitates to recall, however, that the crux of this incident began in Union Square, one of Manhattan's more expensive and ritzy neighborhoods, with the vicious hammer incident two days prior. Near Union Square, you can buy dresses for under $10 at Forever 21 -- the article calls out 8th Avenue for hosting "a women's clothing store with a full-length bright dress on a mannequin in the window with a price tag of $36."

Yes, there is a peep show on the block, but come on, this is New York! Does a little grit really categorize an entire area as "seedy"?

The article points out that there's a methadone clinic nearby, not acknowledging that centers like these focus on addiction recovery and rehab-- imagine the neighborhood without such an institution!

Other facets the Time notes: $1 pizza (have they never been to the Lower East Side) and Wok to Walk, a European-import fast food restaurant serving customizable Asian dishes on the cheap.

The Times failed to mention that its offices are at 40th and 8th Ave. and amNewYork's are only a few blocks further south.

While we're not going to go ahead and declare 8th Avenue the new Bushwick, we're going to say it's not really seedy at all, practically packed with local businesses we're happy to support.

35th & 8th: Starbucks

We start our tour of Eighth Avenue at
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

We start our tour of Eighth Avenue at the southeast corner of 35th and 8th. There's nothing seedy about a mini Frappuccino. Is there?

35th & 8th: McDonald's

We're not going to say McDonald's is a
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

We're not going to say McDonald's is a neighborhood highlight, but this is a definitely a higher-end McDonald's as compared to many in Manhattan.

35th & 8th: Luxe Den

Okay, we know what you're thinking, but Luxe
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

Okay, we know what you're thinking, but Luxe Den is actually a classy hair salon and spa! They even offer beard trims.

37th & 8th: Tabata Noodle II

Our favorite ramen shop in the neighborhood, the
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

Our favorite ramen shop in the neighborhood, the only thing seedy about Tabata Noodle II is the sesame seeds in their deliciously spicy tan tan men.

38th & 8th: Two Bros Pizza

What's so seedy about enjoying $1 slices in
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

What's so seedy about enjoying $1 slices in the sun on a beautiful day?! Originally found on St. Marks, this New York slices staple may not offer the best pies in town, but they're cheap, cheesy and full of local character.

38th & 8th: Sparkly Hat Shop

People who would buy these gorgeous works of
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

People who would buy these gorgeous works of art to be worn on top of their heads probably fall in the tourist category, but last we checked, there's nothing seedy about some extra sparkles!

38th & 8th: Another Starbucks

That seedy green mermaid can't get enough of
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

That seedy green mermaid can't get enough of 8th Avenue!

39th & 8th: Payless

So you're not buying Louboutins or Manolos here,
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

So you're not buying Louboutins or Manolos here, but you know what Payless really reminds us of, the suburbs. Nothing too seedy about a chain discount shoe store!

39th & 8th: Fancy garbage cans!

You can't find trash cans as nice as
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

You can't find trash cans as nice as these in most parts of NYC!

40th & 8th: This huge fro-yo emporium

Maybe midtown's sprinkliest neighborhood would be more accurate.
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

Maybe midtown's sprinkliest neighborhood would be more accurate. Note that Off the Wall fro-yo is within steps of The New York Times building.

40th & 8th: Schnipper's Quality Kitchen

More like Schnipper's Quality EVERYTHING. Home to one
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

More like Schnipper's Quality EVERYTHING. Home to one of our favorite mac and cheeses as well as plenty of other great comfort food, this clean and not-so-cheap eatery is pretty much the opposite of seediness.

40th & 8th: Microsoft offices

Speaks for itself.
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

Speaks for itself.

40th & 8th: Dean & Deluca

If it was good enough for Felicity Porter
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

If it was good enough for Felicity Porter to barista at, it's good enough for us.

41st & 8th: URBO

Nothing says seedy like small fusion plates and
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

Nothing says seedy like small fusion plates and rampant celebrity spotting! Oh wait, we meant sceney.

41st & 8th: Heartland Brewery

Be careful not to choke on the seeds
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

Be careful not to choke on the seeds of all that craft beer from Heartland Brewery!

41st & 8th: The New York Times Building

Designed by architect Renzo Piano-- yes, the one
Photo Credit: MELISSA KRAVITZ

Designed by architect Renzo Piano-- yes, the one who worked on the new Whitney Museum -- The New York Times building is regarded as one of the most attractive skyscrapers in Manhattan. Less than a decade old (the building opened in November 2007), this artistic structure is definitely not near any seediness. Grab a Dean & Deluca espresso and some organic salad before you head up the elevator, this Eighth Avenue address is plush NYC luxury.

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