New York State of Mind

This month Natural Selections interviews De’Veatrice Bryant (DeeDee) who works for Restaurant Associates at the CRC Café. She has a Culinary Arts Degree in Professional/Commercial Cooking from Star Career Academy and she is a New Yorker, born and raised.

1. How long have you been living in New York?

I have lived in New York my entire life.

2. Where do you live?

I currently reside in West Harlem.

3. Which is your favorite neighborhood?

I grew up in Spanish Harlem and have lived in the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn, but I would have to give my thumbs up for West Harlem as my favorite neighborhood because I can walk only a few blocks from where I live to hear Jazz at the Cotton Club, dine on the most delicious, authentic, Southern soul food, shop, get a mani/pedi, and visit a museum—all in a five-block radius.

4. What do you think is the most overrated thing in the city? And underrated?

The most overrated thing in New York City is

celebrating New Year’s Eve in Times Square. It’s freezing, overcrowded, and not worth the aggravation of trying to get out of there after it’s over.

I think that the simple, wonderful, and meaningful things are underrated and too much attention is paid to money. Life itself seems to be losing the battle to Fashion Week and the new iPhone.

5. What do you miss most when you are out of town?

Convenient transportation.

6. If you could change one thing about NYC, what would that be?

The crowds of people walking through the streets with ear buds and them not saying “excuse me.”

7. What is your favorite weekend activity in NYC.

Sunday Gospel Brunch at Sylvia’s.

8. What is the most memorable experience you have had in NYC?

When I won first place at the City College Top Chef competition.

9. If you could live anywhere else, where would that be?

Virginia Beach—I love the water and it’s still close enough to NYC to come back whenever I want.

10. Do you think of yourself as a New Yorker? Why?

I am a native New Yorker, die-hard New York sports fan and I have an official New York accent!

March 2013