GettingtoKnowYou: Clintoncentric

cat.jpg1. Name: Nicole Davis and Mike Didovic

2. Blog alias: Clintoncentric

3. When did you move to Clinton Hill, and how did you end up here? I (ND) moved here in 1999. But the first time I ever set foot in the area was a few years earlier, when I went to circuit city in the Atlantic Center Mall. The sun was setting, it was winter, and that narrow, window-lined hallway was drenched in this beautiful light. It was perhaps the prettiest moment ever in the atrocious Atlantic Center Mall. In any case, I was still living in Manhattan at the time, and I took the C at Fulton St. to get back uptown, and I remember thinking how precious that little park at Fulton and Greene was… So I developed a little crush on Fort Greene, and when I was looking to live alone, I checked out two apartments in the nabe. One was a studio the size of a dressing room for 900/month, the other was bigger but also out of my price range. Then I saw an ad in the village voice for a one bedroom in Clinton Hill. I remember being impressed by the wide, tree-lined avenues, and totally baffled by the G train. ("Where the hell does the G train go?" I wondered.) Then I walked into the foyer of my apartment, down the hall, into the eat-in kitchen, and then the hardwood floor living room with the marble fireplace, and the bedroom just off of it, and thought, "600 dollars a month for this palace? And it's rent stabilized? I've hit the jackpot!"

I lived alone until Mike moved in with me in 2003 or so, after living on 57th St., down the street from Carnegie Hall. He complained at first—it was too quiet (what isn't after Manhattan?), and it took too long to get back into the city on Sundays for brunch. Now, he usually stays in the hood on the weekends, and he's kicking himself that we didn't buy something here years ago.

4. Rent or own? We rent.

5. Hometown: Melville, Long Island (ND), Anaheim, CA (MD)

6. Years in NYC: 10+ (ND) , 6+ MD

7. Favorite place to eat in the hood: We love to eat out, so it's hard for us to name one place. But here goes: Luz, followed by Mojito's, though Bonita II will undoubtedly jockey for the #1 position soon. Also, ICI is great.

8. Favorite thing about Clinton Hill: The Pratt sculpture garden

9. Biggest neighborhood gripe: The lack of good, local produce, fish and meat in the supermarket.

10. What would you like to see most in the nabe? A cheese shop

11. Favorite street in Clinton Hill, and why: Clinton Ave., from Gates all the way to Park Ave. So many mansions to ogle!

12. If you could elect a mascot for Clinton Hill, what would it be and why? We would elect the Gingko tree. They look so tall and elegant lined along our block, and yet they drop those stinky seeds. It's as if they realize this is a beautiful neighborhood to be in, but they're in no way encouraging anyone else to stay.

13. Who is your favorite bartender or storekeeper in the hood? We love Cacho, the bartender at Luz.

14. Favorite take-out: Yamashiro sushi, although our last batch was not up to the usual, primo quality.

15. If you were a flavor of ice cream, what would be and why? ND: I would be peach-- it's rare when you can find that flavor, but when you do, it's typically homemade, and you can taste the love that went into making it. MD: I would be coconut, because I like the tropics.