“The New Yorkiest Show Of All Time”

Jonathan Zeller marks the 15th anniversary of the Seinfeld finale by ranking the 15 “New Yorkiest” episodes of the sitcom. Number two on the list? “The Maid”:

While Elaine’s quest to retain a 212 phone number amid the introduction of the 646 area code—which has now become firmly entrenched—doubtless rings true to some New Yorkers (in fact, it’s still timely), the most Manhattan mileage in this one comes from Kramer’s sad attempt to maintain a “long-distance” relationship with a girlfriend who’s moved downtown. While, as the Official Guide to NYC, we must note that New York’s transit system and street grid make it easy to navigate the five boroughs, it’s also true that the City is very neighborhood oriented; sometimes it’s tough to muster the mental energy to, say, leave Brooklyn and visit a friend way uptown in Manhattan. Sadly, Kramer and his girlfriend get into a fight and he gets lost at First (Avenue) and 1st (Street)—”the nexus of the universe.” While NYC’s legendarily confusing lineup of Ray’s pizzerias—Famous, Original, both and neither—have given way to a single dominant chain of Famous Original Ray’s Pizza, the outpost of the latter that Jerry asks about during a panicked pay-phone call from Kramer still stands not too far from Katz’s Delicatessen (though Kramer, disoriented by his surroundings, insisted, “It’s just Original, Jerry!”).