NYC has, and always will have, a tight grip on my heart. I don’t know how to describe why I love it so much but I do! Some of my favorite things are the vast history contained in Ellis Island, the excitement and grandiosity of Times Square, the thrill of a Broadway show, the feeling you get of being so tiny in a great big world when walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, the diversity of the neighborhoods, the beautiful parks, and so much more. For about the first day of my trip I said, “I love this” about everything from the signs in the subway to the entrance of Central Park to the millions of taxis and the food carts.
In a whirlwind, 4 day trip, I was very happy to pack as much as I could into each day and visit nearly every neighborhood in all of Manhattan, and 4 of the 5 boroughs of lovely NYC!
I started off one morning bright and early the best way I could think of – strolling through Central Park! The bedrock that Manhattan is built on is called schist and comes through the ground to form giant boulders at various points throughout the park. Standing atop a large rock looking back at midtown Manhattan with the sun shining bright and the tall buildings and lights of Times Square off in the distance made me incredibly happy. What a fabulous city!
People might say NYC dirty due to the fact that people have to put their garbage on their sidewalks because there are no alleys – I think it adds character.
People might say NYC is dangerous – I think as long as you’ve got your head up and are alert to what’s going on it’s perfectly safe.
People might say NYC has too many people – I think it’s perfect for people watching and is interesting to see people who come from all walks of life.
People might say space is too limited – I think it’s fun to see how people creatively make the best use of space.
People might say New Yorkers are rude – I think they could be described as blunt and direct, besides, it adds to the experience.
People might say NYC is too expensive – it doesn't have to be, but it’s NYC, what do you expect?!
I love how the cops have an old school Italian style, how the peddlers on the street sell super cheap knockoffs that people lust after (I know I did – two purses and one “Burberry” scarf), how every couple of blocks there’s a food cart, how the face of so many buildings are protected so the history and stories that began there so long ago will always be preserved. There are street musicians, museums, TV shows and movies filmed everywhere, hustle and bustle, shows, flashy lights, fancy apartments, cute neighborhood bars, and so many wonderful things!
I went to Katz’s Deli, home of the “I’ll have what she’s having” scene from When Harry Met Sally. I was harassed by the waiter for trying to order – gasp! – a cheeseburger or a grilled cheese sandwich rather than a Pastrami or Ruben sandwich. He even went so far as to bring me out a piece of pastrami on a plate to try to talk me into ordering it.
I took a tour to Harlem and the Bronx, two boroughs I had never been to but has always been curious about. The only things I’ve ever associated with Harlem are the Globetrotters, the Apollo Theater, and of course the Harlem Shake! Harlem was a lot nicer than I expected and the Bronx was what I expected Harlem to be. The tour culminated with a trip to a gospel church service. It was so interesting to get a glimpse into that – women were dressed to the nines in brightly colored suits and big hats. The service was filled with music – the choir, the piano, the drums – and filled with life. Though, it was interesting that we were ushered out just before the Sermon began but just after the collection plate had been brought to each visitor.
One of my favorite things I did was join in on the Times Square Hopes & Dreams campaign which allows you to write a wish for yourself, others or the world on a piece of confetti that will be dropped in Times Square on December 31, 2013. I happily decorated my 1” x 1” piece of yellow confetti with my wish and it pleases me to no end that while I may not be in NYC on New Year’s Eve, a part of me will be, even if only a word.