I was perusing the blogosphere this morning, clicking from blog to blog, when this post about Times Square in my now-home-city caught my eye. The author, Paul Smith (who is rapidly becoming my new fave travel blogger. Read it, y'all. He knows wazzup.) puts together a strong argument for visiting Times Square as a tourist, and if you live in NYC, to go see it. Something about the energy, lights, and lounge chairs in the middle of Broadway (no joke. It exists.) is manic, insane, a little cuckoo, and so very, very New York.
Though I am grounded for the minute in NYC until I can save enough for my next travelventure, here's a list of things that I plan on doing this winter, or have already done and are worth doing again, that lets me feel like a tourist in my own city.
1. Ice skating in Bryant Park. Numero uno? It's free. Numero dos? It's set beneath a teensy little Christmas village that sells homemade organic soaps and tiny knit dog sweaters. Any day that starts with ice skating and ends with shopping for crafts while sipping freshly made hot chocolate is a day worth living.
2. Carriage ride around Central Park. Yup. I'm a tourist. But how many of you out there can actually say you've taken a carriage ride? Do they even offer this anywhere else in the world? Plus, the idea of cuddling with someone under those big velvet blankets while parading around the park is sort of romantical.
3. The Staten Island Ferry from Battery Park. So you know those NYC Water Taxis that are like 30 bones and they drive you around the Hudson River and everyone takes pictures and ooohs and aaaahs at how purdy it is and oh wait did I mention this all costs 30 dollars? Well, an equally awesome view of that same skyline is the one from the deck of the Staten Island Ferry as it leaves Manhattan. Pure, beautiful, unadulterated New York. I loves it because it's awesome but more because it's freeeee-ninety-nine.
4. The Brooklyn Public Library. Sitting atop Grand Army Plaza, the Brooklyn Public Library is architecturally magnificent. It looms at the northwest end of Prospect Park and is just chock-effing-full of books. And lovely reading rooms with big fat comfy chairs. And they don't mind if you bring in coffee and a bagel and sit around all dang day draped over chairs and reading books. And they don't make eyes at you to buy anything because it's a library and not Barnes and Noble (where, incidentally, you cannot get away with lounging around, draped over chairs, and reading books all day without someone making eyes at you to buy something).
5. Idlewild Books. It's a bookstore with (get this) only books geared towards traveling! And they have language classes and book clubs and all kinds of awesomeness. If they had a like button outside their store, I would press it, fo' sheez.
6. New York Pizza Tour. *drool*
7. The rodeo at Madison Square Garden. Sure, you can go see the Knicks, but we live in Manhattan and I do not want to miss my only chance to legally watch men wrestle livestock and small children cling to the back of goats. Plus, sometimes you just need a legit excuse to rock a little flannel, flirt with men in cowboy boots, and drink proper beer in a can. I mean, outside of Williamsburg.
What do you love about your city? What do you do to get out and about when the weather is turning nasty?