I have lived in NYC for quite some time now. When you arrive in NYC it tends to embrace you and welcome you. Over time the spark between you and NYC tends to fade and everyone who moved here and stayed here needs to be reminded why we fell in love with NYC in the first place. Today I am remembering why I fell in love with New York in the first place.
#1 Battery Park
I love to go down to Battery park when it is warm, sit on a bench facing the Statue of Liberty and recharge. I take a notebook. I write. I think of everything and nothing. I watch the kids splashing around in the magic fountain. I look at the Statue of Liberty and I remember all of the people who came to this amazing city before me. People who dreamed of a better life, fame and fortune, family, safety, and all of the many reasons that hundreds of thousands of dreamers pack a bag or two every year and move to this amazing place. Many times people come with one dream and find a completely different dream. Some people come here just simply to come and find the most satisfying things in life. No matter if you are in NYC for a day or a life time, Battery Park can help you remember why you had to come.
#2 Central park
In Central Park you get to experience the best of every season in New York. When it snows and the sidewalks are disgusting and covered in gray slush, inside Central Park it is a beautiful winter wonderland. In the fall, every single leaf turns to an amazing color that you cannot really find anywhere else in the city. The spring brings new life to the park and the summer… oh the summer. Sunbathing in the meadow. Watching the baseball games. Row boating in the Central park Boating pond. The Bethesda Fountain with all of its dancers, musicians, giant bubble blowers and even mimes. There is a set of rocks that I love to sit on and watch the boaters, the laughing children and every passerby. You can walk up and experience the Central Park Castle and even further north is a quiet and charming botanical garden. You can fish if you so desire, ride bikes, recharge, people watch, eat hot dogs, go on a free walking tour and so many other wonderful things. In the winter you can even ice skate.
#3 Alice’s Tea Cup
This is one of the most charming places I have ever dined. You can have high tea any time at Alice’s Tea cup. They have a dish called the Mad Hatter for two and it includes two pots of tea, three scones, two sandwiches (cut into three) and a plate of cake and cookies. The décor is an eclectic mix of Alice in Wonderland memorabilia. There are always moms with children here. but seeing these children having a great time always reminds me to stop a little more often and smell the roses. At certain times there can be a long wait so you give them your cell phone number, go to the great thrift store two blocks away and they call you when your table is ready. Trust me it is worth the wait.
#4 O’lunney’s Times Square Pup
This is by far my favorite bar in NYC. For years it was my “after work bar” because I worked in the area, but even when I stopped working near this bar, I still make an effort to go there. The staff is great. The food is delicious. In my opinion, if there was a contest for NYC’s best bartender, Donal would win hands down. He knows his regulars, he makes a great drink and his charming Irish accent can woo just about anyone.
Also, this is a great place to go for New Years Eve. Since it is on a side street of Times Square, you feel like you are in all the excitement without actually being in a crowd of over 1 million people. You are close enough to step outside and hear the concerts, the countdown and even get hit in the face with confetti, but you are only with a couple of hundred people as opposed to more than a million. Great prices and a very friendly environment.
#5 Movies in the park
Every summer, Bryant Park hosts a free summer movie festival on Monday nights. The movie begins at sun down and the lawn opens at 5. Here’s the catch: the crowd begins forming at 1 or 2 in the afternoon. People surround the lawn with blankets and bags of food and they are just standing waiting for the lawn to be open. As soon as the announcement happens, everyone RUNS onto the lawn looking for the perfect spot. They fight for spots and throw blankets down and are usually all trying for the same spot. Then as quickly as it began everyone is settled in and munching away on their snacks. Now you have three hours of quality time with your friends or significant other. You can play games, you can eat, you can catch up and recharge from your busy lives. Then the movie begins and you can enjoy it with hundreds and hundreds of other people. It is usually some sort of classic where people are quoting it as a group and it is just a grand ole time.
#6 Only in New York
There are truly many things that I can say only happen in New York. For example: No Pants on The Subway day, the giant pillow fight that takes place in a warehouse. The giant game of musical chairs that happens in Bryant park, complete with great prizes. Great cheap ways to see amazing and not so amazing theatre. The best happy hour boat cruises. The sunrise from the Manhattan Bridge. The giant square dance that happens in the park. Downtown theatre. The Broadway Flea Market. Food Carts that people stand in line for. Literally food from any nation you can imagine. Pay what you can museums. The best street fairs. The Coney Island boardwalk complete with one of the country’s oldest roller coasters and Ferris wheels. Some of the best friends a girl could hope for.
If you haven’t been to NYC please do so. Just please don’t stop in front of me as I am head to work, please use proper umbrella etiquette and please tip your servers. You’re guaranteed to have a grand ole time.
To quote Carrie Bradshaw: “If you can only have one great love, then the city just may be mine. And I don’t want nobody talkin’ shit about my boyfriend.”