New York Minute
word of the day: June 20, 2005
A New York minute is an instant. Or as Johnny Carson once said, it’s the interval between a Manhattan traffic light turning green and the guy behind you honking his horn.
It appears to have originated in Texas around 1967. It is a reference to the frenzied and hectic pace of New Yorkers’ lives. A New Yorker does in an instant what a Texan would take a minute to do.
– Taken from UrbanDictionary.com
As I have often said, wanderlust is both a blessing and a curse. It is either of the two for various reasons. For example, it can be a blessing because always itching to travel gets you out and about, seeing the world and going on fantastic adventures. The curse is the impact it has on your wallet. It can also be a curse when a city captures your heart and you are left forever wanting to be there. This kind of curse can uproot you from everything you know and love. BUT. It can also be a blessing. Last month’s trip to the Big Apple was exactly that. Both a blessing an a curse. Although the curse started long ago.
When I first visited New York as a teenager, I instantly fell in love with the city. Pulsating with life and colour and constantly moving, New York blew me away. The food, the museums, the street art, the local plays, the Broadway plays, the music, the sounds of the city, the cabs, the subway, the walking.. I loved it all. I am convinced that my parents didn’t need to take us to do all the touristy things–which they did. They could have left me on a bench in Central Park and I would have been just as happy and entranced with the city. For years New York was my favourite city in the world. (Paris took that position a bit over a year ago.) I was in this constant state of dying to go back to New York. It wasn’t so much that I felt like I had left a part of myself in the city–which is how it felt with Paris–it was something else I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Not until this past trip…
When I got to New York, I hit the ground running. And I don’t think I stopped. I had planned something for each day, and while I was able to keep all my appointments, the city found a way to take over. It was a week of revisiting old favourites and discovering new treasures, I could feel New York taking me back and not at all begrudging my love for a city other than itself. While I would like to detail every part of my journey, that would make this entry way too long–and an extreme over-share. So here is a rundown of what made my trip, all of which just continues the curse because now, I can’t wait to get back to New York!
Oldies & Goodies: My love is there to stay!
- FAO Schwarz – The oldest, and maybe the largest, toy store in the city, I remember being captivated by FAO Schwarz as a young teen. All these years later, it was just as captivating and so much more fun now that I’ve gotten rid of that self-consciousness that comes with being a teenager. I went specifically to visit the big piano on the 2nd floor of the store, and I danced out a little tune.
- Central Park – This trip, I enjoyed a luxury I didn’t have before: take my time going through the park. So now I had time to stroll, to take pictures, to offer to take other people’s pictures, and just drink in the beautiful day!
- Broadway – This will never get old. Getting to a theatre, watching a show, seeing the lights of Times Square… how can this get old?! I was in NYC six nights and I was able to watch three plays. Only one was on Broadway, Richard III, which will be the topic of a different entry.
- Hotdogs – Maybe it’s my imagination, but hotdogs seem to taste better in NYC. Don’t believe me? Before your next trip to New York, have a hotdog wherever you are then have a hotdog as soon as you can after landing. There’s a difference!! Choose between the classics, Sabrett or Gray’s Papaya, or find a new love like Crif Dogs.
- Katz’ Deli – The BEST deli in the city. I remember falling in love with their chili when I was younger. Now I am completely in love with their sandwiches. The only pastrami I’ll eat!!
- Museums – Much like Central Park, I was finally able to take on the Met at my own pace. Beginning October 2013, the museum began charging for entrance. I didn’t mind though! Whatever will keep them open and keep the artwork perfect for viewing!
- Greenwich Village – There was something about Greenwich Village that always appealed to me. Now, walking around the streets, popping in and out of boutiques, grabbing a coffee and a snickerdoodle at Sweet Spot, it proved itself just as charming as before!
- Shopping – Who doesn’t love shopping?! And in a city like New York, with all its boutiques, vintage shops, and unique little stores, shopping can become the most fun activity of the day!
- Exploring – It seems that New York is a city you will never stop exploring, even if you’ve lived there for years. At least that’s what some of my friends–who have lived there for years–have told me.
- Sleep No More – An Off-Broadway play staged at the McKittrick Hotel, this unconventional wonder of theatre takes you through several story lines while allowing you to explore the hotel however you choose! Chase after actors, look through a witch’s stockroom, and walk through a cemetery. It’s an experience you will never forget!
- Lombardi’s – I do remember having New York pizza on more than one occassion, but I hadn’t tried Lombardi’s until this trip. The first pizzeria in the United States, their brick oven was built in 1905, and I don’t think it’s ever stopped.
- Secret Gardens – I never noticed it before, but in certain parts of the city, there are these little gardens. Not a park, but a garden. It was great finding these little gems and walking through them or stopping to sit for a while.
- Food Food Food – So this trip, I decided that I am an East Village girl, and that’s because ther e are so many cute little places to eat in the area. St. Marks is a new favourite, as is Crif Dogs. Oh, and I can’t forget my new favourite burger joint: Shake Shack!
- Brooklyn – I wasn’t given a chance to visit Brooklyn before so I didn’t know what to expect. I loved the mellow vibe, the way many places seemed to be stuck in #throwbackthursdays with their cute antique shops and distressed wood on restaurant windows. It was, though in a way different from Greenwich Village, absolutely charming.
So what was it that I couldn’t put my finger on before? Well, if we follow my old blog post and stick to the theory that cities are like men, then New York is a city that understands me completely. While in Paris I felt at home and excited, in New York I felt at home and comfortable. So my conclusion is this: Paris is still my love, but New York is my best friend.