this list would be different if i made it again–i’m sure i’m forgetting a bunch of things. also, i don’t necessarily go to every place often, but they are a part of our city life–we walk through neighborhoods and see the buildings that surround us.
1. the view of the empire state building. we can see it from our apartment building (if you’re standing outside). esb sports different colored lights for holidays–sometimes red on valentines to red, white and blue on the fourth of july. sometimes we wonder why it is the color it is. you can find out here. the chrysler building is also pretty. both are extra neat to see at night.
2. chinatown when the kids were younger it was stressful to eat out at restaurants. we’d end up rushing to finish before one of our kiddies would be too much to handle. chinese restaurants are generally easy going for that. there’s already a certain amount of noise. add a screaming or boisterous child to the mix and no one will bat an eye.
in february we like to celebrate chinese new year (lunar new year). we’re not chinese, but we’ll celebrate a holiday that includes dancing dragons and confetti. people watching the parade purchase canon streamers and shoot them into the air during the parade. there’s a colorful mess of confetti and streamers strewn all over the street. it’s festive, beautiful, cold, and crowded. the kids love it.
3. east river we can walk across grand street and access a foot bridge to get to east river park. the seal park is one of our favorite summer-sprinkler spots. metal seals look like they’re coming out of the cement with the river and williamsburg bridge behind it. you can follow the foot path along the river and walk past the seaport. further on is the ikea ferry, the ferry to governor’s island, then the staten island ferry until you are past the bottom of manhattan and in battery park.
4. the bridges: williamsburg, manhattan, and brooklyn ride the j-m-z train over the williamsburg bridge (to get to peter luger’s) or the b-d train over the manhattan bridge (to get to brooklyn’s target). you can walk across them too though i’m sure my husband would say they’re great to cycle across. the williamsburg bridge in particular will get your blood pumping when you ride the long incline. the williamsburg bridge is perfect for a walk home after peter luger’s awesome steak dinner in brooklyn. most tourists opt for walking the brooklyn bridge because the pedestrian walkway is above the traffic and has a less obstructive view of the city skylines. here’s a pic of the brooklyn bridge:
5. bryant park there is a small carousel playing french music set on the south side of the park. the kids like to ride it. there are gravel walking ares and seats and tables sprinkled around the lawn and a beautiful fountain to toss coins in. it also helps that kinokuniya, the japanese book store, is across the street from the park. if we go to one we have to visit the other. my kids are japanophiles.
6. mister softee ice cream trucks you know spring is here when the trucks are parked all over city corners selling soft serve ice cream, shakes and so on. i can’t tell you the prices since it depends where the trucks are located. the one outside our kids’ school is a huge favorite (but only one day after school a week). for some reason the ice cream truck is called “cool man.” he also parks outside our grocery store at non-school times.
7. union square green market though i don’t go as often as i’d like i like to see the fruits, vegetables and flowers. it’s all-year round, m-w-f-sat. there are so many green markets everywhere in the city. you can click here to find one near you.
8. lower east side ecology center we save our compostable foods in the bottom drawer of our fridge during the week. you can drop it off m-w-f at union square’s green market, but my husband rides it up to their garden-drop-off location on sunday mornings when the gate is open on seventh street between avenues b and c. if you want to learn more about this great center/service, click here.
9. movie or tv shows filming on location though it can be a nuisance, it’s also neat to see the hubub of something being filmed in our neighborhood. i recently saw james caveziel in the east village filming person of interest. i had to walk across the street, but no biggie.
10. the city skyline when we fly into laguardia we see the city on the ride home on the BQE in the taxi. it’s such a pretty sight. home sweet home.
11. grand central station it’s nearly hidden at street level until you look up. inside you just feel the hubub of people coming and going. the constellations across the ceiling are so cool. the station was built in the late 19th century. i recently chaperoned gr2’s second grade class trip to tour it. the vaulted ceiling in the lower level throw whispers across the ceiling. it really does work.
What are some of your favorite things in nyc?