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A Weekend in New York

Updated on November 2, 2016
Subway Musician by Kevin Hall
Subway Musician by Kevin Hall

" {NYC} is to the nation what the white church spire is to the village - the visible symbol of aspiration and faith, the white plume saying that the way is up."

-- E.B White 'Here is New York'

Vagabond Beat

Today I am anonymous

A girl on the street

A face in the crowd

One note or a beat

A second

A moment

A meaningless step

In the steady hum

the static drone

Of millions of feet.

Loving the illusion

The rhythm of the city

Clack of the tracks

Click of a heel

Echoing harmonica

On grimy subway tile.

The blaring horns

Seeping iPods

Smell of fresh coffee

Hot pavement

Day old trash.

Of hot dogs

fresh flowers

And Central Park grass.

Pause in the madness

Breathe it all in

Perfume to a vagabond

Humanity in mass.

New York Crush

I took my first train trip when I was 11. My parents sent each of my sister's to go stay with an Aunt in NYC when they were about my age, but I guess they decided I was a little too absentminded to go by myself, or maybe my Dad just wanted to see his sister. Either way I didn't really care, I was going to New York, the place where artists and writers flocked and where nobody knew my name.

It was also the first and last time I ever went on vacation alone with my father. In a family of five girls there's not a lot of one on one time, especially when you're the youngest, so I was in heaven. I still remember that first ride, getting on the early morning train in our little town; we were the only ones at the station and I was so excited I could barely sit still. The train ride took almost 5 hours and I spent most of it with my nose pressed to the glass, watching the rivers, fields and towns chug slowly by, bringing me closer and closer to a place I instinctively thought of as home.

I've always felt at home in New York City, ever since I stepped out into Penn Station that first time. It is living and breathing, like the city itself has a warm, slightly dirty but welcoming soul.

I still like taking the train rather than driving, switching from Amtrak to the subway without leaving the warm cave of Penn Station. I still relish the moment when I emerge from the tunnels to the sun (or the merciless winter wind), seeing the streets from the ground up, slowly craning my neck until I spot the sky. Every time I get the same butterflies in my stomach, like the one's you got from your first crush. Maybe I do have a crush on New York; a painful, adolescent love of a city that will never return my affection, but this is one crush I hope I never get over.

Usually I go into the city with friends, shop, see a show, gossip and people watch. But a few summers ago I went by myself, following the now familiar route through Penn Station onto the subway then to the crosstown bus to my aunt's apartment on the upper east side. In those hours I was me again, the little girl so naïve and hopeful, watching the world with the observant eyes of a child. Somehow this old, grungy city brings out that little girl and makes every idea, every ludicrous plan or dream seem impossibly possible.

My New York Spots

I am by no means a New Yorker, but that doesn't mean I can't have my favorites does it? Here are a few of mine, just in case you don't have any of your own yet.

Source

Broadway: Seeing a Broadway play in NYC is kind of a give in. If you're looking for cheaper tickets try http://www.travelzoo.com/entertainment/new-york/ or check out this hub.

The Strand Bookstore: At the corner of 12th Street and Broadway. Founded in 1927 it was one of 48 bookstores on New York's legendary Book Row, the Strand is now the sole survivor. With 18 miles of books it is a necessary shopping experience for any bibliophile. http://www.strandbooks.com/

Source

Metropolitan Museum: Located at 1000 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street) this is a must see for art lovers. For more information on admission and upcoming exhibits check out their website. http://www.metmuseum.org/

Central Park in Summer
Central Park in Summer | Source

Central Park: Despite the mishmash of people and the modern city rising up behind it I always feel a little lost in time in Central Park. I like to spend at least one afternoon wandering the paths, no matter what time of year there's always something going on. For more information on events check out the website: http://www.centralpark.com/events/

Bryant Park 1935
Bryant Park 1935

Bryant Park Reading Room: Located at 5 6th Ave. this is one of my favorite spots in the summertime. Modeled on the original program run in the 1930s it's a place where anyone can come and read free of charge. Get a coffee and sit in the afternoon sun with a good book. http://www.bryantpark.org/things-to-do/reading_room.html

 High Line Park, between west 28th and 29th St.
High Line Park, between west 28th and 29th St.

The High Line: The park is built on the old elevated train tracks in the west village. Grab lunch from a food truck at "the lot" (southwest corner of West 30th Street and 10th Ave) and walk through the modern park, it's a great place for people watching. For access points, hours and events see http://www.thehighline.org/

Union Square Greenmarket: Located at the north and west sides of Union Square Park the market. The market was founded in 1976 and is a lovely sight to see, hear, smell and especially taste. For details check out http://www.grownyc.org/unionsquaregreenmarket

NYC Soundtrack

A
Metropolitan Museum:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028, USA

get directions

B
The High Line:
The High Line, New York, NY 10011, USA

get directions

C
Union Square Greenmarket:
Union Square Ventures, 1 Union Square West, New York, NY 10003, USA

get directions

D
Central Park:
Central Park, 1 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023, USA

get directions

E
Broadway Theater District NYC:
Broadway, New York, NY, USA

get directions

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