Thursday, June 20, 2013
Day Trips to New York City
Day trips to New York City are some of my favorite little trips. There's so much to do in that city, that you never run out of ideas. I'm sure that around the country, people are saying the same thing about their major metropolitan areas, and you'd be right as well. When I lived out west, I couldn't find enough to do in Detroit or Chicago either.
One of the best things about NYC are the ethnic neighborhoods, and none is better than Brighton Beach or Little Odessa. Russian folk have settled here for decades, and there are still places where the printed materials are only in Russian. The locals don't really expect tourists, since this is hands down the toughest neighborhood in the city to find. It is an interesting way to spend the day, with Russian restaurants, grocery stores, other shops, and another great beach. More and more they are sharing the neighborhood with the folk from India and the surrounding area, but it's still just like being in Russia without all the trouble with visas.
Chinatown in New York is famous. And, it's one of the best places in town to shop for meaningless stuff. If you want a purse or a pair of sunglasses, this is your dream spot. On the other hand, if you want to try some fabulous Asian food of any kind, come on down to Chinatown. I've had Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Burmese, Korean, and a whole lot more. After I eat and shop, I like to take a walk over to Columbus Park and watch the guys playing Mahjong and the folks practicing their Tai Chi. It's always best there in the spring when the cherry trees are blooming.
If Chinatown is something that you find entertaining, go to the center of it and you will find the world's most famous Little Italy. If you like Italian food, you need to go there. If you like a great atmosphere, come on a warm summer weekend night when the fronts of the buildings are all opened onto the street and the tables and chairs are spilling out into the street. You can eat by candlelight while being serenaded by street musicians. It's fabulous.
Then there's DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Organization). This little neighborhood is gaining a lot of popularity. This place is pretty, quiet, artsy, and has great food. If you want to get away, you can go down there, browse some art galleries and high end stores, stop at a great deli and go to what has become one of the best parks in the city. The park alone has stretched under the Brooklyn Bridge to the far side with playscapes, gardens, and even an old time carousel. The views of the bridges and the Manhattan skyline are fabulous.
It's hip, it's edgy, it's got all the best literary agents and comic book places. It's Greenwich Village, where it's okay to be who you are. The clubs here cater to many different groups, yes, including the gay and lesbian community. The coffee houses are great, the bars are cutting edge, and the music still comes on vinyl. Beat that.
And then, there's the parks. New York City has some of the greatest parks in the world. Of course, Central Park is it's shining pillar. You can do all kinds of things here from boating to biking, to checking out the zoo, and watching Shakespeare. There's so much to do that it would be an entire blog on it's own, but it is one of the best places in any city anywhere to spend your time.
So, this is just some of the great things to see in New York City. I'll hit you some more later with this one, because there's always so much to say. Enjoy!