Crossposted to SEEWrites
In two weeks, I’m moving away from New York City. I’ll spend the summer with my family in western New York, and then in August I’ll move to DC for graduate school.
Two weeks. I moved to New York on August 30, 2010. I’m packing up exactly six years and nine months later, and I don’t quite know how to say goodbye. I’ve had the goodbye drinks, a party is on the horizon, I’ve tried to see as many friends for dinner or brunch as possible in the weeks leading up to my last day of work, and now I’m slowly putting books and dishes and odds and ends into boxes and bins.
I started this blog in the fall of 2013 – my “about” page says: “I started blogging as a way to remind myself to take better advantage of all the awesome things there are to do here in NYC.” It was true, and I certainly did more exploring in NYC, seeing more shows and visiting more museums and going on more walks, after I started the blog. But I also started it because I wasn’t sure about New York. I liked a lot of the opportunities it offered, the place I worked and the people I knew, but I hadn’t fallen in love with the city itself. I hoped blogging would change that.
I’ve had at least one friend from out of town tell me after a NYC visit that she could never live here because we walk too much here in the city. Admittedly I do tend to drag visitors on long walks — I firmly believe you get to know and orient yourself in a city best when you’ve seen it on foot — but she wasn’t wrong that there’s a fair amount of walking as part of normal NYC life. The subway is great, but you have to get there to use it. But if you focus on tourist-centered walking or utilitarian daily travel, you miss out on one of the greatest joys of NYC walking: wandering.
I didn’t get in enough park time over the summer. I was on the go too much to wander over to the park and meander down paths or sit in the grass. I had a picnic at one point, but it was a planned get-together with friends, not a spontaneous decision to get out and enjoy the summer weather.
And let’s be real — I’m not the biggest fan of real summer weather. Sitting in the park when it’s 85+ degrees out is only tolerable in the shade, and let’s forget taking a walk. So the best time to enjoy Prospect Park (and really? the best time of year, period) is fall. Not too hot, not too cold, and before long the leaves will be changing color.
This weekend is the Brooklyn Book Festival and if you’re here and looking for something to do, I highly recommend making a visit to Downtown Brooklyn to check it out. The festival itself is on Sunday, September 20, but there’s also a full day of events on Saturday, September 19, called Children’s Day, and other events this week. Some events are indoors but a lot of them are outside on Cadman Plaza — easy to get to from Manhattan or elsewhere in Brooklyn!
First posted July 16, 2014
It was garbage day in my neighborhood and I thought something that I’ve thought every summer garbage day that I’ve lived in New York: This city is kind of gross.
Growing up in the suburbs, our garbage was always encased in those heavy-duty giant bins that we (well, my dad) rolled out to the curb on garbage day. Sometimes, if we had a lot of garbage that week, we might have a smaller plastic bin like the ones my landlord has. But as far as I remember, no one in the suburbs puts their trash out just in a bag.
Every time I have a visitor stay with me, I remind myself not to do TOO much. That just because they’re here for only a short time doesn’t mean we have to walk all over the city until our feet fall off. I told myself that again on Friday when I met my friend as she got off the train at Penn Station around 1 p.m. We knew that we wouldn’t want to come into Manhattan to do anything on the 4th itself so Friday afternoon and evening would be our time to wander.