I have a friend visiting me this weekend. With his one request in mind, "Can you make sure we go to Central Park?," I planned a 72-hour tour for a person that's only been to the city once before and has obviously hardly experienced any of it.
New York City is stimulating, overwhelming, exciting and ever-changing every minute of every day. I understand why some love it, just as I'm able to see why others do not. It's one of those "no other place like it in the world" kind of cities.
I've never been a tourist in Manhattan. I've been to multiple Broadway shows because I appreciate them not because I enjoy the chaos that is Times Square. I've been in the Empire State building once, for an interview. I haven't been to Liberty Island to visit the iconic lady that stands there.
I have gone on two Circle Line sightseeing boat tours; although I probably wouldn't have if my Mexican grandparents hadn't been visiting or if I hadn't been hosting an exchange student in high school. I've never been a tourist in Manhattan but I'm not quite a New Yorker either. Not yet, at least.
Even when I do move here (of which I will soon, get excited), I don't doubt that I'll constantly be discovering new things. One of my best friend's new year's resolutions is to explore a different neighborhood each weekend. I cannot imagine a better way to plan for surprise locales and worldly finds.
I'm so, so excited to play tour guide here. I've planned just enough things to do while also leaving time and space for spontaneous thrills. Sitting with Shannon last night at a SignPost-hosted happy hour, she suggested, "If you like it all so much, you should just publish city itineraries for others. I would buy them."
Well now, there's an idea! I wouldn't mind having to eat out and go out more often than I already do. I mean, gosh, if it's for research, I may even have to do another round of Road Trip USA. And then, eventually, travel all around the world to continue the series. Wow. I can't help but smile just thinking about it. Until then though: this weekend, New York City, my friend from out of town. On the agenda: pizza, a museum, a Broadway show, a Westchester brunch, Brooklyn beer, a Staten Island ferry, a scavenger hunt, a jazz dinner, birthday drinks, Sunday bagels, and yes, Central Park. Colorful details to come.