Readers of The New York Times picked New York City as one of the top 5 places to visit in 2010. I’m not sure what this will mean for my commute this year, with more tourists choking the streets and getting the freshest bagels and pizza before I do, but at least I can now prepare. Readers also picked Istanbul (number one), South Korea, Colombia, and Costa Rica. Two of those destinations are on my to-do list (I’ll leave you guessing as to which two).
It’s interesting that New York City was such a favorite choice because we are planning a “Best of NYC” day trip sometime this spring, when 20-degree temperatures like today will feel like a figment of the imagination. There’s no real reason for us doing this other than if we’re going to endure New York’s expense, traffic, and attitude, then we want the fun stuff, too. To be fair, we’ve been doing the fun stuff since we unpacked our boxes six years ago, everything from eating dim sum in Chinatown on a Sunday morning to watching the Thanksgiving Day parade sashay down Broadway to cruising the harbor to see the Statue of Liberty to people-watching at a cafe in Greenwich Village (a fantastic activity on a hot summer day–that’s where I saw the “McGreevey for Fabulous T-shirt in 2004, as in the former NJ governor).
Sometimes New York City’s traffic and attitude drive me to want to head to the hills and barricade myself in a cozy log cabin (nothing too rustic, though). On days like those, I listen to Jay Z’s “Empire State of Mind,” a perfect tune for crossing the George Washington Bridge when the sun is playing peek-a-boo from behind the Empire State Building. (However, I find this song is not as effective on my mood when I’m trapped on the FDR, maybe because the skyline isn’t as dramatic–it’s just me staring at Queens wondering how much longer I need to stare at Queens before I can get home.)
Honestly? New York City is an ideal place to raise a family. The Big Apple is all about overabundance and that holds true for the number, scope, and diversity of its cultural institutions. If there’s a topic of interest, we’ve got a museum about it. Yes, Mayor Bloomberg is trying to knock the flavor out of life here by reprimanding everyone about their salt intake, but this city remains all zest all the time. It’s a great place to enjoy a staycation not because my travel options are limited, but because there are so many options right here in my backyard.