I love New York. It is world class in every way, from art galleries to theater to food to comedy to amazing public spaces to fashion to history to ….. New York’s got it all. This was our third time there, but we could go another dozen times and still feel like we haven’t scratched the surface. They say you’re just visiting a place until you’ve been there a minimum of 2 years and even then the locals will look at you out of the corner of their eye. So if you’re not a local; that definitely makes you a tourist. In the grand scheme of things, tourists may definitely get bad raps, but at some point or another, we should all get to wear that badge. So when you do, wear it well and if you don’t know – ask.
If you like waiting in lines, than New York is the place for you. The lines can be very long, but usually the thing at the end of them is amazing. We definitely stood in our fair share this time around, with these 3 being the highlights: tickets for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, St. Vincent live in Prospect Park and last but not least the incredible John Lithgow as King Lear in Shakespeare in the Park. All three were free, hence the crazy lines. We were fortunate to be surrounded by extremely friendly people sharing our fate. Good conversation makes the wait time fly by and the locals we met gave us countless great recommendations. So if you know you’re going to be there for a while, I say get to know your neighbours.
Speaking of recommendations, here’s a few food ones: the potato knish at Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery on Houston is tasty, filling, cheap and brilliant. New York is world renown for its pizza, but which one is best? I wouldn’t even try to attempt to answer this riddle, but I can definitely say Juliana’s in Brooklyn has got to be in the running. Lastly, if you have a sweet tooth; the banana pudding at the Magnolia Bakery will blow your mind.
Asides from Lear we saw some great shows. Joe Machi at Caroline’s killed despite losing his voice. If you like live comedy then The Comedy Cellar is a must. When we there, Aziz Ansari dropped in unannounced and did close to an hour of new material. Book of Mormon is hilarious and well worth the ticket. The free ghost tour of Greenwich Village is great if you want to see where Mark Twain supposedly haunts or where Sid Vicious left this mortal coil.
Lastly, New York has got some of the most iconic works of art on the planet housed in some of the greatest galleries in the world. For us, this is the main reason we come to New York. If you only have a few days in the city; the Met is mind-boggling or MOMA (spoil of riches) are the two I would recommend. If you have more time; other galleries you should definitely get to are the Cloisters (the Unicorn Tapestries are a must see), Brooklyn Museum (Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party is just crazy), The New Museum, The Folk Art Museum (Henry Darger’s Realms of the Unreal is there) and MOMA PS1 are all brilliant. Of the 36 paintings Vermeer executed in his lifetime; 8 are on view in NYC between the Met and the Frick alone. This was the first time we made it to the Frick and it did not disappoint. (If you go on Sundays between 11-1, it is pay what you want.) Another great thing to do is walk along the High Line and visit some of the galleries in Chelsea. We also saw the Jeff Koons retrospective at the Whitney (review coming soon).
Oh New York New York we’ll be back.
Related post: World in my Eyes: Chicago