Jill at Fizzy Thoughts has embarked on a wonderful challenge idea! In honor of BEA 2010 (Book Expo of America) and the Book Bloggers Convention, she has challenged us to read ONE book about or set in New York City between now and May 15. This sounds doable, doesn't it? I do not have my book selected, but I definitely plan to participate.
In addition to the book challenge, Jill will also host monthly mini-challenges along the way. February's mini-challenge is to make a top 10 list of anything having to do with New York - this could be a book list, a song list, an activity list...well, you get the idea.
I used to live in New York City - Greenwich Village, to be exact - from 1984-1988. It was the most unique, fantastic experience of my life! For the most part we were DINKS -- that is, Dual Income, No Kids -- and we tried to take advantage of that free lifestyle while living in the city that never sleeps. I had the opportunity to return to New York in 2006 and take my youngest daughter for her 13th birthday, and I made sure that I took her to most of my old stomping grounds. I was also fortunate to be able to attend BEA 2009 and had the opportunity to revisit some of my favorite spots. For a city that is always changing, it is amazing how much of it stays the same.
Here is my list of 10 spots I would like to go, if I have the opportunity to attend BEA 2010:
- Take a horse carriage ride through Central Park - making sure that we ride past Tavern on the Green. The lighting outside is breath-taking: like a winter wonderland! As long as I am in Central Park, I will plan to awaken that inner child and take a ride on the old-fashioned Carousel. Of course, Sheep's Meadow is always a lovely place to relax in the city, and a walk through Strawberry Fields is not to be missed, especially for are a Beatles' Fan.
- Visit Kitchen Arts and Letters - a bookstore devoted to cookbooks and kitchen paraphernalia. I lived in the city when the store opened, and that was one of my favorite Saturday jaunts. I feel certain that I could spend 2-3 hours in this one store.
- Visit Macy's, Herald Square --- this was my other favorite Saturday jaunts. While we have a Macy's in Kansas City, it in no way compares to the original.
- Eat a vendor pretzel --- my husband prefers the "dirty water dogs" but my street food of choice is a NY pretzel, with a little salt, and yellow mustard.
- Go to an Italian street festival and have some Zepoles! OH...I love Zepoles. Hot fried pizza dough smothered in powdered sugar. An Italian donut, so to speak. Last year we were fortunate to visit Little Italy during one of these feasts (but I don't remember which feast - maybe St. Anthony?) and I was able to savor these tiny morsels once again.
- Visit Partners in Crime - a great independent mystery/thriller bookshop located in the Village. I only spent about 30 minutes there last year, but could easily have spent two hours.
- If money were no object - I would catch Broadway show, and I would still probably do it via the TKTS booth. There is something very spontaneous and exciting about purchasing tickets at half price and not really knowing which show I will see. The last time I was in New York we were able to score half price tickets to Beauty and the Beast with Donny Osmond starring as Gaston (some of you may only know him as the winner of Dancing with the Stars, but I was of the generation that swooned over his pictures in Tiger Beat magazine).
- I can't go to New York without walking past our old apartment at 160 Bleecker Street in the Village. While this would not hold much charm for you - there are numerous sites to see and small eateries to explore in this neighborhood. The Arch in Washington Square Park, as well as the working fountains, are a site to behold for any movie buff; there are quaint sidewalk cafes that offer wonderful cappuccinos and plenty of people watching; and the small out of the way restaurants, like Panchitos Mexican Food and Ray's Pizza are quintessentially New York dining establishments for the common folk.
- Visit the Strand Bookstore - again. Oh My -- this is the mecca of used books. I have been there numerous times and have never felt as though I have done more than just skimmed the surface. Allow plenty of time to snoop.
- Visit Zabars on the Upper West Side. If you consider yourself a foodie - Zabars is the place to go. Downstairs is a food emporium with every imaginable cheese, bread, etc to choose from (not to mention the best bagel with a smear in the city). Upstairs is a culinary gadget heaven. I mean they have EVERYTHING - and I only wish I lived closer and didn't have to worry about shipping.
So there you have my top ten list of places to visit in May.
It is a true dream of mine, however, to someday return to New York for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I would want to rent a room that allows me to view the parade from inside the warm confines of a luxury building. However....I would gladly stand out in the cold for hours to attend the annual "blowing up of the balloon" at Central Park West the night before. I didn't hear about this event until it was too late, and I have always dreamed of being a part of this magical moment. I will make this happen - sometime before I die.
I hope many of you have the opportunity to visit this amazing city and realize that it is really many, many small, family-friendly neighborhoods in a very small space. You are in for a treat of a lifetime!