A little over a year ago, I extended my two-week work-trip to include a week of holidaying in New York City. Looking back, I have mixed feelings. I think I visited the urban delight at a wrong time – a bitter winter, snow days, apprehension in the air due to recent political events are just a few things to list out. On the plus side, I reconnected with distant family, learnt the value of relationships, realized the true meaning of home, and made decent use of an opportunity to travel to a new place.
So here’s my brief affair with New York City, minus the glitz and glamour – a grey-ish, solo holiday that taught me things that neither books nor classrooms could.
On a clear day, I took the subway from Long Island into Manhattan, and walked the length of The High Line, while freezing my butt off. A former railroad that has been converted into an elevated walkway-and-park, The High Line offers some semi-quiet contemplation and views that make it worth the walk.
Like I said, the views were worth it.
I made my way into the Meatpacking District, and after poking my head into a couple of pretty full restaurants and pubs, I settled into Brass Monkey, for a beer and some chicken tenders.
Oh, did I mention it was Superbowl Sunday?
I spent a few hours at Central Park, and managed to witness incredibly talented individuals and groups showcasing their passion and street-smarts. Unfortunately, I did not capture a single picture of the park. I did take a leisurely stroll in Midtown Manhattan, and enjoyed a delicious warm apple cider at the gorgeous Bryant Park, whilst listening to a demo CD of hopeful rap artists and watching people ice-skate.
If you’re looking for a place to unwind or catch-up on a book, I recommend Bryant Park. Also, it is a stone’s throw away from the New York Public Library.
Another Sunday was unhurriedly spent at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Seriously, no trip to NYC is complete without a visit to The Met. I’ve shared just a few of my favourite pieces here, although everything blew me away! Believe me when I say that the pictures do no justice to the real stuff – and not just because of the unprofessional photography.
I think the trip to The Met was my favourite part of New York City, tied with catching Chicago The Musical on Broadway (a huge ‘thank you’ to my colleagues for buying me a ticket)! I also squeezed in a walk around the super-crowded and lit-up Times Square, and a drink at one of the many Irish pubs in the area.
I stayed with family in their home on Long Island. Since the weather was uncooperative, we managed to tick only a few items off my list. On the bright side, checking off a few items is always better than checking off no items, right?
The beach when it’s 2 degree Celsius – who would’ve thought!
I spent an afternoon soaking up some much needed sunshine by the calm waters of The Nautical Mile in Freeport. Since this was in winter, the place was uncharacteristically but enjoyably empty.
Post the visual drinking in of the port, I savored a light seafood lunch at The Nautilus Cafe – a well recommended waterfront dining experience, and of course, a well-deserved treat after walking in the cold!
The family and I had a pretty fun experience painting while wine-drunk at Muse Paintbar in Garden City, a day before I flew back home. It was a creatively stimulating and mentally calming experience. I got my painting back to India with me, but I’m still looking for a place to put it up. #procrastination.
To cap off, here are a couple of hazy captures with my adorable, strong-willed, and intelligent cousins, who I had the privilege of getting to know over just a week.
It is so easy to feel lost here, but it is equally easy to feel found. New York City and the state of New York will always be on my travel wish-list – there is so much to see, do, and experience there, and someday I wish to return to make more vibrant and better memories.
Hopefully in the summer of 2019? Yeah, that sounds about right.
“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.”
– Bill Bryson