I never visited New York City until the past few years. No particular reason, just never went there when I was young. More recently, I have visited New York several times. Each trip was different. My first time there, I went by myself, and ran the NYC half-marathon. It was exciting to run through Central Park, around the wide city streets, and finish in downtown Manhattan. One time, Jill and I went there to see one of my favorite bands, U2, perform at Madison Square Garden. The last two times, Riley and I visited to see the sites and learn more about the city. After these trips, I have come to the conclusion that I really enjoy visiting NYC – one of America’s great cities.
I think one can go there, and not have a good time. NYC is loud (all the honking car horns), dirty (like all major cities), and can be dangerous if you are not careful. Riding in a NYC city taxi can be a religious experience, and the subway seems like a magnet for strange people. But, it is easy to see the dark side of NYC more than what it has to offer visitors. Three compelling reasons why I enjoy NYC:
1. The sites are great. Each time I am there I see something new. This past weekend, we had great weather, so we visited Central Park at sunset, went to the top of the Empire State building, and hung out in Washington Square near NYU. The views from One World observatory are incredible, the 9/11 memorials are very well done, and there are too many great museums to list here.
2. The food is excellent. I always eat well when visiting NYC. The city is full of choices. Just walk around and you can find a great place to eat without spending too much money. Many say that the pizza in NYC is the best anywhere – I think they are right. We went to Prince Street pizza and it was excellent. Tiny place with a line out the door for good reason.
3. It is a huge melting pot. You will hear many languages, experience different cultures, and see things in NYC that you will not see in other parts of the US. The pace of life there seems intense, and I am convinced that the city never really sleeps (similar to New Orleans). At times, it can be challenging, but I feel like it forces me to get out of my comfort zone, and learn new things.
I plan to keep visiting NYC in the future to see more of it. It is worth the effort. I will take you boys with me whenever you want to go, and we can experience the big apple together.
These little town blues, are melting away
I’m gonna make a brand new start of it, in old New York
If I can make it there, I’m gonna make it anywhere
It’s up to you, New York, New York
– Frank Sinatra