Empire State of Mind.

While lately I am “getting down with the sickness” (nothing terribly crippling, it’s  just a cold, but I’m a big baby whenever I’m sick), the countdown is on, not that it ever wasn’t since the day that I purchased my tickets. But two short weeks from yesterday (although they will likely drag for me in some sense) I will be on my way to New York City.

nyc

It is a place that I always wanted to go to, to immerse myself in, ever since I was old enough to know that it was an actual city. But for whatever reason, I didn’t think that it would ever happen. I chalk a lot of this up to my family not being the travelling kind, all of our travelling while I was growing up was limited to Atlantic Canada. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago when I began going on trips with friends (most of them of the road trip variety, and still in Canada), that travelling beyond my own borders was even fathomable. You mean we can all just pile into a van and drive for fourteen hours to Toronto? Aces! But even then, there was the whole manner of potentially getting on a plane to go somewhere, which didn’t happen for the first time until this past autumn. And with that out of the way, I suddenly felt like I could do anything that I wanted. My situation, for the right now at least, is ideal for travelling. I’m single, unattached, without a mortgage, car payments, or overwhelming debt. The only person I answer to is myself, and from 8:30 – 5:00 Monday to Friday, my boss. I’d be a fool to not seize these opportunities right now.

The biggest thing for me about this trip that it’s all me. I’m embracing something new and exciting, but also fear. I don’t like doing things alone, I’d rather have someone with me. Hell, I don’t like to traverse my own city much by myself. Not out of fear, but just because I like having companionship. And yet, I’m travelling alone, and for at least a few hours will be all alone in a big and new city. I’m a little terrified, but that terror is feeding my excitement. This isn’t just a “Let’s go to New York!” sort of trip. This is a “Let’s concur a whole bunch of my fears!” sort of trip. There’s so much that I want to see and do, that trying to plan all of it is making my head spin. I’m kind of banking on just seeing and doing as much as I can without dropping dead from exhaustion.

I know I’m not going to be able to do it all, I know I’m not. I’m trying to keep in mind that really, I only have two and a half days there. I arrive in the city in the early evening of the Thursday and I imagine I will be spending most of that time being exhausted from my travels, then I have Friday to wander and explore. The same goes for Saturday, but a couple of hours will be eaten up by seeing Picnic and subsequent stage dooring. My flight departs on the Sunday in the late afternoon, but given travelling distance between Rose’s and when I need to be at the airport, I’ll likely not manage anything other than breakfast and tearful goodbyes. Whatever I do get to see and do will be fantastic and awesome, but here’s a running list of the things I’d love to see and do while in New York City.

  1. Times Square
  2. Wall Street
  3. Empire State Building
  4. 9/11 Memorial
  5. The Guggenheim
  6. Central Park
  7. The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  8. Madison Square Garden
  9. Statue of Liberty
  10. Coney Island
  11. Midtown Comics
  12. Grand Central Station
  13. Rockefeller Center
  14. Tom’s Restaurant
  15. America Museum of Natural History
  16. Museum of Modern Art
  17. Radio City Music Hall
  18. Brooklyn Bridge
  19. Lincoln Center
  20. Sleep No More

Realistically, I see maybe getting to half of these, if that. The ones that are italicized are the ones that I really have my sights set on. That being said, while I am looking forward to seeing the touristy things, I like just stumbling into things as well. People have asked me where I plan on eating while I’m there, and I really don’t know, and I’m not sure that I actually want to do that much planning. When I do travel (though it’s been limited to Canada at this juncture) I like to have a small list of things that I want to see and do, but ultimately just want to walk around and find things that will become my favourites. One of my favourite places in Montréal is still Else’s, a little café, sunny and with wonderful staff and tasty food, that I didn’t find in any brochure, but that we sort of fell into after a long day of walking back in 2009. I didn’t get to it the last time I was there this past October, but I really wish that I had. I strongly recommend it if you happen to find yourself in Montréal!

For the meantime, however, I’m mainlining cinnamon heart tea from DAVIDsTEA into my veins in hopes that it will help combat this sickness. If I’m going to get a cold, I’m glad that I’m getting it out of the way now, before I travel, but it still doesn’t make me any happier about getting it!

How about you, dear reader? Have you ever had the pleasure of travelling to New York City, or even living there? Are there some things that you would recommend to this Big Apple Virgin?

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