New York, New York, City of Dreams
Next month, I will be pursuing one of my goals: visit New York, the city of my dreams. And I am super pumped.
I have a bunch of relatives, including my brother, and friends who live there who would only say the nicest things about the city. They say that once you experience living there, you wouldn’t want to leave the place ever again. And I’m taking their word for it.
They also say that the only way to truly experience the Big Apple is to stay away from the touristy spots and travel by roughing it. As a first timer, of course, I wouldn’t know where to go except Central Park or SoHo and other such places, and I’ve never really been a fan of touristy things to begin with. So, I made a shout out on Facebook and Twitter asking people, especially the NY locals, to help me make a kickass, 4-day to do list for my trip to New York. I made sure to mention absolutely no touristy suggestions; only New York’s finest obscurities: hidden pubs, dingy burger joints, underground bookstores, etc.
Here are some of my favorite tips that I would definitely try to check off of my New York to do list:
- Apollo Theater in Harlem for some kickass motown acts
- Kati Roll Company for spicy meat or veggies rolled in Indian flat bread
- Junior’s strawberry cheesecake at the Grand Central Station
- Grey’s Papaya for the best hotdogs
- Jollibee in Brooklyn. It just gives me an excuse to foot it to Brooklyn, is all.
- The Smile for breakfast or maybe a tattoo.
- Anthony Bourdain’s meat lovers sandwiches scattered across different NYC sandwich joints
- Volunteer as van assistant for God’s Love We Deliver, a non-secular charitable organization that delivers meals to people with terminal illnesses. It’s a great way to see Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Lower Bronx, not to mention do something really meaningful with your vacation time. I’m actually seriously considering this.
- Ride the 7 subway train in Queens and get on and off every other stop, as each stop presents a different type of neighborhood with its own character and culture. Great way to take advantage of their different cuisines as well.
- West Village, St. Mark’s, Brooklyn: the real artist colony, NOT SoHo.
- Don Bogam, a Korean BBQ joint for interactive cooking.
- Union Square performers, underground subway musicians, especially the ‘piano man.’
- The Strand bookstore in Union Square – bookshopping for cheap.
- NuBlu for world music and acid jazz acts. Must remember not to miss it as I won’t see a sign other than a solitary blue light above the entrance.
That’s it so far. I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to do all of it in just four days, but it’s good to keep a list like this and just flip back through it when I plan another trip to NYC. Any more tips?