I am seeking advice! In October, my spouse and I will be visiting New York City for the first time. We think we can afford to stay 5 nights/5 days. This is a planned treat for myself for having experienced one of those Significant Birthdays – and then the trip was deferred for a year. So now I am Mature+1!
I lived near Boston for 8 years and never went to NYC. The reason was that I didn’t have child care and I did not want my first trip to be child-centred. Selfish moi! Now the time has arrived to do what I like. Rom is carefully not expressing any opinions and will do whatever I choose. I am sure I’ll get my payback someday (perhaps being required to attend a Magic the Gathering tournament or a NAMM trade show!)
I have very skewed ideas about New York based on reading. My first introductions were, of course, Eloise of the Plaza Hotel, the inimitable Harriet the Spy, and Claudia and Jamie of From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. I haven’t forgotten the All-of-a-Kind Family or the Cricket in Times Square series. Later I read about the smartass teens in Norma Klein’s books.
Unfortunately, the NYC-set books I’ve read for adults have been less than inspiring about the setting: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Catcher in the Rye, The Bell Jar, Bright Lights Big City, The Nanny Diaries, The Devil Wears Prada, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. None of them would make you want to visit!
But Winter’s Tale would.
Then I have warped ideas from television: from the 70s (That Girl, Rhoda, All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Welcome Back Kotter, Taxi), the 1980s (Fame, Night Court), the 1990s (Seinfeld, Mad About You, Sex and the City, and no, I didn’t watch Friends), and that’s when I stopped watching TV.
NYC movies, of course: Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Muppets Take Manhattan, Once Upon a Time in America, Saturday Night Fever, and my most favourite, Annie Hall.
I am caught up in the art world of Warhol, Basquiat and Haring.
But my biggest obsession is the proto-punk music of the early to mid-70s including the New York Dolls, Ramones, Patti Smith, Richard Hell, Television, Talking Heads, and the No Wave scene.
So, given all of these cultural trappings, I am trying to decide – should I just visit NYC and hit the major tourist landmarks and experience it for myself? Or should I try to see it through the eyes and ears of my favourite writers, artists, filmmakers and musicians who lived and worked there?
What would you do? If you’ve been to New York, are there sights (and sites) you think every visitor should see?
After receiving comments (if any), I will post what my actual plans are to date!