February 28th, 2013
I’ve fallen behind in documenting my local adventures, but here are some highlights from the past few months:
- The Steinway & Sons piano factory tour was inspiring and educational, probably the best tour I’ve ever been on in my life. And it’s right in Astoria, Queens. This photo doesn’t do it justice, but it was the only room where photos were allowed because there were no workers.
- In Sleep No More, adventurous theatergoers put on creepy white masks and explore a five-floor building with dim lighting and scary/antique props, all the while chasing around actors who are performing mostly silent scenes in unpredictable locations. I honestly couldn’t piece together much of a plot, but I loved independently wandering the set for three hours.
- Hangawi is a special dinner spot, an oasis of calm in the middle of the frantic area of Koreatown/Midtown East. Guests take off their shoes and sit on pillows, with their feet in recessed spaces below floor level. The menu is all vegetarian. I also like the less-fancy sister restaurant, Franchia, that’s nearby.
- Riding the vintage holiday train was a perfect way to brighten a winter day. I love that it runs on the regular subway line, making regular stops, and surprising regular riders who had no idea this was a even a thing.
- There’s a hidden artsy elevator in an otherwise boring office building about a mile from my house, and I found it!
- The Amazing Maize Maze at the Queens County Farm Museum made for a fun, rural outing in the city. I’m sure corn mazes are much larger and more challenging when they’re anywhere besides NYC, but this one does the trick for city dwellers.
August 24th, 2012
It’s not totally official, but I might be moving within a year or two. In my seven years here, I’ve been pretty good about exploring all five boroughs and taking advantage of the fact that you can do absolutely anything in NYC. (Marched with an LGBT group in a Chinese New Year parade? Check. Eaten Japanese/Italian fusion, a kimchi burrito, and a Thai soy hot dog? Check. Biked all five boroughs in a day? Check. Lived in a windowless closet for three months? Check. Made corn tortillas in the kitchen of a Mexican restaurant? Check. Scanned Martha Stewart’s ID card at a high-profile conference? Check.)
Running around the reservoir in Central Park. Photo by Ed Yourdon
Here’s what remains on my must-do list:
What’s on your to-explore list for NYC or wherever you live?
February 3rd, 2011
I get it. You want to see something new, escape winter weather, and cure your boredom. But rather than looking up flights to another hemisphere, think about what local ground you may not have covered.
Yes, this is a travel blog. As much as I love exploring the other side of the country and the other side of the world, though, engaging in that kind of travel all the time is not so sustainable or affordable.
The last time I was bored to the point of tears, feeling trapped in my apartment, I decided to go for a long walk. I wandered into a cemetery near my house. An hour later, I was still walking around that cemetery—it was huge, and I had only covered a fraction of it. The calming effect of walking among headstones, and my amazement at the vastness of the space, cured my travel bug that day.
Maybe you think it’s creepy to lurk among graves and call it a travel experience. You might be right. My point is that those strange, new, unforgettable experiences you’re craving could be right around the corner.
Sneak up onto your roof at night. Walk until you hit the waterfront. Take the train to the end of the line. Simply take a different route home. Just switch on that wide-eyed, up-for-anything travel mode and you’ll be guaranteed some kind of adventure.
November 18th, 2010
There are millions of things to do in New York, even in the cold weather. If you want to save jet fuel and money this winter, but you still hate the biting wind and dirty slush, here are some ideas:
1. Check out a museum that you’ve never been to. In New York, that shouldn’t be hard. You probably haven’t been to the Skyscraper Museum, the Ukrainian Museum, the Louis Armstrong House Museum, the Museum of Chinese in America, the City Reliquary, and the New York Transit Museum. Am I right?
2. Peruse an indoor market. Want to feel like you’re at an open-air market, minus the numb fingers? Head to the Brooklyn Flea (indoors on Sundays), Astoria Market, GreenFlea (has an indoor space), Limelight Marketplace, Essex Street Market, or Chelsea Market. Or catch one of the seasonal craft fairs like the Holiday Handmade Cavalcade, Bust Magazine Craftacular, Brooklyn Friends School’s Winter Festival, Eat Pie & Shop, or 3rd Ward Handmade Holiday Craft Fair.
3. Get your fill of warm beverages. Scour the city for hot chocolate, apple cider, mulled wine, and soup. Don’t miss the annual Hot Chocolate Festival at City Bakery, where there’s a different flavor every day for a whole month!
Photo by thegourmetro
4. Don’t even leave your apartment. OK, you might have to leave your apartment just once, for a big run to the library and the grocery store. Stock up on all those books you’ve been meaning to read and all the ingredients for those complex dishes you never had the time or patience for before. (Or if you’re like me, you can just invite your brother to stay with you for a few days so he can make you delicious things like pumpkin ravioli.) For seasonal recipes from local bloggers, see Not Eating Out in New York, Sustainable Pantry, and Big Girls Small Kitchen.
5. Get active. Maybe you actually don’t want to sit around all day, every day, and you’re up for a little adventure. Try an indoor rock climbing gym like Brooklyn Boulders, an indoor ice skating rink like City Ice Pavilion, or indoor batting cages at The Baseball Center.
Any other suggestions?