April 20, 2007

I Heart New York

New York is a great place to spend your birthday, especially as a resident tourist (a role I happily play with relish whenever the opportunity arises). Even having grown up in the tri-state area, there are many essential New York experiences I have yet to...experience. Most New Yorkers look down their noses at such activities, as they have become so overpriced and overrun with overmulletted camera-toters, but I'm happy to have my Mary Tyler Moore moments and live here too.

First of all, the Circle Line boat tour is AWESOME. In 3 hours, you make a full circuit of Manhattan, pass under 20-something bridges, and get a history lesson along the way. You even get somewhat of a tour of the island itself from the boat, because a lot of the New York skyline gets pointed out, along with its street address, so it's useful for orienting yourself once back among the landlubbers. I bet you don't know what Spuyten Duyvil means, let alone where it is, so I think I got my money's worth.
And no tourist's day in Manhattan would be complete without a lunch in a loud chain restaurant serving gargantuan portions in the middle of Times Square. Chevy's was our venue of choice, and I pretty much felt like a chile relleno by the time we waddled out of there.
A few blocks north and 70-something floors up, Sonia and I found ourselves at the Top of the Rock, and the view is really spectacular, I have to say. We were lucky enough to have a warm, sparkly day with clear blue skies, and I think I could almost see my house in Stamford from up there. Looking down over Central Park, we could barely see the green grass on Sheep Meadow, there were so many people out there. I was wondering if I could see LaGuardia Airport, and as I scanned Queens, I caught sight of a descending plane and followed it all the way down to the runway. Turns out you can indeed see LaGuardia from up there!
Basically, I feel like I might as well embrace the touristy opportunities in New York. I spend all my time either in Brooklyn or down in Union Square, and to be honest, midtown feels like another country compared to that. I'm not going to complain if it only takes 30 blocks to make me feel like I've gone away on vacation.