So yesterday, November 30th, I celebrated my three-year anniversary of living in NYC. I can't believe its been that long! Those years just flew by. It has been some of the hardest but most rewarding years of my life. In honor of the occasion, I decided to compile a list of my three favorite, non-touristy places in the city. These are places that I would not have discovered unless I lived here. Why is that you may ask? The answer is that when you live in a city as big as New York there are two wonderful benefits: 1. There really isn't a need to rush exploring because you don't need to catch a bus or train in 3 hours! and 2. When you live here, you go to new places because of either work or meeting up with friends. You don't just stay in the touristy sections (cough cough..TIMES SQUARE...cough cough). Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE the touristy spots just as much as the next person. The fountain at Central Park is still one of my favorite places. But, the purpose of this post is to celebrate the fact that New York has been my home for 3 years and I need to celebrate the fact that I'm not a tourist. So, without further ado, I present to you:
JACKIE'S TOP 3 NON-TOURIST, STUMBLED-UPON GEMS IN NYC:
1. PIER 40- Ok, when I decided to write this blog post, this location immediately came to mind. Pier 40 is located directly on the Hudson river, so West Street, and I believe the cross street is West Houston Street, but I could be wrong. Anyway, its nothing special to look at from the street, and you would never stop there unless you had a reason. My first summer in New York, I worked at a summer camp and once a week we spent some time at Pier 40. Its this massive structure that looks like a parking garage, but really its a bunch of playing fields. So when people in the suburbs ask, "where do New York City children play soccer?," the answer is either Central Park, Battery Park, or Pier 40. When we took our kids from camp there, we got to play on the top level, which is 3 stories above the street. So, long story short, the view is breathtaking. The pier overlooks the Hudson River, and then you can also seen the rest of lower Manhattan, and perhaps my favorite part, there is an excellent view of the Statue of Liberty. The time we spent at the pier was one of my most peaceful times during a hectic day with 29 third graders. Also, we were usually there in the late afternoon, so the timing was always perfect. It was never too hot and the sky was just beautiful. Sadly, I haven't been there since that summer. I need to go back. Its awesome.
2. 72nd Street and Broadway- This is directly in the center of the Upper West Side, which has turned into my favorite neighborhood in NYC. Its "so homey and so New York." I love this intersection in the city for a couple of reasons. The first one is because the entrances to the subway are these houses, as opposed to just boring staircases. I also love that there is a Trader Joe's right when you get off the subway. As you all know, I love me some Trader Joe's. Its an obsession and I'm ok with that. I also love the benches outside of subway. Its a great place to sit and read or just people watch. This is also the location for one of my favorite scenes in the movie You've Got Mail, which is another obsession of mine. Also, I would just like to put out in the blog universe, that if I had my wish, I would live right on 72nd and Broadway. Its a dream of mine. Really, any apartment on the Upper West Side would work for me. I want to be Kathleen Kelly from that movie. Its my New York City dream. Maybe one day....
3. The South Street Seaport- Now you may look at this and say, "Jackie! That is a tourist spot!" I know...I know. The reason why I added this to my list is because right by the water, they have wooden risers that people can sit on and there is a fantastic view of Brooklyn and the bridges. I love going there at night because its so peaceful. Its not nearly as crowded and the view is beautiful. I also love hearing the water splash against the port. On the walk back to streets of the city, you get a breathtaking view of the financial district. I love the lights of the buildings at night. Its beautiful. There are also some great restaurants and bars right by the Seaport. Check it out!
So there we go! My top three non-touristy places! It was really nice to think back and remember them. The next time you are anywhere near those locations, please check them out! Finally, I would like to raise a toast to my three-year anniversary! Here is to a spectacular time in NYC so far, and to many more years in my wonderful city!
PS: Today's video is a live performance of the song "The Hudson" by Dar Williams. I love it!