NYC

Hello Summer!

Wow, it was pretty freaking hot in NYC today! The temperature was in the sweltering, sticky 90s, but I was thrilled to usher in my favorite season on a day that actually felt like it. Even though I’ve already been in summer mode for ages, I’m looking forward to spending more weeks savoring my favorite hot weather activities: spending weekends at the beachВ (and ticking off my Maryland bucket list), going to free outdoor concerts, drinking on roofdeck bars, having picnics in the park, tubing on the Delaware River, watching the summertime crop of reality dance shows in my un-air conditioned apartment while eating dinner on ballet nights…

What are you looking forward to this summer? (And stay cool, fellow New Yorkers!)

(Photo via Rachel Maddow’s Facebook page)

What Do You Read on the Subway?

The other day, I came across the awesome blog Underground New York Public Library, via Gothamist. Photographer Ourit Ben-Haim goes around NYC capturing subway riders who are deeply engrossed in their books. Her shots are gorgeous and really capture the individual little bubbles we all inhabit when we’re on the train. Plus, it’s cool to see what other New Yorkers are reading–and it’s inspiring me to add to my reading list.

Here are some of my favorite shots; see more here:

What do you read on the subway?В (I’m usually paging through the latest issue ofВ NY MagВ or listening to an audiobook. Though as of late, I’ve also been doing some reading about happiness/mindfulness during my morning commute, which, I’ve found, is a nice way to start the day.)

(All images via the Underground New York Public Library’s Facebook page)

It’s an NYC Weekend (for Father’s Day)

Father's Day 2011

Father’s Day at CitiField, 2011

No summer share this weekend. I’m here in NYC, hunkered down with a project that’s going to occupy most of my spare hours. But, on the upside, I’m also squeezing in some time with the fam. Mal and Peter are in townВ (yay!) and we’ll be having a celebratory Father’s Day brunch for our stepdad on Sunday. (That’s us, last year, at CitiField.) Happy Father’s Day, E–I love!

And here are some of my favorite links from the week:

India by boat! (I am so jealous of my fellow wanderluster/talented photog friend Tania)

A time-lapse video of Manhattan

Too cool: Researchers have discovered a lost city in HondurasВ (Speaking of ancient civilizations that have gone missing–I’m also in the middle of The Lost City of Z and highly recommend it!)

Picture Perfect Patmos

Dance photos from the Vanity Fair archives

How are you spending Father’s Day?

NYC Bucket List

No need to do a double take. I’m not leaving NYC. I’m never leaving NYC–you should know that by now! But my best friend is. She’s also a born and bred New Yorker, but she’s moving to London at the end of the summer. For good. She swears she won’t adopt a British accent, but I’m not so sure about that. 😉

During our past few hobby nights*, we’ve been talking about her NYC bucket list–and crossing off a few items. Yesterday we had drinks and a fabulous dinner at Gramercy Tavern. The Tuesday before, we got cocktails at PDT. Not surprisingly, most of her bucket list items revolve around food. As a kid growing up in NYC, as she put it, she did most of the touristy stuff and saw more Broadway shows than she can remember. So her list consists of restaurants she still wants to try, as well as other random activities. Among them: an afternoon at Smorgasburg;В dinners at Peter Luger, Minetta Tavern, the 21 Club; a ride on the Roosevelt Island tram–and as many brunches and final trips to favorite bars and restaurants as she can squeeze in.

Talking to her about her bucket list made me wonder what I’d put on mine, if I were also leaving NYC. Like her, I’ve done tons of classic NYC stuff over the course of my life: went to the top of the Empire State Building;В saw the Macy’s July 4 fireworks live (they were in Battery Park City, at the time); circumnavigated Manhattan on the Circle Line;В walked over the Brooklyn Bridge; had my bones rattled on the Cyclone; saw the Mets at Shea Stadium and Citi Field; watched the Knicks at MSG; walked the High Line; rode the Staten Island Ferry; took in City Ballet at Lincoln Center (not to mention attended other dance shows at BAM, the Joyce and smaller venues); attended outdoor concerts and movies; visited all the big museums, parks, beaches, botanical gardens, zoos and the aquarium.

And, of course, I’ve eaten at more restaurants than I could list in one post.

When I think about the typical NYC things I still haven’t done, I’m not exactly dying to experience them. I’ve never gone to the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island. I used to run by lines of tourists waiting to board boats to take them there–and that didn’t motivate me to join them!

But I was able to scrounge up a few items to create a small NYC bucket list:

But since I have no plans to leave NYC, I might as well get on this, no?

What would be on your NYC bucket list? Or your list of must-dos if you just had a limited time in NYC?

(Photo via Streets of London)

*Hobby night = Tuesday happy hour

Boatel

I have a bad track record with boats. I actually love being on the water and usually find myself on a boat at least once a vacation. But (you guessed it) I’m also prone to seasickness. I’ve had an episode (or near episode) in almost every country I’ve visited. And it’s not just limited to sailing. I even got seasick while snorkeling in Nicaragua–which I didn’t think was possible!

Despite that, I’m still tempted to visit the Boatel. Now in its second summer, the Boatel is a floating art and sound installation in Far Rockaway. A group of artists souped up 16 boats, each with a playful theme:

a boat that sings, a patchwork treehouse, a Victorian-era naturalist’s laboratory, a hillbilly kama sutra honeymoon suite.

And, true to its name, you can spend a night in the vessel of your choice–rates start at just $55. (Not bad for an NYC hotel, isolated as it is!) You just bring your swimsuit, food and booze and spend an evening swimming, grilling and watching planes take off and land at JFK before hunkering down for a cozy night in your boat.

That sounds like a perfect summer evening, to me. For the experience alone, I think I might be able to deal with the seasickness!

Would you stay at the Boatel?

(Photos via the Boatel)

1940s New York

I’m a big fan of all things NYC, both new and old. And since I’m also a spreadsheet-enamored, data-appreciative geek,В I’m really loving Welcome to 1940s New York, a new, interactive map that CUNY’s Center for Urban ResearchВ launched this week.

AsВ Gothamist describes it, the map is:

a slick mash-up of 1940s Census data, web maps and a rare 1943 book calledВ NYC Market AnalysisВ found byВ then-graduate student Steven Romalewski in 1997В and painstakingly scanned and placed onto a map of the city…Using newspaper and census data (including info from the Times, the Daily News, The Daily Miror, and the New York Journal American) the site gives you a peek into the “City of a Hundred Cities,” with each neighborhood getting a clickable description with photographs, block-by-block rental breakdowns and population statistics.

Of course, I went straight to my ‘hood, Washington Heights. The pop-up window showed me a few photos of different blocks from 1943. (The corner of Cabrini Boulevard and 181st Street doesn’t look too different!) It also has a color-coded key to apartment prices from that year. AndВ since all of us New Yorkers are obsessed with real estate, that’s pretty awesome.

Rent in my apartment building ranged from $75 to 99 a month. And since I live in a studio, I can safely assume that my rent would have been $75. It’s scary how much more I pay for the same space less than 100 years later!

P.S. More old-school photos of NYC.

(Image via Gothamist)

A Globe for New Yorkers

As a native New Yorker, I can’t help but think that my city is the center of the world. And now, via NY Mag, I’ve found an artifact that confirms my belief.

Globee, a U.K.-based company,В makes a globe where NYC spans across the entire planet. Instead of countries and oceans, neighborhoods (like Chinatown and Little Italy), landmarks (the Brooklyn Bridge, Washington Square Arch, the Empire State Building) and the Hudson and East Rivers cover the entire world. (Though I’m doubtful that Globee included my ‘hood, way-uptown Washington Heights, in their design.)

For non-New Yorkers, Globee makes a number of other city-centric globes including a Sydney globe, a San Fran globe, a Boston globe (as a former Boston reporter, that one makes me laugh) and, of course, a London globe.

(Image via NY Mag)