Jun 06

The Tourist in Me

Posted by John Kuckens in Graduate Admissions on Jun 06, 2014

Lots of us have moved to NYC to attend Bank Street. In those exciting first few days, with boxes still taped together, Ikea furniture not yet broken, no salt or pepper or cereal yet, there's a few inevitabilities. You'll go and get lost in the non-gridded streets of the West Village, or have to ask which direction the subway you're on is going. You'll stare dumbly at the skyline from central park, only to be nearly smashed by a tour-de-France hopeful. You’ll walk very quickly down a dark street after a wrong turn near Port Authority. You’ll then avoid Port Authority. But after a few failures, you wind up with your favorite spots: Certain park benches, restaurants, bars, cheap eats, a certain Starbucks (or three), and your best study spot. Also inevitable is not going anywhere but those places.

When friends come to visit you, the city dweller in the group, and say “lets go to the statue of liberty! Let’s go to central park! Let’s go to a show!” you then realize that you are some sort of channel by which these people want to experience these things, and you’ve done none of them yet yourself. So, I’ll recommend some of the best places to take your friends when they come to see you, that won’t cost you too much study time or monetary duress.

#1 – The Boat Basin at 79th and The Hudson.

This place is very spacious and unique, often getting highly rated and recommended by others for it’s outdoor and nautical aesthetics. A fairly cheap place to have a few drinks and catch up but it sure doesn’t feel cheap. Easy enough to get to from the 1 train, best around sunset, in my opinion. They are weather permitting, and can stay open until late October.

#2 – The Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

Take pretty much any train into Brooklyn besides the L and you’ll be able to get off near enough to the Promenade. I’d recommend taking the 2/3 to Clark St, then just walking towards the water. You can’t miss it. You could also walk over the Brooklyn Bridge starting at city hall if it’s nice out. The Promenade has wonderful views of lower Manhattan, and easy access to Brooklyn Bridge Park as well. Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights connects to it about halfway down, and has lots of restaurants and stores. Great neighborhood to walk around in, pumpkin spice latte in hand, in the fall!

#3 – The High Line.

Awesome walk on an old freight rail through Chelsea. Views of the city, particularly the Empire State Building and other landmarks. You’ll wind up at Chelsea Market along the way, which is a neat walkthrough. The Standard Hotel is on the path as well, and has a pretty reasonable biergarten that is great fun. The only con is that it can get a little crowded on the weekends, and it’s a pricey area to go out in.

#4 – The Met

You may have gone to the Metropolitan Museum of Art on a field trip in the 5th grade, but you’ll appreciate it much more as an adult – especially an adult educator. The Egyptian exhibit is a very zen place at the right time of day. Personally, I’d love to get there before December of 2014 and check out the C.F. Martin guitars exhibit! There’s plenty for your friends to do around there as well, such as central park, or any of the little bars and places to eat nearby.

#5 – See a show in the Theatre District

If you can swing it, get yourself and your friends to a show. It’s always a shock to drop all that cash, but it’s such a classic thing to do and you only live once, right? Check out the TKTS booth at 47nd st. and Broadway in advance (and they even have an app for your smartphone). Times Square is hectic and fairly annoying to anyone who lives here, but your friends’ faces will still light up with wonder, which will likely bring a smile to your face too. Just don’t let them see. Remain scowling to maintain street cred. I recently saw the musical “Once”, which was a good length and had great music.

So when you get that Thursday night call that a bunch of your friends from home want to crash and “check out the city," you’ll at least have these 5 options on your mind. I love hearing it from the comments section, so please feel free to add your faves below!

tagged list, new york city, public transportation
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