A couple of weeks in the past, my husband Max, our toddler Ella, and I flew to New York for seven days to discover and hang around with Joanna and the Cup of Jo group. This was my first time visiting New York as an grownup*, and as quickly as I stepped out of JFK, I launched into 168 hours of absorbing town like a sponge — together with the candy odor of roasted nuts from midtown meals carts. And how one can really feel like a goldfish and a spy everytime you open your house home windows. And seeing Brooklyn brownstones flip into disco balls as they mirror the night golden hour. Listed below are 5 cultural observations I can’t cease occupied with…
1. NYC parks are wildly cool.
Individuals at all times speak about a number of New York traits: the pizza, the rats, the Empire State Constructing. However how have I by no means heard in regards to the parks?! Each one we visited was stunning, clear, and alive. One fall afternoon in Washington Sq. Park, folks sprawled on the grass — studying books, taking naps, consuming picnics — whereas a jazz band performed romantic tunes. The playgrounds we visited, like Brooklyn’s Pier 6 and Central Park’s Historical Playground, have sculptural climbing constructions and views of iconic landmarks like The Met and the Manhattan Skyline. Additionally, parkgoers are chatty. Saturday mornings felt like cocktail events — whereas trailing youngsters, dad and mom would strike up conversations about exhibits they watch at evening or what neighborhood eating places are price attempting. With our toddler in tow, we spent quite a lot of time at playgrounds as an alternative of the Statue of Liberty or Instances Sq.; and at first, I used to be afraid that we wouldn’t get the complete vacationer expertise. However slowing down and chatting with strangers was such a enjoyable, straightforward option to expertise a brand new place.
2. The New Yorker tote is all over the place.
I’m not kidding after I say I noticed greater than 30 folks strolling round with a New Yorker tote slung over their shoulders, from the Higher East Facet to the West Village to Coney Island. Now I plan to whip out my well-loved Shakespeare and Firm bag this winter. Additionally, you’re rattling proper in the event you assume I subscribed to The New Yorker simply to get my very own tote. I really like a development, folks!
3. New York busts out the autumn decor.
In each path, we noticed big purple oak bushes, bodega pumpkin shows and skeletons sitting at restaurant tables. I count on to see Halloween decorations like that within the suburbs, the place I grew up, however I wasn’t anticipating them in a giant metropolis. Reader, I might marry fall NYC.
4. Passersby dote on little youngsters.
New Yorkers have a fame for no-nonsense personalities. So, I anxious about how folks would possibly response if Ella wiggled at eating places or melted down on the subway. However, throughout our journey, folks have been so variety. Whereas consuming lunch at Cafe Cluny, Ella was enjoying with animal toys, and once in a while, she would say “Oh no!” and roll them to 2 pals — one older man and girl — sitting on the subsequent desk. As a substitute of getting aggravated, they’d hand the toys again to Ella and say, “Thanks for making our day!” My mama coronary heart swelled. And through subway rides, somebody would at all times play peek-a-boo with Ella or pat her on the pinnacle.
5. New Yorkers love baseball caps.
Our first day was wet and windy, and I quickly noticed a uniform repeated by many women and men: a sweater beneath a trench coat, topped with a baseball cap. After my tenth sweater/trench/cap sighting, I informed my husband, “I must ditch this rain jacket for a trench,” to which he replied, “Yeah, no.” However a pair days later, even after the climate had cleared, folks have been nonetheless going arduous on the caps, which made this hat individual proud. I returned house with a Met hat, which felt like the right memento.
Have you ever been anyplace new-to-you this yr? In that case, what did you discover? I’d love to listen to!
* I first visited New York Metropolis after I was 10, and one in all my core recollections is virtually throwing up within the Empire State Constructing elevator. Virtually!
P.S. Eating places that New Yorkers swear by and 5 issues we just lately noticed girls sporting in Europe.
(New Yorker Tote picture by Andrea Piazza.)