I have spent a lot of time in Brooklyn over the years.
Recently, I've been visiting friends there and getting to know the place from a local perspective. And my favorite time to be in Brooklyn? It's got to be the Spring! Between the warmer weather, the flowers popping up, and the cheerier vibe, I love Brooklyn in the Springtime.
The following are some of my favorite activities for when all the flowers start blooming. But don't worry, I share some activities for other seasons, too.
I'm taking a break this week from my New Orleans posts to share a bit about my home city!
While Jono was visiting me for 5 weeks this past summer, I took him on a tour of New York City. Although we did not get to do everything we wanted to, what we did do represents a really good outline of "must-do's" for first-time visitors to the Big Apple.
Lists like these have been done before. But what mine includes is a lot of insider tips you won't get elsewhere.
I discuss some of the most typical experiences you should try to have while in New York with tidbits on the best way to do it. These are experiences only a life-long New Yorker comes to know how to navigate—but now you'll know it, too!
Once I landed back in New York, I did like all New Yorkers do: I hit the ground running. I began flitting around the city, catching up with old friends, and eating my favorite American foods. Then I shot upstate to spend time with my family and reacquaint myself with American consumer culture.
In this post, I'll give you a fast-paced run-through of my arrival back in New York. But then I'll slow it down a bit, as it wasn't until I was tucked away in upstate New York that the full impact of my travels settled in.
Inevitably, I returned with knowledge of languages, cultures, people, and foods that have all become a part of my every day thoughts. Most importantly, I have returned with the challenge of integrating lessons from my travels with my lifestyle back home. During my travels, I learned how to resist planning ahead and allow my innermost wants to guide me. Now it's time to apply these same lessons to the chapter ahead.
It's Christmas! And I'm in New York! I'm home spending the holidays with my family in upstate New York. I thought I'd share a few of our family traditions in addition to my own tradition of seeing the holiday sights around The City.
In between upstate shenanigans, I was in New York City a couple of times over the last few weeks. I got to check out Rockefeller Center, view the decorated Macy's windows, and watch people fall on their faces ice skating in Bryant Park (my favorite!). But now I'm home, baking up a cookie storm with Mom and preparing for our family tradition of opening presents on Christmas Eve.
“I just witnessed the most amazing thing on the way here this morning,” my graduate school friend said to a group of us on the second day of the conference we were all attending in Portland. She had a gleam of wonder in her eyes as she described her AM commute. A female bus driver had sang a ballad over the loud speaker to all the passengers on board. When she finished the final note everyone clapped and cheered. The driver was in such good spirits, my friend said, that when she pulled up to one of the transfer stations she took the stage again and quipped over the speakers about the available color-coded MAX options. “Blue, red, yellow, green—takes you to your dream!” she chimed.
It was only my second day in Portland when I realized that I was experiencing a mild case of culture shock. I have internalized so much of New York City after 6 years of living there. My instincts as a pedestrian have been developed to either follow the crosswalks or make a run for it.
Impatient people are both behind the wheel and on foot in New York. Cars zip through red lights at the last second like the mother with 2 kids in the backseat who hit a friend and I at an intersection on my first day scouting for an apartment. Meanwhile, people scamper across the street long after the orange hand has stopped blinking. It’s a game of Frogger, but with real lives and driver's licenses on the brink of ending.