It’s Been Forever, New York City! Forever!

I’m two days away from taking off for my favorite big city in the world; NYC. It’s been a long while since I’ve been because the last time I left for The Big Apple, my two week trip turned into five months, and I figured it’s a good idea not to go back for a while since I have so many things to do on the left coast. So here I am again, going for just a few days, and I’m trying to get everything lined up to make the best of it:

  • Rent my place out on airbnb to be sure someone is keeping the little things I have safe. And to be sure I have spending money while away.
  • Backpacking it. Taking nothing but shorts and tshirts and two pairs of shoes.
  • Portable charger? Yep!
  • Notified the people of NYC that I’ll be making a grand entrance, hoping no one was left out.
  • Contact my NYC barber to make sure he’s still in the shop on 40th & 8th.
  • Getting a professional bikini waxing in NYC before traveling back to the beach.

I have no idea how long I’ll be in NYC, so when there I try to make the best of it and do all of my favorite things. Here are a few:

  • Central Park: Enter on W 72nd St. and take a photo at the John Lennon Memorial. Walk down to Sheep Meadow, pull out my journal and jot a few notes, before finding some frisbee tossers or wine drinkers to befriend.
  • Meditation in Williamsburg: Before leaving last time, I joined a meditation group in Brooklyn. Helps keep me grounded and happy, and my mind clear.
  • Walk from Brooklyn to Midtown Manhattan with a friend or two, taking in the city, taking photos, videos, and laughing, and building.
  • Dinner August 17 with friends, muses, and soon-to-be friends at some swanky little spot in the city, networking, building new friendships and being free.
  • Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks: Brooklyn Museum has the personal sketches, words, and thoughts of one of the greatest artists, and one of my biggest muses on display.
  • Late night empanadas from Empanada Mama on the LES.
  • Crepes from my favorite hidden spot in the city. The greatest crepes in the world (trust me, I’ve tried).

And so many more things that’ll come to me mid-flight, or while pushing through the village. Come thru, join me, and let’s have fun. I’ll show you my NYC and you show me yours!

There are so many things to do in New York that you’re never quite done exploring.

Not many people know it, but at some point in my life I lived in New York City. After a short visit in December 2000, when I had a long layover on my way back to Sardinia, I realized that there were too many things to do in New York that I’d have to go back. So I made sure to get a job there, which would give me the chance to properly explore the city.

During my first time in New York, I did all the classic touristy things. After all, as self professed unsuccessful backpacker I see no point in going to a major tourist destination and skip the tourist attractions that make it just that – attractive. I am the kind of person that will spend hours in line to visit the Colosseum in Rome, or that will lose her balance because of a heavy backpack during a multi-day hike (that’s what happened during my Jesus Trail in Israel).

So, for all those of you who enjoy tourist attractions as much as I do, I have decided to put together a selection of the most classic things to do in New York, with a few tricks on how to make the most of them even when time is limited.

things to do in Manhattan

Take in the view from the Empire State Building

There’s nothing like enjoying great panoramic views of a city, even more so if that city is New York. I have been on top of the Empire State Building a bunch of times, and every single one I get the chills. My advice is to go right before the sun sets, to take in a magnificent view both during the day, and then at night.

The obvious issue with timing is that there may be lines for the tickets, and even going well in advance may mean having to wait before being able to ride the elevator to the observatory. Last time I went there with my sister, it took us well over an hour. The good news is you can buy tickets to the Empire State Building Observatory online, and thus skip the lines. No more timing issues!

Darnell Lamont Walker, a self-professed traveling foodie, has been found sitting at tables eating baby goat sweetbreads, drinking tequila, and laughing loudly with strangers. The writer, filmmaker, artist, and sometimes photographer puts happiness above all.

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