10 Things Worth Stumbling into in NYC

Six years ago, when I first moved to New York City, I blogged about 10 things worth stumbling into here.  This weekend, I spent three full days in New York visiting friends again and I thought perhaps it was time to update my list.   Here’s the new and improved 10 things worth stumbling into, now that I no longer thing commuter traffic is fun.

10. Tourists

Tourists are amusing.  Not a highlight of New York by any means, but amusing to watch.  This weekend I saw a man with a point and shoot camera, taking pictures of the cupcake shop I was in.  I took a picture too, but with my phone.  And without the tour guide book in hand.

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Magnolia Bakery.  Go there.  Get a cupcake.  You’re welcome. 

9. Monuments

Monuments are fun because they are usually unexpected.  They speak of history and times gone by, of lives that were lived and commemorated, sometimes in the exact location where the monument now stands.  For example, there is a plaque on the wall of my alma mater commemorating George Washington’s Battle in Harlem at that exact location, which is now a massive university.  Cool.

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To commemorate the battle of Harlem Heights, at Columbia University.

8. Iconic New York

In my opinion, real New York City is not the same as New York in the movies.  But sometimes I run into things that I recognize from movies, and that’s fun too.

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The diner from Seinfeld is near my old campus. 

7. Filming 

It is very entertaining to watch filming happen.  Not entertaining enough to just stand there and watch, but sit in a park nearby with a friend, yes.  What amuses me the most I think is how many times they run the same scene and how they have to work around the city and its inhabitants.

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TV set in Chinatown.

6. Urban Art

Coming from Indiana, I was pleasantly surprised by public art.  Now living in Pennsylvania, I miss it.

5. Performing Artists

My favorite so far- clarinet and guitar duo in central park.  My least favorite- old men in the subway singing songs I don’t know off key while shaking their tip jar.  Also, the act where 5 guys gather a crowd and hype it up to do 5 jumps.  When you’ve seen it once, you’ve seen it a million times.

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Street music in Central Park, Bethesda Fountain.

4. A Well Placed Tree

I am not a person that needs ‘nature’ in my everyday life, with the exception of trees.  A nicely lined street, yes please!

3. Nature

My friends in Pennsylvania laugh at me when I talk about nature in New York.  It is ironic I suppose, but even cities have sunsets and season changes.

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Sunset over Manhattan.

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Fall in Central Park.

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Manhattanhedge- when the sunset lines up with the city streets of Manhattan.

2. City Views

I’m not saying I’ll NEVER get tired of seeing the skyline or tall buildings of the city, but I haven’t so far.  (I wrote this sentence in 2012 and I’m using it again because it’s still true.)

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The Empire State Building through the Manhattan Bridge, from Brooklyn.

1. Humanity

The city is ultimately about people, which is both a pro and a con.  In the city you see people as they are, at their worst and best, walking through life beside you.  Children with their parents after school, millennials out for drinks, commuter weariness, youthful dramatics, it’s all spread before you, no filter.

Bonus

My absolute favorite thing to run into in New York is people I know.  I have ran into coworkers several times, as well as out of state tourists.  When someone calls you by name on the streets of New York, you know the world really is as small as they say.

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I met up with my friends in the Village this weekend.  It wasn’t a coincidence, but I still loved it.

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5 thoughts on “10 Things Worth Stumbling into in NYC

  1. Tara says:

    I like your style of capturing life With your photography. The man who sleeps on his commute reminds me of a Norman Rockwell style. 😉 I like cities and I definitely like recommendations of authentic things to see! Thanks!

    Like

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