My mom visited last week, and I got the chance to be a tourist. I use this word – tourist – with some hesitation, though, because it seems like everyone in the city could be considered a tourist at some point. There is an infinite list of new – and old – things to discover, whether you’ve been here for 40 years or two months. Spending a week discovering just a few of those things with my mom was a great way for me to be a tourist in my own (albeit new) city.
We managed to fit in some of the very traditionally tourist-y activities…
….a boat tour past the Statue of Liberty…
…walking across the Brooklyn Bridge…
…enjoying a treat at Shake Shack in Madison Square Park…
…and having a slice (really a few) at a no-frills pizza joint.
We also found ourselves exploring some special events happening throughout the city, like the most amazing indoor display of live flowers and plants at the Macy’s store at Herald Square.
This photo just doesn’t do the show justice. There were millions of dollars worth of curated gardens and landscapes on elevated platforms above the store’s jewelry and accessories floor.
The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (perfectly located next to Central Park) has two fantastic exhibitions on view right now. The first, a jaw-dropping collection of vintage Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry, made my heart hurt for some unnecessarily-huge gems. The other is a beautifully designed show of the art and textiles of Sonia Delaunay, one of my personal design heroes for her rich and unabashed sense of color and pattern.
We happened to come across many pleasant little surprises in our five-day adventure, like this totally appealing wall of color-coordinated lego pieces at the Lego store at Rockefeller Center. If only I could come up with such an efficient and aesthetically-pleasing organizational strategy!
This grafitti-knit bicycle was also a fun little discovery!
The thing that I love most about exploring my own surroundings is that there is ALWAYS something special to discover. It could be the latest runway look, the work of a cutting-edge artist, or a quaint little cafe. But it can also be a 50-year-old footprint captured in the sidewalk concrete or a beautiful and industrially-sound bridge overpass. And the real treat is that all of these things can be found in the same 50 yard radius. Discoveries, new and old, beckon me from every corner of the city.
While New York City is a great place for exploration, there is always potential for discovery where ever you may find yourself. Don’t be afraid to act like a tourist, whether you’re in a thriving metropolis or a one-stoplight town. There is always something to find!
What are some discoveries you’ve made recently?