The amount of time I’ve spent there barely amounts to three days, to be honest. But it was enough for me to fall in love with it. Enough to make me wish I could go back and live there, at least for a little while longer. The sights and sounds and even the smells were fascinating to me. Sometimes it’s not pretty, everything’s not perfect, but then again, what great love story is?
I was too embarrassed to be that girl taking pictures of the walls in the subway. And, well, my phone doesn’t take good pictures in anything less than full daylight sooo, there’s that. But they were surprisingly pretty, in the way that an old, well-made dress is still pretty – sure, the seams may be out of date and it’s just the slightest bit threadbare, but it’s former beauty and workmanship can still be seen in its fabric and construction.
But while I may not have any photos to share, don’t worry: I found some subway poetry featured in, what else, The New Yorker. Enjoy!
New York Classical Theater
This. This was the hardest one to share with you guys, because it feels like my little secret between me and the city, a hidden gem that only a few folks know about. But that’s not doing it justice. It isn’t one of those things that is valuable simply for its rarity. It was the one part of the trip that transported me the farthest. Despite the fact that the play had us running in all directions, it also effortlessly pulled me in; so much so that I found myself forgetting when and where I was, completely enveloped in the story that had been told countless times. People pay big money across town to feel what I felt that evening in the park for free (okay, for a $50 donation – but I got a free t-shirt, too).
Again, no pictures. They don’t allow photography during their shows. But here’s their video, where they explain just what they do:
What’s not to love about Central Park? A gigantic green rectangle obstinately existing within the most populous area of the country. It is peaceful when it should not be. It is refreshing and energizing and beautiful in such a different way than everything else around it. And it is so much. A friend of mine, who had lived in Manhattan and had given me so many suggestions and wonderful tips before I left, was surprised when I told him about stumbling on a wooden bench seemingly made of branches. I tried to describe it to him, but he could not ever remember having seen it. As though it has taken on a life of its own, there is always something new to discover in (this park that has no rational reason for being where it is).
One must-see place that you can be sure to find in Central Park is the Bethesda Fountain.
You’ve seen it in most movies set in New York; What I didn’t realize was that the fountain isn’t even the best part. It is located near a large terrace (or rather, within it, as the fountain is a part of Bethesda Terrace) underneath which is a beautifully tiled passage.
Old churches have always intrigued me. While I tend to balk at much of what I see of religion, there is something about the community and human potential that seems to linger around old churches. It’s as though the good intentions of its parishioners throughout the years have settled into the woodwork and the stained glass, making themselves comfortable. I always feel welcomed and warmed and safe, as though the building itself were capable of kindness. Maybe it is. The Trinity Church is no different.
Raised above street level, with an adjoining garden graveyard, it is all of the things I have come to expect churches to be. We took our time walking amongst the old graves, reading what we could about the people who had lived and died so many years before. We wondered at how different their lives must have been compared to lives now, and at how similar they might have been as well.
Inside the church, we quietly marveled at the beauty of the building and all the details that someone had so clearly paid strict attention to. We wondered at a ceiling tile being unlike the others, sure that it hadn’t been a mistake but not quite able to put our finger on why.
Alright, now it’s time to get touristy. The City Pass, sold at a few different places in New York, was pretty fantastic. We paid a little over a hundred dollars for each of these things, which made me kinda want to choke but it was SO worth it. We got into so many attractions for so much less than we would have. If you plan on seeing all the we-really-should-see-that places, buy one. The statue of liberty, the Met, the Museum of Natural History (including a trip into the Planetarium – what!?)
I can’t wait to go back.