A New York Minute

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Dorothy clicked her ruby reds together and openly proclaimed, “There’s no place like New York, Toto. There’s no place like New York.” Toto looked up, sniffed the asphalt, and found a place to pee.  No doubt the kid from corn country was standing in Times Square in Manhattan, just one of the five boroughs of the Big Apple.

Spend all your time in Manhattan and you’ll miss the New York those who live here know and love. What keeps people in the city that never sleeps? My conversations with folks all over the city revealed that it’s its grittiness. You simply have to spend time on the street to LIVE New York.


On no particular afternoon I stood eating my lunch at a mini-mart counter overlooking the street and looked on as a young father tossed a small basketball to his toddler son. Delivery trucks came and left. Cars stopped for the light and sped off. Rail tracks shuttered above. Passers by parted to make way for the darting toddler. The mother, sitting nearby, welcomed the child onto her lap, the father crossed the street and disappeared into a sea of faces. It was moment, a New York moment…and it was beautiful.

So, to the boroughs we go…

Before I share some NYC cheap or freebies, let me first say that New Yorkers eat. It’s a bona-fide religion. I collected scads of fab food finds. They’ll show up in the travel guide app. Here’s just a smidgen of what else you can do in the Big Apple: walk the Brooklyn Bridge, Bronx Zoo (donation Wed’s), view harbor from South Street Seaport, Books of Wonder, Chinatown (ck out the ice cream factory), ride the Roosevelt Tram ($2), 2 pickles for a buck at Guss’ Pickles, Old-Time Photo Booth at Bushwick Country Club ($3), Brooklyn Botanic Garden (free Tues), Cuppa Joe, Staten Island Ferry (free), NY Public Library + outdoor garden seating (free), MoMA (free Fri), Kent Theater ($5), Fashion Inst. of Technology Museum (free), NY Aquarium (donation Fri), Fencing Lessons (free), Grand Central Terminal, NYC Walking Tour (free), Wall St. Museum (free), Jackson Hts in Queens, stand at DUMBO, Prospect Park, walk Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn, sit in lobby of Waldorf Astoria, attend worship service in Harlem, U-Pick produce at Wilklow Orchards, World Trade Center viewing platform, Stroll the cobblestone street of Hudson St, stand up “seats” at the opera ($15), Outdoor Green Market at Union Square, Generation Music, The MET (pay what you can), Williamsburg art community, Children’s Museum of Art (pay what you wish Thurs), walk Wall St., Trinity Church, jazz at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (free). Ohhhhh, SO much to do for cheap or free.

Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, and Brooklyn…oh my!!


One thought on “A New York Minute

  1. These NYC photos are fantastic! I love the one of the guy crossing the street in front of the taxis.

    Look forward to you coming back to Portland!


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