A Guide to Taking Yourself Out on the Town
Initial order of business: I needed to take myself out. Just me. Alone. Happily embracing the silence and solitude.
Okay, maybe not silence. This is NYC after all.
1. Plan it Out…but Not Too Much
I don’t like to meticulously plan things out as much as I used to, but having a general idea of what you want to see is a safe bet; one neighborhood at a time. I decided to begin my mini itinerary with exploring Lower (Downtown) Manhattan. Really giving it my full attention. Starting from Castle Clinton, making my way to the very Instagram-sought-after Stone Street.
What I discovered far exceeded the expectations of this wanderer. I strolled the Seaport District, visited a stationary shop, basked in the glory that is Pier 17, all without planning it ahead, before making my way to Greenwich Village.
2. Ditch At Least One “Must-See”
Let’s face it, ‘Top 20 Must See/Do’ lists are hyped for money. More often than not, a company will pay an influencer or event page to get their establishment promoted. Some of these places are great and wonderful! Some aren’t but still get so much hype and media coverage that tourists willingly traipse on over without giving lesser-known spots a chance.
For me, it’s always been The High Line. (gasp!) No, I’ve never been. I guess I can talk a big game only because I live here and if I skip an attraction one day, I can just go the following week. I get that! But I’ve been telling myself I’ll make time for the High Line “One of these days…” for the past 4 years.
Instead, once I arrived in Greenwich, I chose to walk the West Village, one of my favorite strolling neighborhoods. Since I got such a kick out of the Seaport District, I wanted to see what/who I’d come across here. I was not disappointed.
3. Indie Book Shops Are Always a Good Idea
I paid a quick visit to one of my most treasured bookshops in this city: Three Lives & Co. If you haven’t been, please do yourself the courtesy and go. The staff is ridiculously kind and always have the best recommendations. The shop elicits a warmth few indie bookshops can match, contrary to popular opinion. I picked up Rebecca Solnit’s A Guide to Getting Lost. Quite a fitting read for an afternoon such as this, wouldn’t you agree?
4. Take Yourself to Dinner
As you can very well imagine, I needed to take a short break. Not to mention, I was ravenous. I moseyed on over the Eat By Chloe, a vegan (and kosher-certified) eatery I’ve always passed, but never took the time to try. I ordered a kale Caesar salad and sweet potato fries; neither of which is pictured below, because I put my camera aside, scarfed down my food and have no shame in admitting that.
5. And a Show!
I suddenly got a whimsical thought: It’s been a while since I’ve seen a musical. I had my hopes set on something magical, but last minute tickets to Wicked were sold out. I opted for Anastasia.
I caught a midtown train to Times Square, casually ran into Cynthia Nixon, told her how moved I was by her Emily Dickinson performance in A Quiet Passion, then fangirled for a hot minute.
As I nestled into my seat at the Broadhurst Theatre, the show began. It truly was enchanting. The stage was small, but the props and costume changes were impressive and greatly creative.
Well, there you have it. A guide to wandering aimlessly, camera in hand, grinning all the while, because you’re in the finest company there is. Celebrate you! Self-care never looked nor felt so good!