A Guide to Taking Yourself Out on the Town
The Jewish New Year holidays have ended and with them, quality, enriching festivities that followed. Once things shifted back into schedule, (more or less), I finally had some headspace to breathe, reflect, and make future plans. Now don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with family, running after youngsters, and cooking heaps of food, but I’m an introvert at heart, whose reserved character doesn’t take too pleasantly to this sort of stuff week after week…after week. My 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 once did, but having a general idea of what you’re gonna do is a safe bet. I decided to begin my mini itinerary with exploring Lower (Downtown) Manhattan. Really explore it. Downtown is usually where I come to catch a ferry or have a business meeting, so I haven’t really given it my full attention before.
Things I wanted to see: a) Kristen Visbal’s sculpture Fearless Girl and b) Finally pay a visit to Stone Street after putting it off for so long.
That’s it! Those were the only two things I had on my agenda for Lower Manhattan; the rest was devoted to sheer wanderlust, allowing my feet to take me wherever they pleased before heading to Greenwich Village.
What I discovered far exceeded the expectations of a local wanderluster like myself. I strolled the Seaport District, visited a stationary shop, basked in the glory that is Pier 17, all without planning it ahead.
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 had only eaten an apple and protein bar at that point in the day.) 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!
After gluttonously consuming my late lunch/early dinner, 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, (which by the way was discounted at nearly 40% because of the last-minute purchase–I know!–it surprised me too!).
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 ran away and fangirled for a bit.
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!