My summer in New York City is drawing to a close, and while I'm PUMPED to get back to school, I'm also really sad to say good bye to New York. It's a city of endless new experiences and opportunities, and after living here for two months I feel like I've barely scratched the surface of all the things to see and do here. I have, however, gotten a better handle on where I fit into the craziness that is New York City. I know which restaurants I like, which bars to go to depending on what kind of night I'm up for, where to shop to save money (and where to spend money) and where I'd want to spend a Sunday afternoon sitting outside and doing absolutely nothing. In that spirit, here are a few of my favorite things about New York City.
1. Bill's Bar and Burgers. More specifically, not Shake Shack! Now, I'm not saying Shake Shack is bad, I'm just saying Bill's Burgers is way better. Their burgers are the best I've ever had, and their special sauce is outstanding. Plus, you will avoid the horrible tourist lines outside Shake Shack. Bill's Burgers also has equally, if not more delicious milkshakes.
2. The parks. New York might have a reputation of being a concrete jungle, but in reality, you can't walk very far in any direction without running into some kind of green space, even if it's small. The park shown here is a tiny triangular park just outside the meatpacking district.
3. The art. You don't necessarily have to go all the way uptown to the Met (although, I love it there too) to see some artistic expression. Many of the New York subway stations have quirky mosaics on the walls. This is the mural at the Lincoln Center subway stop.
4. Anything can happen here. New York might be big and glamorous, but it's also got to be one of the strangest places on earth. If you put enough people together in such a small area, I guess weird things are bound to happen. One day, a shark was found on the New York City subway. Yes, a SHARK. And, people just took it in stride: according to the news I heard that morning, the people in the subway car where the shark was found just laughed it off and went along with their day. No one cared to investigate how a shark ended up on the subway. Or, maybe the better question: how did someone forget that they were transporting a dead shark and get off the subway without it?
5. The windows at Saks. That's probably a cliche, but I walked by them a lot this summer, so I feel like I have the right to say it. The designs are always drool-worthy enough to walk slowly by and admire, but also intimidating enough so that I don't walk in the store and actually spend any money. It might seem like an odd favorite thing, but I was able to get my dose of couture without actually spending any money on it, so it was great for both my inner Blair Waldorf and my wallet.
6. The history. New York does not feel old like some of the historical cities of Europe, but if you take a minute to admire some of the old art-deco buildings, you can whisk yourself back to the roaring twenties in an instant.
7. The lights. That's a cliche too, but it's also very true. New York is famous for its bright lights; there's no other city on earth with a center like Times Square. But for me, the lights I love are the changing ones at the top of the Empire State building. They turn blue and white when the Yankees win (although that didn't happen very much this summer), red and green at Christmas time, rainbow on Gay Pride weekend and then sometimes purple, just for fun.
So, until next time, New York. I'll be back soon.Photos by Jillian Timko/Gavel Media