New York, I Love You

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Believe it or not, this was my planned post before all the craziness of this weekend.
It’s all still true and then some.

I have lived in the tri-state area for over twelve years now (minus one year in there we spent in South Florida). You’d think the luster of the city would have worn off by now, especially considering how often I visited growing up. But truthfully, I think I love it more now than when I first moved here.

Every day when I walk my dog, I see the Empire State Building in the distance. When I walk to and from work, I see One World Trade to the south. Visiting the Liberty Science Center with Miles? Oh, hey, Statue of Liberty.

And you know what? My heart skips a beat every time!

There are a few distinctly New York things that make me proud to be a part of the best city in the world.

We know where we’re going…but can still get lost.

It took but a few cab rides before I found myself arguing with my driver about which route would be fastest. This was especially true when I lived in Brooklyn. I had my preferred bridge (Manhattan), and depending on the time of day, could tell you within $1 how much it would cost to get home.

When I get on the subway, if I’m going somewhere I’ve been with any regularity, I know exactly where on the platform to stand in order to get off the train as close to my desired exit as possible. It’s a science, people!

On the flip side, the other day I decided to walk from work in the Village to dinner with friends in Midtown. I love walking in the city, and the West Village is one of my favorite areas, but a lot of diagonal streets can be tricky to maneuver…so much so, that after twenty minutes of walking, I actually ended up only a couple of blocks from where I started. I love that!

There’s always a new place to eat…but you’re old favorites can disappear from one day to the next.

A lot of people consider dinner to be a standby date – something to do when you can’t think of anything else to do. Not me, and not in this city!

My husband and I love to go out to dinner for date night, and there are literally thousands of restaurants to choose from for every taste and specialty you might be in the mood for. Any single establishment that has received our business more than once must have really made an impression because the vast majority of the time, I prefer to try something new.

Unfortunately, the does mean that at any given moment your favorite restaurant can up and close. Jackson Hole on NYC’s Upper West Side closed after 40 years of serving delicious burgers. Aunt Suzie’s in Park Slope was our go-to Italian whenever we had out of town guests, and it closed after 25 years. Even dessert chains like Pie Face and Crumbs Cupcakes shuttered from one day to the next with little to no notice.

But you know what? As sad as those closures can be, it also means something new is on its way!

Celebrity sightings are pretty common…but (shhhhh!) they’re still pretty exciting.

Like most New Yorkers, when I’m walking down the street, I’m a woman on a mission – completely focused and oblivious to most of my surroundings. Every once in a while though…

Brace yourself, some serious name-dropping ahead.

  1. I got on the elevator at my old office, only to be immediately followed by Diddy.
  2. Walking to dinner with friends, a van filled with New Kids (as in, on the Block) pulled over to pick someone up.
  3. My husband and I were having dinner after work. Matt Dillon was sitting next to us.
  4. I shared a champagne toast with Anika Noni Rose when they announced she had been cast as Tianna in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog.
  5. I danced with David Byrne at a New Year’s Eve party.
  6. Victor Garber let me cut in front of him in a buffet line.
  7. My friend and I were on our best behavior when we realized we had been seated next to Oprah at dinner.

But by far, my fan-girliest moment was of course Disney-related. At the opening night of The Little Mermaid on Broadway, I (literally) ran into Bob Iger.

Now, I never acted a fool (well maybe with David Byrne, but there was champagne involved) with any of these people. You have to play it cool always. And 98% of the time I (and most New Yorkers) have mastered the whole I-don’t-care-who-you-are thing. But man, sometimes you just can’t help the butterflies and excitement of seeing someone famous.

No matter where life takes me, I hope that never goes away. It’s fun to get excited about silly things like that! Yes, yes, I know they’re just people like the rest of us, but who cares!?

What else do I hope never changes? My love of New York City. 

Even more so after the crazy events of this weekend, I can say without a doubt in my mind that I’m proud to be a New Yorker.

And you? Do you love where you live? Why or why not? Need a tour guide for your next trip to the Big Apple?

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