Playing Tourist – Local Verison

You live within spitting distance of that big city, yet you rarely go in to explore.  You always make up excuses for why you just can’t – too expensive, the distance is to great, to much work to do, the weather is bad, I have to watch my DVR.  If you don’t do it now, that show, exhibit, presentation will no longer be there.  I’ve had that happen a number of times to me this year – just not enough time in my year to see all that I want.  But this past weekend I got to play tourist in my own city!

For the second year in a row (something I hope becomes a yearly event) some friends of mine from Maryland came up to NYC for a girls weekend!  It’s their desire to see and explore NYC at one of the cities best times of the year – HOLIDAY SEASON!  See the tree, see the decoration, see the ice skaters, see the windows, do it all.  So of course, I said, yes, come visit, let’s make a weekend of it.  Because if there is one thing I have learned about traveling, it’s that frequently the best things to see are right in your own backyard.

So for this weekend, I briefly put my word aside, hopped the LIRR and ventured in to the city for a couple days of fun with some of my girls.  But first, I went down to Discovery Times Square to finally see The Art of the Brick exhibit.  What is this exhibit you ask – well, it’s a series of art pieces make of Lego’s, only one of the best childhood toys of all times!


The artist, Nathan Sawaya, has done some phenomenal things with the little colorful bricks of our childhood.  He has replicated some very famous paintings and sculptures, down to color, light and angels.  If you make it to NYC soon, this is definitely an exhibit to take advantage of.  It brings back memories of my brick building days, though, mine were more like one bedroom square homes, not these masterpieces.

Afterward, I met up with the girls, got the baby acculmated to her new surroundings, and then we ventured off for our other weekend ritual – a NYC Jewish Deli!  Last year we did Carnegie Deli near Times Square.  So as not to duplicate, we went off to 2nd Avenue Deli by Murray Hill.  There really is nothing quite like authentic Jewish food, some soup, some sandwiches, some of the most perfect NY food you could find.

Saturday we spent the day walking around, looking at the decorations and the windows, and of course taking advantage of the amazing holiday sales.  As we had a 6 month old with us, we of course had to first hit FAO Schwarz for some toys.  You can’t go wrong with a muppet or two right, or better yet, bringing back Little Miss Sunshine!


After we played with all the toys we could handle, we walked around 5th Avenue, hit Rockefeller Center to view the big tree and Bryant Park to see a smaller tree.  We were able to get a lot closer to the tree at Bryant Park then the one at Rock Plaza.


All in all, it was a great weekend.  I often forget how much I love my city, how much there is to see and do right in my own backyard.  I found there are some interesting exhibitions going on at the NY Public Library on 5th Avenue between 40th Street and 42nd street behind Bryant Park, and of course, if you look a little harder, there are small productions and exhibitions everywhere – just takes a little elbow grease to find and small amounts of motivation to actually make it in to the city.  So for 2014, my goal, is that whenever I am actually home, is to get in to the city as often as I can, see a show, an exhibit, a museum, some old friends.  Take advantage of the travelers gold mine that is a near 40 minutes away!



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