The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Monday, June 18, 2007

My New York Happenstance

By Tamara Lee

For my first-ever visit to NYC, I thought I'd 'let NYC happen to me,' in that no-plans, just-explore way. Until I panicked and thought I was missing out on things. Until I realised of course I'm missing out on things, it's New-freaking-York and there are only 6 days and 7 nights on this trip.

Travelling to a place that you're sure to travel to again means you can let yourself relax a bit and be comforted by mantras like: 'This is my survey trip' or 'It's all about the architecture this time.' Initially, I thought it'd be all shoes. For some strange reason, shoe luck was not mine. Instead, it was about music and walking (and wishing and searching for better walking shoes).

In the short time I was here, I saw an amazing range of live music, most of it free: the Metropolitan Opera's Faust in Central Lawn of the Park, R&B legend Booker T & the MGs in downtown Brooklyn, a gypsy-influenced chanteuse in a tiny bar in Park Slope, a jazzy-worldy Yuka Honda and friends in the lower East Side, and seminal NYC band Television at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park.

And I walked. I walked until my feet and calves burned and those motorized carts I saw folks using in the Met and MOMA started to look appealing. But I managed, and I can now say I have been to nearly every neighbourhood in Manhattan and the better part of Brooklyn. Aching feet was a great excuse to sit myself down and indulge in some New York nosh. Oh, the countries my palette explored.

So I may not have pictures of the Empire State building or most of the usual NYC landmarks (and indeed I don't even think I saw a great many of them), but I lived and ate as close to a New Yorker as I could get, and that is what I like best about travelling anyway.

Next time I'm here, I'm sure I'll find shoes.


(image: Walking Man II, Alberto Giacometti)


Blogger MelBell said...

What countries did your palate explore!? Don't leave us hangin', Tamara! :-)

People walk fast in NYC, don't they?

Mon Jun 18, 10:14:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Chumplet said...

My daughter went on a school trip to NYC last fall with her art class, and she said she lost six pounds with all the walking.

Enjoy! Don't forget Central Park! And don't forget to stare at all those big buildings with publishers inside.

Mon Jun 18, 12:58:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

So glad you've had a chance to visit one of my favourite places, Tamara. I grew up a twenty-minute train ride away and my sixteenth birthday present was the freedom to spend the day in NYC on my own (I had to be home by six p.m., of course. I wandered around, pretending I was someone important, and ate at Horn and Hardart's Automat.

Mon Jun 18, 01:40:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

I've never been to New York City. It feels like a serious character flaw of mine.

You've inspired me to spend a few minutes thinking about making it happen.

Mon Jun 18, 02:12:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger tamara said...

Hiya, folks!

Phew, I'm back at almost-home Montreal now, and you can be sure I'll have more to say about my trip in the coming weeks.

Mon Jun 18, 10:43:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Maryanne Stahl said...

tres cool that you got to see (hear) Television!

the lack of shoe purchasing is most disheartening, however.

Tue Jun 26, 04:38:00 pm GMT-4  

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