Monday, November 12, 2007

The Local Tourist

When you live in a bustling tourist area, it’s easy to take all the sights and sounds for granted. I’ll admit it, I’m guilty of this crime.

I grew up 30 minutes outside of Boston, but didn’t go on one of the Duck Tours or walk the Freedom Trail until I was 20 years old. I spent 4 lovely years in Philadelphia, but never saw the Liberty Bell, ate a Cheese steak (Well, there is the whole ‘I’m a vegetarian’ issue), etc. However, now that I live in NYC, I’m determined not to let 4 years go by before I have seen the sights. I don’ t want the tourists to have a better grasp on the attractions than I do. I must admit, I’ve got the shopping hot spots, the quirky coffee shops, the amazing open air markets, the crazy parades (I swear this city has a parade for every ‘Ode to Tree’ holiday that exists).

I’ve shopped at Saks, I’ve dined at the Ritz, I’ve rubbed shoulders with the celebrities at movie premiers, but up until yesterday I’d never seen the bird’s eye view of the city.

Amy and I were both off yesterday (shocker, I know!), so we decided to wander around the city and do things like the tourists. We went and watched the Veteran’s Day Parade, actually we watched separately and then met up afterwards- he dad, the General, was marching with 1500 of his troops; we went to Rockefeller Center and went to Top of the Rock to see the city from 68 stories above, we dined at a midtown bar and watched the football games (okay, so we do this every weekend, but oh well…we ar eon the hunt for boys), went to mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and then went to a movie premier (okay, maybe tourists don’t get this opportunity.)

Anyways, it was so fun to be tourist in my own city. When I walked around, I walked slowly, took in the sights, and didn’t take the fastest route from A to B. I avoided the subway, bought some roasted chestnuts from a street side vendor, I really wanted to take it all in. The weather was brisk, but the air was refreshing and it felt so good to breathe in that smog filled air (sense the sarcasm?). At one point, it felt like a scene from a movie when I was surround by a group of Asian tourists and all around me was a melody of, “hoy, cha, nee, so, ma” and lots of digital camera flashes. IT was really entertaining. There really is something magical about walking through the theater district, looking up at all the bright lights and billboards in Time’s Square, starring in amazement at the size of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, or the sheer grandeur of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Now that I’ve taken my day to see the city through the eye’s of a tourist, I encourage you to get out there and see what your city has to offer. You may end up pleasantly surprised.

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