The Travelling Boomer is going to New York! This is the year for revisiting destinations where I’ve had good times in the past. One of the places on the list — and one that’s overdue — is New York City. I last visited the Big Apple six summers ago, on an old-time baseball train trip that took me to the great ballparks of the east, including the iconic Yankee Stadium. I had a glimpse of Broadway and Times Square, but not much else. I vowed to come back, so this week I’m making my overdue return to New York City.
It’ll be a short trip, to keep the costs manageable — New York is not a cheap place to visit. But in a city with attractions around every corner, I’ll still be able to see a lot. My list includes places like the Empire State Building, Grand Central Station, the Brooklyn Bridge, Greenwich Village, the art galleries of Chelsea and something called the High Line — a crazily unique park built on top of an old railway bridge.
I’ll also be spending some time in Central Park, checking out the city’s wild side with my friend and colleague Roberta Kravette, editor of the wonderful Destination: Wildlife website. Roberta lives in New York, so she knows all the city’s hawks, owls and songbirds by name. She also knows the city’s lesser-known attractions, and the great restaurants most tourists never see. We may pay a visit to one or two of New York’s legendary watering holes, too — the places where famous writers and Broadway stars have gathered for decades to raise a martini.
New York is such a cornucopia of sights and experiences, it would be hard to see all its famous places in a full week — especially if you ventured into some of the city’s world-class museums, like the Met, the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum. Or if you spent time riding the Staten Island Ferry, or venturing out to Coney Island.
But I’m sure there will be enough to see and do in four days to make a lot of memories. New York City in the fall is a different place than New York in the summer, less hectic and filled with tourists. I’m hoping to get a glimpse of the city the way New Yorkers see it. And forgive me if I see it through the eyes of Woody Allen — “Manhattan” is still one of my favourite films.
As if that weren’t enough, I’ve planned a memorable finale for the trip. When it’s time to head home, I’ll board the Adirondack, a special train that runs from New York to Montreal, through the beautiful woodlands of Upper New York state. It’s one of the trips picked out by train travel guru Don Nadeau as the best in North America — it should be both fascinating and spectacular.
So that’s it — The Travelling Boomer is making a return to New York City. Stay tuned for dispatches from The Big Apple, with expert contributions from a real New Yorker. And if they arrive late at night, don’t worry — after all, it’s the city that never sleeps.