new york was awash in tourists this holiday season. and when i say new york i really mean midtown--for it is midtown to which the tourists flock. to see the tree at rockefeller center. to see times square and its countless billboards. to see the lights and tall buildings.
and i get it. i do, i get it. and yet a part of me wants to shout out to them: no, this is not it. not here. this is not new york!
you know that scene in funny face where audrey hepburn sneaks off to an underground cafe? and it's dark and infused with smoke and she dances wildly to beatnik music surrounded by frenchmen wearing berets? well. take away the smoke. and transplant it here across the atlantic. and well, i suppose that's the new york i'm always in search of.
(when in new york i want to eat at restaurants i'll find nowhere else in the world. and see things that will never be replicated on some las vegas strip).
but i suppose that says more about me than the city.
you know where i'd tell the tourists to go? where i'd suggest you might explore? the parks. to riverside. and fort tryon. to central park, yes. and the conservatory gardens. and as of today, inwood hill.
my lovely friend kate and i headed to inwood (the northern-most part of manhattan) to wander around it's 196.4 acres (which they say looks not so different than when peter minuet bought the island from the dutch all those years ago). i've always wanted to go but been hard pressed to find a friend willing to make the trek. not kate. she was up to it--she's always up for a little adventure (and it certainly doesn't hurt that she's one of the funniest and most intelligent friends i have).
the park was aglow with orange. snow still on the ground. and the hudson glimmering in the distance. and all city, you know? still new york. still manhattan.
kate pointed out deer tracks and we talked as girls do who haven't seen each other in a year. and january got a little bit better. and manhattan gets cell service everywhere (even in the middle of a natural forest).