It was a beautiful sunny spring day in 1988 when I set foot in New York City for the first time. For my birthday my mother took us on a bus tour to see Madonna in the play Speed The Plow on Broadway at The Royale Theatre. I wasn’t out at the time but I’m pretty sure that’s one of the gayest things I could have done for my birthday. My mother wasn’t the worldliest of travelers and she loved her fast food. I think New York scared her so we spent the free time before and after the play holed up in a McDonalds near the theater. Was it watching the interesting New Yorkers through the grimy “restaurant” window? Was it seeing my first Broadway show? Was it seeing Madonna live? Was it almost getting run over by Madonna’s limo (when I die I hope it’s under the wheels of a diva’s car) when she left through the stage door? I don’t know what it was exactly, but from the minute I got off that bus, New York has always felt like home.
Many years later and my love for New York has never wavered. Of all the traveling I’ve done, in my gay opinion, no place compares. In honor of my favorite place on Earth, this past weekend I took these photos to go with my Top 5 Things To Do In New York City:
5: Hudson River Greenway – It’s a path for walking, jogging, biking or rolling blading that runs down the side of Manhattan along the Hudson River. Sometimes the path is tree lined and other times it runs next to the water. A few perks are lots of restrooms (which isn’t always an easy find in New York) and in the summer many locals treat the grassy areas like a beach to soak up some rays. Bathrooms and eye candy, my needs are easily met.
4: Central Park – I can spend hours and hours walking around Central Park. It’s easy to get lost, especially since I have no sense of direction, but every path eventually leads to a street. And with the streets being number in Manhattan, it’s pretty easy to find my way around. There’s just so much to do in the park but my favorite is walking the 1.58 mile loop around the Jackie O Reservoir.
3: Catch A Show – I have seen some of my favorite performers in concert in New York. There are so many different types of venues, from arenas to free stages in many of the parks. When musician’s tour, the majority have at least one stop in New York City. Plus there’s the musicals and shows in all the theaters on Broadway and my favorite off, off, off Broadway. There’s always something going on.
2: The Highline Walkway – It’s an above ground railway that’s been converted to a walkway with views of the city and Hudson River. It has tons of places to sit and take in the gardens and random art installations along the way. It can get crowded but it’s a nicer way to get downtown than having to walk through traffic and cross streets. My favorite time there was at dusk on a brisk winter night with barely anyone around, it was magical.
1: People Watching – New York is nothing without the New Yorkers themselves and their don’t-give-a-shit attitudes. Nothing is thought of as out of the norm there. Within 15 minutes of walking the streets of the city you’re almost guaranteed to see something you’ve never seen before and never will again. This past weekend my partner and I didn’t even make it a few blocks, from Grand Central to the restaurant we wanted to eat lunch at, when we were almost run over by a guy riding an electric powered standup unicycle. What a douche! But only in New York.