New York City. The city full of promises, love and hope. The glitz, glamour and secrets. The crowd, the weather, the rats.
However romanticized or deemed overrated, NYC is a place much entangled with my childhood. It makes me perfectly nostalgic all the while making me want something more (reference, anyone?).
So, here’s my guide on how to transport yourself to New York City all in the comfort of your bedroom, or at least, whichever city you find yourself being.
The early morning coffee run is perhaps my favorite New York feeling. The slightly chilly air and still drowsy people, some in a rush and others lazily lost in the morning paper, paired with a warm drink and pastry is a perfect constant in daily life. Try waking up a bit earlier and heading to a local cafe, order with a still sleepy voice (mine’s a cappuccino and a warmed pain au chocolat), and list off all the work you have planned for today. People-watching through the glass is always a pleasure.
Take a shower, dim the lights and put on a fresh crisp pair of pajamas of your liking. Then get lost in a wondrous world of movies — perhaps the closest thing humankind has for a teleportation device. “Devil Wears Prada,” “Elf“ and “Eloise at the Plaza“ are some of my favorites.
A night in with friends
Get together with your dearest friends and spend a cozy night in. Maybe craft some fun drinks, cook vodka pasta and put together a charcuterie board. Catch up on each other’s adventures and celebrate their victories. Oh, and don’t forget to laugh at each other’s childhood stories! Because in a big crowded city, you need your people.
One of the biggest advantages of living in a city is the abundance of museums. The Metropolitan, MoMa, Guggenheim and the Neue Gallerie only scratch the surface of New York’s bests. If I could warp time, I’d like to be on a school trip to MoMa with my classmates and scribbling the docent’s explanations next to a (rather poor) rendition of one of the many art pieces. We could never keep quiet while drawing the nude sculptures. So, grab your friends and head to a local museum. Sit down in front of a piece of your liking and start sketching! Bonus points if you spend too much time at the museum store.
Central Park! An iconic sanctuary within the bustling city. Spreading out on the slightly damp grass with a stack of books from the library or having a picnic with friends is always the sweetest feeling. Laying down on someone’s lap, blinded by the sun, the trees swaying ever so slightly, I’m reminded of the beauty of smaller things. Thankfully, parks tend to locate themselves in all parts of the world. Libraries and the act of picnicking add to the list as well. Hop on your bicycle and try heading to your favorite park. You won’t be disappointed.
Autumn is perhaps the best time to walk through a city. The red-yellow leaves and crisp-chilly air, paired with the mini fashion show of every city dweller is the coolest thing ever. Try putting on a cozy-chic outfit and power-walk through the streets, giving a not-so-secret smile to every dog on the street. And, headphones in. Your curated autumn playlist will guarantee a serotonin rush. Don’t forget to keep your head high and steps brisk. The art of walking is never to be ignored.
The New Yorker
I am a longtime lover and collector of New Yorker magazines. Or specifically, the cover pages. The whimsical and colorful illustrations of Jean-Jacques Sempé, I believe, capture what I love about New York most perfectly. Try hopping onto the cover archive and start browsing! It’s bound to dazzle you.
P.S. Play the puzzles and games on the New Yorker website as well (try not to cheat, for the satisfaction is greater if one has struggled).
I hope you made a stop at the museum store! My mom would always pick up a fresh set of puzzles at the museum store and we’d spend the rest of the weekend piecing it together. My favorite was the 500-piece set of the Met. So, put on some Duke Ellington and get going on those corner pieces.
The city during Christmastime is something truly special. The long hours wandering through department stores, carrying countless shopping bags, spilling hot chocolate on my tartan coat and then slipping on the snow. Very fond of it all. With the holiday season approaching, listen to Christmas carols and go shopping, looking forward to getting home and packaging them in the silliest wrapping paper. Gift shopping is always a delight.
They say people and places are about finding a feeling. If you ever visit in the near future, I hope the city will feel as special for you as it does for me.
Welcome to New York — it’s been waiting for you!