Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ten things that make me happy: NYC Edition

I've decided to post ten separate lists of ten things that make me happy. Everyone should have a list of at least a hundred things that make them happy. Here are ten things that make me happy in New York.

1) The Cloisters: This was easily my favorite museum in New York City. Located within Fort Tryon Park, the views walking through the park, to the museum, are worth the trip alone. Once in the museum, there is an extensive collection of Medieval art housed within a castle setting. There are famous pieces, such as the Unicorn Tapestries, to lesser known pieces, such as a slightly terrifying representation of Saint Michael. Additionally, a significant chunk is Medieval art is creepy (reliquaries anyone?), so when you combine that with a beautiful, secluded setting, you've really got something special.
2) The fact everyone takes their dogs everywhere with them: Although I am well known for being a cat lady, I would also be hard pressed to dislike a dog. This is why I loved how no matter where I went in New York, there were dogs. Big dogs, little dogs, medium dogs. It was a constant parade of adorable.
3) The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Absolutely mind-blowing, both in size and content. The only way I could tackle this guy was by imagining that I was visiting several tiny museums in one day. My favorite collections were the Modern, Medieval, Renaissance and Egyptian collections. I also loved the exhibit American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity. Eating lunch on the steps here is advised (there's a fruit cart right by the steps), but make sure nobody sits above you, with the exception of Blair Waldorf.
4) Crispin Glover: Do I have to say anything? The only thing that surprised me was the fact he had an seriously endless amount of patience. Super kind, super brilliant. Needs better fitting pants.
5) The American Museum of Natural History: Dinosaurs! An uncomfortable amount of taxidermy! Surprisingly terrifying fiberglass whale! However, what I thought was greatest about the museum was all the vintage exhibits that had been left in: giant dioramas of forests, murals, etc. It would be easy to tear these quiet, less visited portions out and toss in some trendy display in an effort to gain more visitors, but part of what makes the museum so wonderful is that they have their own history on display.
6) Parks! Central Park, Union Square, etc. Grab lunch and have a picnic. I never felt overwhelmed by the city thanks to these options for some quality time with the outdoors. My favorite lunches, setting wise, were when I just grabbed something to go and ate it in whatever park was nearby.
7) Vintage shopping: Atlantis Attic. Beacon's Closet. Though some vintage shopping in New York was painfully expensive (Urban Outfitters by Union Square, I'm looking at your used shoe rack), these two spots were goldmines.
8) Public transportation: New York's subway system is frightfully easy to get around with. I loved it, and actually became comfortable enough to play on my iPod instead of staring anxiously at the subway map until arriving at my destination.
9) The Strand:Oh hello, giant bookstore with a huge percentage of your merchandise discounted! What's that? I should just plan on paying to check my luggage now because I will need an additional suitcase because of you? Okay! Just gimme my books and my Art Spiegelman tote and we'll call it even.
10) High quality people watching: You know there's good people watching in New York. KNOW IT. Dear lady trying desperately to feed the squirrels: thank you for making my day, and good luck with enticing squirrels in the future.

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