100 words about…Boat Basin

Perched way up on 79 and way over in the Hudson, Boat Basin is the ideal spot to laze away a weekend afternoon. Order buckets of Corona or towering electric lemonades, kick off your flip flops and play with packs of other people’s dogs, mingle with your fellow New Yorkers of all ages and interests. Watch the sun set to the west, over a glittering river and…well okay, over Jersey, but it’s still pretty perfect. When it’s time to go, you’ll duck under the West Side Highway and trudge back up to the grid. Until next time, paradise.

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100 words about…cupcakes

In the world of New York cupcakes, you’re in or you’re out. You are either partial to Magnolia, loyal to Crumbs, or sold on Buttercup. And you have your favorite flavor – red velvet or mini M&M, classic chocolate-and-vanilla or newfangled s’mores. When there’s an event in New York, there are cupcakes – at the office, in the bars, or on the sidewalk after a looong Monday. Just don’t look at the calorie count NYC requires be posted (may as well have the whole cake), close your eyes, and enjoy that small, pillowy, sugar-drenched bite of paradise.

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100 words about…the walk light.

The walk light is a decoration. How silly, to think the orange hand is the arbiter for when you stop and when you go. And that little white man? He means nothing, you’re already off the curb when he appears. You can tell the suburbanites by those who stand still while everyone else is walking. You can tell the tourists by those who look terrified to cross the street (along with the fold-out maps and sneakers, but that’s another post). Every day, you dare that walk light – try to beat me. But shame on you if it ever wins.

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100 words about…The Empire State Building

It’s not just for tourists, the Empire State Building. It’s epic, perpetuated in black-and-white photos and catchy rap songs. Even after years, you get a thrill from seeing it rise above the skyline as you walk down the street or stare across the water from Brooklyn. At night it’s glorious – a game to see if you can tie the colored lights to their meaning. You may never stand at the top, always thinking you live here, you’ll get to it. But maybe you just don’t want to disturb the allure, to turn this icon into just another building to climb.

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100 words about…picnics

A picnic in New York is a special occasion. You plan ahead, picking a place with grass (or at least not too much foot traffic). You only bring as much as you can carry (and are willing to lug back). But the joy of leaving your apartment’s concrete stoop, venturing far and wide to set up that checked blanket (or old sheet or stack of IKEA bags)…that’s living. Surrounded by thousands of others doing the same, that is when you absorb the city. When you realize all any New Yorker really wants is to drink wine in the sunshine.

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100 words about…umbrellas

Umbrellas in New York are treacherous. Weapons wielded by people walking too fast, too single-mindedly. They drip on your legs as you’re squished in the train. They’re all black, purchased at Duane Reade and discarded, inside-out, when the wind gets too strong. They’re a dreaded accessory – oh no, showers again? What about my shoes? Yet when the rain pours down, finding its way between the sky-high towers, the sloppy scaffolding, the awnings dotting every hotel and café, then umbrellas are our saviors, shielding us on the 10-block walks to the subway.

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