My husband and I travel to New York City every January to celebrate our dating anniversary. (Yep. We’ll use any excuse to travel.) This year marked our eighth year as a couple, which is both easy and hard to believe. Way, way back in the day (or, eight years ago) we ended up in NYC for the first time as a couple when he was playing a tour with a rock band. I had pink hair back then. It was a fun time.
It was my husband’s first visit to the Big Apple, but I’d been fortunate enough to live and study theatre there while I was in college. It’s funny to think back on how big it seemed when I first went, but like everywhere else you can go in the world, you quickly find places that become your own. Your neighborhood, your blocks, your restaurants, your venues, your tribe.
My husband took to the bustle of the city well. He has always enjoyed big, busy places. NYC became our place during that first visit. Regardless of where else we intend to travel each year, we always kick things off early with this pilgrimage.
Over our years of visiting, the same has happened for us as a couple. We stay in the same place, we go to the same local joints, we use the same metro stations pretty much every time. Each year, we also try to partake in a few undeniably touristy things. It feels a little lame–yeah, I can be the person who boldly proclaims she doesn’t wanna do what everyone else is doing. But those touristy things are usually popular for a reason. We do plenty of things that are a little less charted, too.
As I looked back through the pictures from this year, I realized you can learn a lot about us from them.
First, we love food. These are only two of the pictures we took of our food. There were SO many pictures of food. Do we really need to be reminded of the fabulous junk we eat? Apparently, we think so. Sandwiches, pretzels, pizza, bagels, ice cream. We’ll call it even since we walked just under thirty miles in less than 48 hours on this particular adventure. Oh, and the coffee there? Yeah…only the first of many.
Second, we take a lot of selfies. Yes, I’m aware there’s more to life than being really, really, really ridiculously good looking. I’m lucky to have found a best friend and husband rolled into one fancy, bearded package. We’re both aware that a day might come when we can’t, for whatever reason, do things the way we do them right now. We try to capture as many memories as we can, in case we need to be able to look back at them.
Third, it’s the little things that grant us amusement. That graffiti, for example, offers some five-star advice, my friends.
Here, you can find some examples of our wilder sides.
I have to be honest, in case you hadn’t yet figured this one out: we’re both incredibly goofy people. When we were deciding on the big bad tourist venture this year, it was the weather that cast the final vote. Heavy snow showers rolled in a few hours after we arrived, so we decided to aim for an indoor activity. Madame Tussauds got our cash. I’d been to the one in NYC while I was in college–one of my dearest friends and I spent hours taking wild and crazy pictures. Silly? Of course. Still fun? Yup.
There are things we do every year, too. We always take in a stand-up comedy show, but the club changes every year. This year, we decided to take a chance on Dangerfield’s. The show itself was pretty great, but the audience was terrible. The whole row in front of us chatted noisily throughout the show. Why would you do this? Seriously, I do not understand the randomness of crowds at stand-up shows. It seems like we always hit an excellent, attentive audience or a crowd full of hecklers. If you think you’re as funny as the person with the mic, why aren’t you the person with the mic? I’ve said my piece.
We always go to the 9:30 ASSSSCAT 3000 show at UCB. We normally leave unable to talk or breathe because we’ve laughed so much. That didn’t happen this time around, unfortunately. No one seemed to be paying attention to anyone else onstage. It felt like they’d made a bet before they came on as to who could kill a scene fastest, and they were all vying for the title. I’ve had rough nights doing improv, so I can feel that pain, but it was surprising. I suppose after seeing them so many times, we were bound to catch a show that wasn’t perfect. Cheers to them for seeing it through. Also, we got to see John Reynolds (Stranger Things) as the monologist, and his stories were fun stuff.
One of our final stops this year was to The Pleasure Chest. Yes, it’s exactly what you might think. I never, in my life, thought I would one day have a reason to say I went to a sex shop to do research. I stand corrected. Lovely store, friendly staff, and pretty displays. Plus: research–did I already say that? Book Two just got a little more real, people. I’ll leave it at that.
Your turn! If you love NYC, what do you like to do there? If you’ve never been, but want to go, what would be the first thing on your must-do list?