Destination: New York

An Insomniac in New York

Bill Hayes has a lovely essay in the New York Times about life in his new home, New York City, a place seemingly purpose-built for insomniacs. Here’s a choice quote:

Sometimes I’d sit in the kitchen in the dark and gaze out at the Empire State and Chrysler buildings. Such a beautiful pair, so impeccably dressed, he in his boxy suit, every night a different hue, and she, an arm’s length away, in her filigreed skirt the color of the moon. I regarded them as an old married couple, calmly, unblinkingly, keeping watch over one of their newest sons. And I returned the favor. I would be there the moment the Empire State turned off its lights for the night, as if getting a little shut-eye before sunrise.

The whole thing is worth a read.

Photo You Must See: Walking the Walk in Bryant Park

Photo You Must See: Walking the Walk in Bryant Park Frank Murray

Kate Gilmore's live public performance art "Walk the Walk" features seven women in yellow dresses walking in circles in New York City's Bryant Park.

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‘If You See Something, Say Something’?

In the wake of this weekend’s attempted car bombing, Slate’s Noreen Malone heads to Times Square in search of “suspicious activity.” The result is an unusual sort of ode to one of the world’s most famous public spaces. Here’s a taste:

I asked Ghazi what sort of “unusual” behavior might grab his attention. “Someone panicky or paranoid,” he said. “You make a logical assumption that he’s off his meds.” And how often does he see that? “Oh! Every day.”

76-Second Travel Show: The San Francisco-New York Showdown

New Yorker Robert Reid asks: Could San Francisco be the better city?

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How to Drink for Free in New York City

Frugal Traveler Matt Gross tells all. Hint: Neighborhoods with a high wine shop density are key.

76-Second Travel Show: At the African Burial Ground

Robert Reid visits a new museum in New York City and asks, "What took so long?"

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Are New York and Chicago the Tolstoy and Dostoevsky of American Fiction?

Andrew Seal makes his case over at Blographia Literaria:

Sorry, Boston. Sorry, L.A. Sorry, D.C. Sorry, San Fran. Sorry, the South. You have your claims, no doubt, but they are as the claims of Pushkin, Lermontov, Chekhov, or Gogol. To be sure, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky do not account for the entirety of Russian literature, certainly do not exhaust all options, but they are irreplaceable, irreducible forces upon the landscape of the national literature, and so it is with New York and Chicago, Chicago and New York.

There’s plenty to chew on in the comments, too. (Via The Book Bench)

Joyce Carol Oates Goes Home

The prolific author explores the meaning of place and home in a piece for Smithsonian magazine.

Writers, particularly novelists, are linked to place. It’s impossible to think of Charles Dickens and not to think of Dickens’ London; impossible to think of James Joyce and not to think of Joyce’s Dublin; and so with Thomas Hardy, D. H. Lawrence, Willa Cather, William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Flannery O’Connor—each is inextricably linked to a region, as to a language-dialect of particular sharpness, vividness, idiosyncrasy. We are all regionalists in our origins, however “universal” our themes and characters, and without our cherished hometowns and childhood landscapes to nourish us, we would be like plants set in shallow soil. Our souls must take root—almost literally.

She divulges more in a companion Q&A.

76-Second Travel Show: A Very Presidential Sandwich

Robert Reid celebrates President's Day by chowing down in Chester A. Arthur's one-time bedroom

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76-Second Travel Show: Black History Month in Bed-Stuy

Robert Reid heads to the historic Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant

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76-Second Travel Show: Happy Birthday, Manhattan Bridge

Robert Reid throws a party, complete with commemorative booklets, for the venerable New York bridge

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Video You Must See: The Bending of the Manhattan Bridge

(Via Kottke)

Travel Song of the Day: ‘Manhattan’ by Kings of Leon

How to Survive a Holiday Visit to New York City

You and one million of your closest, most inebriated friends will be visiting the city. New Yorker Mike Barish offers tips.

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Photo You Must See: Yankee in Times Square

Photo You Must See: Yankee in Times Square REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

A New York Yankees fan in Times Square reacts to video of a play during game six of the World Series.