For my first reading challenge, I thought that I should start with something I knew I could accomplish. What better to motivate me than books about my home, New York? Jill over at Fizzy Thoughts has created a great reading challenge: read and review one book set in New York City before May 1, 2010. Should be a blast! For more info or to join in, head over to Fizzy Thoughts!
Not sure what book I’m going to read to fulfill the challenge yet, though–anyone have suggestions? (Too bad I’ve already read Lush Life, The Bonfire of the Vanities, and The Alienist…all of them have New York not just as a setting, but a character.)
There are also mini-challenges held monthly, and I can’t resist playing along! For February, the task is to compile a list of ten things (ANY things) about New York. I’m a born-and-bred New Yorker and have lived here my entire life (minus the time spent in Rhode Island for college); the past two years especially have been great, as I’m livin’ on my own in Queens, greatest of boroughs. My list, then, is a plain ol’ ‘Fun Places To Visit (Off the Beaten Path) in NYC!’ These are tried and true fun activities for anyone, tourists and locals alike.
- The Museum of the City of New York – A smaller museum right by Central Park, they rotate collections all the time and, unlike many other museums in the city, you won’t feel overwhelmed trying to see everything there in a day. Perfect for this challenge because it always features New York in its exhibits!
- The Cloisters – Confession time: As a kid I was obSESSed with unicorns and read tons of books, both fiction and non-fiction, about them. While the obsession has faded a bit, I still go to the Cloisters to see the huge, beautiful Unicorn Tapestries. And if you don’t care for unicorns (blasphemy!), their collection of medieval art is still unparalleled, and the grounds there are gorgeous.
- Inwood Park – You will forget that you’re in super-urban Manhattan when you trek here. It honestly made me think I was in the Shire. Enough said.
- The New York Public Library – A must for any book lover! Not only can you actually read and borrow materials, but the building itself is beautiful inside and out.
- The Museum of Comic Book Art – A very small museum (one floor!) that has rotating exhibits about, what else, comic books! Old and new comics are featured. When I went last, there was a great exhibition about Archie and how socially progressive it was for its time!
- Astoria Park – Another beautiful, lesser-known park. Not only do you get great views of the East River and Manhattan, but in the summer you can usually find bands playing here for free!
- 37th Ave, Jackson Heights – I used to live here and it is kickass. Jackson Heights has possibly THE BEST food in all of New York. Indian, Ecuadorian, Korean, Ethiopean, Mexican–whatever you’re hankerin’ for you can find here.
- The Museum of the American Indian – A great museum for anyone interested in American Indian history, especially those of the tribes that lived in New York. They often put on free programs, too. As a bonus, it’s right by South Street Seaport; when you’re done exploring the museum, you can take a walk along the waterfront.
- The HighLine – A new park as of last summer, the HighLine is actually a reclaimed 1930s rail line that runs over the street. There are pathways lined with flowers and grasses, benches to rest, and a great view of the water.
- The Union Square Farmers’ Market – Open year-round! Head here to pick up locally-farmed veggies, honey, flowers, and even goat cheese! It’s got a great vibe and you can feel good knowing you supported New York farmers.
If you think I’ve missed anything, drop me a line and let me know, and if you’re participating in the New York Challenge, comment with a link to your own post/list. Now to get reading!