It’s no Secret that I love New York, but most people are only referring to Manhattan when they make this statement. I’m going to tell you that I love each and every part of New York like a mother loves her child. I moved to another state for a couple of years and I literally felt like I was suffocating. I couldn’t breathe. I felt like I was dying. I realize this probably comes off as melodramatic, but it’s true and I’m not the only one. Robert DeNiro filmed a commercial for American Express that captures what most New Yorkers feel…
“My oldest friend
My first love
My far East
My West Side
My private side
My life happens here… “
Yes, these statements are generally about New York City, but when he said “my heartbreak” I profoundly felt it. 9/11 left every New Yorker I know with a sense of victimization, pain, and loss which only goes to show how deep that wound goes. We ALL had a history with the Twin Towers. I didn’t lose a loved one; but my mother once worked there, my friends searched through the rubble, my daughter was held at school to ensure someone would be home for her at the end of the day, and I consoled several friends who had spouses working in the towers that fateful day. Thankfully they all eventually made it home by walking across the Brooklyn Bridge in the debris filled air.
When the commercial aired I had been living temporarily in New England and traveling every week back to New York for work. Every time I crossed over the Throgs Neck Bridge returning to Long Island my eyes would well up and I would get a lump in my throat. It was a joy much like running into the arms of a long lost love.
You could argue that someone can’t love an inanimate object such as a city, mountain, beach or state; however New York is not simply places, but an energy and feeling. It has its own heartbeat and a pulse that you can feel within the different communities with all of their cultural offerings and historical significance. So yes, I love New York from her mountain tops to the Ocean; from her rural counties to her world renowned city; from her skyscrapers to her beaches; from her multi generational inhabitants to her fresh faced immigrants. I will always be proud to call myself a New Yorker and I hope you can find a love for her like mine.
10 Ways to Fall in Love with New York
There’s no easy way to pick and choose the best parts of New York. The best I can do is pick ten of the most inspirational, sublime, memorable and scenic areas for you to experience. I’ll start at the top and work my down…
- Niagra Falls— New York State has more than 2,000 waterfalls (did your jaw just drop?), but this natural wonder is the most powerful in North America and the oldest state park in the U.S.
- Fort Ticonderoga— There is an abundance of history to be found in New York, but this particular fort was a turning point in the American Revolution and the origin of Benedict Arnold’s treasonous history.
- Minnewaska State Park Preserve—This easternmost section of the Appalachians is home to the state’s largest park preserve at 22,000 acres featuring the Shawangunk Mountain. World class rock climbing, 50 miles of hiking trails, waterfalls, and sky lakes make this preserve a breath taking adventure.
- Sleepy Hollow—The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is alive, especially during the month of October, in this quaint rural town with 18th century charm, haunted trails and cemetery tours that aim to spook even the most “head”strong of people.
- The Bronx Zoo— Each of the five boroughs of New York City has its special gems. The Bronx is home to the largest metropolitan zoo in the US and one of the largest zoos in the world with 265 park acres and a renowned collection of 4,000 animals.
- Christmas in NYC—Just when you think NYC can’t get better…you get caught up in the magic of the holidays—winter villages, ice skating, the Rockettes, holiday themed windows, chestnuts and cocoa!
- The Empire State Building—If there’s one building in all of New York City that’s known for its romance, its the Empire State Building with proposals, marriages, and iconic films. The heart of Manhattan changes its 16,000,000 color lighting system on a regular basis to coincide with special events, seasonal holidays, and special occasions. The New York City skyline isn’t complete without it.
- Statue of Liberty—Lady Liberty, Ellis Island and Battery Park will tug at your soul as you connect to history, maybe even family history. Lady Liberty is a gracious hostess you will remember for a lifetime and Ellis Island’s Great Hall will leave a haunting impression on you of memories past.
- Fire Island– Long Island life centers around the water and there’s no better place to enjoy the refreshing salty air than the thin barrier island that sits in the Atlantic Ocean. There’s a spot for everyone from Jones Beach to Robert Moses and beyond. Our favorite is the globally rare Sunken Forest.
- Montauk— Affectionately coined “The End” for being the easternmost tip of Long Island and New York State and reaching into the Atlantic towards Europe; this is a place like no other. Add in the intriguing and possibly spooky history of Camp Hero; the outstanding beaches like Ditch Plains; the historical past of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders and the grounding of the Amistad for an incredible adventure.