I had the day off today, so I went down towards work and met Mrs. Bubba for lunch, then went to get my haircut at Astor Place. I decided to walk back to 7th Ave to the subway instead of doing a subway switch. I was walking through Washington Square Park and noticed some tourist standing there taking in the park. It got me thinking about visiting NY. These folks will probably spend 10 minutes in Washington Square Park, take a picture, then move on. Then they will tell everyone they went to Washington Square Park. But did they? Mrs. Bubba and I used to work a short walk from there and on Friday's, especially in the summer, we would walk down to the park after work and sit and relax before we went out to dinner or met friends, or whatever we had planned for that Friday night. Mrs. Bubba is not as big of a fan of this particular spot as I am. But it's a nice spot to sit, talk about the week, watch the various people walk by: students at NYU, rich Village folks, freaky people, and generally a street performer and some war protestors. I've come to love the place, now mainly because I remember those Friday summer evenings when we would sit and and be amazed we lived in Manhattan, thought of what we'd do next in our lives, and then look forward to our Friday evenings. Surely those tourist haven't visited Washington Square Park like we have.
When folks come to visit us I generally make them go to Central Park as well. We walk them through the highlights, taking an afternoon. But I don't think anyone is as impressed as they should be. Why? Well, Central Park is our front yard, our back yard. It's where we go to see flowers bloom in the spring, to escape the hot concrete in the summer, and to see the foliage in the fall. When it snows it's the place we go to see snow, as the streets are swept in Manhattan almost immediately. Central Park is what makes NYC livable. It's our favorite part of NYC. I love it in the winter, when it is cold, and no one is around.
I understand what it is to be a tourist, as we have travelled and we "did" NYC before we moved here. But I don't think you get a fair shake at what it's like to live in New York doing the highlight tour. There are "stops" on the tour, but they hold so much more meaning to those of us that live here. New York is the best city in the world, and I'll always feel that way.
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