Monday, May 3, 2010

An Out-of-Towner at Heart

Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge

Paul and I see our families far less now that we've moved 500 miles away. I take each visit -- both of us to them and of them to us -- far less for granted than I did when we measured the distance between us in minutes rather than states.

I'm always happy to see my mom and dad, and nowadays it happens far less often than I would like. And now I have yet another reason to look forward to their visits: Seeing the city through their eyes.

I would never pretend to be a New York native: I have far too much to learn. But I can hold my own. I can debate the best way to get from point A to B by public transportation, I know that a $1,000 apartment is unreasonable in Manhattan, and I've even set myself up as something of an expert at work on the cupcakes of New York City.

I can't match the disappointment of long-time New Yorkers who regret the Disneyfication of Times Square, but I no longer stare in awe at the skyscrapers, the people or the sheer variety of activities in the five boroughs.

So I enjoy sharing what I've learned in the last two and a half years with my parents. The out-of-the-way spots for a good view or a nice rest in the middle of the city. Or getting from here to there by subway in the shortest about of time with the least number of steps. What's more, I like hearing about their own discoveries, like when they stumbled upon Bryant Park one afternoon last year while I was at work.

But despite all of this, there are still a few "touristy" things that we all can enjoy together. First among these is a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. "True" New Yorkers would probably complain about the crowds, but I'm still enough of an out-of-towner to admit that the stroll still hasn't grown old.

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