At five nights, this upcoming trip to New York will be my longest single stretch in the city. Even so, I’ve employed my usual tactics for stretching out the mental pleasure of the stay, the top three of which I will describe below…
- Listening to my NYC playlist — Sometimes as soon as the flight is booked I start cranking the classic and new-classic tunes from this collection of Gotham-themed tracks. Other times, listening to the playlist prompts the imagination that leads to a trip. It’s a vicious circle. Bernstein’s “Times Square: 1944” from On the Town complements the Beastie Boys’ “Open Letter to NYC” just as much as Gershwin’s piano roll of “Rhapsody in Blue” or Ella Fitzgerald’s “Manhattan” plays well against Ryan Adams’ “New York, New York” or LCD Soundsystem’s “New York I Love You, But You’re Letting Me Down.”
- Playing with New York magazine’s restaurant filter — Looking for a kid-friendly, critically-lauded Greek restaurant below 14th St.? There’s one, and I can tell you all about it thanks to the time-sucking ridiculously multi-faceted search at New York magazine. Neighborhood, Cuisine, Price Range, and Features are the major categories that invite exploration, each of which opens into a screen of tasty opportunities. There’s no app for this, so it’s best done before on a standard machine. Which is fine by me.
- Mentally rehearsing with a New York City map — I’ve not been using my beloved fold-out map of NYC nearly as much since I got my iPhone, but the allure of the map as overview and invitation still holds strong. Because last summer’s trip was tourist-destination heavy (the USS Intrepid, Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building), this one will definitely be more leisurely and flexible. But this doesn’t mean I don’t have multiple sequences of potential travel planned out, ready to be enacted as the opportunities arise.