In December I’ll leave New York for London for an indefinite period of time. I assume that I’ll return at some point, but I don’t know if and when I’ll do so. I’m very excited about the move and all of the professional and social opportunities it will open up for me, but I’ve also begun to feel the tug of emotion and advance nostalgia that comes with taking leave.
My solution? Urban exploration, with the goal of continuing to interrupt the everydayness of life in this glorious metropolis by tracking down various captivating corners and zones.
For about a year now I’ve been steadily making local excursions to various parks, neighborhoods, restaurants, bars, cafes, and landmarks in and around New York. I wrote a little blog post on these adventures last September, which I tried to frame as a reconsideration of the terribly maligned concept of the staycation. Now, with my leave-taking more or less scheduled, making sure that I get to the remaining sites and experiences on the list is a project of greater urgency.
I have about a dozen items left on my list at this point. Bars with fancy cocktails—a surprising number of which are located in hotels—are a priority, as are a few standard tourist sites that I’ve never visited, like the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I’ve got a few beaches (Fire Island and Riis Beach) on the list, a few cafes, some museums, some bridge walks, and rides to the northern termini of the 1 and 2 subway lines, among other items.
My primary companion in urban exploration over the past year and a bit is my friend Rob, who I hope will visit me in London at some point to apply our urban exploration habit to another glorious metropolis.