I love hosting visitors from out of town. I don't get to see anything fun otherwise, and if I actually did see something interesting, I would blow right past it on my way to something else that I'm probably running late for. The leisurely pace of tourist in this town is an ideal way to really see things. Sometimes I have to give myself permission to walk slow enough to hear the grunts and huffs of frustrations of the people trying to get by me. Go screw yourself, I'm a tourist! I can walk as slow as I want.
The Tree, for instance. There is no way in hell I'm going to upper 5th ave from Thanksgiving to New Year's. It's just too much of a struggle to walk anywhere around there during the holiday crush. It looks like online shopping doesn't exist as everyone scrambles to go to Saks and Tiffany's.
Happily for me, the city was nice and quiet the week after New Year's when I took some guest from out of town out to walk and shop and eat and catch a show.
Luckily, it was unseasonably warm out. It's much easier to navigate your way around midtown when it's not freezing cold, raining, snowing, sleeting or whatever. Peeling off layers and layers every time you step indoors gets old fast.
The last time I was in Times Square, I was with my friend Jewel...in June. I work right on 42nd st, and it just never occurs to me to go anywhere near there. Even if I have show tickets, I usually go AROUND the square...it's too hard to walk through the crowds and I just find the whole place too overstimulating. Lights, noise, hawkers and suburban chain restaurants. But I like to bring people there just to see. Now that the TKTS booth was renovated into a fancy staircase that you can climb up and take it all in while resting your feet, I find myself kind of liking it.
I love showing people the hidden gems that they miss out on when they live elsewhere...Dim Sum Brunch, a tiny local bakery that makes amazing bread and pastry, the vintage shop with cheap-ish Chanel suits, the church where they filmed the last scenes in "Arthur" where Dudley Moore decides to leave his bride at the altar in favor of tuna fish sandwiches and Liza Minnelli.
It is days like this that I'm reminded how much I will miss it here when I leave.