I was born in Gary, Indiana [Sidebar: Birthplace of Michael Jackson? Yes. Did I meet them? No. But the Jackson Five played at my dad’s prom.] In the prime of my teenhood, I moved to Texas. Everyone promises to visit you in Texas. But no one ever does.
In 2001, I moved to New York. Everyone promised to visit. And everyone DID. Rolling out of bed on Saturday mornings, I created a new game of guessing how the reunion came about with the sleeping figure on my couch — and who was the friend who tagged along.
The party is over. I can no longer watch visitors have a good time while I’m miserable. I’ve made the sacrifice many times, but no more. [Sidebar: And definitely no more surprise guests. I live in a loft and there’s no place to hide.]
I will NOT go to Canal Street. If I must, I will drop your cheap ass off there and keep it moving a few blocks until I hit SOHO.
I’m not riding that friggin tour bus. Do you really need an unemployed actor or comedian trying out his routine on you and then asking for tips? All my New York credibility will be lost if someone spies me on the top deck of that bus. Plus, I really can’t watch my Brooklyn or Harlem compatriots like they’re some type of social experiment.
I will not stand in line at Magnolia Bakery. The cupcakes aren’t that damn good. Plus, there’s a Magnolia a few blocks down from the office and I’ve mastered the art of completely cutting in front of the tourists to get my sweet on. That would never work if your bewildered behind is trailing along behind me.
I’m not going to Little Italy and fuggit about Carmine’s too. There’s no real little Italy anymore and that monolith called Carmine’s is only a small step above Olive Garden [Sidebar: Why do people argue with me about my ridicule of Olive Garden? It’s chain-restaurant-Italian. Enough said.].
You’ll be standing in Times Square on New Year’s Eve without me. It’s too friggin cold to stand outside in winter staring up waiting for a tiny ball to drop. I have earrings that are bigger than that ball.
I’m not taking you to the World Trade Center. Haven’t you heard? It doesn’t exist anymore and just being down there while you ask questions about a pile of rocks brings back bad memories.
I will not stand around looking at the subway or street performers. Seriously, they will be beating on those plastic buckets ten years from now. I have places to go, thanks.
I’m not riding a horse and buggy or pedicab. The horses are funky. The pedicabs are funky. And annoying.
So what WILL I do with you if you visit? I deem these activities worthy of my time:
- A meal at one of my favorite restaurants or a drink at one of my favorite hangouts. Note: Do not be confused, none of these locations appear in the Sex and The City tour.
- Finding a great sample sale or going to uptown or SOHO boutiques. This does not include Macy’s or any other store you can go to in your own town.
- There are a few traditional tourists sights I’ll still line-up for. The Empire State building is one — but I’ll take you really late at night. You can walk right in and the view is amazing. Another one is the Brooklyn Bridge — definitely on foot.
- Not to be missed — hot live music performance, museum exhibit or Broadway show or musical.
And the activities that my guests seem to love the most? Errands! Heading across the street to the C-Town grocery store, running to the dry cleaners, returning a book to the public library — all of these things will bring you so much joy.
Sound good? See you soon! Be sure to call and get your credit limit raised first.