- Spa Castle - a multi-story Korean spa destination a shuttle ride from central Flushing. It was well organized (with a lot of rules, but they definitely make sense), most relaxing, but also brilliantly kitschy. You wear matching uniforms (a t-shirt and giant shorts-pink for girls and blue for boys) in the sauna areas and can order dumplings, a margarita, or steamed corn-on-the cob. A novel experience.
|Windows along the High Line|
- Bluestockings - an self-proclamedly activist book store and organizing space in the Lower East Side. I found inspiration in every direction, buying one book but leaving with enough reading and gift ideas to keep me going for months.
- Theater for the New City - we saw a production of A Bicycle Country, which is now over, but the strong production, small theater, and ticket prices made me want to check out some of the other shows in these small cooperative spaces.
- Union Square farmer’s market - Many of you have been here or go regularly, but I can’t resist singing the praises of the quality of the available produce. The prices were even impressively good for the location.
|What does this city need?|
New York stars in these two novels, both of which I highly recommend.
In Teju Cole’s Open City, a Nigerian-German psychologist explores his thoughts, past, and relationships while walking around the city, meeting with old friends and teachers and commenting on music and art. The result is a meditative but melancholy look at the city and at our thoughts with many beautiful moments.
My brother and I heard Cole speak as part of a writer’s workshop in Moscow, Idaho in September. I was impressed by his ability to express complex ideas in artfully simple ways. His answers to questions regarding the writing process and about politics were equally poetic. He seemed like the kind of person who could talk about anything over a pot of tea.
My favorite book about New York (and one of my favorite books ever) has been Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann. The book tells the interwoven stories of several characters surrounding the 1970s wire walk between the World Trade Center towers. I identified strongly with these characters, as different as they were from each other and from me.
What are your favorite books about New York or your city?
|View from the High Line|
|Seats on the Staten Island Ferry|