Jenna’s New Year’s Wish for You: Enjoying Your World
My wish for you in 2011 is to explore the world around you and enjoy the opportunities and fun activities your city has to offer.To help you get started, I’ll share how I make an effort to break out of my routine and take advantage of all that is New York City.A couple years ago my friends and I started what we call Yom Meyuchad (which is Hebrew for “special day”). The idea is to motivate us to go do new things in the city that we’ve never done before. We organize these special days once a week or once a month, depending on the various things going on in our lives.Over the past couple of years we have successfully crossed off many items from our cumulative bucket lists and ventured around the city and outer boroughs to do some pretty cool things. Here are three adventures that I recommend for those of you in or visiting New York City:
1. Dumpling tour of Chinatown
We did our research (asking friends, mostly–very scientific) and assembled a list of the top-rated dumpling restaurants in Chinatown, with the modest goal of hitting up seven restaurants in one night. The list included: Vanessa’s dumpling house, Vegetarian Dim Sum House, New Wonton Garden, Tasty Dumplings, Buddha Bodai, Sweet Spring Restaurant, and Joe’s Shanghai.Google maps helped us chart our walking tour, and we began our mission to find the best vegetarian dumplings (yes, only vegetarian–sorry, we’re not big fans of pork). We ended up eating a lot of great dumplings. We also only made it to four of the seven places due to larger-than-expected portions, an overall feeling of nausea, and a surprising lack of vegetarian options. Even so, my favorite was Vanessa’s fried dumplings. Because everything tastes better fried.
2. July 4th Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest
We trekked out to Coney Island to watch Joey Chestnut eat 60 hot dogs in ten minutes. It was a pretty awesome, disgusting site to see, but definitely a good time. Once we the contest was over, we walked around the boardwalk. Unfortunately, the lines were too long at the Cyclone. Plus, we value our lives.
3. Ferry ride to Staten Island
The goal for this Yom was to take a ferry ride somewhere without spending a lot money. When we discovered that the Staten Island Ferry is free and runs regularly, we knew we were in for a beautiful summer evening. The ferry ride took about 30 minutes and gave us amazing views of lower Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island. Once on Staten Island we enjoyed a delicious dinner (in Staten Island!) at a restaurant close to the dock and then jumped back on the boat and went home. It was a simple, low-cost, and easy adventure.
My goal for 2011 is to spend more time venturing into Brooklyn and tour more neighborhoods of the city. A few upcoming adventures to look forward to: an ice cream tour that starts at the Brooklyn Creamery, continues by walking across the Brooklyn Bridge to the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, and ends at 16 Handles in the East Village; brunch at Miriam‘s and the Brooklyn Museum; and a food tour of the Lower East side. Notice a theme?I wish for you all to create adventures wherever you are. Find new restaurants, explore different neighborhoods, and enjoy the people you’re closest to. I would also love to hear about your adventures. We are always looking forward to our next Yom Meyuchad.Happy New Year.