Friday, November 28, 2008

11 Things

Taxis, A Quintessentially New York feature

----A Postcard from New York Encore----

With the addition of one more thing that makes New York so very special for me.


Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

On a return flight from LA last week, I looked out the plane window at the landscape below ablaze with light; building lights, expressway lights, bridge lights and car lights zooming rhythmically in a sea of traffic. Immediately I got the rush, the little exhilarating shiver I always get when I come home and it hits me how lucky I am to live in this incredible place.

Now after a festive Thanksgiving surrounded by friends and family, I pause a moment to share 10 things I am extremely thankful for but take for granted far too often.

1. That this city truly never sleeps. It is alive with places where you can listen to jazz, like Birdland, into the wee hours, and places where you can just sit and chat with friends until 3 or 4 in the morning.

2. That the US Post Office at 33rd Street and 8th Avenue is open 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Need to have something postmarked, perhaps your tax return on April 15th? Just get there by 12 AM. In most US cities, even major ones, the Post office is closed by 5 or 6 PM at the latest.

3. The late Federal Express Drop off. It is almost 9 PM, you discover you’ve got to have something delivered tomorrow. In any other city, you would be out of luck. Not here, last drop off at 537 West 33rd Street between 10th and 11th Avenue is 9:30PM.

4. The Barnes and Noble at Lincoln Center. If like me, you find it impossible to free up an hour or two during the day to get to a bookstore; arrive here at 9 PM and you will still have hours to browse through books in your favorite sections. The store is open until 12 AM every day.

5. Cipriani for gourmet take-out. Your sister or a friend calls to say they are on the way over, and like most New Yorkers you have nothing in your fridge; after all, with over 45,000 restaurants to choose from, we frequently dine out. No need to settle for Chinese, Mexican or Pizza. More on this amazing place in an upcoming Postcard.

6. Staples and FedEx Kinko's. Ever find yourself in a situation where you finally finish a last minute report or presentation and you need to have copies made and professionally bound? Staples at 14th Street and Union Square is open until 10 PM or there is a 24-hour Kinko’s in almost every neighborhood.

7. Easy access to the most renowned writers, artists, musicians, healers and guru’s. One can hear them play in intimate surroundings, meet them at gallery openings or lectures, or talk with them after a show or informal gathering at places like The New School. Enroll in a drawing class at the Art Students League, and there standing next to you is a famous artist, pencil and paper in hand honing his craft.

8. The New York Public Library. The city’s greatest asset belongs to all of us and we do not take advantage of even 10% of all its offers. Look for an upcoming series on the Library in Postcards early in the New Year.

9. Fairway – Like No other Market. Yes, Zabar’s and Citarella are wonderful and they too bring food and delicacies from far corners of the globe within our reach; but Fairway makes no pretense and doesn’t try to be anything other than an insanely harried, bustling, crowded-at-all-hours market.

10. The Spa at the Madison Hotel for the most exquisite Shiatzu massage. Back walk anyone? I never have time to do these things during normal business hours. Here, I can book a last minute appointment or just walk in at 7 or 8 PM and leave at midnight or later, completely rejuvenated.

11. The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting is an annual thrill. The moment the more than 30,000 lights go on will leave you giddy and speechless. The Christmas season doesn't really start for me until I experience that special magic. Share it with family and friends this year on December 3rd. Just get there early and secure a spot as it is guaranteed to be a "gridlock alert day." Click here to learn more about this years 72-foot, 8 ton Norwood Spruce.

Yes, only in New York.

Jacqueline Cable
For Postcards from New York

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Photo by Joseph Knight

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