「ST」は紙名を新たに「Alpha」として2018年6月29日より新創刊しました。 Alpha以降の英文記事はこちら
「ST」は紙名を新たに「Alpha」として2018年6月29日より新創刊しました。 Alpha以降の英文記事はこちら


Wandering and wondering

By Tan Ying Zhen


Where would you go in New York City on your first visit?

On a recent trip, I ended up neglecting the Statue of Liberty, Broadway and the Empire State Building, all of which were on the must-see/must-do list in my guide book.

I suppose I could have squeezed those sights in since I was there for a week. But I simply didn't have enough time.

I spent an entire afternoon at Strand Book Store, an independent book store which traces its history all the way back to 1927. I looked through every rack of pre-loved books, and pored over hundreds of new titles. I could have stayed there the entire day … and still not wanted to leave.

Another day was spent at the Museum of Modern Art, and yet another at the New York Library. I also walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and then all over the Lower East Side, the Lower West Side and midtown. Could I have saved time by taking the subway? Definitely, but I'd have missed out on the wandering and exploring of random streets.

I also enjoyed people-watching and daydreaming at the High Line, an old railway track that has been converted into an elevated park. The supermarkets and farmers' markets took up even more time. There was such a great variety of fresh produce that I found myself wishing I could cook some meals during my stay.

As I thought about what to do on my last day in NYC, I found myself in a dilemma. I could visit the Statue of Liberty or catch a Broadway musical, even go up the Empire State Building. All in one day. But the thought filled me with dread. I didn't want to rush from place to place just to tick these items off my checklist.

So I ended up re-visiting the places I enjoyed most.

I went back to Strand Book Store and sure enough, I found more books to fall in love with. I also went back to the High Line, this time in the afternoon instead of the evening. I even had enough time to write a few postcards.

Do I regret missing the key sights? Yes and no.

Yes, because I'm not sure if I'll visit New York City again. So I may never get a chance to have these iconic experiences.

No, because I enjoyed all the places I visited and re-visited. Every experience is unique and there's no way I can do everything anyway. Besides, I should have faith in my own must-see list instead of relying on guidebook recommendations.

Are you planning any trips this winter vacation? What's on your must-see list?

Bon voyage, and have fun!



The Japan Times ST: November 27, 2015

The Japan Times ST 読者アンケート




2018年6月29日号    試読・購読   デジタル版