This week three of my friends are leaving NYC for different cities and all have asked me what they have to fit in before they go. The last week bucket list is challenging, as it depends on what you’ve already done, what you love doing, and what you can’t do where you’re going. Plus, a week in the city and a last week in the city are completely different. I might prescribe a balance and variation for a visitor’s one-week stay, including major, defining city landmarks you can’t miss, but for your last week, you have to relish in the discoveries you’ve already fallen for as much as you check off those last few things on your list. It’s must-see’s versus must-do’s, and here’s my best guess at how to decide…after all, I’m not leaving anytime soon.
What have you still not seen? Those things you meant to do in your first week, but kept putting off: the Statue of Liberty, top of the Empire State Building, a Broadway show, walking the Brooklyn Bridge… The quentessential aspects of New York–and there are so many–are famous for a reason, and to live here without taking advantage of every “best of” in the world would be a disservice to yourself. I mean accessibility to the best singing, dance, fashion, acting, food and culture is included in your rent… This is your top priority to move on without regret or unfinished business.
What has left you disappointed? As a firm believer that New York has anything you’re looking for and that this guarantee is why it means so many different things to so many billions of people, I advise looking for what you haven’t found yet. That Italian joint someone said was the best that didn’t blow you away? Look for the one that will. The show that everyone raved about and you didn’t get what the big deal was? See the performance you would’ve rather gone to. Didn’t get the Guggenheim, but haven’t tried the Whitney? Find your favorite pizza, bagel, deli sandwich, rooftop… It’s here somewhere.
What borough have you boycotted? That’s right, time to fess up and yes, with only one week left it is worth stepping all the way off the island. Brooklyn and Queens are as fascinating and fun as Manhattan in their own distinct ways and you have to at least get a taste of one other borough. On this one, take recommendations if you’re clueless.
What would you splurge on? You’re about to escape the cost of living that’s rocked your world, so go out with a bang. You can budget and save wherever you’re headed, but can you try top-rated restaurants, final world concert tours, trapeze school over the Hudson, or a dinner cruise on the East River? Celebrate having lived in one of the best cities in the world with one last account-emptying affair.
Have you done it all? If like so many others, you’ve spent your entire visit or stay hitting every bar and nightclub imaginable, this might be the week to sober up long enough to see a museum. And vice versa. At the same time, don’t force yourself to do something you know you have no interest in. I personally love a nice combination of art, entertainment, sports and food in my travels, but take inventory of what you enjoy and evaluate if you’ve experienced each here.
That’s it, five simple questions to help you plan one more week in the city that never sleeps. I know you just wanted a list of where to go, but you have to decide for yourself! The Manhattan experience becomes so customized to every visitor and local that I tailor every list of recommendations to the person I suggest them to. If you insist, ask me or read any of my gushing blogs on my faves. Then again, you should probably just stay…
- a little good here: New York has a ton of volunteering opportunities. I’ve mentioned Bowery Mission before and know Father’s Heart is also in need of volunteers of all kinds.
- a long way: Even for a day, they could use your help renovating their facilities or mentoring youth or working poor for job preparation.