New York is known as the city that never sleeps. There is always something going on, some bustle or commotion to participate in. As a college student here for four years, that was one of the draws – the lights, the plays, the movies, the bars and clubs. As I get older and live in the city longer, however, I am finding myself drawn to the quieter parts of the city, where I can get away from the crowds and almost forget where I am for a while.
A few weekends ago, my husband and I decided to go for a Sunday stroll through the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. It was our first visit to this hidden gem and one that we hope to repeat often now that we have discovered it. The trickling water and swaying maples in the Japanese Garden (pictured here) transported us to a world far away from the honking cars just meters from us. We watched a turtle sun himself by a waterfall and admired the leaves that were just beginning to change color. The Garden quickly became one of my favorite places in the city and I look forward to returning with a book and notebook to spend some literary time among the cherry trees.
Despite being drawn to the quieter parts of the city, another huge benefit to living in New York is the abundance of restaurants, both fine dining and dives, that serve superb food for those who know where to find it. Even the food carts are spectacular, with some of the more famous ones drawing hour-long lines. One of my favorite restaurants when I lived in Manhattan was Cafe Fiorello, where I could take in views of Lincoln Center while rubbing shoulders with famous New Yorkers. Now, living in Brooklyn, I tend to opt for closer restaurants in Fort Greene and Park Slope. My husband jokes that we could eat at a different restaurant every night, within walking distance of our apartment, and not run out for a few months. And the food would be delicious at each place. The abundance of varied and delicious choices is one of the things that makes New York City so special for a foodie like me.