My NYC To Do List

Last weekend, I was in a funk. It was ugly. Like, laden-with-guilt ugly.

You see, I have to make an effort every single day to keep moving, to do the next thing, to check items off a To Do list, big or small. I make lists in my head, on paper, in my phone – they’re how I know what to do next with my time. It’s not uncommon for me to write out my own schedule for a Saturday or Sunday, just to keep myself beholden to something, to keep me from exactly the kind of day I sank into on that Sunday.

And I don’t think it’s like that for everyone. I think some people don’t have to try to keep moving, they just do it. Like Dory the undaunted blue tang fish who “just keeps swimming,” it’s just how they’re wired.

I am decidedly not wired like that, and when faced with a block of unstructured time, I will succumb to the temptation to stay as sedentary as possible, as long as possible.

That funky Sunday, with my time not obligated to any effort in particular, I couldn’t get myself to engage in anything at all. I lazed about my apartment for hours, and at the end of the day had hardly anything to show for the time.

Before I crawled into bed, dejected by my complete uselessness for the day, I decided to do my best to not let it happen again. Living in the most amazing city in the world, how could I justify spending an entire day in the same 160 square feet?! There are literally dozens of ways to spend one’s time at any given moment in this city, day or night. I had no excuse for my funk.

I’m all for time at home and the peace of mind brought about by domesticity. I’m even all for a day hibernating inside, especially when there’s a new season of House of Cards to mainline or when you’re just enough under the weather to justify it. But everything in moderation, yes?

So, I clicked away online that night to drum up as many “things to do in New York” lists I could find, determined to have endless options to keep the nothing-to-do guilt at bay. Before long, I had cultivated my own list of sites, experiences, tours, restaurants and more to refer to when the next round of immobility rears its ugly head, and I’ve decided to share them with you.

Below are the categories of each group of outings or experiences. Over the next week, I’ll add a post with each subsequent list, so check back often to see what I’m looking forward to checking out. You can find them at the NYC List tag I’ve created, too. It’s worth noting that you won’t find the likes of Times Square on these lists. After almost a year in the city, I’m specifically looking to peel down to the deeper layers of this onion, to find what’s not in every tourist’s guidebook. It’s time to dig deeper and discover more about this place I now call home. 

And of course, as I get out there and do each of these things, I plan to share the experiences with you. So, win win! I get out into the world, you get a new blog post! (Wanna do more than read about the adventures? Come visit!)

Museums and Sites – beyond the Met and MoMA, there are so many spots to wander for their collections, their history. Here are the ones I want to check out.

Entertainment – I’ll be creating a whole list of just the Broadway/off-Broadway shows I want to see this season (because wow, there are a lot). But beyond what’s on the Great White Way, there are a million and one ways to be entertained in the Big Apple. Here’s my list.

Outdoors – like everyone subjected to this disgusting winter we’ve been having, I am counting down the days to warmer weather, and the opportunities to be active that come with it. Here’s where I’d like to be as days get longer and the sun gets brighter.

Sightseeing – here’s a category of the places that, in and of themselves, are worthy of visiting just to be able to say I’ve been there. 

Food/Drink – as with the Entertainment category above, I’ll be drafting up a sub-category here dedicated to Brunch – it’s simply that much of an artform in this city. Beyond that, there are many ways to imbibe and indulge around town, and I plan on doing just that with this list of spots.

The lists are by no means comprehensive – how could they be? I’m sure I’ve not only missed some must-sees on each list, but left off entire categories I could explore if I were inclined to do so. It occurs to me, for example, that I’ve not called out a list dedicated to the vast fashion/shopping opportunities in a city like this. Darn.

I reserve the right to modify the lists as I go, to add new sights or experiences or entire categories. I also reserve the right to opt for a day in when the mood moves me. Though hopefully with all the options just outside my door, I’ll choose the course of non-action much less frequently.

7 responses to “My NYC To Do List”

  1. I am SO the same way. Gotta keep the agenda full or my energy level is shot. Looking forward to reading your many lists!

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