4.11.2010

New York, New York.

Well, that's it. You take me on one colonial walking tour and I'm suddenly contemplating a PhD in history. The past week has been spent filling in any and all gaps of time reading this book right here. And in case you don't get a sense of how big that book is? It's 1236 pages. When I try to read while standing in the subway, I feel like I'm weight-lifting.

I am a little addicted to the history of New York.

It's been a very interesting week here. Spring has come to New York in all of its glory. I've been reading all of the DC folks commenting on Facebook about their cherry blossoms and chuckling to myself. Ohhh you have cherry blossoms, do you? How about a little of THIS?

Blam.

That's a picture of City Hall. I took it this weekend when I marched myself over the Brooklyn Bridge and down Broadway and Wall Street to revisit the places I've been reading so much about. I'm only up to the late 17th century in Gotham, so the scope of New York at that time is much more walkable. Bowling Green to Wall Street walkable.

Of course, I did not lug that heavy book on my walk. Instead I caught up on my reading when I discovered this awesome time line in the City Hall park:


I never went through the New Yorker tourist phase because I grew up so close to the city and because, frankly, I wasn't interested. New York wasn't Paris and I was pissed about it. Lately I've been a lot more at peace with that old issue and maybe that's made me more ready to be interested in America at all (see: trip WITHIN the country for Easter).

One final nerdy recommendation. I've been downloading some pretty interesting podcasts. They're called Stuff You Missed in History Class and the girls that do it sound a lot like that old SNL skit where two women have a super-nice radio show. But if you can get past that vibe, you'll learn some cool stuff about the Stamp Act of 1765 and Pocahontas.

Is anyone else into American History? Have any of you been good NY tourists? What kinds of stuff do you recommend?

2 comments:

cecilbgulpy said...

Hey, I hear you about being a tourist at home! Something I'm really looking forward to when I visit my family this summer is my mom taking me on a tour of different stops on the Underground Railroad in Delaware. There were loads of them, apparently, and we, of course, never visited any on school trips or really studied the UR in any depth at all! Last year, I read this fantastic book about runaway slaves in Maryland (Song Yet Sung) and it made me really interested in the the Underground Railroad, communication codes, etc. It's also kind of the Amer. equiv. to the French Resistance... Bizz, Blythe

Jen said...

Oh, nice! I'd love to see the Underground Railroad stuff... btw, very cool when I'm reading stuff to notice what was up in the US in 1789 and imagine la Revolution happening across the way!