What you should really do in New York (1955)

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What you should really do in New York

It’s a wonderful town

by Bill Leonard

That’s new York for you — if you know where to go and what to see. Let this native son, whose beat is the big city, be your guide.

“New York? It’s a nice place to visit… but I wouldn’t want to live there.” Perhaps not all of New York’s thirteen-million annual visitors sum up their business or pleasure trip this way, but the percentage, I suspect, is high.

The phrase seems to imply a certain criticism — as if the out-of-towner found New York too rich for a steady diet, as if it were a restaurant where the food was admittedly superb but, day in, day out, not to be compared with home cooking. Yet, what could be more flattering to a city than a reputation for excitement so pervasive that you don’t think you could stand it for any length of time?

No, my quarrel with visitors to New York is not that they don’t want to stay forever — but that too many of them have about one third of the fun they could have and pay too much for what they get. To my way of thinking, they stop at the wrong places, eat in the wrong restaurants, see only a fraction of the most interesting sights, and take home the wrong gifts.


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