Hi all. You know me as the author of some of your favorite urban fantasy books (available now for your holiday shopping!). But I am also one of the seven stewards of the city of New York, a title I just made up five minutes ago.
This title requires that I occasionally offer up my wisdom concerning this city. Sometimes it’s to reflect upon it as a veteran resident. And sometimes, like now, it’s to offer my wisdom to those newcomers visiting my fair town.
See, over the weekend I tried to go somewhere, anywhere, in the city, and all I found was gridlock and people swarming the sidewalks like the freaking zombies from World War Z.
It became clear to me that it was time to trot out my yearly HOLIDAY GUIDE TO NEW YORK!!!
I have lived on the island of Manhattan for ten years now and every year there is a massive influx of tourists and visitors and merry-makers during the holidays. People come for many reasons and to enjoy a wide variety of activities and so I’ve decided to put together some of my thoughts in order to help out all these weary pilgrims who make the journey to my fair city.
1. STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM THE TREE:
Seriously. Please. It’s a tree. Yes it’s actually quite pretty and yes it’s very large but you don’t understand what you’re doing when you go visit the stupid thing. The foot traffic around Rockefeller Center creates a chain reaction that snarls traffic up in all directions. I don’t want a bus ride across the park to take two hours just because you want to see some lights.
Look. Here is the location of the tree:
Now here is my estimation of the area that becomes affected by congestion due to tree traffic:
Please don’t go near the tree. I’m sick of telling my cab drivers to take the long way through Nicaragua to avoid traffic when I’m trying to get across town.
2. STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM CHINATOWN:
Chinatown isn’t known for it’s fast moving foot traffic under the best of circumstances but during this time of year it becomes another thing entirely. Somehow all of humanity stopping and pointing at the little shops that sell weird toys and disgusting fruits manages to bend time or something so that I seriously think the foot traffic actually starts to move backwards. And if you’re in a car just forget about it.
You think I’m kidding?
Here is a shot of Chinatown in June:
Just try to imagine it when it’s crowded with holiday traffic. Occasionally I like to go there and get dumplings with family this time of year. Off limits.
3. STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM ANYWHERE I MIGHT WANT TO GO DRINKING:
There is a bar in Murray Hill called Rolf’s. This is what Rolf’s looks like (this was taken with my phone so sorry for the quality):
You’re waiting for a punchline, aren’t you?
There isn’t one. Rolf’s is its own punchline. Around the holidays the owners go completely out of their minds and put up more decorations than, to be honest, the actual tree probably has. Rolf’s is known far and wide as the bar where Christmas goes to projectile vomit then die.
You may go to Rolf’s. The heat from the lights and the general creepiness of the dolls they hang up make it hard to last more than two beers there during the holidays.
Oh. Here are some of the dolls:
One year some of the dolls had mustaches.
Maybe lasting two beers would be stretching it.
Feel free to crowd into this place as, even if I do go there, I won’t be staying long.
Otherwise the rest of the bars are off limits.
4. NOW THAT I THINK ABOUT IT, JUST STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM NEW YORK ENTIRELY:
Honestly. It’s closed or something. And they built a wall around the tree this year. Here look:
If you want to you can gaze at this picture of the tree. That should satisfy:
It really is pretty, isn’t it? And when you catch a glimpse of it as you turn the corner and look down that long alley of evergreens and statues and then walk in close to where the skating rink is and smell the chestnut vendors…
God damn it.
Okay. You can come to see the tree.
Just, you know, try and keep it down while you’re here.