PJ and I are back from New York. All I can say is, so that’s what everbody’s been talking about all these years! Like just about everyone else, I too love New York! I’ll have several posts about our trip in the coming days, but I thought that I would start with an overview of my thoughts about visiting Manhattan for the first time.

Times Square at NightI’ve taught about New York for years now. The texts in my GLBT lit course often revolve around New York as one of the most important havens for gay people throughout the twentieth century. It’s a shame that it’s taken me so long to get there. I’m definitely provincial, the son of working class, conservative parents who never really instilled within me a desire to travel to places like New York or Paris or wherever. One of the things that I like about being with PJ is his urging that we travel and see places. I’ve tended to be a homebody, but I think I’m increasingly gung-ho about going to major cities and experiencing more of the world. In the past decade, I’ve come to love London, Madrid, Washington DC, and San Francisco. I know I’ll never be a New Yorker, and I realize that one trip to the city is only a small taste of what it has to offer. But New York is now on the list of cities I love. It was everything everyone said it would be: wonderful, vibrant, commercial, tawdry, busy, noisy, expensive, and fabulous.

We had three full days in the city. Our hotel was about two blocks from Times Square, so we saw the theater district every day. We saw many of the usual tourist sites: Rockefeller Center and the Christmas Tree, Radio City Music Hall (though we didn’t go in or see the Rockettes), the Empire State Building, Macy’s Christmas window displays, the U.N., St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Grand Central Station, the World Trade Center site, and Battery Park.