I went to NYC for the first time this week, on a whirlwind business trip. I had client meetings on Thursday. But I was only in the city for 21h, from the time I landed at JFK until takeoff the next day. During that time, all I was able to see was:
– the parts of Queens along the parkways from the airport to the city
– the parts of Manhattan along the route to the hotel
– Time Square, as seen from a few blocks south on Broadway
– the three long blocks from the hotel to the offices where meetings were held
– a few blocks of Fifth Avenue from the car on the way back to JFK
And no, I did not eat a real NYC bagel while there. I prefer Montreal style bagels. Nor did I eat any pizza. This was not a trip to visit the city – it was a trip to present a client campaign strategy.
But it did start me thinking about what I would want to see if I did go to NYC as a tourist. I am a huge history nerd, after all. But Manhattan has been built & re-built so many times that it seems the only intact historical areas are the parts of the city built in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Are there that many historical areas left to visit & study, above ground? I know that the city is constantly finding history below the ground – a wall dating to 1760 was just unearthed during a subway expansion, and a British seawall was discovered in 2005, below the financial district. But as for what’s left from the Revolutionary War, it seems minimal, and mostly in Brooklyn.
So. Where does a history nerd want to go in New York City? I will keep it in mind for the next time I am there.