Nina In New York: The Ultimate Staycation

A young professional’s take on the trials and tribulations of everyday life in New York City.

The other day I was taking a little lunch break in the middle of Times Square, enjoying my front-row seat in the middle of The Big Apple. I let my mind wander as I watched a group of tourists get conned into buying mix CDs (autographed personally for them!). A mental patient shuffled by, muttering angrily to anyone who would listen. A gentle breeze carrying the scent of human waste teased at my hair, and I allowed my lids to get heavy, my eyes to close for a moment. I sighed and settled deeper into my community-use lounge chair. I began to drift away, calmed by the flashing lights, the soothing bleating of the massive crowds, and the sweet lullaby of club promoters cooing, “HEY, do you like to laugh? Hey girls, do you like to laugh? Do you like to laugh? Don’t you like to laugh…” Just before I dropped off into a blissful doze, I thought to myself: “This. This is what living in this city is all about.”

See Also: Top 5 Tourist Traps To Skip In NYC | The Food & Sights Near Columbus Circle

When I awoke, I became aware of a creeping feeling that I could be marginally happier. All these wonderful sights, sounds and smells stirred my appetite, and I realized that this idyllic scene was missing a key element: food and drink! What would make my midday mini-vacation all the more perfect? Why, a frosty glass of wine and personal pizza delivered to my lap, of course.

Thank you, Mayor Bloomberg, for anticipating the most important needs and desires of Manhattan residents and workers and inviting restaurants and vendors to bid for placement in the plaza. I don’t know why you guys are all so down on him. Before this, I used to have to spend my lunch hour crouched on the corner of 43rd and Broadway, starving and sweating and choking on tour bus fumes. Now the air is clean and we’re free to enjoy our favorite neighborhood the way we’ve always wished we could.

I know where I’ll be spending my summer. And I hear they’ve got their sights set on building 20 more of these car-free urban oases! I can’t wait to hunker down by MSG/Penn Station and dig into a good, dense novel.


Dear Readers: While I am rarely at a loss for words, I’m always grateful for column ideas. Please feel free to e-mail me your suggestions.

Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side.

The Nina Archives:

Wanted: Mango Thief – Dead Or Alive

Seal & The City

A New Nissan Life (Get It?)

The End May Or May Not Be Nigh…

Happy New Year!

The Garden State Diet (No Garden Salads)

  • NINA


  • Bill

    Maybe the comments wouldn’t be so negative if this column wasn’t so inane.

    • free will

      if it’s so inane, why are you reading it? this is what i don’t understand. the web’s a big place, i’m sure you can find another bridge to sit under.

  • SM

    To Kristen and Midi-man — This column is hilariously sarcastic. I don’t understand how you could miss it.

    • midi-man

      I really do not read it sarcasm, she sounds like see supports him. I really dislike the Mayor and his attitude toward us working class.

    • Kristen

      I got the sarcasm… I was referring to the hoards of tourists that DO sit there day in, day out…. Gross! I feel like telling them that they could be sitting in a chair that a bum urinated on the day before…

  • Kristen

    Ugh! Just walking through that place makes me long for a “Silkwood” shower! I can’t imagine how anyone would WANT to sit there!

  • wow, seriously?

    sarcasm, man. it’s called sarcasm. here’s a definition:

  • Hrothgar

    CBS is lucky to have a resident poet and humorist on this site. And why don’t the people running this thing take 5 minutes a day and curate the hateful little weenies outta here? They spoil the atmosphere for the rest of us who enjoy this blog every day.

    • agreed

      seriously. this site should really get its act together with the comment moderation, it’s awful and cheats the higher quality articles all over the site. little gems like this should be curated, not thrown to idiots with nothing better to do than figure out ways to spit vitriol without technically swearing. v’s instead of u’s…very clever.

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