The summer I lived in Pittsburgh, I went on a Michael Chabon kick, beginning with reading– naturally– The Mysteries of Pittsburgh. My copy included an interview with Chabon, in which he explained his decision to set the novel in the summer as a means of providing structure. June, July, August; beginning, middle, end.
My summers have often taken me to new places, or taken me back to beloved homes; I have lived for summers in Los Angeles and New York, in Boston, in Pittsburgh, in Krakow. During those summers– and, really, ever since I was young– I’ve felt an inexplicable need to form some sort of cohesive narrative from my summer days. And maybe that is why: June, July, August; beginning, middle, end.
That narrative never is clear as it unfolds, but always seems to take shape in retrospect. (Memory is funny like that.)
Since I hope to spend the next two years living abroad, and will likely not live in New York when I return to the United States, this summer comes with a strange urgency. There is so much left that I want to do before I leave this city. At the same time, to feel that my time here is really finished seems like a good way to tempt fate– like not throwing a coin in the Trevi fountain.
So here is the list of things I want to do before I leave New York City. A list that is far from complete, that I have no real intention of crossing off entirely, and that I hope will weave itself into a narrative that lacks any real denouement.
Things To Do Before I Leave New York.
☐ Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.
☐ Ride the East River Ferry to work.
☐ Visit every AAM-accredited museum in NYC
☐ Make it to a gallery opening, or several.
☑Ride the NQ train from Ditmars to Coney Island and back again
☐ See Sol LeWitt’s Structures at City Hall Park
☐ Visit Liberty State Park
☐ Take the water taxi to a Mets game
☐ Have a picnic in Central Park and get Mister Softee ice cream
☐ Also in Central Park, see Measure for Measure
☐ See a Broadway musical (or several)
☐ See a performance at Lincoln Center
☑ Make at least one film in the HBO series at Bryant Park
☑ Attend an outdoor summer concert
☑ Stay out until I see the sunrise
☐ Visit Brighton Beach