Extreme NYC bucket list

watching the clock

times square lawn chairs

Most of you know that I’m in a pretty bittersweet place as I gear up to move to Chicago this summer. I keep talking to friends about how I want to strike a balance between a “bucket list” mindset (taking advantage of any downtime during my remaining months here to do all the touristy or insider things I’ve always meant to do) and simply enjoying my routine and my people, seeing where the days take me, and not putting pressure on myself. The latter feels most important these days.

Until today at lunch, that is. I told my coworkers that I recently learned that someone from my hometown is the “non-singing talent manager” at the Metropolitan Opera. (Shout-out to Joey from Cheverly!) “I definitely want to make that happen before I leave,” I said. “That’s on the bucket list.”

“Wait. You want to be onstage in an opera at the Met?” Hannah asked.

“No, I just meant that I want to see an opera. But now that you mention it…”

What followed was a brainstorm about all of the extreme (read: probably impossible) adventures I could try to squeeze in if I wanted to amp up the Bucket List idea to, say, New York Magazine feature level. (NYMag, are you listening? I have two weeks free in June.)

What would you add to this list? More importantly, can you help me do any of these things?

  • Drive a cab OR subway train OR Staten Island Ferry
  • Run the marathon (route). Bonus points if I can get Christoph Niemann to draw me along the way. Additional bonus points if I get married at the end and am featured on the NYT Weddings page.
  • Appear in a Met opera OR Broadway show OR at Carnegie Hall OR the Apollo
  • Serve as sous chef for a famous personality OR get hands-on dim sum training in chinatown
  • Serve as voiceover artist and re-record the “We are being held momentarily by the train’s dispatcher” message
  • Ring the opening bell at the stock exchange
  • Dine at Gracie Mansion
  • Throw the opening pitch at a Mets or Yankees game
  • Swim to the Statue of Liberty OR stand on top of her torch
  • Operate the Wonder Wheel OR appear as Bearded Lady at Coney Island
  • Be the grand marshal of any parade
  • Hold the Bronx Zoo cobra
  • Get on and off every subway stop in [insert unreasonable time frame]
  • [Insert something EXTREME] at the New York Public Library
  • Appear on Good Morning America OR WNYC
  • Two words: museum heist

If I had thought of this a year ago, I could have included seasonally dependent adventures such as:

  • Push the “blastoff” button on the East River Fourth of July fireworks
  • Kickline with the Rockettes OR design a holiday window display for Macy’s
What else you got?
Photos: Central Park, May 2009; Times Square, summer 2009. 
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