No, I don’t actually mean flight delays although those are inevitable this weekend. Better avoid any place east of the Mississippi.
What gets me is the news coverage. Gothamist is right. The minute it starts snowing in the city, all news channels have a tendency to report the same old cliches over and over. You know some poor struggling journalist is waiting for his big on-screen break so he/she is more than happy to report (ski cap and gloves on, of course) from the side of the Long Island Expressway, calling the “events” all kinds of ridiculous names and showing fancy alert graphics. And, there is always that footage of some dude skiing through Central Park or kids building snowmen in Greenwich Village. Oh, please, no!
While the snow is nice, white and fluffy right now, I am pretty sure it will turn into nasty slush by the end of the day. If you have a choice, don’t come close to the city this weekend. If you want to be a part of it, watch the breathless coverage of the “worst storm this season” online.
When you’re stopping over for a few days in a city you’re not familiar with — assuming you’re not interested in the tourist traps — it’s hard to know what to check out. Even locals, overwhelmed with the responsibility of giving “good advice” to an out-of-towner, usually revert to the old standbys — recommending the same old places you could’ve learned about from a quick trip the city’s tourism website.
Enter the IST sites. This network of blogs was started in NYC under the name Gothamist. The New York site is fiercely energetic and opinionated, written by local scenesters, and covers arts, culture, politics and local oddities in the five boroughs. In the wake of Gothamist’s enormous success, there are now similar sites in many U.S. cities — and even a few international options — offering a plethora of information about their respective local happenings.
So if you’re traveling to Austin, Boston, Chicago, Houston, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Paris, Philadelphia, San Francisco, São Paulo, Shanghai, Seattle, Toronto, or Washington D.C., start reading the corresponding IST site three or four days prior, and you’ll arrive ready to fit in like a seasoned local.