2004_4_asktimessquare.jpgI’ve got some out-of-town coming to visit me this weekend. They want to go see some things in the city that, frankly, I have no interest in. Should I indulge them or should I overrule them and take them to see some of the greater and lesser-known things the city has to offer?
Kim, Park Slope

You have to find a balance. A good host should always cater to his or her guests, and visitors to New York City tend to have certain expectations for what they will see and do there. You should take your guests to a few of the things they want to see. Keep in mind, though, indulging in some tourist wanderings is not as bad as it might seem at first. Gothamist did those field trips to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in second grade, too, and tries to avoid Times Square at all costs, but there’s something to be said for getting in touch with some of the things that make this city so great. If your want to go to the top of the Empire State Building, make the most of it; the view is spectacular. However, this is your city, after all. In addition to doing what your want to do, suggest some alternatives based on your own interests. Give them the unofficial tour of your neighborhood, take them to your favorite dive bar, go to see an off-off-Broadway play, show them the parts of the city that you especially love.

Having visit is also a good excuse to go see parts of the city you don’t see on a regular basis. If your want to see Chinatown, this might be a good time to go see if that dumpling restaurant your boss recommended really is as good as advertised. Take your camera along and take pictures of quirky things you find along the way.