Making up one half or our staff’s Middlebury College contingent (along with Operations Coordinator Ricardo Martini), XiAn supervises Beyond Times Square’s operations department, ensuring that everything flows seamlessly between vendors, our guests, and us, and has been doing so wonderfully since 2014. XiAn was born in Far Rockaway — a beachside community at the border of Queens and Long Island’s Nassau County — and lives in Washington Heights.
The lifelong New Yorker lists the Bahamas, Barbados, and Orlando’s Universal Studios (she and her friends gamed the system by visiting after most colleges’ spring breaks; there weren’t any lines for any rides!) among her favorite trips she’s taken, but says that New Zealand was her favorite. That said, when she’s not traveling outside of the city, she’s an avid explorer of its less well-known offerings, listing an idyllic, hidden garden at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields (in bustling Greenwich Village) as her favorite secret spot.
More about XiAn
Most Recent Trip: Portsmouth, NH
Favorite Trip Experience: going to Universal Studios in Orlando while on a cruise to Florida and the Bahamas. We went after everyone else’s Spring Break (I was a junior in college at the time), so there were no lines and we got to ride the coasters multiple times in a row.
Next trip: Barbados
Dream Destination: New Zealand
What you never travel without: music and Sudoku
Top 5 things to do in NYC:
- Walk the High Line
- Eat some real NYC pizza
- Visit at least 3 museums (they shouldn’t be all art!)
- See a Broadway show (I’d suggest Aladdin)
- Go to an observation deck (I’d suggest One World Observatory and then Top of the Rock to get different views)
Favorite NYC Neighborhood: Greenwich Village
Favorite attraction/landmark/building: Central Park
Favorite Hidden Gem: Secret gardens at St. Luke in the fields
Favorite food/restaurant: DBGB Kitchen and Bar
Best thing to do in NYC on a rainy day: watch a movie.
Best thing to do in NYC on a snowy day: visit a museum.
Tip for people travelling to NYC for the first time: when street numbers go up, that’s north. Once you know that, it’s a lot easier navigating the city (can’t help you for the areas that have names instead of numbers though)!
Do not leave New York without…: visiting at least one borough that is not Manhattan.
Something people don’t know about NYC: NYC has more people than 40 of the 50 U.S. states.
Favorite Travel Quote: “Oh the places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss