I need your help, Dear Readers!  I have a week off at the end of June, and I’m looking for suggestions for local (NYC) stuff to do, especially if I can take some cool photographs there.

Also, we just booked our annual out-of-town vacation; we’ll be going to Chicago at the end of August for a week.  We’re going to be staying at the Acme Hotel Company, which seems kind of hipsterish but it was affordable and is close to some major attractions.  But here’s my main question — we’ve never been to Chicago before, so what should we see / eat / do???  I’m trying to book tickets for some attractions and tours, but all the choices are kind of overwhelming.  Any suggestions would be very much appreciated!!!

ETA (6/10/12): Okay, I have a few updates now.  In terms of NYC stuff, I’m definitely in an island mode, but while I have photographed Roosevelt Island before, I’ve never photographed City Island.  Which is about as close as I’m going to get to a place I’d REALLY like to explore, which is Hart Island. Unfortunately, I’d need to sneak over in a private boat in order to get there.  Well, I’ll see how far my zoom lens will work from the edge of City Island.  Also during my NYC week, I’ll be going to a movie screening thanks to a Friend In High Places.  I’ll also be seeing the chiropractor and catching up with laundry.  I’m still figuring out some more exciting stuff to do that week.  Highbridge Park is a possibility.  So is the Bronx Zoo.

I’ve been doing some Chicago planning based on the Explore Chicago website, Priceline’s tour packages, and suggestions from my friends.  I booked a river and lake architecture tour, a lunch cruise on Lake Michigan, and a Pizza & Cocktails tour.  And then we’ll schedule visits to the zoo, museums, etc. around these activities.  Woo-Hoo!