Tuesday, August 27, 2013

NYC: The Weekend of Awesomeness

Well here I am, finally getting around to doing a proper NYC post.  This post could also be entitled the one where I shared a ton of pictures.  So here goes.

I flew to NYC on Thurday night to visit my dear friend Alli.  This trip had been planned MANY MONTHS ago and for the longest time, it just seemed like the weekend would never come.  But looking back, I think I was meant to be in NYC this past weekend because this trip fell at a time when I really needed the company and support of a good friend - but more on that later...

On Friday morning we got a slow start (after staying up past midnight, catching up and watching Project Runway which is an obsession that Alli and I share).  After fueling with coffee (for me) and ice tea (for Alli), we headed down to the Tenement Museum.  I had read about this museum years ago so was happy to hear that Alli was also interested in it.  If you visit (or live in) New York, I HIGHLY recommend this museum if you have any interest in the early immigrants to the U.S. and their pursuit of the American Dream.  Alli and I did the Shop Owner tour, which was so worth the money spent.

After the museum, we headed over to Katz Deli which is a famous NYC deli.  Their meat is GF so I was able to eat a whole pile of pastrami.  In hindsight, Alli and I should have split something because they give you SO much meat.  This place was nuts (and probably over-priced) but it was something I wanted to experience.

From here on out, I'll let the pictures (mostly) do the talking.

After lunch, we took the subway over to Washington Square as I needed to make some phone calls and figured this would be a peaceful, quiet environment to do so.  I just think the outdoor spaces in New York are so gorgeous!
After sitting in Washington Square for awhile, we headed to the High Line, which is an elevated park built on what used to be train tracks.  It's the coolest thing ever and another MUST DO for anyone who visits New York.  We walked as much as the 'ol boot would allow and sat on a park bench for awhile, taking in the sights around us.

It was a warm day, so to quench my thirst, I got a shaved ice.  This guy literally shaved the ice in front of my very eyes, and then they added strawberry and plum flavoring.  The flavoring was so fresh and natural, you could see pieces of fruit in it.  It was delish (and the guy sharing the ice was easy on the eyes.  Ha).

After the High Line, we headed over to Chelsea Market so we could pick up some caramels that Alli has raved about - they were so good!  The shops are so cute and the building is really cool, as you can see from this picture.  We once again sat down for quite awhile so I could rest my foot.

My phone battery died towards the end of the day on Friday due to an excessive # of phone calls/texts/whatsapp messages...  so sadly you don't get to see the delicious food I got at Colicchio and Sons where we had dinner.  Sadly, I did not site Tom Colicchio himself.  I might have fainted out of excitement if I had as I ADORE him.

On Saturday morning, I met up with a college friend who lives just across Central Park from Alli.  She brought her adorable 15 month old and we had a great time catching up on the outdoor patio of a cute French Bistro.

After parting ways with Alissa, we headed over to the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn.  The views of the Manhattan skyline was stunning and the weather was perfect.

We ate lunch at Smorgasbord, which is an outdoor food festival held each Saturday.  There were so many GF choices, but I went with a coconut daal and a beet-flavored lemonade (I adore beets, this drink was so delicious).  Not pictured are the french fries that Alli and I shared.  Yum.

After stuffing ourselves sufficiently, we walked over to Brooklyn Charm where I picked out a bracelet for myself and a couple of other things for friends.  While they assembled and engraved mine and Alli's jewelry, we went to a bar next door where I had an awesome drink that had muddled peach and ginger.  I mean nothing says vacation like drinking a cocktail at 3 in the afternoon.

Voila.  The finished project.  May be hard to see, but it's engraved with the word hope.  Right now, I am dealing with some tough things and I need a physical reminder to invoke this emotion.

On Sunday, we went to brunch and then headed over to Riverside Park, which is another beautiful park not far from Alli's apartment.  We sat on the park bench for quite awhile, soaking in the sun, until I had to make my way back to the airport.

Alli was a fabulous host and planned out a weekend full of activities that a local would do, sprinkled in with some touristy stuff (because afterall, I am a tourist).  And the weather was phenomenal - 80 degrees, sunshine, blue skies, no humidity.  I soaked up lots of Vitamin D.  Great weather aside, it was great to have back-to-back weekends where I was with good friends non-stop.  My soul needs that right now.

I know this post is upbeat and positive.  How can't it be when I am talking about one of my favorite cities in the world.  New York sparkles for me and it's can't help but rub off on me when I am there.  But while this weekend was amazing, it was also a difficult weekend for me.  I received my diagnosis from my doctor on Friday, hence the reason for all the phone calls/texts/etc on Friday.  I am not ready to talk about it yet, but when I am, I will share more about it here.  I am not trying to be vague here, it's just that at this point, if I tried to talk about it here, it'd be a post full of questions, not answers.  But, it would feel weird to not acknowledge that something difficult happened this week because I am all about being real on this blog. 

When I have more answers, I'll fill you in.  Bottom line, I am going to be ok.  I mean, it's not cancer.   But I am going through a rough patch and will be for awhile, and the tears flow very freely these days, and I feel like I am in this tiny boat in the middle of a rough ocean in the midst of a storm...  but I know I have to believe that calmer waters are ahead. 

Have you been to New York?  If so, what is your favorite thing to do there?  I can't pick a favorite activity we did, it's just too hard to choose.  My favorite thing was having an awesome sidekick/New York expert to show me around!


Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I LOVE THIS POST!!! NY is my favourite city. I have been there three times, each time for 8 days, and have literally walked every inch of Manhattan. I have so many favourite restaurants etc. there that I cannot choose. I love the MOMA, Wicked on Broadway, and I loved eating on a candlelit patio in Little Italy. I love Pomme Frites for their fries and endless choice of dips. I totally want to try that smorgasborg! I am "home sick" for NY right now, because it truly does feel like home to me.

Becky said...

What a great weekend you had! Love that you got that bracelet - so good for you right now I'm sure! Wish I could have been there with you!

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

I'm so glad that you had such a great weekend in NYC and the weather cooperated so much! Wonderful! I now have some things on my list of things to do next time I am in NYC. I love Hi-Line too and of course, the food in NY cannot be beat. Overall I have kind of a love/hate relationship with NYC, but I do always remember there is a lot to love :)

I love the bracelet and I hope it carries you through some of the rough times ahead...
Though frankly I'm hoping most of the time ahead is NOT rough times! You have had enough of those to last a lifetime, I'd say.

Abby said...

NYC looks so charming. I look forward to visiting it some day. Ryan and I would really like to visit it during the holidays. I don't know if that's a good or bad idea (we may be naive).

Beet Lemonade?! That is a matchmade it heaven. I adore beets, and eat them in excess. Yum!!

Marlys said...

I loved this post and NYC appears charming! I was there when I was a teenager and didn't appreciate it like I would now. I'm glad you had such a perfect time! I love the bracelet - keep wearing it to remind yourself to always have hope even through the storms of life! Love you!

missris said...

I'm so glad you had a (much deserved) fun getaway in NYC!! And I hope that whatever you're dealing with gets better very soon.

Jeanie said...

I haven't been to NYC for ages and it looks like you had a blast! I'm just loving every photo, but mostly I'm loving your smile.

Hang in there, my friend, and hold onto the joy of that weekend when you are feeling a little shaky or worried!

Sending hugs!

Nora said...

I was thinking the SAME Thing about the shaved ice guy. definitely cute =) I haven't been to NYC since 2002... far too long. It's on our list for next year. I really hope we can make it as I miss the hustle and bustle of a city like that. I love it there. Last time I visited I sat and stared out the hotel window at all the lights, movements, sounds for several hours. It's a truly mesmerizing place.

Glad you had a lovely weekend; well deserved indeed.


Stephany said...

I will second Nora's comment because I was thinking how good-looking he was, too! That always helps. ;)

I am SO HAPPY you had a wonderful time in NYC. Gosh, you deserve SOME wonderful moments from this year. I've actually never been to NYC (I know, right?!) but I'm hoping to maybe go sometime next year. It's the #1 place I want to travel to!

Leigh said...

I am so glad that you had an amazing in NYC! I think we went to that deli as well...were the sandwhiches just stacked with meat? We went in the winter, so didn't get to see the high line. I would love to go back to see it though!

Sending you a VERY big hug right now!

Alli said...

I only have one issue with this post; you showed the very cute shaves ice guy, but made no mention of the adorable guy at Brooklyn Charm who shamelessly flirted with us!

Seriously, it was a fantastic weekend despite everything and I'm so glad that you were with someone who loves you when you got all the crappy news and not back in Charlotte.

And please tell Abby that she is definitely not naive, it is always a good idea to visit NYC during the holidays.

Caroline said...

So glad you had a great weekend in NYC! I love NYC and always recommend the High Line to anyone who goes haha :) My favorite part about NYC.. that's so hard to choose. I love how you can explore forever and never get bored, there's always something new to take pictures of or walk to or see. Sometimes I really miss living there.. especially when dealing with the subway in Boston!

Jen Feeny said...

I love the Highline, such a beautiful, unique park.

And I'm SO glad you got to have a wonderful weekend after what a shitshow Friday brought.


Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

I am SO GLAD you had this weekend in NYC, well, aside from the crappy news. One of the things I love about NYC is it's outdoor spaces - not just the enormity that is Central Park, but Riverside Park (and the associated pedestrian walkways), the Highline, Battery Park, etc. Most people don't think of green space when they think of NY, but it's definitely there. (Though, I will toot my own city's horn and say Chicago does a better job of maintaining many more parks!)

NYC is also one of my favorite cities. I have the luxury of getting to stay in a family friend's spacious apartment, mere steps from Washington Square Park, whenever we visit. Since my brother moved to New Jersey, we haven't visited in quite some time ... but, me thinks another visit in 2014 should be in the works!

Shoshanah said...

I'm actually not a huge NYC fan. I think it's just too big of a city for me. But there's certain aspects I do love, mainly the Broadway shows. And I'm pretty sure I went to the Tenement back in 8th grade.

Definitely sounds like an awesome weekend though, and I'm wishing you all the best!!!

Amber said...

I'm so glad you had such a great weekend and also SO GLAD you were with Alli when you heard from the doctor. I have never been to NYC but I am dying to visit! One day. Hopefully Alli can show me around too :)

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

(((())) Looks like so much fun!

Cherry Blossoms said...

I am glad you were able to get away and have a wonderful time with a good friend. I can't believe you missed Laduree!
PS: Your bracelet is so cute!

Linda said...

Ah I miss NYC. :) It's been 5 years since I last visited and I've been a total of 5 times. I had to tell myself to stop visiting so I could see more of the rest of the country. My favorites are the wacky museums and the food. And my friends who live there.