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April 21, 2012

These Streets Will Make You Feel Brand New; Big Lights Will Inspire You

{Travel Links Located at Bottom of the Post}

I have a complex relationship with New York City.  During my very short year on Long Island I remember getting sick to my stomach every time I arrived back "home" at the Newark airport.  I hated everything about New York: I thought it was dirty, I thought people were mean, I didn't understand the mystique of it all.  I unjustifiably blamed New York for all my troubles, and therefore I associate the City with some pretty bad memories.

On the other hand, the City itself was my salvation.  On weekends, when I couldn't take studying anymore, I would ride the LIRR into the City and just walk, for miles, with no destination.  To just feel the hum of the energy and remind myself why I took such a leap of faith in the first place.

Its been about five years since I left New York City and I was apprehensive about the return.  Dan and I had planned to meet up some of our friends for a mini vacation and I wondered what would happen upon our landing in Newark. Would it be what I remembered?  Oddly, the first thing I noticed is that the airport looked remarkably cleaner.  I know now that this is not because it actually was cleaner, but because I was always at that airport in fit of depression that certainly clouded my ability to see things clearly.

We got to stay at a pretty incredible apartment in Manhattan and for the first time in a long time I saw the City as a tourist; not as an overwhelmed, overworked, and probably clinically depressed 1L law student.

We started the morning at the 911 Memorial.  When I left New York, it was six years after 9/11 and the memorial was still a big hole in the ground.  Therefore, I was really looking forward to going back and seeing what has been in the works for a very long time.

The memorial was stunning, extremely touching, and simply: so well done.


{the new towers}

{us at the memorial}

{Dan and I at the Memorial}

After the memorial, we decided to hit up Century 21 so the girls could do some shopping. The boys moaned and bitched about having to wait, but after about an hour we met back up and I was shocked to find Dan with a cart overflowing with shirts and ties.  Yes ladies, this store is mecca not just for woman, but for men as well.  It offers name brand clothes at a hell of a deal, and we probably came out of there with $300 worth of merchandise for around $130. 

That night was truly one of my favorites nights in the history of vacations.  We had scored some pretty incredible tickets to the Book of Mormon, a show Dan and I had been wanting to see forever.  Really, the whole point of the trip was to see this play.  So we got dressed up...

...enjoyed a quick cocktail on our private rooftop deck... know, one of the TWO private rooftop decks...

...and we headed on over to the theatre.

Because of the world's most awesome hook-up, we scored some incredible seats.  So incredible that Cameron Diaz, who was also at the show, but was sitting behind us. Sorry Cam!

I cannot say enough good things about this play.  I love musicals, and this was hands down the best one I have ever seen.  At intermission I went to the bathroom and literally had mascara running down my cheeks from crying from laughing so hard.  The whole audience was in an uproar, and I cannot remember the last time I had a smile on my face for that long.  If you get the opportunity to go to this play, you must.  Its an experience not to be missed. (I will note, however, its can be pretty vulgar, so you have been warned). 

Most mornings we spent attempting to track down the perfect New York style diner breakfast:

 As you can see, I think we found it. 

On a separate food note, we got reservations at the most amazing New York City restaurant ever.  Its called La Carbonara and it is located at 202 West 14th Street (linked below).  Its exactly what you want a NYC Italian restaurant to be.  We were greeted at the door by the owner, had amazing service, the food was delicious, and at the end the owner gave us a free round of drinks.  How incredible is that?

 We did the obligatory Brooklyn Bridge walk, which I personally love.  I am all about touristy things and the BB offers the best views of the City.

It also provided some much needed exercise after lunch.

{obligatory Brooklyn Bridge pose with significant other}

But honestly, the majority of our trip was pretty low key.  

I woke up to views of this (above), which made me feel like a real New Yorker

We walked down to the new(ish) High Line Park which was awesome.  The park was is a long, elevated walking path/park built on an old freight line.  You could still see the tracks in the path, and it offered some great views.

We enjoyed some of New York's off beat humor (what does this even mean?)

On one day I forced everybody to walk down to Magnolia Bakery to get the famous cupcakes.

Years later, the line still stretches around the block.  But honestly? They were not as good as I remember them.  I think Sprinkles has spoiled me. I don't really know much of anything that tastes better then a Sprinkles cupcake.

Most nights we spent staying up way too late playing cards on the deck overlooking the view of the City.  When you have access to such a cool place, why not? 

The trip was epic, one of our best ever.  We will be talking about it for years to come and I could not have asked for a better vacation. 

Yet, one of the games we played while in New York was "if you had this apartment, would you want to live in New York? 


Not really.  New York City is definitely not for me, but it was nice to go back.  It was kind of like making up with a friend after a terrible fight.  You might not ever be best friends again, but you can learn to love and respect them for who they are and the potential they encompass.  I can honestly say that after this trip, New York and I are friends again. 

New York Trip Links 
911 Memorial (reserve tickets in advance)


Token Yankee said...

I didn't know you lived in New York before! I am glad your trip was good, your pictures are awesome. I use to go to that Century 21 a lot when my friends lived in the financial district and I was hoping to find a job in the city!

Jessica @ Acting Adult said...

That sounds like such an amazing trip. I love seeing pictures of you and the significant other at those fabulous New York landmarks. I wish I could get my Hubs to take me back there, but he's not a huge fan of the crazy big city. But someday, maybe!

Natalie said...

Thanks for sharing!! So jealous you went to Century 21 AND saw Book of Mormon!!!

agalandherdog said...

I didn't realize you lived there before! This sounds like a great trip and you looked gorgeous in the pics!

Katie said...

Sounds like an amazing trip!! I love that you did some of the touristy and and some of the low key.

You look great too!

Angela Noelle said...

I absolutely adore visiting NYC, but I don't think I could ever live there. Just too hustly/bustly and impersonal to me. But I'm super glad my sis lives there so I have lots of excuses to visit :) My favorite cupcakes in the city are at Sweet Revenge... omg, YUM!! So glad you had an amazing trip. I'm drooling over all of your food pics :)

Legally Married said...

So glad to see your New York info. I've been there a couple of times (in college), but my sister is moving there for a semester in the fall so I'm planning to go up and see her. I may be following up with you for more travel tips!

Sara said...

What a wonderful trip and a great post! So glad to hear that you fell in love with the city all over again. It's such a unique place and I think everyone has a little love/hate feeling about it. I love visiting, but I can't spend more than a few days at a time there - I start feeling sorry for the dogs peeing on the sidewalk instead of grass and missing trees and my car! But the food, the shopping and the shows are DEFINITELY worth it!


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