A New York State of Mind

I know, I know. It seems near impossible to write a blog post about a weekend in New York City without referencing at least one song paying ode the city that never sleeps. Because my love for Billy Joel runs deep, I just had to use a title from his catalogue because “…it comes down to reality. And it’s fine with me ’cause I’ve let it slide. Don’t care if it’s Chinatown or on Riverside. I don’t have any reasons, I’ve left them all behind. I’m in a New York state of mind.”

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As mentioned in my previous post, I took the train to New York City last weekend. My sister, Megan, hopped on in Trenton, NJ and we arrived at Penn Station, where we met up with Megan’s sister-in-law, Ashley, our host for the weekend. We took a taxi to her midtown apartment (which I, of course, fell in love with), dropped our bags, and then hit the pavement to grab a bite and drink at Bravest. After lunch, we hit Chelsea Market and some other shops, took the subway down to the financial district (more on that below), and then went to happy hour at The Roost, where one of Ashley’s friends was celebrating her birthday. Let me tell you – The Roost just may be my favorite place ever because it is a coffee shop and bar. Sign. me. up. After the festivities, we ate a late dinner at Three of Cups and despite the frigid temperatures, appreciated the bustling city at night.

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 Cheers.

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The next morning involved Megan and I waking up early, despite not having our kids with us (the effects of motherhood, I suppose). The three of us got coffee at Ground Central and enjoyed walking the near-empty streets. I took a touristy picture in front of one of my favorite New York landmarks and then popped into a couple of stores for refuge from the chilly air.   We had brunch at The Smith and then made our way to Broadway, where we saw Kinky Boots in the Al Hirschfeld Theatre (ceiling pictured below) – it was absolutely spectacular.

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Everything bagel with scallion cream cheese from Ess-a-Bagel.

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 Megan and Ashley

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 For what it’s worth, I’m team Chrysler Building.

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It seems somewhat grim to say that one of the highlights of my trip was the National September 11 Memorial and the Freedom Tower. Since I hadn’t been to the city since 2004, Ground Zero has evolved quite a bit since I had last been there. We didn’t go to the museum but walked around the grounds.

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Seeing the footprints of the towers as the North Pool and the South Pool was sobering. The name of each victim of the terrorist attacks on that day are inscribed along the perimeters of the two fountains. Seeing the names reminded me of how in Love is the Higher Law, David Levithan wrote “What separates us from the animals, what separates us from the chaos, is our ability to mourn people we’ve never met.”

I’m thrilled that I was able to spend the weekend in New York before leaving the east coast this summer and squeeze in a trip with my sister and Ashley. Clay and I are trying to see if his schedule will allow for a trip to New York City with the kids before we leave but the jury is still deliberating on that one. Whatever the outcome, I’m just happy to have experienced the New York state of mind once again.

Mind the Gap

I am writing this post on a train to New York City. My sister, Megan, is hopping on further up the tracks and we will stay with her sister-in-law, Ashley, who has lived in Manhattan for the past several years. Less of a hassle than flying but not quite as time efficient, the train offers me views of the northeast cooridor and the ability to pack a full-size conditioner bottle in my carry-on. A win-win, for sure.

I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that it has been over 10 years since I’ve last been to the city I would dream about in childhood. As a tween, I unironically wore an I <3 NY shirt and would happily tell anyone who listened of my post-collegiate New York City plans. The New York, New York Babysitter’s Club Super Special book was my favorite (wasn’t Stacey just the coolest?) and when I finally experienced the city for the first time as a 12-year -old, I became consumed by the sights and the energy. We lived in Arizona at the time and I was absolutely blown away by the iconic east coast city.

We moved to Pennsylvania during the middle of my 7th grade year. My family often took advantage of being a quick train ride from the city so I was able to get my fix during my teenage years. I briefly considered attending college in the city, the lure of a traditional college campus proved to be stronger and I ended up at Clemson University in South Carolina, which is about as in-New York City as a place could be. My freshman year roommate and I went there over Spring Break and Clay and I spent the three days that Fort Drum afforded him after our wedding in New York City, which marks the last time I’ve been, save for a layover in one of the area airports.

Yes, I am a New York City fan girl. And yes, I’m excited to be visiting this weekend. I’m not sure if I’ll ever have the opportunity to live there but you can sure as hell bet that I’ll never stop visiting the city that never sleeps.