I'm leavin' today (or more like two weeks ago). I wanna be a part of it - New York, New York.
Most of you know I actually lived in the city that never sleeps (or is that Vegas?) when I attended college there several years ago, but when I go back and visit, it all seems like that was in another lifetime. Granted, I still know my way around the city and can navigate the streets and avenues (mostly successfully), but sometimes even I have to laugh at the fact that this blond from the Bible belt decided to shun the popular state universities, pack it up and head north.
Reminiscing aside, I decided it was high time to visit my old home (and my friends), so I took a long weekend trip up to the big apple and had a grand old time. Now I'm sure you're imagining Broadway shows, Chinatown knock-offs, five-star dining and crazy nights out, but in all honesty, nothing could be further from the truth and for that, I am exceedingly grateful.
What my time did consist of was a glorious day in Central Park, a trip to Chelsea Market (home of Food Network studios), a couple free wine tastings, some serious catch-up time with my friends, a little champagne and a WHOLE lot of walking.
Here is my time as captured in pictures:
My first day I spent with me, myself and I just strolling along the streets, exploring the Central Park Zoo (for the very 1st time), people watching by the pond and perusing some of my favorite stores on 5th Avenue.
Since we wanted to take advantage of the uncharacteristically superb weather, Heidi and I headed to a rooftop bar that night for a lovely glass of vino and a couple complimentary glasses of bubbly champagne. The view was spectacular and the beverages were equally enjoyable. We also hit up one of my favorite eateries from my NYU days for a late night dinner.
The next day called for a lovely brunch at Philip Marie in the West Village, a walk across the Hi-Line Park, a tour of Chelsea Market complete with an impromptu wine tasting and a little shopping. I am proud to say I finally made it to the "mother ship," AKA the Food Network Studios. Obviously, they gave their biggest fan a grand tour and a special Q&A session with Bobby Flay, Rachael Ray and Tyler Florence...or wait, I guess that part was just in my dreams. Well, pish posh. It was still so fun to flit around the market and check out all the famous NYC food vendors.
Saturday night I headed to the Upper East Side to spend the second part of my trip with one of my old roomies from my senior year. After hitting up the second random wine tasting of the day, we had a lovely and leisurely dinner in her neighborhood and chatted for probably three hours over a delightful glass of wine. The next day was spent much in the same way as the previous. We had a champagne-filled brunch at Blue Water Grill in Union Square (our old neighborhood) and did an incredible amount of walking. Considering the picture-perfect weather, there was simply no reason not to.
We capped off my last night in the city with night service at Redeemer, a bottle of wine and a late-night Greek dinner. I also got to hear all about Katherine's nine-month work assignment in Africa. All I can say is what a woman and what an inspiration! It was a very eye-opening conversation to say the least.
All in all, twas a lovely trip and so great to visit my old home and my old friends. It truly is a magical city, but I think I like it best when I'm not living there...and it's not winter!!!