NEW YORK CITY TRAVEL DIARIES: JULY 2016
I like to think I was born in the wrong city and I'm quickly reminded of this every time I visit New York City. I experience a weird sense of belonging that no other place can give me. That feeling you have once you get home to your bed, your shower, your dog, and your own room after a long trip - that's what I'm talking about. See, the second I step off the NYC AirPorter Shuttle in Midtown my soul sighs as if to say, "Finally, I'm home." Of course this trip was the same, except this time around I wanted to share it with you. Hope you fall in love (it's not hard to do) with the city the same way I did.
- Arrives at the Port Authority in Mid-Town (finally my soul is at ease).
- Takes a "GETT" to my mom's job in SOHO. If you are in the city, download the app Gett (a car service similar to Uber) and use the code : GTETRXX to get a $10 credit towards your ride (you're welcome).
- Arrives in Soho, spots mom across the street, runs, cries, picks up dog, kisses dog, mom grabs my bags and we walk while.
- I walk to her job, drop off my bags, freshen up and I'm off. My mom had to work for a little, but my adventurous self couldn't stand still for a second longer. I head downstairs to check out a local thrift store and book cafe I had passed along the way. I mean, what more do you want in life other than coffee, books and used clothing?! Check out some photos from the thrift shop I stopped at. "Housing Works" in Tribeca (similar to Salvation Army). Here's the exact address: 119 Chambers St, New York, NY 10007.
- Soon after I thrift we take a stroll around Tribeca to snap a few photos and catch up. I quickly learn New York City in July isn't too different from Orlando summers. Snapchat informed me that the city was at a lovely 97 degrees and a 30% humidity. Hence why my hair was in french braids this day. Below you'll see my cheerful chubby cheeks being kissed by my momma who loves to do this in nearly every photo *actually laughs out loud*. Of course I had to get some outfit shots in there too (peep a NYC Style Guide Post coming very soon).
- After a long day of walking around and sight seeing, eating food and saying hello to all the puppies everywhere I go (I can't help myself, I love petting puppies. It just has to happen) we finally call it a night and head to my mom's studio apartment in the Upper West Side. Of course I have to snap some sunset photos before, oh and grab some spicy fish taco's at The Ellington. Here's the address: 936 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025. If you're ever in the Upper West Side, check them out. A photo of my food (along with street views of the sunset) will be down below. Try not to drool.
- So I must have been super exhausted because I fell asleep early the night before. By early I really mean early. I usually go to bed passed midnight but I dozed off around 10:15pm - 10:30pm. I woke up around 7am and was ready to start my day....well kinda. Momma came back from walking the dog so I was very awake after some slobbery kisses and a cinnamon bagel. Hooray!!
- This day was super special, we got to take my mom's bosses dog to a commercial shoot. Now I don't have the liberty to say anything or add photos, but just know that it was really cool.
- So after that exciting adventure we were off to the High Line. The High Line is a "park in the sky" essentially. There used to be trains that would run on this track above ground. They stopped running them when the subway's got popular and more effecient and now it's been turned into a park that runs up and down the city. I prefer the part right in the Meatpacking District above DVF. It overlooks the water on one side and the concrete jungle on the other. It also (in the summer) has food trucks up and down selling ice cream, lemonade, popsicles, and much more. Check out some photos down below.
- Later I stepped into one of my favorite designer's shop; Alice & Olivia by Stacy. I loved it so much from the actual clothing to the design of the store. Having worked in retail for over 4 years I really appreciate a good designed store while still giving great customer service. Check out a photo of this amazing dresses I tried on down below.
- Later we packed up our things from my moms apartment and headed to her bosses apartment in Tribeca. We were watching her dog for the weekend and stayed there. I love Tribeca, there's always somewhere to go eat or grab a coffee. For example, many apartment buildings in the city have the lobby floor as their first floor (like hotels) so on the first floor of the block can be anything (a gym, laundromat, a coffee shop, ect). Luckily for us, a Starbucks was attached to the building. Now I prefer a coffee shop that has craft coffee made by baristas who understand the process of making the perfect cup (only throwing shade because Starbucks gets my drink order wrong a lot ), but this will do for now. We call it a night and tuck our tired legs in.
- We start the day off with breakfast and a view of the city (nothing can get better than this.) Picture down below.
- Today we decide to hit up Bryant Park & The New York Public Library but we were delayed starting our adventure. It all started with me wanting a hot dog really badly (I used to eat them so much as a kid). So I stopped at a local cart and was politely (not politely) told they only take cash. You know I'm from the "south" when a yelling hot dog cart guy offends me, anyways... I walk my offended butt over to a Chase ATM. I decide to log into my chase app just to check my account (I had a feeling) and I see I have a fraudulent purchase under my card. It was a purchase of $99 at a Racetrack in Lake Wales, FL. I knew immediently what happened and my heart sunk a little bit. Why would think happen on vacation, in the city, when I need my card? So after putting my mother on the phone with Chase Bank (she's way more assertive than me) I was able to withdraw cash and close the card out, I just had to wait till Monday to get a new debit card. I don't let this stop me from having a good day, so I continue on my hunt for a hot dog (which was actually really amazing) and keep walking.
- We make it to Bryant Park just a few blocks down the street and it's packed. It feels like Disney and all I can hear in the back of my mind is screaming children and a tour bus driver saying "please keep hands and feet inside the railings..." Can't you tell I'm from Florida? I ignore the chaos and walk through the crowd like a wondering child. Snap a photo here, remove some hot dog bun from my teeth, snap a photo there, and then pop in some gum. Check out the photos I took in Bryant Park.
- Soon after this it started to pour down so bad and we ran inside the library (like I said, not too different from Florida Summers). We get our bags checked before entering and a map. The worker at the front desk advised we start our adventure at the top floor and work our way down, so that's what we did. Unfortunately the most famous reading room was closed for the day but the library itself is basically a museum so I didn't mind. I'll just let the photos do the talking.
- Soon after this we make our way to Brookfield Place to look around and grab dinner with my Uncle Ray. This place from the street looks like an upscale mall (which it is) but behind it is an outdoor eating area on the water. You can see the yachts docking, children playing, live music and a skyline of Jersey all in one standing spot. How cool is that? We had burgers, took some photos by the water and awed over the sunset setting behind the buildings. It was a beautiful sight. A definite must for anyone traveling to the city. It's also right across from the Freedom Tower and 9/11 Memorial, so if you plan on crossing that off your list, go ahead and add Brookfield place to it too. Here are some photos.
- Time to call it a day and head back to the apartment. We were read to take our shoes off, a hot shower and head to bed. I was exhausted.
- We wake up a little late but hey it's my vacation so it's alright. My body must have really needed the sleep. I make myself a bowl of cereal and get ready for my day. We do a lot of walking around this day, a little shopping here and there. Our first stop was a coffee shop I was dying to go to Happy Bones. Here is the address: 394 Broome St, New York, NY 10013. I found out about this lovely place on Instagram through a blogger I follow. I of course did my research and found out it's in Little Italy, How cute? So I had to go and snap some photos for the gram. Check it out!
Next I walk next door to this designer consignment shop called Filmore and 5th and instantly fall in love. I didn't buy anything (due to my limited cash since my card was closed) but maybe that was a blessing in disguise. It was a dangerous place for a brand lover like me. It will definitely be on my list of things to do the next time I'm in the city. Here's the address: 398 Broome St, New York, NY 10013
Next I met up with two of my good friends for a free ferry ride to Ikea (crazy random I know). It's a around 45 minutes total and you get an amazing view of the city, Statue of Liberty and Governor Island. I'll toss in some photos below.
- Today is the last day so I have to plan my time according to traffic, trains, and airport chaos. It was just my luck that while I was out here someone had stolen my debit card information and made purchases under my name. How nice of them.*Insert sarcastic smile and head tilt here.* I had to walk to a Chase Bank to get a new debit card, so this kind of put a damper on my plans but I wasn't gonna let that stop my excitement, I'M IN NEW YORK!!
- After my debit card was fixed I went shopping (the only logical thing to do). I hit up Century 21 (refer to The Carrie Diaries to see why) and then I hit up local shops of the street. I also bought a iced coffee on the side of the road at a street cart. Which is super weird because they put your iced coffee cup in a brown paper bag..... definitely not a Florida thing. Here are some snapchat photos during my shopping adventure.
- After I was done shopping I headed back to the apartment to grab my suitcases, booked a car and headed back to the Port Authority to catch a shuttle to the airport. Traffic is serious around noon in the city. Fortunately I had given myself an entire hour in addition for things like this (so well prepared). Once I got to the Port Authority I bought my shuttle ticket, hugged my mom and dog tight, gave the driver my suitcases and waved goodbye. Of course I was sad to leave the city but I was more sad to leave my mom. I missed her so much. I missed that feeling of home I had with her and it was something I really needed.....still need during this season of my life.
- A 45 minute ride out of the city brings lots of thoughts and emotions into ones spirit. I gaze outside my window seat looking up at the skyscrapers, down into the ally's of the streets, over the hills to see more people going about there day and below into cab cars seeing business men on their phone. The chaos was somehow soothing me and for the first time in a long time I wasn't worried, anxious, in a rush, trying to catch my breath; I was present. I was there. I was breathing in the city air, I was enjoying the views and I was taking every second I had left in like they were my last. This drive got me thinking about so many other things in my life. Like I said in the begining not only was the trip to see my mom but to get away, so at the end of course I'm looking back on the days I spent there. I believe in my life God speaks in one of two ways. One way He speaks is in a small whisper. I can sometimes audibly hear the Lord whisper in my ear something beautiful. The other way I hear him is in moments. I know it sounds funny but I'm really good at being in a fast pace, chaotic moment and being able to see/hear or understand something the Lord is showing me. This shuttle ride was no different, maybe I'll share what God did in another post one day.
- I arrived at the airport, checked my bag and went through security. I also found $4 on the floor, WHOOP WHOOP! I grab a seat at a fancy lounge and order my food. I pull my laptop out and start working on this blog. I try face timing my friend, failed, tried again, it failed again, so I gave up. I realize my flight got delayed, the gate got moved and I had an event to plan all over text messages and facebook notifications..... What a mess!
- Once I finally board my flight I'm exhausted. I was supposed to leave at 7pm and I didn't leave until 9:37pm. I arrive in O-Town where my amazing Dad came to take me home. HUMIDITY. Oh it's so real. This is how you know you're not in the city anymore. Home. being back gave me a sense of comfort (mainly because I missed my bed and shower and car) and a sense of sadness. I didn't want to go back to reality. I wanted to continue walking the streets of the city, sipping on some Happy Bones coffee and shopping till I drop.....and eating my body weight in pizza.
That concludes my New York City adventure. I can't wait to go back (hopefully in December). I'm already planning and saving. I have learned so much about myself and gotten a new vision for my own life. This trip allowed me that time with my mom that I needed and time to myself that I barely had. Now that I'm back home in the day to day routine I have a new perspective on my life and I can't wait to hustle to see those things come to pass. If you would like some recommendations on more places to go, message me. If not, definitely check out those that were mentioned. In the meantime, I'll be dreaming up my next adventure, KENTUCKY here I come. ;)